Leeds has more listed buildings than any other city outside London. The built heritage here is one to marvel at and enjoy. For a slice of British history the city has plenty to offer. It has a number of nearby historic houses, including Harewood House and Temple Newsam. While Kirkstall Abbey, is one of the most complete Medieval Cistercian Abbeys in the whole of the UK.
Kirkgate Market is without doubt one of the most recognizable urban landmarks in the city. The majestic Grade I listed building dates back to 1857. It boasts the first covered retail street in the town. And, is home to the birthplace of one of Britain’s biggest global brands, Marks & Spencer, which still has a presence. As soon as you enter this impressive Victorian masterpiece you feel alive!
Leeds is now the third largest shopping venue in the UK outside London so you are never more than a few steps away from great shopping. Fans of the high street can visit Trinity Leeds, or if you’re looking for luxury treats head to the award winning Victoria Gate and Victoria Quarter. Vintage goods and boutique shops can be found a plenty in the Corn Exchange, or stop by Kirkgate Market, one of Europe’s largest covered markets, to browse the vast array of independent stalls.
Festivals and Events
There’s a packed calendar of festivals and events with an international appeal. Over 80 festivals take place every year, so there’s always something exciting and inspiring to see. Leeds Pride is Yorkshire’s biggest celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans life – the UK’s friendliest, free to attend Pride.
Leeds West Indian Carnival is always a highlight and is Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival! Light Night arts and light festival transforms the city centre in to a sea of light and sound in October. The city is also the proud host of Thought Bubble Festival, the UK’s largest comic book festival.
Arts and Culture
The city boasts a diverse Cultural scene and is home to a number of art venues. Relax and explore visual in Leeds Art Gallery which has the best C20th collection outside London. The Tetley is a centre for contemporary art in the stunning art deco HQ of the former Tetley Brewery. Home to Opera North and Northern Ballet, the City also plays host to West End shows, comedy, major concerts and theatre.
To really rock try the O2Academy and the Key Club. While for Classical fans there’s The Venue and the magnificent Leeds Town Hall. For an ever-changing mix, check out the line up at The Wardrobe, Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House or catch a global superstar at first direct arena.
If you’ve never been to a piano recital then now is the perfect time book your tickets as the Leeds International Piano Competition returns to the city in September. You’ll be astounded by the stunning performances and awe-inspiring talent of the young pianists.
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