Once a Roman settlement and powerhouse of industry, Leeds is now bastion of culture and art. The city of choice for the first Harvey Nichols department store has seen Leeds rise to even greater heights in the shopping arena. Today the elegant Corn Exchange, in the Victorian Quarter, continues to cater for refined tastes with over 100 shops located inside its beautiful Victorian glass fronted facade, including some of the most exclusive designer shops in the country, from Lois Vuitton to Vivien Westwood. The eclectic architecture and quirky shop fronts of bustling Briggate and elegant King Edward Street are other worthy retail destinations.
As well as retail therapy, visitors to Leeds can enjoy the city’s fabled exhilarating nightlife; from hip bars, clubs and live music venues to traditional fire-side pubs that date back over 300 years. It is the city’s vast student population that can largely be credited with the liveliness of Leeds by night. Call Lane and Assembly Street are without doubt the nightlife hubs of the city.
Along with events like the Leeds Festival, Opera in the Park and Classical Fantasia, Leeds has cemented its reputation as one of the best live music cities in the UK. Along with drink and music, food is another eye-opener in this gastronomic metropolis. There is everything on offer cuisine-wise, from Indian and Pakistani to Bengali and Thai in a city that celebrates its love of food with gusto and even an annual food festival.
Those hunting for historical or artistic inspiration need look no further than the Henry Moore Institute and the Art Gallery for cutting edge and classical art of every description. Millennium Square is the hub of the city, home to Christmas markets and ice rinks in winter and exhibitions and concerts in summer.
Not all non-stop action, Leeds can also provide respite from 21st century living in one of its many beautiful green spaces. Roundhay Park, Harewood House, Golden Acre Park, Woodhouse Moor and the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey all promise silence and nature and a chance to revive the senses before heading back into the fray.
The following information is correct as of January 2015 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Leeds Bradford International Airport is located 11 miles from Leeds and 7 miles from Bradford and can be reached easily by car in 30 minutes and 20 minutes respectively. The West Yorkshire Metro Bus 757 runs between the airport and Leeds in 20 minutes while the 737 and 747 operate services to Bradford in 35 minutes. Taxis are also available for hire outside the terminal building.
What you need to know
Currency: The British Pound (£)
Visas: UK and EU nationals do not require a visa to enter the UK. Nationals of other countries may require a visa for entry. More information can be obtained from a local embassy or from the Foreign Office website.
Laws: The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol in the UK is 18. A smoking ban is in force in all indoor public places including bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels, galleries and workplaces and on all public transport.
Best Time to Visit
With a temperate climate the weather can be hit and miss. Even the summer months are known to be occasionally rainy. However, for the best chance of sunshine, June to August are the best months to visit although these will be more crowded with higher flight prices. Spring and autumn can still be balmy and mild but with a greater chance of rain.
Leeds carnival is with visiting for in August with floats and music filling the streets. Other area attractions include the Leeds Festival of music, the Asia Festival and the Folk Festival. October sees the streets illuminated in Light Night while the walking festival is a great family event in May and June. Heritage Open Days in September give access to some of the area’s most historic buildings while the International Film Festival brings the silver screen to Leeds in November. December brings festivities and Christmas markets to the city.
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