Leeds, Live it, Love it
eeds is practically bursting with energy, with rich sporting heritage, a thriving arts scene and pulsating nightlife. Alive with the spirit of urban redevelopment and grandiose Victorian architecture, Leeds mixes the classic and contemporary like no other city, making it the perfect destination for a cultural fix, shopping spree, romantic getaway or raging night out.
History and Heritage
During the sixteenth and seventeenth century, Leeds was at the forefront of the wool industry, an involvement that catalyzed the city’s growth and led it to becoming the major urban centre it is today. The canals and civic buildings are a legacy from this past, and are still worth visiting today, as is the Royal Armouries Museum , which houses arms, armour and artillery from past to present.
Arts and Culture
For a seasonal spectacle, watch the Northern Ballet perform the Nutcracker at Leeds Grand Theatre . To see work by artists as diverse as Rodin and Paula Rego, the Leeds Gallery is the place to head. Lovers of less traditional art should also keep their eyes open for Art in Unusual Places , a project that transforms urban spaces into exhibition sites for visual art and installations.
Music and Nightlife
For cocktails and DJs look no further than Call Lane, a stretch of real estate that is home to more cool bars than you can shake a martini at. Finish the night in style at the bar at the Malmaison Hotel or continue into the early hours at legendary club nights such as Back 2 Basics and Speedqueen.
Leeds more than deserves its ‘Knightsbridge of the north’ tag. You can shop for a one-off design beneath the Victorian dome of the Corn Exchange or mooch around the nearby vintage stores for some retro chic. To glam it up, visit the boutiques in the Victoria Quarter , which include Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton outlets.
Leeds is a proud sporting city. Hit Elland Road to watch Leeds United play football, or get tickets for Headingly and listen for the thwack of leather on willow as Yorkshire or England play cricket. When it comes to the less spherical ball sports, take your pick from the Leeds Rhinos (Rugby League) or Leeds Carnegie (Rugby Union), both of who have brought glory to the city for many a year.
The Leeds Festival plays host to the world’s biggest bands, making it a definite highlight of the summer festival season. Marvel at the incredible costumes and dance to the calypso beat at the West Indian Carnival which takes place over the August Bank Holiday. And when winter sets in, warm the cockles and get in the festive mood with the Christmas market.
Leeds is a city that inspires creativity. It has produced bands as innovative as Gang of Four as well as the screenwriter, playwright, and all round Yorkshire legend Alan Bennett. Bo’ Selecta’s Avid Merrion, aka Keith Lemon, aka Leigh Francis was born in Leeds, as was celebrity chef Marco Pierre White.
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The Tiled Hall Café provides the opportunity to eat and drink in the spectacular surroundings of an original piece of magnificent Victorian architecture. A rediscovered gem.
Enjoy a tasty pizza at Salvos , voted the UK's Best Neighbourhood Italian Restaurant by Gordon Ramsey’s F-Word.
...in Leeds' elegant Victorian Quarter.Victoria Quarter
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