What to do in Leeds ?

I have been living in Leeds for nearly two years now and I think it’s time I share some nice places to visit around.

Leeds is not a touristy town, there nothing really old or interesting, architecturally speaking. It’s a very busy shopping and business centre. On the other end, it is very vibrant! One of the fastest-growing cities in the UK and the perfect place to go out for a drink, a coffee, for fancy food or just shopping.

What to do in Leeds and around?

The Corn Exchange

This is the most interesting Victorian building in Leeds where you can find plenty of independent shops and the home of one of my favourite place to eat food.. Humpit. This is the best place to eat hummus and falafels in Leeds!

The building was finished in 1864 and became a trading centre where merchants were trading corn and other produces for more than 100 years. Nowadays, there are still some craft fairs and specialty markets taking place there every other month. The atmosphere is great :-)

Corn exchange

Kirgate Market

People claim it is the largest indoor market in Europe, with around 800 stalls! The architecture is quite unique and a lot of people came just to have a look at the steel decorated pillars. You can find a lot of local products but also specialised foods (there is for example a polish supermarket, a spice corners, etc). I love shopping there but it’s not convenient when you are working because it closes around 5 pm.

The Victorian arcades

Taking a look inside these famous arcades is very pleasant, and the architecture is really lovely, especially around xmas. Some of them are full of luxury shops but others are full of independent shops, so there is something for everyone. That’s where I could find my favourite bubble tea shop until it closed down recently.

Tropical world

Just outside the busy city centre, you can find this fun place to visit if you want to learn more about the animals from all over the world. I think it’s better for kids, but as an adult, you can still enjoy the wonderful butterfly house and the cute meerkats.

You can also visit the Roundhay park nearby, for a picnic with friends or family, sitting in the shade or by the lake at the centre.

Tropical World

 Royal Armouries

This is my favourite place in Leeds, I have been there a countless number of time! This is the most interesting museum around. It was originally built in 1996 to house armour and weapons from the Tower of London, but subsequently expanded to cover more than 3000 years worth of combat and self-defence. There are a lot of activities organised throughout the day and you can learn a lot spending a few hours there… and it’s free!

Kirkstall Abbey

Leeds’ most impressive medieval structure is the beautiful Kirkstall Abbey, founded in 1152 by Cistercian monks from Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire. I have been there three times already and the weather was quite miserable each time…. This photo does not do justice to the place!

Millenium square

In the centre of Leeds, this is the place where all the events take place throughout the year… including the beach during summer or the German xmas market during winter.

Leeds night

Leeds city museum

Close to Millenium Square, you can find this free museum with 6 galleries to visit. Life on earth was definitively my favourite part but the history of Leeds was also very interesting.

Leeds city museum

Yorkshire Sculpture park

This is an open-air gallery where you can walk throughout the park, admiring artwork on the way. The sculpture change all the time so you can always go back and see new things. My favourite permanent sculpture is the octopus below.. so colourful ! Entry to the park is free and parking is £8 for an all-day pass, or £5 for up to 2 hours.

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50 responses to “What to do in Leeds ?

    • I love doing my shopping in the market whenever possible.. but when you are working it’s difficult since it closes down at 5 pm. The products are so fresh and the meat really better than in the supermarket.

      The sculpture park is a good concept, and you can enjoy during the whole year around! You can link culture and hiking which is nice!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a good stopover if you need to break the journey from South to North of England, it’s kind of in the middle and a good base to explore what Yorkshire has to offer :-)

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  1. I so enjoyed this comprehensive visit to Leeds, Gin. I would say from the photos there are a lot of interesting historical and architectural beauties here. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just love being tourist in my own city.. it’s worth it! You discover new places and learn about the history of your town. The Royal Armouries and Kirstall Abbey are really a must.. and I can’t believe it’s free to get in!

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  2. So many things to do in Leeds, and I see a few of them like the markets are indoors – so plenty to do in the colder months 😊 Millenium Square looks like a bit of a party and I love that octopus sculpture. Colourful and it looks cheery too 🐙

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    • I love that octopus sculpture.. love the colours, love the concept and love the shape :-) There are many indoors things to do.. and it’s good because it rains quite often in this part of the world ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It IS high time you showed us your new (sort of) hometown! (I really can’t believe it’s been two years – wow.) I love how you say there’s nothing old or interesting and then you throw a beautiful abbey built in 1152 in there! Haha. Your town looks very lively and interesting; I hope you are enjoying living there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gorgeous pictures, Gin! :) It’s always good to be a tourist in the place you stay at times. You’ve completed 2 years in the UK? Wow! Time surely flies fast. Trust you’re doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leeds is a very lovely place and there are many interesting places to visit. From this post, I think Leeds has many thins to do and not much less than other big city. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yorkshire Sculpture is an amazing place to visit, even during winter! Great in every season. Parking fee is a bit steep but entrance to the park is free so all in all it’s not too bad

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