A former industrial town in West Yorkshire, Leeds has re-emerged as a thriving, modern, vibrant city that has gained a reputation as a centre for art and culture, as well as shopping facilities unrivalled outside London. With convenient transport links by road and rail, it is no wonder Leeds is fast becoming a popular weekend destination for lovers of shopping, culture, dining and nightlife.
Leeds has been described as one of the best shopping destinations in the UK. The town centre is convenient and compact with arcades and pedestrianised streets which, together, create a shoppers paradise.. For high end names such as the legendary Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood, head for the Victoria Quarter.
As well as shops, there are numerous bars and cafes where you can take a break and enjoy the ornate mosaics and marble decor of these fabulous Victorian arcades. Nearby Trinity Leeds has over 120 high street big brand names, and is a must see in its own right for its stylish glass roof. Briggate is one of the oldest streets in Leeds and is vehicle free, allowing shoppers to safely browse smaller, independent shops with quirky boutiques, book shops and vintage goods. Leeds also hosts five weekly markets, selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to clothing, craft items and street food.
Leeds has a rich cultural heritage which is evident in the many galleries and sculptures installed around the city. As well as famous works in Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute, there are intriguing examples of public art hidden in plain sight around the city, just waiting to be discovered. These include the 4m high sheep at Marshalls Mil, poetry carved into the cobbles on Kirkgate and the Bike Tree on Water Lane. There are regular public festivals and celebrations which happen throughout the year, including Light Night, the free multi arts festival which takes place across the city each October.
Leeds’ reputation as a modern, exciting city is reflected in the quality, diversity and choice of cuisine available. As well as several award winning fine dining establishments, the city prides itself on its impressive selection of independent eateries offering authentic street food from India, Vietnam, North Africa and the MIddle East. For more home grown tastes, the historic pubs and taverns of the city offer the best in local produce including traditional pub and Sunday lunches.
After a busy day soaking up the cultural and retail delights of the city it’s time to head out and experience the City after dark. For smart cocktail bars and lively music, Call Lane is the place to be. Cosy traditional pubs such as the 300 year old Whitelocks can be found on the narrow cobbled streets of Briggate. The city centre has a thriving LGBT scene, with pubs and clubs along The Calls and Lower Briggate. There are festivals and events across the year, culminating in the annual Leeds Pride in August. Whether you are looking for a sports bar, a champagne lounge or an authentic German Beer Keller, there will be a venue to suit your mood and guarantee a great night out.
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