Leeds is more of an intellectual destination than a tourist spot. Home to the University of Leeds and the Leeds Metropolitan University, as well as other schools and colleges, it holds one of the highest student populations in the United Kingdom. But there is a lot more than academics to occupy visitors. Aside from the landmarks, museums and main attractions, there's a designated central shopping district that's sure to please shoppers of all tastes and budgets. This being a British city--and a student-heavy one at that--here are also many pubs and decent low-cost restaurants. Then there's the grit you feel. Whether it's the vigor of the young population or the stubborn tenacity that propelled the city forward through the fall of its textile industry, there's confidence here that's infectious.
The Royal Armouries, with its outstanding displays, hands-on technological exhibits of weapons and self-defense strategies, is one of Leeds' most popular attractions. The industrial past of the city is shown in all its glory and shame in the Leeds Industrial Museum, while the city's Victorian heritage is made apparent in the reconstructed buildings of the era in the Abbey House Museum. Opposite that is Kirkstall Abbey, which should not be missed. For a heavy dose of high art, there's the Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute. The churches of Leeds are also worth a few minutes' pause to enjoy their tranquility and architectural design. Visit St. Anne's Cathedral, St. John's Church, Parish Church and the Holy Trinity Church. Other noteworthy attractions that you should include in your itinerary include Thackray Medical Museum, Tropical World and Temple Newsam.
From simple snack bars to highly regarded Michelin-starred restaurants, dining in Leeds is a delightful experience. The best eateries can be found in the districts of Headingley, Chapel Allerton and Roundhay. There are also many shops and restaurants central Leeds, particularly in the Riverside and Holbeck areas.
Most of the large shops in Leeds are along Briggate Street, where you can find such stores as Harvey Nichols, Debenhams, Louis Vuitton and Zara, among others. There are more boutiques in the County Shopping Arcade. For very high-end (hence, very expensive) boutiques, check out the Victoria Quarter. Other shopping places to try include the Leeds Corn Exchange, Headrow Shopping Center, Leeds Shopping Plaza and Merrion Shopping Center.
20 Dock Street
32-34 The Calls