The name Leeds derives from “Loidis”, a name given to the forest covering the area in the 5th century. Over time Leeds has grown to be the largest UK centre for business, legal and financial services outside London. It makes sense then, that this city would be a key stop on the recently announced phase 2 of the HS2 rail line, improving connections between London and the great northern cities of England. Leeds is well networked due to its commercial prestige, meaning a visit to the city should be hassle-free. Here are just a few things to do in Leeds.
History and culture
Take a step back in time and visit the Royal Armouries Museum. The museum displays the National Collection of Arms and Armour from across the ages and occupies five floors, so you can be sure there will be a lot of things to see and do. The museum is situated in Clarence Dock on the bank of the River Aire, close to Leeds city centre.
If military history isn’t your thing then why not visit another nationally important exhibit at Leeds Art Gallery. The gallery is host to an outstanding collection of 20th century British art. Renowned sculptor Henry Moore was a local lad and went to college in Leeds, so it is fitting that the gallery showcases a number of his works.
On the other side of the river and past the bus station, you’ll find City Varieties Music Hall. This grand old 19th century entertainment venue comes complete with ornate decor and a programme of prestigious events. More recently, the venue has seen the likes of Michael McIntyre, Jack Dee and John Bishop, as well as being host to BBC’s Good Old Days for 30 years. The future of the City Varieties Music Hall is in question due to the construction of the new, larger Leeds Arena venue nearby. However, Leeds Arena will surely attract larger acts. Elton John and JLS are just some of the artists that will be performing there later in the year.
Leeds has a rich sporting history with famous stadiums including Headingley and Elland Road Football Stadium, home of Leeds United. The Championship side have had their fair share of football fame. They netted the FA Cup in 1972 and were crowned champions of the First Division (now the Premier League) 3 times between 1969 and 1992. The Leeds Rhinos rugby league club have been enjoying more recent success as current holders of the World Club Challenge. They are based at Headingley Carnegie Stadium along with rugby union team Leeds Carnegie. Headingly is also a famous cricket arena hosting Yorkshire CCC and regularly staging England Test Matches. It was scene of one of the greatest tests of all time when Ian Botham and Bob Willis destroyed Australia in 1981.
There you have it, a few ideas to get you started. There’s no shortage of things to do in Leeds or neighbouring Bradford. Whether you are making a trip to the bustling West Yorkshire metropolis or are a local resident, our Leeds maps can help you get around.