It is the only English city outside London with its own repertory theatre, opera house and ballet companies. Leeds Art Gallery has one of the UK’s best collections of contemporary British art (The Times) and the city is home to the Royal Armouries, the national collection of arms and armour.
There are more listed buildings in Leeds than in any English city outside London, with highlights including the Victoria Quarter, Leeds Corn Exchange and Harewood House, home of the Queen’s cousin.
Shopping, night-life and eating out
The Rough Guide to Britain named shopping in Leeds as one of the top thirty things to do in the UK, and with five miles of shopping streets and one of the country’s largest pedestrianised zones it’s easy to see why. The addition of the Trinity Leeds shopping and leisure centre in 2013 has added 1,000,000 square feet of retail floor space for 120 stores.
Open since 1822 and home to the Marks & Spencer Penny Bazaar, the Leeds Kirkgate Market is the largest covered market in Europe, selling everything you could possibly imagine, from fashion fabrics to quality meat on Butchers Row.
Leeds also has an excellent nightlife scene, with numerous restaurants and independent bars, and is one of the UK’s best cities for dining out according to the Which? Good Food Guide. The First Direct Arena, opened in September 2013, is the latest of many developments to reinvigorate the city centre, and has already played host to luminaries such as Bruce Springsteen and Elton John.