Five top things to see and do in Leeds

by Jules on May 28, 2012

A bustling metropolis and 24th most populous city in the European Union, it’s no wonder that it can be difficult to fit in all the activities and sights that Leeds has to offer in a weekend or short getaway.

With this part of England, which has seen cities such as Liverpool enjoy a 15% increase in visitors, finally rivaling its southern counterparts for tourist attractions, there has never been a better time to visit the North. Here are some of the things you should definitely see and do while you’re in Leeds:

Go shopping

Boasting a large pedestrian area in the heart of the city, as well as the region’s principal retailing district, there can be no doubt that Leeds is a shopper’s paradise.

The ‘Knightsbridge of the North’, as it is often nicknamed, offers everything from fast fashion to well-known high-street brands and designer shops, all set against the backdrop of the city’s impressive architecture, shopping centers and quarters.

An especially well-loved part of the shopping experience is the Victoria Quarter, which has plenty of unique and quirky retailers, set in the historic Victorian Arcades.

Enjoy nature in the heart of the city

The Leeds Country Way is definitely the best way to experience some of the stunning nature of the surrounding area, without ever being further than seven miles from the city centre. This circular route is 62 miles long and includes footpaths and bridleways, with very few sections verging out onto the main roads.

Perfect for a relaxed countryside walk, horse or bike ride, visitors can take their pick from a number of suggested scenic routes, or simply join the trail at any given point to roam around the picturesque Yorkshire landscape.

Walk the sculpture trail

Taking its cue from nearby Wakefield and Castleford, homes to the great British sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore respectively, Leeds doesn’t lag behind when it comes to boasting its fabulous and intriguing sculptures.

The best way to see all these is by foot, so grab a map and set off around the city. Most statues and sculptures can be seen dotted around the city, such as The Black Prince or The Barrelman – you definitely won’t be disappointed by this cultural treasure hunt.

Enjoy the music

With acts such as The Pigeon Detectives, Utah Saints and Kaiser Chiefs all originating from Leeds, it’s no wonder that it has gained a well-deserved reputation for its lively music scene.
True music lovers should definitely make sure their visit to Leeds coincides with the wildly popular annual summer Leeds Music Festival, taking place this year between the 24th and 26th August.

With plenty of new and unsigned bands doing the rounds at local pubs, clubs and gig nights, and with the prospect of next year’s completion of the Leeds Arena, set to be the place for live music acts, this is definitely an exciting music destination to tantalise your senses.

Get pampered

Hotels in Leeds are plentiful, and, the even better news is that most centrally-located ones are within walking distance from the heart of the city, which is quite tight and compact. The Holiday Inn at www.hileedswakefieldhotel.co.uk is within easy walking distance of local amenities and transport.

But why not enhance your Northern experience further by opting for a spa or a luxury pampering day?

Leeds has plenty of choice offerings, ranging from the classic salon procedures, manicures, facials and pedicures, which can leave you stress-free in an hour or so, to full-on hotels with their own spa facilities.

For true relaxation in style, consider the Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel, which is ideally located only five miles from the city center, yet also perfectly close to the stunning Yorkshire Dales, should the mood for a walk and a bit of nature strike you.

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