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Hidden Gems: Best Places To Visit in Idaho

places to visit on leeds

While Idaho may not top your list of vacation spots, its tourism is more engaging than most know. With feats of scenic beauty and hubs of art and culture across the state, Idaho has plenty of worthwhile attractions to visit. Check out these places to visit in Idaho that will make you want to journey through the Gem State.

Trek through the Sawtooth Mountains in Central Idaho

places to visit on leeds

Perhaps the most beautiful laces to visit in Idaho is the Sawtooth Mountains, a scenic marvel. The jagged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains spans 678 miles . The location was once a favorite spot for beloved author Ernest Hemingway to hang out. Now, it sees thousands of visitors turn out each year to hike its ranges in Sawtooth National Forest. 

Along the trails surrounding Sawtooth, visitors can expect to see glowing blue lakes, thick green vegetation, tall trees, and vast wilderness. The attraction draws in all types of outdoor adventurers and offers opportunities for backpacking, camping, climbing, and more. The Sawtooth Mountains are a must-see destination if you’re looking for an outdoor trip to restore your wonder in the world.

Passes are required to enter the Sawtooth National Forest via vehicle or bike. You may also need to purchase permits for camping or professional photography within Sawtooth National Forest. For overnight travelers, many guests look for lodging in the nearby towns of Ketchum and Stanley.

  • Allows you to stay active on your vacation
  • Stunning sights and scenery
  • Requires an extensive amount of walking, which may not be good for someone with physical limitations
  • Some trails are not accessible to beginner hikers

Adventure Through the Heart of Boise, Idaho

places to visit on leeds

About Boise

If you’re looking for a mix of nature and urban, Boise one of the best places to visit in Idaho. This buzzing tourist destination hosts Idaho’s most significant city population. It’s a great spot to try local cuisine, visit art and culture museums and check out the phenomenal architecture of the capital. 

Boise is between several scenic sites. This nature-friendly city allows you to bike the stunning Greenbelt, raft down the Boise River (or go north to raft the rapids of Payette River), and hike to local rock formations. Since it’s near Boise National Forest, traveling north of Boise offers winding roads through the landscape. 

Spend a fun day in the town, then enjoy pleasant drives through thick forests and alongside running rapids. Whether your ideal vacation day looks like a nature walk or a museum tour, Boise has you covered.

The attraction-filled setting offers a mixture of free and paid activities. You can expect to shell out money for food, hotel/rentals, and activities like water rafting. But scenic walks exploring the cityscape will only cost you energy.

  • A range of activities for every type of tourist
  • It offers a city-exploring adventure
  • Hard to do and see it all during a short trip
  • More expensive food/board than other Idaho destinations

Take an Intergalactic Journey Through Craters of the Moon National Monument

places to visit on leeds

About Moon National Monument

You’ll feel like you’ve entered another world at the Craters of the Moon National Monument in Central Idaho. The 750,000-acre park is an eerie cousin to the moon’s surface. Historic lava fields from the past have created a textured landscape covered in lava tubes, cinder cones, craters, and more. 

Visitors to this spot can walk through miles of fascinating formations from the past (though be careful not to fall into a crater!). Those interested in science, nature, or outer space will love this chunk of planetary greatness.

Entrance fees are the main cost. It costs $20 to bring in a vehicle, $15 for a motorcycle, and $10 to walk in. If you plan to bring in a passenger van (7+ people), you’ll be looking at a $40 charge. Camping costs $15 a night, and some days are fee-free .

  • A seven-mile trail through the park lets you observe the setting safely
  • Unique in its appearance/unlike any other spot like it in Idaho
  • First come, first serve camping; no reservations
  • Not accessible to those with limited mobility 

Boat Through One of the World’s Most Beautiful Lakes at Lake Coeur d’Alene in Northern Idaho

places to visit on leeds

National Geographic once cited this breathtaking lake in Coeur d’Alene as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. This is also one of the best places to visit in Idaho. This high honor is well-deserved, as its crystal blue waters, mountainous backdrop, and coastal beachfront draw in travelers from far and wide. Boating and swimming are encouraged in the open lake, with cruises frequently offered. 

The nearby town of Coeur d’Alene has a rich background in Native American history and French colonization. With tourism providing much of its current economy, visitors can find numerous theme parks, outdoor sports (including skiing!), and water-based activities. This charming lake town is a perfect retreat for couples, families, and solo travelers looking to get in touch with the wilderness.

Hotels and resorts in Coeur d’Alene vary in pricing, with chain hotels costing less than lodge-style resorts and rentals. Daily river cruises can cost approximately $20 to $30, while brunch/dinner and holiday cruises will increase from this base price.

  • Scenic lakeside views and countless outdoor activities
  • Positioned by walkable areas with food/lodging in close distance
  • Limited options for shopping outside of local businesses
  • Very busy during tourist season (summertime)
  • Very cold during winter

Hit the Springs and the Slopes in McCall, Idaho

places to visit on leeds

Can’t decide between soaking in a hot spring or riding the slopes? Why not both? McCall, Idaho is one of the best places to visit in Idaho, it offers the chance to engage with the outdoors every season. Skiiers, snowboarders, and tubers will love Brundage Mountain Resort , where McCall’s high winter snowfall has lent itself to a snow-centric tourism culture. 

Including areas for experts and beginners, this spot will satisfy travelers of all ages and skill sets. 

Once you’ve cooled off, there’s nothing more refreshing than slipping into the warm waters of the Gold Fork Hot Springs . The springs offer crystal clear pools with varying heat ranges, adding relaxation between your adventures.

Tickets to ride the lift at Brundage cost between $64 and $88 for adults. You’ll need to pay $10 a head (including children) to enter the Gold Fork Hot Springs.

  • It offers a range of recreational activities for all ages
  • One of the best spots in Idaho to visit in the wintertime
  • It may not be ideal for those looking to do things outside of a touristy lens.


places to visit on leeds

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The Victorian formal gardens with statues and low hedges in front of Harewood House

Why we love Leeds

A hotbed for shopping and the arts, you’ll find lots to do in Leeds from exploring the grounds of impressive historical houses to hunting for bargains in Europe’s biggest indoor market, the Grade I listed Kirkgate Market. Rich in heritage, this energetic former mill town boasts a thriving independent food scene, international beer festivals and a dazzling array of street art, including Britain’s tallest mural, Athena Rising. 

Whether it’s tasting tours, Europe’s biggest music festivals, or celebrating its Year of Culture for 2023, Leeds rocks it all. While its compact size makes it discoverable, its diversity means there’s always something to do, whether that’s burlesque to hip-hop, culture to clubbing. Sports fans are well catered for too, with cricket and rugby league at Headingley, and Leeds United Football club playing at Elland Road. And if you want to escape to nature - relax in the vast surroundings of Roundhay Park, one of Europe’s largest city parks, or it’s just a short jaunt to the glorious Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Headingley Stadium tours

Headingley Stadium tours

A tour behind Headingley’s famous station offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of Britain’s most famous cricket clubs. Take in panoramic views of the cricket ground from the media centre, see where players change, eat and gather, stroll around the Carnegie Pavilion and ponder over cricket memorabilia.

Kirkstall Abbey - Leeds - credit Leeds City Council

Kirkstall Abbey

Founded more than 800 years ago, the abbey is one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries in Britain.These breathtaking - and legend has it - haunted ruins sit among award-winning parkland shouldering the the River Aire. Much of it Kirkstall Abbey remains in tact, giving you a feel for the monks who lived her for nearly 400 years. It hosts regular events and across the road you’ll find a lively, interactive museum.

Things to do in Leeds

Royal armouries museum.

This is the home of Britain’s biggest collection of weapons and armour – including Henry VIII’s battle outfit.

A set of elephant armor on display at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds

Victoria Gate

More than just retail heaven, this shopping district is a vision of beautiful Victorian-inspired architecture. Great style, in every direction.

Victoria Gate

Harewood House

This spectacular home starred as Princess Mary’s residence in the Downton Abbey film – and now hosts private tours and festivals.

The Victorian formal gardens with statues and low hedges in front of Harewood House

Leeds Indie Food

From the juiciest burgers to the best local beers, Leeds Indie Food is your one-stop guide to the finest food in England’s north.

portrait OWT Leeds Corn Exchange - Amy Heycock for Visit Leeds (18) copy

Leeds Grand Theatre

Built in the 1800s, this intimate theatre has a truly decadent interior, and attracts stellar shows and acts to its stage.

Leeds Grand Theatre credit Ant Robling

Featured things to do

Two people walking in front of building

Tour the city

From heritage routes to breweries and ghost hunts, Leeds is packed with guided tours which reveal more about its people and places.

Awaiting image

Taste the region’s delicacies

Check out the Riverside Food & Drink Festival in Wetherby for mouth-watering cuisines, street food and artisan wares, all washed down with live music and a cookery theatre.

Abbey House Museum - credit Carl Milner Photography

Hunt for ghosts at Halloween

Check out the haunted Abbey House Museum (an original gatehouse for a 12th century Cistercian monastery) for ghost-hunts and supernatural activities.

Nighttime view of row of trees lit up by coloured lights

Take in some festive fun

From glistening Christmas trees to spectacular shows and festive markets, Leeds comes alive during the winter.

Places to stay in Leeds

Roundhay Park offers is to go to place for music and food festivals, and provides acres of green space, lakes, gardens and a tropical bird and butterfly house. Find lots of delis and restaurants, and all just a small walk into the centre

Headingley has been the student centre, but with it comes a thriving centre of shops, vintage wear, book shops, cafes and and lots of pubs and bars. It’s a short journey to the city centre.

If you want the best of both words - Otley offers the beauty of the Wharfe Valley and the Chevin Forest Park where hiking and biking are a must, and is also a scenic and lively market town too.

Explore nearby

Small and mighty – York is the medieval walled city that really packs a punch.

Woman wearing trench coat and pink hat walking

World-class football and a music scene that brought Oasis to centre stage – there’s lots to love about Manchester.

DJ playing to groups of people at Manchester Craft Beer Festival, in Depot Mayfield, Manchester

North York Moors

Rugged yet beautiful, wild yet welcoming – the North York Moors National Park is full of surprises.

Chef wearing apron on pier holding lobster trap with lobster

Yorkshire Dales

Proof that perfection can’t be rushed, the Yorkshire Dales was millions of years in-the-making.

Cyclist riding on road through green dales. Panoramic views

Getting to Leeds

As the largest city in West Yorkshire, the nearest main airport to Leeds is in Manchester, which serves around 225 destinations globally. Direct trains from Manchester Airport to Leeds take around 90 minutes, with driving taking a little longer. Train routes from London take just two-and-a-half-hours. Leeds Bradford Airport, around eight miles to the northwest of Leeds city centre (a 30 minute drive), also has connections to more than 75 European destinations, while National Express coaches provide routes into Leeds from both airports.

Getting around

An extensive public transport network makes Leeds simple to explore and provides fantastic connections to the rest of Britain. For guidance, pop into the Visit Leeds and Art Gallery Shop, which doubles as the city’s tourist information centre.

Much of central Leeds, including the shopping areas at Trinity Leeds and Victoria Gate, is pedestrianised, making it east to explore on foot.

The Metro network services towns and villages in the surrounding area, providing reliable links to areas across West Yorkshire.

An extensive bus network connects the main places to visit in Leeds. First Bus operates more than 60 routes in the city, while Arriva and Stagecoach also provide regular services.

A daily water taxi service meanders between Granary Wharf and Leeds Dock, providing an excellent way to see the historic waterfront area.

Want to know more?

Check out Visit L eeds for insider tips and travel inspiration.


18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Leeds, West Yorkshire

Written by Bryan Dearsley Updated Feb 15, 2023

Author Bryan Dearsley visited Northern England in the spring of 2022 and explored Yorkshire, including the city of Leeds .

This pleasant university city on the River Aire in West Yorkshire offers great shopping and sightseeing in its historic downtown area, and has a number of interesting museums and art galleries among its attractions. Leeds also has a long-established tradition of industry, especially textiles, and its primary importance is as West Yorkshire's commercial and financial center.

Corn Exchange in Leeds

The city is also the cultural hub of the area and boasts numerous fun things to do. Highlights include annual events such as the Leeds Festival in Bramham Park; the Leeds International Concert Season , a year-long celebration of music featuring more than 200 concerts; and the Leeds International Film Festival , England's second-largest festival dedicated to cinema.

The city's many attractive parks and gardens are ideal for relaxing walks. Must-visits include the 700-acre Roundhay Park , one of the country's largest city parks, and Golden Acre Park .

The surrounding Yorkshire Dales and moors are also worth exploring and offer some of the country's best hiking and biking trails. Particularly popular is the Meanwood Valley Trail , site of an annual footrace that draws participants from across Britain, along with famous Ilkley Moor.

To learn more about why Leeds is fast becoming one of the most popular places to visit in England, be sure to read through our list of the top tourist attractions in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

1. Civic Quarter & Leeds Civic Hall

2. the headrow & leeds town hall, 3. briggate, 4. the victoria quarter, 5. the royal armouries museum, leeds, 6. st. john the evangelist's church, 7. leeds corn exchange, 8. harewood house, harewood, 9. leeds industrial museum at armley mills, armley, 10. leeds art gallery, 11. temple newsam house, 12. thackray medical museum, 13. leeds grand theatre & opera house, 14. lotherton hall, aberford, 15. abbey house and museum, kirkstall, 16. the cathedral city of wakefield, 17. the national coal mining museum for england, overton, 18. harrogate: britain's floral resort.

Leeds Civic Hall

The hub of Leeds' Civic Quarter is the pedestrian area known as City Square . It is famous for its numerous statues, including figures of the Black Prince and inventor James Watt, and is a popular public space for locals and visitors alike to spend time.

A variety of the city's most important cultural attractions are also located within the Civic Quarter. The top places to visit for a dose of culture include the excellent Leeds Art Gallery, the Henry Moore Institute, and the interesting Craft Centre and Design Gallery that features works by local and national artisans (many of them for sale).

Civic Quarter

Another important city structure is Leeds Civic Hall with its owl-decorated towers, the heraldic emblem of the city. Free tours and exhibits are held frequently.

Finally, be sure to visit Millennium Square, a focal point for theatrical performances and concerts. The square is also the location of Leeds City Museum, with its excellent departments of geology, zoology, ethnology, and archaeology.

Leeds Town Hall in the Headrow

The Headrow is a pedestrian-friendly half-mile-long avenue where many of the city's premier shopping, civic, and cultural attractions are found.

Perhaps the most notable building here is Leeds Town Hall, which served as the template for countless civic buildings across Britain and its empire. It was consecrated in 1858 by Queen Victoria. A lovely Corinthian colonnade adorns its front, dominated by a 200-foot-tall clock tower. Its ornate Victoria Hall is used frequently for concerts. Note that the building is currently undergoing a massive refurbishment and is closed to the public until 2024.

Headrow leads into Westgate, Eastgate, and Quarry Hill, which also host important cultural attractions. These include the West Yorkshire Playhouse , the biggest production theater outside London, and the Grade-II-listed Leeds City Varieties , the oldest music hall in the world.

Another theatrical landmark is the Grand Theatre . This "grand" old opera house serves as home to Opera North.

Address: The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: www.leedstownhall.co.uk

Building in the Briggate

The pedestrianized Briggate area is famous for its historic shopping arcades , many of them of architectural significance. Those to explore include Grand Arcade, built in 1897 and home to a number of small boutique shops, and Thorntons Arcade , which was completed in 1878 and notable for its clock with four life-size figures.

Shopping arcade in the Briggate

Also worth visiting is Queens Arcade. Opened in 1889, it's home to a variety of high-end designer and novelty shops. A more modern affair, Trinity Leeds is a vast indoor shopping and entertainment complex where it's easy to spend a few hours exploring.

Queen Victoria Street in the Victoria Quarter

The Victoria Quarter is another great destination in Leeds city center for shopping enthusiasts. The jewel in the crown here is undoubtedly Queen Victoria Street . Although only arcaded in 1990, it's the largest expanse of stained glass in Europe and worth visiting if only for a stroll.

The neighboring County Arcade in the Victoria Quarter was completed in 1903 and is also fun to explore. Highlights include its magnificent marble floors, intricate stonework, and elegant iron domes.

Address: Queen Victoria St., Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: www.victorialeeds.co.uk

The Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds

Located in the city's dock area, the Royal Armouries Museum is home to Britain's national collection of arms and armor. Boasting more than 8,500 objects on display in six impressive galleries, the museum covers some 3,000 years of armor and weaponry from across the globe.

Highlights include the Tournament Gallery, showcasing the splendor (and brutality) of medieval jousting tournaments, and this is also where you'll find the full-body armor worn by Henry VIII. Also worth seeing is the impressive Oriental Gallery with its many fine examples of arms and armor from Africa and Asia.

There's even a collection of weapons and swords used in the hit movie, The Lord of the Rings . Add live demonstrations and stunning re-enactments to the mix, and this museum is a must-see.

A café and shop are located on the premises.

Address: Armouries Drive, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: www.royalarmouries.org/visit-us/leeds

St. John the Evangelist's Church

The finest of Leeds' many lovely churches, and also the city's oldest, is St. John's in New Briggate. Built in 1634, its interior is notable for having two naves, as well as an original Renaissance rood screen, pulpit, and stalls.

Other religious sites worth visiting in Leeds include St. Anne's Cathedral, the Roman Catholic cathedral in Cookridge Street (built 1904), and the Georgian Church of Holy Trinity on the riverbank in Boar Lane (1727).

Also check out the Parish Church of Saint Peter-at-Leeds. Perhaps better known as Leeds Minster, this medieval church was rebuilt in 1841 and is the city's oldest parish church.

Address: 23 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: www.visitchurches.org.uk/visit/church-listing/st-john-leeds.html

Leeds Corn Exchange

One of only three such structures surviving in the UK, the Grade I listed Leeds Corn Exchange is considered one of England's finest Victorian-era buildings. Designed by Cuthbert Brodrick and completed in 1864, the building is now home to an eclectic variety of independent boutique shops, galleries, and cafés.

The Corn Exchange is also a popular venue for everything from markets and fairs to boxing events and concerts.

Location: Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: http://leedscornexchange.co.uk/

Harewood House

Harewood House, seat of the Earl of Harewood, is a magnificent Georgian country house that took 30 years to build and was completed in 1771. Just eight miles north of Leeds, this spectacular home has interiors designed by Robert Adam and includes fine wall and ceiling paintings by Angelika Kauffmann and furniture by renowned English furniture maker Thomas Chippendale .

As well as an outstanding collection of porcelain, it has a large number of valuable works by the likes of Reynolds, Gainsborough, and El Greco. Outside, the grounds include a beautiful landscape designed by Capability Brown, with a 32-acre lake, a bird garden, and the remains of a 12th-century castle.

For a truly memorable stay, book into one of the estate's self-catering cottages, all within easy walking distance of the main house.

Address: Sandy Gate, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: www.harewood.org

Aerial view of Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills

Just two miles west of Leeds city center on Canal Road is the former Armley Mills. Once the world's largest woolen mills, this huge building is now home to the excellent Leeds Industrial Museum.

The museum presents the fascinating history of wool production in Yorkshire from the 18th century onwards, as well as exhibits concerning the manufacturing of textiles and clothing, printing, engineering, and locomotives.

While there, spend a little time exploring the nearby Leeds and Liverpool Canal, which links these two important industrial cities. Stretching 127 miles and even crossing the Pennines, this remarkable feat of engineering encompasses some 91 locks on its main line. The Thwaite Mill , a carefully restored watermill in nearby Stourton , is also worth visiting.

Address: Canal Road, Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/leeds-industrial-museum/

Leeds Art Gallery

Set in Victoria Square near the old Town Hall, a visit to Leeds Art Gallery is a must for art lovers. Its superb collection of works by British artists include 750 paintings by J.S. Cotman (1782-1842), as well as works by Constable and Gainsborough.

Other highlights include works by Italian and French masters such as Courbet, Renoir, and Signac. The neighboring Henry Moore Institute features sculpture galleries containing works by the artist and his contemporaries Jacob Epstein and Barbara Hepworth.

Official site: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/leeds-art-gallery/

Temple Newsam House

Temple Newsam House, a magnificent 40-room Tudor-Jacobean mansion, is a must-see when in Leeds. Set in a sprawling 900-acre park on the city's outskirts, it's famous as the birthplace of Lord Darnley, the husband of Mary Queen of Scots.

Interior highlights include a variety of Old Master paintings, as well as furniture by Thomas Chippendale and collections of Leeds creamware and silver. Exterior highlights include the beautifully manicured grounds with their marvelous rose bushes and rhododendrons, as well as one of the largest working rare breeds farms in Europe.

A café serving afternoon tea and other offerings is located on-site.

Address: Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/temple-newsam/

Thackray Medical Museum

The interesting and recently renovated Thackray Medical Museum is well worth checking out. Located next to St. James's University Hospital, this fascinating museum has a collection of 20,000 medical artifacts, and displays the development of medicine through the ages.

Displays include an authentic reproduction of a slum area of Leeds during Victorian times, including the sights, sounds, and even smells that would have permeated such neighborhoods. Other exhibits deal with areas of healthcare and surgery, as well as childbirth. A café and shop are located on the premises.

Address: 141 Beckett Street, Harehills, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: https://thackraymuseum.co.uk

Grand Theatre in Leeds

The most important of three historic venues owned and operated by the city of Leeds, the Grand Theatre was built in 1878 and can host up to 1,500 patrons. Centrally located in the city's Briggate district, this attractive red brick building is a focal point for theatre-goers and music lovers thanks to its eclectic program of shows.

In addition to featuring the latest West End theater productions and musicals, pop groups and musicians make it a stop on their cross-country touring schedules. It's also home to Opera North, one of the country's leading operatic companies, which is renown for featuring world premieres of new operas as well as the classics.

Fun workshops and behind-the-scenes tours are also available.

Address: 46 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: https://leedsheritagetheatres.com

Lotherton Hall

Edwardian era Lotherton Hall was built before WWI for the Gascoigne family, avid collectors of antiquities and art. Particularly good are the Oriental Gallery, which has items dating back to the 19th century, and the Nightingale Gallery displaying the work of local artists.

The house is surrounded by a formal Edwardian garden and a bird garden that's home to over 200 species. There are also a number of superb walking trails on-site, as well as an adventure playground for the kids. A picnic area and café are also available for visitors to use.

Location: Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/lotherton/

Abbey House and Museum

Located about four miles west of Leeds in Aire Valley, Abbey House Museum in Kirkstall is in a magnificent Cistercian house built in 1152. The picturesque remains include a roofless church with a narrow choir and a ruined tower, an almost completely preserved chapterhouse, as well as a refectory, kitchen, and various other buildings.

The gatehouse is now part of the Abbey House Museum with its reproduction houses, shops, and workshops illustrating life in Yorkshire through the centuries. If visiting near Christmas, check the attraction's website for details of special events and programs for the kids.

Address: Abbey Walk, Abbey Rd, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Official site: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/abbey-house-museum/

Wakefield Cathedral

The cathedral city of Wakefield, an easy 30-minute drive south of Leeds, contains an interesting open-air sculpture gallery and is the birthplace of English author George Gissing (1857-1903). The Wakefield Theatre hosts performing arts events, as well as a city museum.

Other notable attractions include the ruins of Sandal Castle, Wakefield Cathedral, the and Wakefield Art Gallery. Also worth visiting is Nostell Priory , built on the site of a medieval priory in the 18th century. The house contains a collection of Chippendale furniture, paintings, and Chinese wallpapers.

The National Coal Mining Museum for England

Another popular destination that's popular for tourists is the National Coal Mining Museum for England. Located at the former Caphouse Colliery in Overton, just a short drive from Wakefield, this first-rate attraction showcases the often hard life of the miners at one of the country's oldest coal mines, as it dates as far back as the 1770s.

Highlights include guided underground tours and a visitor center with exhibits relating to the colliery's long history. For the kids, be sure to catch the fun ride on one of the "paddy" trains used to haul workers around the vast site.

Address: Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, West Yorshire

Official site: www.ncm.org.uk

Harrogate: Britain's Floral Resort

Harrogate is a pretty spa town that owes its fame to the medicinal springs discovered here in the 16th century. Today, it's primarily a holiday resort known for its parks and flowers , earning it the title of Britain's Floral Resort.

One of its most popular attractions is RHS Garden Harlow Carr . In addition to its diverse garden types, there's a museum of gardening, a model village, and guided tours of the 68-acre site. Harrogate also enjoys a reputation for great shopping on account of its elegant boutiques and antique shops.

For culture vultures, the year-round Harrogate International Festivals consist of a series of excellent festivals. Considered to be among the best such events in the UK, they feature everything from opera to drama performances, as well as cabaret, street theater, and literary events.

Address: 32 Cheltenham Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Official site: www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

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25 Best Things to Do in Leeds (England)

Leeds is situated within Yorkshire, in England . Considered to be one of the gems of the north, it has an array of Victorian buildings and modern architecture, providing the perfect contrast that most travellers don’t get the chance to see in one place. Attracting millions of tourists and students every year it’s not shocking that many people find themselves wanting to travel to Leeds while they’re in the north of England.

You’ll get the opportunity in this list of the best things to do in Leeds to see just how many fun things there are for you to experience, and just how much of a family friendly city it is. Many of the attractions focus their attentions to also catering to a younger audience, making it perfect for both solo travellers and families alike.

1. Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park, Leeds

Within the cities of England, it’s often hard to find beautiful green locations, although they are plentiful outside of the cities. At just three miles north of Leeds City Centre you can find a whole 700 acres of rolling parkland, two clear lakes and woodland as far as the eye can see. Alongside the natural beauty of nature there are several formal gardens, and two playgrounds to keep your travelling children entertained. So to escape the busy style of the city while you travel, you can easily catch one of the buses that runs regularly from Leeds City Centre and have yourselves a beautiful family outing.

2. Tropical World

Meerkat at Tropical World

Fitting in perfectly with our list is Tropical World, which is actually situated in Roundhay Park. This is fantastic for you, not only is it a popular attraction but it will also offer you some shelter from the weather should it turn bad. There is a small admission fee of £5 for adults, or £2.50 for children, but it’s more than worth it for what you’ll be seeing. Step inside the building to see a butterfly house that houses up to forty different varieties of butterflies from around the world. Go from the rainforest to the Australian outback before venturing across the desert. Not only will you get your money’s worth just based on that, there are also a number of rare birds, reptiles and bats. But the star of the show involves the cheekiest family you’ll meet in Leeds, the meerkats!

3. Murgatroyds

Fish & Chips

No matter where you go in the world chances are you’ll meet people who naturally think of fish and chips when they think of English people. It’s a stereotype that we can happily live up to, and a tradition that you should certainly dive into head first while you travel here. Murgatroyds is quite possibly the best fish and chip restaurant in England, with a reputation that means you could be queueing for a little while if you don’t make a reservation. Although it is a little more expensive than a normal fish and chip shop, with a haddock fillet and chips costing £9.95, it’s more than worth it for the fresh quality of food that you’re provided with. For people who may be travelling you who don’t like fish and chips, they also serve things like chicken breasts, lasagne and cheese and tomato pizza. So there’s something that will satisfy your taste buds.

4. The Royal Armouries

The Royal Armouries, Leeds

Do you like history? If so, The Royal Armouries in Leeds is the place for you. With 8,500 objects across six themed galleries, there is certainly a lot to be seen in the free admission attraction. You can see pieces that are focused on hunting, peace, war, tournaments, self-defence and even oriental pieces. The collection was deliberately created for visitors to view, and its origins lie all the way back in the middle ages. The rest of The Royal Armouries items lay in The Tower of London. Something within the national museum of arms and armour will captivate your attention and your imagination.

5. Trinity Shopping Centre

Trinity Shopping Centre, Leeds

It wouldn’t be an English city without a shopping centre that you should definitely visit while you’re on your trip. For many people who live in Leeds, and many tourists who visit, the Trinity Shopping Centre leaves an impression on them. It houses retail, dining and leisure options, as well as providing entertainment. But if you find yourself in Leeds over the Winter you’ll get to see the beautiful Christmas decorations that seem to appear overnight, with Christmas trees and lights that make it appear to be a wonderland. So treat yourself to something new, or go grab a bite to eat at the Chicago Rib Shack, you’ll enjoy yourselves under the roof of the Trinity Shopping Centre.

6. Leeds Corn Exchange

Leeds Corn Exchange

Unlike most modern day shopping centres, this one is situated in one of the finest Victorian buildings standing in the north of England. Proving itself to be an architectural masterpiece and one of the cultural icons that makes Leeds the city that it is today. If you prefer independent retail enterprises to large chain shops, this is where you belong. With everything from independent music shops to some beautiful hand crafted jewellery shops you’ll get to satisfy your curiosity getting lost in there. Hunt through Twit-Woo Vintage, sit and have a coffee in Vanilla one of sit and eat in Humpit, one of the first hummus and pita bars in Leeds.

7. Jackrabbits Pottery

Painting Pottery

If you’re parents, you’ll surely know just how hard it can be to keep your children entertained when they’re in a café. Luckily Jackrabbits provides the perfect one step solution to that, they’re a pottery café. So you can sit and eat cake and sandwiches while choosing from a wide range of pottery items to paint. Now they do vary in price, ranging from £1 to £30, and there’s a £5 fee per painter, but that fee doesn’t change if you paint more than one item. Let your imagination run wild while painting anything from mugs to animals. The only thing with this is that you should make sure you visit at the start of your trip, as each item takes 7 days to glaze, so you have to leave it in the café for a week!

8. Grand Theatre

Grand Theatre, Leeds

If theatres are more your cup of tea, which is a very typical expression you’ll hear throughout Leeds, then you should pay a visit to the Grand Theatre. It was built with a rather comedic intent, as a backlash to the tradition of lowering the tone of entertainment with the sort of comedy presented in your typical pub-based establishment. It did the job perfectly, and with architecture coming from a variety of influences, from gothic to Romanesque, it’s a sight to behold for many travellers. Have a look at what’s on, usually it can be anything from stand- up comedy to ballet, or even family shows.

9. The Alchemist


Have you ever noticed how fun it is to watch a mixologist create something that looks as though they must be secret alchemists? That’s what The Alchemist is all about, situated on the second floor of Trinity Shopping Centre you can witness stunning views of Leeds City Centre at night, or you could even go drink coffee during the day. The drinks that they describe as molecular madness include names like Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and White Chocolate and Raspberry Martini. But they also have simple handcrafted cocktails, with a rustic appeal to them, such as a Surprise Strawberry Daiquiri and a Strawberry Cup. Their fantastic service will leave you wanting to watch them mix more and more drinks.

10. Thackray Medical Museum

Thackray Medical Museum

Now be warned dear travellers that some exhibits, although suitable for children, may be distressing for exceptionally young children. But in true Yorkshire style the staff are friendly and will help you with any questions you may have about which exhibits to avoid if you are travelling with younger children. Residents and tourists alike travel to the museum on a regular basis, as it provides entertainment and knowledge. You can learn about the grimy streets of Leeds back in the 1800s, or you can learn about how scientific breakthroughs affect our lives. For younger visitors they have the Life Zone, providing a fun and interactive learning environment where they can work their way through the body. Looking at their teeth and learning just how high they can jump will provide them with a wave of entertainment.

11. Kirkstall Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds

If you want to experience the type of history that can capture your imagination with just how far back it dates, then Kirkstall Abbey is the perfect place for you. It’s one of the most complete medieval Cistercian abbeys in Britain today. It also offers a picnic area, and play area for children, but don’t panic if you forget to bring something to eat. There’s a café on site too. Most people prefer to venture to the abbey in summer, when the weather is pleasant as it’s situated along the side of the River Aire. You can find plenty of planned walking routes along its banks, or if you check in advance, you may even be able to witness one of the live Shakespeare plays in the ruins during the Summer!

12. City Varieties Music Hall

City Varieties Music Hall

What would you say if you were told you could walk on the same boards as people as brilliant as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harry Houdini? Well, you can. The City Varieties Music Hall has existed across three centuries, surviving virtually unchanged. Considering that most Victorian structures have long since passed into history you won’t get many opportunities to see a hall as beautiful as this. Most famous for its pantomimes, it provides a little, quirky space that most travellers enjoy. But one of the things most people notice is that you have plenty of leg room in the building, don’t fear tall travellers!

13. Abbey House Museum

Abbey House Museum, Leeds

Are you looking for a day out that suits all of the family? As this attraction was once short-listed for the Museum Family Friendly Award you can expect just that from it. It contains crafted sets, made to look like the enchanting streets, shops and houses that you would have seen during the Victorian era. You can interact with all of the actors in traditional Victorian costumes, or even sneak into a recreated model of a Victorian drinking house if you’re in need of a little rest. Children will love the displays that show you some of the toys that were common during the 19th century, although they may start questioning what they did for fun given the toys modern day children have access to!

14. Leeds Kirkgate Market

Leeds Kirkgate Market

Seeing Leeds Kirkgate Market for the first time is quite a unique experience. When people think of markets they often don’t think of them on quite this scale, and it’s the scale of the market that attracts thousands of travellers each month. You can find hundreds of stalls that contain everything from good quality, fresh food to jewellery, electronics to fishmongers. What makes it a nice experience is that each person selling their product actually knows about their product, with many doing it for decades. But the structure of the building will fascinate you, with its Victorian era glass roof really standing out to you. Spend an hour or so there while travelling through the centre of Leeds, you won’t regret it.

15. Middleton Railway

Middleton Railway, Leeds

Do you want a relaxing day where you get to see the city and the countryside? Middleton Railway could be the place for you, after being in operation for over two centuries it is among the oldest working railways in the world. For children, it’s best to visit in the Winter when they run a very special Santa service, allowing the children to meet him while they’re on the train, which many of them seem to love. Experiencing the English countryside during the Winter, when snow usually coats the fields, tends to bring out the happiness of a lot of young children. This attraction is certainly not to be missed.

16. Town Hall Tavern

Town Hall Tavern

Classic pub food is one of the many things that English people love, and if you haven’t had traditional Yorkshire pub food then you just might be missing out. Make a stop off at the Town Hall Tavern, one of the best rated taverns in Yorkshire to experience this for yourself. With a variety of options, all using food sourced from local suppliers you’ll be able to get a real feel for what home cooked Yorkshire food actually consists of. So take yourself in, you don’t need a reservation, and take the time to relax and enjoy a family friendly meal in a cosy pub.

17. Harewood House

Harewood House

Are you looking to view an estate house with both a history and a twist? That’s exactly what Harewood House has to offer to you, while constantly striving to stay relevant it also manages to keep a firm grip on the past, with some of the finest art collections in England. The short trip out of the city centre shouldn’t put you off, buses run directly to and from Leeds City Centre every 15 minutes, and you’ll even get the chance to see penguins, flamingos and parrots. The house is famed for its renowned Bird Garden. Take the time to relax, strolling through the formal gardens, see the beauty of the art, culture and heritage in the building. Or watch your children run around in what must be one of the biggest playgrounds in Yorkshire.

18. Victoria Quarter

Victoria Quarter, Leeds

As a tourist you’ll notice that Leeds seems to have a perfect mixture of the old and the new, with modern day buildings and traditional architecture. If you go through the city centre to the Victoria Quarter you’ll get to see this mixture for what it truly is, from the outside the Victoria Quarter looks quite modern. But as soon as you turn your detective eyes to it you’ll see that it’s far from that, as a Victorian arcade once you’re inside you’ll want a camera for the beautiful medley of steel and marble that decorates the Quarter. A typical Victorian glass ceiling lets light flood in from above. Even if you don’t intend on shopping, you should make sure you look around this beautiful building.

19. My Thai Leeds

Thai Cuisine

Sometimes it can be hard to find eating establishments that you want to try while you’re abroad. You don’t always know what to expect, or whether you can trust an establishment while looking at it. My Thai Leeds is one of the most intimate restaurants you could go to, seating around 25 people. You’ll be given a warm welcome and offered traditional Thai food, but it is best to place a reservation before going. In Leeds it’s hard to find authentic Thai cuisine, but you’ll find exactly that here, in a delicious way that may leave you eating more than you intended to!

20. Leeds City Museum

Leeds City Museum

We all love museums that charge nothing to enter them, don’t we? This one is fantastic for adults with a childlike side and children, focusing on a younger audience. They actually have a Toddler Town within the museum, where children can have fun and perform craft activities, or they can go up to the Life on Earth Gallery and have a go at digging for fossils. Chances are, you’ll want to dig for fossils just as much as they will, so who knows what you might find in Leeds City Museum?

21. Hyde Park Picture House

Hyde Park Picture House

During WWI not very many new buildings came to life. Which is what makes the Hyde Park Picture House such a unique visit for many people, it was built and opened in 1914. While the newspapers focused on the war, a small advert announced it’s opening, calling it “The Cosiest in Leeds”, it still aims to live up to that today. With many of its original features, including an ornate balcony, classic red chairs and the original gas lighting. It also has rare, fully operational 35mm projectors. Go watch a classic film, or something from the award winning cinema scene around the world. If you want to experience it, but are travelling with people younger than the shown films would be suitable for, they show family films every Saturday at 12pm!

22. Teppanyaki


Do you like Japanese food? If the answer is yes, you need to go and experience Teppanyaki. One of the best Japanese restaurants in Leeds, you get to experience an atmosphere similar to one you will have experienced if you have ever eaten in Japan. Watch as your skilled chefs cook your food in front of your own eyes to the best of standards, feel your jaw drop as they juggle and flip your food, throwing a dash of fire into the mixture. It’s advisable to make a reservation, as this highly successful restaurant is sought after by many people. A lot of people try to avoid Japanese restaurants if they’re quite fussy, but Teppanyaki offer to cater for everyone from the fussy to the adventurous. You won’t have a bad experience there.

23. Angelica

View from Angelica

Imagine, you’re sat up at the top of the Trinity Centre in a room surrounded by glass windows at night, with a cocktail in your hand and a beautiful panoramic view of the whole city. That’s what you’ll find in Angelica. Mixing modern day architecture and a pewter bar with a bright and airy design they act as one of the best cocktail destinations in Leeds. With their skilled mixologists working the bar, and their chefs working away behind the scenes you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view of the city lights.

25 Best Things to Do in Leeds (England):

  • Roundhay Park
  • Tropical World
  • Murgatroyds
  • The Royal Armouries
  • Trinity Shopping Centre
  • Leeds Corn Exchange
  • Jackrabbits Pottery
  • Grand Theatre
  • The Alchemist
  • Thackray Medical Museum
  • Kirkstall Abbey
  • City Varieties Music Hall
  • Abbey House Museum
  • Leeds Kirkgate Market
  • Middleton Railway
  • Town Hall Tavern
  • Harewood House
  • Victoria Quarter
  • My Thai Leeds
  • Leeds City Museum
  • Hyde Park Picture House

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Leeds Corn Exchange

The 22 best things to do in Leeds right now

Whether you’re spending a day out visiting stately homes or cutting-edge culture, our pick of the best things to do in Leeds has you covered

Leeds is a vibrant city that offers the best of both worlds.  Its proximity to beautiful national parks and the Yorkshire Dales means that a trip to scenic, rolling green hills, dotted with chocolate box villages, is always an option for a day out.

But for those craving an urban adventure, you’ll find a food, culture, and shopping-packed centre that offers up plentiful options –  offering the perfect balance between bustling city living and proximity to the great outdoors. Whether you’re here for the top-notch galleries , the pioneering restaurants and bars , the incredibly vibrant street food scene or to escape into nearby beauty, here are some unmissable things to do in Leeds right now.

RECOMMENDED: 🍔 The best restaurants in Leeds 🍸 The best bars in Leeds 🌳 The best things to do in the UK

At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines .

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Fun things to do in Leeds

Go wildlife spotting at Rodley Nature Reserve

1.  Go wildlife spotting at Rodley Nature Reserve

What is it? The River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool canal run through the heart of the city and lead towards scenic spots like Rodley Nature Reserve , a thriving wetland wildlife haven. 

Why go?  Created  on a floodplain in Kirkstall Valley to bring wetland wildlife back into the Leeds area, it’s entirely possible to spend hours here. From lagoons and marshes to meadows, woodlands and grasslands there are plenty of places to species spot in tranquil surroundings. 

Don’t miss: Look out for events and activities like birdwatching and pond-dipping. 

Wander around the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey

2.  Wander around the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey

What is it? A short trip out of town, Kirkstall Abbey  and its adjoining Abbey House Museum lets guests wander through the ruins of a Cistercian monastery and learn about how the monks lived. 

Why go?  This 900-year-old abbey is an architectural marvel as well as a haven for wildlife.

Don’t miss: In the summer months you can enjoy alfresco cinema among the ruins. 

Stroll down The Arcades

3.  Stroll down The Arcades

What is it?  A  number of elegant, ornate shopping arcades comprising the Victoria Quarter, Grand, Queens and Thorntons. 

Why go?  The major draw of these neat and pretty rows of covered shopping malls is that there are practically no chains to be found. Walk along the  elegant walkways and admire the  art nouveau shopfronts  full of high-end designer shops, boutiques and cool indie businesses.  For luxury fashion head to the Victoria Quarter , which houses shops like Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Reiss and a huge Harvey Nichols, swig down a stiff drink at Santiago’s in the Grand Arcade , and find cool independents like magazine shop Village and Weekend Skate Store in Thorntons. 

Don’t miss:   Leeds’s arcades aren’t all vintage. The city’s newest shopping arcade Victoria Gate is a snazzy £165 million development that wouldn’t look out of place in Dubai. It houses the North’s flagship John Lewis store and a Clarins spa. 

Discover birds, period art and ruins at Harewood House

4.  Discover birds, period art and ruins at Harewood House

What is it? A handsome-looking eighteenth-century pile  on the outskirts of Leeds  set in 100 acres of lush Yorkshire countryside. 

Why go?  H ead inside Harewood House to explore the ornate, stately rooms and see one of the finest art collections in Britain. T he mansion is also home to a flock of hopelessly cute Humboldt penguins. Take the whole family along in summer to enjoy the bird garden and farm and to witness the daily feeding sessions.

Don’t miss: Head into the wider grounds of the estate to   take a peek at the otherworldly ruins of Harewood Castle – the oldest building in the grounds, which sits on a steep north-facing slope with spectacular views up and down Wharfedale. Keep an eye out for Red Kites soaring overhead. The birds of prey were released on the Harewood estate in 1999 as part of a UK conservation initiative.

Drink like a Northerner on a Brewtown tour

5.  Drink like a Northerner on a Brewtown tour

What is it? Brewtown tours  offer novices and connoisseurs alike the chance to try an array of beers from three  top-notch local brewers .

Why go? Yorkshire is riding high on the trend for craft beer and real ales, and Leeds is a great starting point to sample the best the county has to offer (it’s chock-full of independent breweries and pubs).

Don’t miss: A chance to sip pints at Northern Monk and North Brewing Co – two of the best craft breweries in Leeds. 

Head on a street art trail

6.  Head on a street art trail

What is it? A sprawling walk all around Leeds taking in some of the visionary street art that lines many of the city’s walls.

Why go? To experience art in a different way, in a different environment – and without paying a penny. The Street Art Trail is also an amazing way to get to know the city and explore parts of it you may be less familiar with, while gaining a newfound appreciation for the sheer volume (and variety) of street art that is featured so heavily across the city. 

Don’t miss: If you’re a football fan then the several Leeds United murals scattered across the city may appeal, such as one by P19 on The Calls. For more of their art, check out the side of Wharf Chambers where you’ll find a colourful but carbon-conscious and waste-aware mural. This was created using Graphenstone Biosphere paint and the mural will absorb the same amount of CO2 as an adult tree in only three years.

Explore Temple Newsam House

7.  Explore Temple Newsam House

What is it? An imposing Tudor-Jacobean mansion with grounds landscaped by Capability Brown.

Why go? Sometimes described as the ’Hampton Court Palace of the North’, Temple Newsam  provides a breathtaking journey into history.  Framed within acres of beautiful parkland and sculpted gardens, the house is filled with centuries-old artefacts. Explore the Grade I-listed building’s many rooms, packed with period pieces such as weaponry, clothing, tableware and furniture.

Don’t miss: A stroll down the vibrant rhododendron walk and a look at the herb arrangements, rose bushes and floral display. There are plenty of great picnicking spots here too. 

Get your green fix at Roundhay Park

8.  Get your green fix at Roundhay Park

What is it? Stretching over 700 acres, Roundhay Park is a go-to for picnickers, dog-walkers, joggers and sun-worshippers. 

Why go? It’s the only park in Leeds that has a family of meerkats as residents. There are also lakes, woodland, gardens and the pièce de résistance, ‘Tropical World’, which is home to all things wild and wonderful. 

Don’t miss: Hop on board the park ‘train’, which does circuits of the park every 15 minutes in the summer setting off from the  Lakeside Café to the main park gates and back again. You’ll also find Leeds’s biggest bonfire and fireworks here on Guy Fawkes Night. 

Shop for indie wares at The Corn Exchange

9.  Shop for indie wares at The Corn Exchange

What is it? Part retail space, part food hub, in a stunning Victorian building.

Why go?  R esembling the cross-hatched and cavernous inner chamber of some great airship, the Grade I-listed building is breathtaking to step inside. And you’ll quickly be distracted by  quirky shops selling handmade jewellery, vintage cameras and more. The Corn Exchange is home to an array of indie shops and boutiques that beckon shoppers away from the chain stores outside.

Don’t miss: The lower ground level has also been transformed into a hub for independent food traders. Plus, look out for regular craft fairs and street food festivals. 

Party into the night at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen

10.  Party into the night at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen

What is it?  All the benefits of an outdoor festival under one cosy roof – whether you want street food, local craft ales, live music or just somewhere to lounge around.

Why go?  What was once a large nursery school in the city’s Northern Quarter is now a vibrant, youthful, multi-storey hangout. Belgrave  is also one of the city’s best live music venues thanks to the fact it’s the brainchild of the Beacons Festival organisers. The first floor is dedicated to high-quality, reasonably priced street food and local craft beer and there’s a  gig space upstairs.  But it’s the rooftop terrace, which is the venue’s secret delight, with great views and benches to while away long summer evenings with friends.

Don’t miss: Belgrave is one of the main venues for the city’s Live at Leeds festival where you can catch gigs from emerging local bands and big names. 

Drink some of the best cocktails in the country

11.  Drink some of the best cocktails in the country

What is it? Leeds is home to some of the best cocktail bars in the UK.

Why go? Of the top 50 cocktail bars in the UK, four of them are in Leeds, making it one of the most highly represented cities in the country outside of London. So go and sample literally some of the tastiest and most innovative drinks concotions being made in the country. The four that featured in the top 50 are: Jake’s Bar & Still Room , Roland’s , Below Stairs and Hedonist .

See world-renowned sculpture at The Henry Moore Institute

12.  See world-renowned sculpture at The Henry Moore Institute

What is it? A world-renowned contemporary sculpture gallery, where you can take in towering three-dimensional art, attend lectures on architecture and eyeball art at one-off exhibitions. 

Why go? To survey work inspired by (rather than created by) Henry Moore. Those familiar with the great sculptor should know that his own work can be found at Yorkshire Sculpture Park or his estate at Perry Green. The Henry Moore Institute makes for a great city-centre culture-fix. 

Get a dose of high-brow culture at Leeds Grand Theatre

13.  Get a dose of high-brow culture at Leeds Grand Theatre

What is it?  Opera voices reverberate, ballet dancers pirouette, and panto villains shout ‘oh no he didn’t!’ with theatrical gusto on the Grand’s stage.

Why go? Leeds Grand Theatre  lives up to its name with ornate ceilings, an enormous, glittering chandelier, sweeping staircases and seating levels stretching up high into the clouds. This is a key venue for local troupes Opera North and Northern Ballet, which regularly put on classic, avant-garde or lesser-known productions (and showcase world-class talent). 

Don’t miss : Pub-restaurant The Reliance , just around the corner, has a great pre-theatre menu on weekdays. 

See the country’s national collection of arms and armour at Royal Armouries

14.  See the country’s national collection of arms and armour at Royal Armouries

What is it?  A vast free-entry museum containing more than 8,500 war-related  treasures such as Henry VIII’s tournament armour, elephant armour, and objects from popular culture such as the ‘Aliens’ pulse rifle.

Why go?  You won’t need a strong interest in history to find the Armouries captivating, or to be bowled over by the 70,000 artefacts on display. A globally diverse collection of arms, armour and artillery dates from antiquity to the present day, and includes royal armour for kings and horses with swords and helmets through the centuries, before charting the invention and rapid evolution of guns as we know them today. Bullets, uniforms, knives, chainmail, pistols and cannons are meticulously laid out in immersive exhibitions alongside painted portraits and drawings depicting war or those involved in it.

Don’t miss: Look out for a daily programme of dramatic performances, tours, talks and live combat displays bringing history to life.

Immerse yourself in history at The Thackray Museum of Medicine

15.  Immerse yourself in history at The Thackray Museum of Medicine

What is it?  A wonderfully dark yet incredibly informative museum offering an immersive journey through the hit-and-miss history of healing. 

Why go? Get  hands-on with history, and learn about the past without even  realising  it’s an educational experience. At the Thackray Museum of Medicine you can learn all about the development of  medicine by wandering through the streets of Victorian Leeds, watching gruesome operations in a nineteenth-century operating theatre and visiting a seventies-style sexual health clinic. 

Explore the canals

16.  Explore the canals

What is it? A walk along Leeds’s lovely canals.

Why go? Travelling via canal boat on the Leeds-to-Liverpool route is a popular holiday activity but for those wanting to enjoy similarly serene vibes in the centre, the city itself offers many decent walks. Of course you can do parts of it in smaller sections here and there but if you want to tackle the whole thing then there is a whopping 13-mile option. Starting at Leeds Station, you’ll get to take in Kirkstall Abbey, Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve, Bramley Hall Park, Rodley Nature Reserve, Calverley Woods and Buck Wood. 

Don’t miss: A beer at Saltaire brewery. The walk finishes in Saltaire, a beautiful Unesco World Heritage Site, so put your feet up, enjoy a few and then take the train home – or walk back if you’re feeling superhuman.

Tuck in at Tharavadu

17.  Tuck in at Tharavadu

What is it?  Roughly translated, ‘tharavadu’ means keeping traditions alive, and that’s exactly what happens at this highly rated Keralan restaurant.

Why go? Tharavadu 's menu looks beyond the predictable kormas and tikka masalas to feature a mouthwatering selection of south Indian dishes. Tuck into delicately spiced novelties such as a whole crab cooked in coconut sauce, fluffy fried lentil doughnuts and toffee-filled steamed rice cake. 

See cutting-edge theatre at Leeds Playhouse

18.  See cutting-edge theatre at Leeds Playhouse

What is it?  Formerly known as West Yorkshire Playhouse, this famed theatre at Quarry Hill stages world-class theatre from some of the country’s largest touring plays and ballets.

Why go?  Every famous production imaginable has toured via the Leeds Playhouse , but the theatre isn’t afraid to take risks, with lesser-known or more challenging works. Children are particularly well catered for, with plenty of shows on during school holidays, featuring fairy tales, pantomimes and sing-alongs staged to engage young minds. 

Don’t miss: The on-site restaurant serves good-quality food all day long, and you don’t have to be a ticketholder to dine. 

See an arthouse film at Hyde Park Picture House

19.  See an arthouse film at Hyde Park Picture House

What is it?  With a history spanning more than a century (it opened just after World War I), Hyde Park Picture House is one of the UK’s oldest cinemas and the only surviving gas-lit cinema in the country. 

Why go?  It promises a vastly superior experience to your usual mammoth screen complexes, with pocket-friendly prices, half-time ice-cream vendors and a programme of art-house, indie and foreign films. It’s also a stunning place to sit in. The Grade II-listed building still has its original gas lamps, a beautiful Burmantofts tiled surround, terrazzo flooring, stained-glass windows and vintage signs.

Don’t miss: Thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the cinema has undergone a much-needed redevelopment that will improve access at the Edwardian venue and upgrade it to modern standards. 

Go code-cracking at Tick Tock Unlock

20.  Go code-cracking at Tick Tock Unlock

What is it?  Leeds’s biggest escape game centre and a veritable noodle-scratcher of an experience. 

Why go? One of the most popular attractions in Leeds is the mysteriously titled Tick Tock Unlock , where visitors are locked in a room with a series of riddles and puzzles and the challenge of escaping within 60 minutes.

Catch a gig at Brudenell Social Club

21.  Catch a gig at Brudenell Social Club

  • Music venues

What is it?   A working men’s club turned music venue that’s  arguably the jewel in Leeds’s music-scene crown.

Why go?  To see the best new bands from both sides of the Atlantic and eat a pie, all under one roof. The Brudenell Social Club might be a bit of a trek away from Leeds city centre, but there’s a reason that it’ s still one of the area’s most treasured venues. In the live rooms, you’ve got a lovingly programmed bill of bands from new faves to established big hitters; in the bar area, you can play darts and chow down on grub from Pieminister. What’s not to love?

Don’t miss: The iconic venue plays host to the annual Live at Leeds and Gold Sounds festivals.

Stay up late on Call Lane

22.  Stay up late on Call Lane

What is it? Often likened to Manchester’s famous Canal Street, Call Lane is a city-centre ‘strip’ that’s has earned a nationwide reputation for wild nights out. 

Why go?  Stuffed with bars and clubs in every building, the entire road is pedestrianised at weekends to play host to thousands of revellers hopping from one bar to the next before finding their groove in one of the many clubs. Roland ’s, Call Lane Social and neon bar Cuckoo are among the most popular venues, while Smokestack , Neon Cactus and Oporto provide alternative experiences without straying from the beating heart of the action.

Don’t miss:  Most of the bars along Call Lane are open until around 3am, but if you really want to stay out to the wee hours head up the street to indie club Wire or around the corner to Space for house music. 

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places to visit on leeds

The Abbey House Museum, once the Great Gate House to Kirkstall Abbey, contains meticulously reconstructed shops and houses that evoke Victorian Leeds,…

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What to do in leeds, visit leeds.

Leeds featuring heritage architecture

Leeds Attractions

Don't know how to keep yourself occupied in Leeds? There's no need to worry. We've got some excellent recommendations for you. Fine food, amazing shopping and unique attractions — this bustling city offers them all.

Discover what makes Leeds tick with some of the very best tours & day trips . Scroll through our {24 fun activities in Leeds fun activities in Leeds }, and book with confidence knowing that we offer free cancellation and no added fees.

Explore thousands of experiences from activities and attractions to day tours and transfer.

Skip the line- book tickets online in minutes to top attractions with free cancellation on many activities.

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Recommended things to do in Leeds

Free things to do in leeds.

Leave your purse in the hotel room. It's a cinch to occupy yourself in Leeds without handing over a cent.

Leeds City Art Gallery - Wander around and admire the fascinating exhibits and carefully curated collections at this popular museum.

The Tetley - If you'd love to explore more of the local arts and culture scene, don't miss this.

Leeds Metropolitan University - Architecture buffs will certainly enjoy marveling at the modern design of this local landmark.

Lawnswood Cemetery - If you plan to explore the history of the region through its landmarks, include this one on your travel itinerary.

Millennium Square - Get acquainted with some of the local people and discover the real personality and energy of this unique place.

Leeds Central Library - If you want to see a few of the more important or interesting places in the community, this is a good place to start.

St. Anne's Roman Catholic Cathedral - Get a better understanding of the local religion at this sacred place.

Meanwood Valley Trail - Appreciate the contrast between urban life and nature's wild beauty at this special location.

Woodhouse Moor - Whether you can separate your lilies from lilacs, it's not hard to find beauty in this glorious display.

Things to Do in Leeds with Kids

There are lots of awesome experiences in Leeds that the whole gang will get a buzz out of. Here are a few of the best family friendly experiences in the area.

  • 1-Hour Public Cruise
  • 2 Hour Leeds Highlights Walking Tour
  • Indian Cookery classes
  • Afternoon Tea Cruise

Looking for sports, concerts, or theater events in Leeds? Search event tickets to see what's happening today, or to plan what to do this weekend!

Frequently asked questions

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Royal Armouries

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  • Townclose Hills Local Nature Reserve
  • White Rose Shopping Center

Popular places to visit

University of leeds.

Late Victorian and award-winning brutalist and modernist architecture house the classes and students of Leeds’ namesake university, established in 1904.

First Direct Arena

Its honeycombed exterior glowing like a beacon at night, Leeds’ modern music venue draws crowds nightly to its shows featuring local and international stars.

Discover the world of weaponry at this purpose-built museum, which contains the national collection of arms and armor from throughout the ages.

Leeds City Square

Trace Leeds’ fascinating history at this pretty civic square in the heart of the city, where you can see diverse architectural styles and a row of historic statues.

O2 Academy Leeds

If music is your religion, this impressive entertainment venue may become your place of worship; its Gothic façade even looks like a church.

Leeds Grand Theatre

The Gothic features of this tiered theater make a glorious setting for the diverse array of plays, music gigs and stand-up acts that are performed on its stage.

Headingley Stadium

Catch an event at Headingley Stadium during your trip to Headingley. Discover the area's lively bars and its fascinating museums.

Harewood House

Explore the great outdoors at Harewood House, a lovely green space in Leeds. Make time to visit the area's shops, or simply enjoy its lively bars.

Millennium Square

Established to commemorate the new millennium, this busy city square is a cultural hub where you can check out open-air concerts and markets in downtown Leeds.

Areas of Leeds

Leeds Grand Theatre

Leeds City Center

Based around an expansive central square, this lively quarter showcases performing arts venues, fascinating museums and countless bars and nightclubs.

Royal Armouries showing interior views

Shopping, restaurants, and waterfront views are just a few things travelers enjoy about Leeds Dock. Check out Royal Armouries or Victoria Quarter while you're exploring the area.


The redbrick and terracotta architecture recall Leeds’ industrial past, while the soccer club and its impressive stadium look to the future.

Cross Flatts Park Entrance - Dewsbury Road

If you're spending some time in Beeston, Elland Road Stadium and White Rose Shopping Center are top sights worth seeing.

Thackray Medical Museum

While visiting Harehills, you might make a stop by sights like Thackray Museum of Medicine and Victoria Quarter.


A waterside weapons museum and a rusty factory serving as a bohemian art gallery are among the treats when you venture south of the city center.

Day trip destinations from Leeds

Photo "Ilkley" by Tim Green (CC BY) / Cropped from original


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places to visit on leeds

Places to visit in Leeds

Visit Leeds to find a city bursting with energy. With a thriving arts scene, rich sporting heritage, and pulsating nightlife, you’ll find a city packed with variety and excitement. 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 just a raging night out. During the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Leeds was at the forefront of the wool industry, an involvement that catalysed the city’s growth. From opera and art to festivals, cuisine, and things to keep the kids busy, this proud northern city has plenty to offer.

places to visit on leeds

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places to visit on leeds

Feed the penguins at Harewood House

Help the Bird Garden keepers feed the penguins in the grounds of one of England’s treasure houses.

Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

places to visit on leeds

Rainy Day Activities: Discover military history at The Royal Armouries

Britain’s national museum of arms and armour is home to a fascinating and unique collection, including the only existing suit of armour built for an elephant.

places to visit on leeds

Splash your cash in the Victoria Quarter

A haven for designer brands, the award-winning Victoria Quarter is renowned as one of England’s finest shopping destinations.

places to visit on leeds

Embrace the pop-up dining trend at Trinity Kitchen

Take your pick from a mix of vibrant restaurants and street food vans all under one roof.

places to visit on leeds

Follow the real ale trail with Leeds Brewery

The city’s largest brewery operates six characterful pubs full of charm. Each one serves locally brewed ale in a unique setting.

places to visit on leeds

Re-live the Good Old Days at the City Varieties Music Hall

The Good Old Days are back with a little help from the country’s top-performing acts.

places to visit on leeds

Explore the magnificent ruins of Kirkstall Abbey

This atmospheric 12th-century abbey is one of the most complete Cistercian monasteries in Britain, surrounded by tranquil tree-filled parkland.

Location: Leeds, Yorkshire

places to visit on leeds

Unleash your inner explorer at Tropical World

Set off on a journey through the jungle, the desert and below the surface of the water to discover all of the creatures who call them home.

places to visit on leeds

Taste the decadent afternoon tea at Oulton Hall

There’s nothing so quintessentially English as settling down in the drawing room for sandwiches, scones and a pot of Yorkshire tea.

Location: Oulton, Yorkshire

places to visit on leeds

Meet feathered friends at Lotherton Hall Estate

Get up close and personal with rare birds, tropical mammals and wild-roaming deer at Lotherton Hall in Aberford, near Leeds.

places to visit on leeds

Get Active in Chevin Forest Park

Get outdoors and blow those cobwebs away in some beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

places to visit on leeds

Food, fashion and fantastic ales in Leeds

Explore Leeds city centre stopping off along the way to sample the finest local and independent breweries offerings.

places to visit on leeds

Eat like a local at Kirkgate Market

This traditional covered market is one of the biggest in Europe with fresh food stalls that will get your taste buds tingling.

places to visit on leeds

Shop in style in the beautiful Victoria Quarter

Marvel at this collection of beautifully restored Victorian shopping arcades in Leeds and browse the luxury shops within them.

places to visit on leeds

Dine at The Oldest Fish & Chip Shop in the World

This quaint fish and chip shop has been serving up England’s favourite dish since 1865.

Location: Leeds, Yeadon, West Yorkshire

places to visit on leeds

Mosh to the biggest acts at Reading and Leeds Festivals

Head to Richfield Avenue in Leeds or Little John’s Farm in Reading for three days of unbeatable live music.

Location: Reading and Leeds

Related Items

More cities to visit.

places to visit on leeds

Grand listed buildings, riverside panoramas – and a city bursting with both pop and culture. Trips to this Merseyside city start at Liverpool Pier to snap the trio of iconic buildings.


places to visit on leeds

Criss-cross illuminated footbridges between rejuvenated quaysides, get acquainted with Tyneside history at local museums and galleries and cheer on the much-loved Magpies football team.

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