Leeds, a city which won the "Visitor city of the year" by The Good Britain Guide in 2005 is a city known for its relaxed and artsy atmosphere. A hub of commerce that is second only to London, Leeds is a city that invests in itself, with numerous parks, gardens, and pedestrianized areas that are sure to captivate and entertain any visitor.
One of the easiest cities to visit in the UK because of its accessibility via water, train, bus, and plane, Leeds is one of our favorite recommendations for a low stress weekend getaway that’s not to far from home but enchanting nonetheless.
Those who are looking for a relaxing getaway that still has easy access to the city are encouraged to stay in Roundhay. Known for its incredibly charming bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals, Roundhay is best well known for its proximity to Roundhay Park, which is one of the most beautiful open spaces in the city: it’s super popular among locals and is an ideal place for a lazy walk or cozy picnic.
Those who are looking for a more modern experience are encouraged to stay by the waterfront. A little more costly than the suburbs or older areas of the city, the Waterfront is where to stay to experience the younger feel of Leeds. Choose either a vacation rental in one of the numerous high-rise apartments that sits right next to the water, or several of the modern hotels in the area. Within easy walking distance of downtown, the Waterfront boasts its own array of restaurants, cafes, and bars to keep one entertained and satiated, always within view of the beautiful river Aire.
Leeds is known for its rich history and military background, so visitors are encouraged to start at the Royal Armouries for a look at over 3,000 years of military history. Those who enjoy the more visually rich side of history are encouraged to visit the Leeds City Art Gallery for a dazzling collection of 18th and 19th century works. Attached to this gallery is one of Leeds most famous residents’ exhibition spaces; the Henry Moore Institute. Frequent travelers to the city will be sure to be delighted by the many shows that are put on at both of these impressive buildings.
Home of the first Harvey Nichols store, Leeds is not known as the Knightsbridge of the North for nothing. Head to the corn exchange or the gorgeous Victoria Quarter for some glitzy shopping to truly make your weekend getaway one of indulgence and luxury. Those who want to experience the more eclectic side of Leeds’ shopping should stop by the Kirkgate market for over 800 stalls of highly specialized and always delightful shopping.
Because of the Pennine Hills to the West means that Leeds is protected from some of the Western winds that bring more rainfall to other similar cities such as Manchester or the Lake District. However, the weather in Leeds tends to swing from one extreme to another very rapidly, so visitors are recommended to bring an umbrella with them when heading out, and always bring a jacket just in case.
Luckily, the huge number of undercover shopping and dining areas means that it’s easy to escape the weather in Leeds, no matter what time of year you visit. Keep this in mind when planning your getaway!