Leeds is one of the UK’s greatest urban centres after London. Not only does it host a range of cultural opportunities, it is also surrounded by picturesque countryside and villages, and is close to two national parks, meaning the list of things to do is practically endless! This article will cover a few things to do in the city, as well as some suggestions of activities slightly further afield.
Learn about Leeds’ history
In the town centre, just a short walk from the train station, is the Leeds City Museum, where you can learn about the history of Leeds from prehistory to the modern day. They also have temporary seasonal exhibits, such as the Spice Girls exhibit held there last year, though unfortunately (or fortunately, some may argue!) this is gone now. As with most museums in the UK, the Leeds City Museum is free to enter, and the walk from the station to the museum passes some of Leeds’ finest buildings, including the Town Hall. A great day out!
See some jazz
Leeds has a great music scene, which plays host to an eclectic range of genres and styles. From the tiny jazz holes such as Sela Bar and New Conservatory, to the larger scale gigs at the 02 Academy or the soon-to-be-built Leeds Arena, there will definitely be a show on somewhere to satisfy your tastes. If you’re interested in music history, you can also visit the Refectory on the Leeds University Campus, where such bands as The Rolling Stones and The Jimi Hendrix Experience played back in its hayday.
Further afield – walk the moors
Hop on a train to Ilkley from Leeds train station, and you’ll be in prime hiking territory. Ilkley is one of many towns near Leeds that border the famous Yorkshire Moors, an area which is famed for walkers and outdoors-lovers. Pick yourself up a map from one of the numerous camping shops in Leeds centre, and hit the trail for an afternoon! The walk from Keighley to Ilkley passes through some beautiful scenery, and there are some great pubs in Ilkley for a relaxing, well earned pint after the walk.
Even further afield – the Dales
If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can hop on a different train from Leeds station and visit the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Dales play host to some of the best peaks in the region, so if hardcore walks are your thing, this is the place to go.
Leeds, as has been demonstrated, is a versatile and appealing place. Not only does it offer many exciting things to do within the town centre, it also acts as a hub to some of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Plan your trip to incorporate something from each category, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time!