There’s plenty of things to do in Leeds, a hub of northern creativity, the metropolis of Yorkshire and one of the greenest cities in the UK. With a population of over 750,000 and ambitious regeneration plans, the city is one of the largest and most rapidly developing in the country.
Tech companies are formed, record labels created and arts organisations promote social change. No wonder then, that this climate produces countless celebrations of the city’s cuisine, culture and history. Leeds has a packed calendar of events meaning that the city centre has a constant buzz of activity. Priding itself on its rich cultural diversity and history, Leeds plays host to the decades-old West Indian carnival every August.
Leeds Grand Theatre houses resident companies Opera North and Northern Ballet; both admired for their innovative and risk-taking approach, and their ability to reach diverse audiences through bold performance and fully inclusive participation projects. The city is also home to Phoenix Dance, one of the UK’s leading contemporary dance companies, radical touring theatre company, Red Ladder and the influential Leeds Playhouse, which has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Part of the prestigious Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, head to Leeds Art Gallery to discover one of the best collections of 20th-century art before hopping across to the Henry Moore Institute next door. Leeds Dock is home to the Royal Armouries Museum and its six themed galleries holding the national collection of arms and armour.
If you look past the shiny facade of the Trinity and Victoria Gate shopping centres, you’ll find plenty of independent shops and eateries, coffee roasters and pop-up food places across Kirkgate Market, the Corn Exchange and the Victorian arcades. And the nightlife has an unmistakably northern vibe; whether you choose to have a chilled one in a boutique bar owned by the local brewery, or dance till the AM at one of the DIY club nights showcasing the city’s vibrant live music scene.
Using their cinematic storytelling techniques and cutting-edge technology, imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse deliver a gothic horror for our time, politically loaded and relevant.
Trouble At’ Mill: Queen’s Mill Word Fest is a new literary festival taking place in Castleford, on the banks of the River Aire, featuring performers Toria Garbutt and Matt Abbott.
Widescreen Weekend celebrates its 25th edition with a programme of cinematic classics and exciting modern film.
The spectacular season of dance includes DeNada Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet, Ballet Cymru and Humanoove, alongside free performances happening as part of Light Night Leeds 2021.
Poet Matt Abbott leads a free creative writing workshop for young people under the age of 26.
Florence Nightingale Bicentenary: Inspiration to Genius is an online exhibition exploring the life of Florence Nightingale and her connection to Lotherton Hall.
In the Thwaite at 30 online exhibition, uncover the fascinating story of Thwaite Watermill as it celebrates its 30th year as a museum.
Discover the unique history of a textile mill and the community that surrounds it at the Sunny Bank Mills Archive Open Saturdays.
The Sounds of Our City Online Exhibition gives you a chance to visit the current exhibition at Abbey House Museum virtually. Find out how the different musical styles and venues of Leeds interact.