Things to do in Leeds

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

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 means that the city centre has a constant buzz of activity. Home to Opera North, Northern Ballet and the Leeds Playhouse. Leeds prides itself on its rich cultural diversity and history, playing host to the decades-old West Indian carnival. 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.

Discover our top picks

Edward Allington: Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds
Exhibitions 25 October 2019–19 January 2020, FREE

Edward Allington: Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute

An artist who believed that we often know more than can be spoken, Edward Allington’s retrospective at the Henry Moore Institute offers a poetic response to the complexity of the world.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 at Leeds Art Gallery
Exhibitions 14 September–17 November 2019, FREE

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 at Leeds Art Gallery

An exciting indicator for what’s around the corner in terms of British contemporary art, the 70th anniversary edition of New Contemporaries is a must see.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions 22 June 2019–3 May 2020, FREE

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley

As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.

Music 8 December 2019, 7:30 pm–11:00 pm, from £33.25

The National at First Direct Arena

Following their much-celebrated album, I Am Easy to Find, The National are bringing their melancholy alternative rock to Leeds’ First Direct Arena this December.

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