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 are created and arts organisations promote social change. No wonder then, that this climate produces countless celebrations of the city’s cuisine, culture and history. There’s lots of things to do in Leeds too with a packed calendar of events means that the city centre has a constant buzz of activity. Home to Opera North and the West Yorkshire Playhouse (and the mighty Leeds United!) you can be sure to find plenty to do. 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

Trojan Horse at Leeds Playhouse
Theatre 3–5 October 2019, from £14

Trojan Horse at Leeds Playhouse

In this vital verbatim show, using real-life testimonies, LUNG examine the damage caused to Birmingham communities following the 2014 government inquiry.

Music 23 August 2019, from £26.25

Madlib at Belgrave Music Hall

A titan of hip hop and one of the most prolific producers of our time, Madlib is performing at Leeds’ Belgrave Music Hall. He’s why you should be excited.

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, 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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Summer Holidays at Quarry Bank
Activity 20 July–12 September 2019,

Summer Holidays at Quarry Bank

Daily Tours: Nature, power, conservation & cotton at Quarry Bank
Families 10 July–30 October 2019, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Daily Tours: Nature, power, conservation & cotton at Quarry Bank

Heritage days out at Quarry Bank
Families 9 July–30 September 2019, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Heritage Days Out at Quarry Bank

Mill Trail: Become a Factory Inspector at Quarry Bank
Families 10 July–31 August 2019, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Mill Trail: Become a Factory Inspector at Quarry Bank