Attractions in Leeds

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

There are lots of attractions in Leeds with the city cultivating a reputation thanks to its increasingly popular arts scene. There are numerous theatres, music venues and galleries which, as well as traditional offerings, aim to inspire and challenge audiences with their content. The interior in the city art gallery’s tiled hall is particularly striking and the West Yorkshire Playhouse is must for theatre lovers. If history is more your thing, be sure to check out the Royal Armouries’ collection of arms and armour which has been gathered across continents and generations. Just one of Leeds’ dynamic museums which provide a fun day out for families and curious individuals alike. Leeds is also home to several parks and green spaces that are a joy to explore all year round as many include a stately home. Once you scratch the surface of this northern destination there are plenty of places to see and explore.

  • 1. The Tetley

    The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS10 1JQ - Visit now

    Housed in the 1931 art deco headquarters of the Joshua Tetley & Son brewery, The Tetley opened in 2013 and has sat at the very epicentre of the Leeds art scene ever since.

  • 2. Leeds Playhouse

    Production at Leeds Playhouse

    Leeds Playhouse, Playhouse Square
    Quarry Hill, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS2 7UP - Visit now

    West Yorkshire Playhouse offers two performance spaces and hosts a wide range of high-quality productions.

  • 3. The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds

    Henry Moore Institute
    Courtesy of Henry Moore Institute

    The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, 74 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AH

    Founded by Henry Moore himself, who claimed “there wasn’t a single piece of sculpture in my home town” (Castleton) while “Leeds Art Gallery had nothing of any value”, today the institute boasts one of the strongest public collections of sculpture in Britain, and leads an ambitious programme of exhibitions and research designed to ‘make a significant impact on the future of art history’.

  • 4. Belgrave Music Hall

    Belgrave music hall Leeds
    Creative Tourist

    Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8JP - Visit now

    This music hall and canteen recently opened in the former site of Leeds Children’s Palace – a three-storey recreation hall and nursery school. As well as multiple bars, kitchens and a roof terrace, its 300-capacity event space plays hosts to the likes of Dinosaur Jr, Broken Social Scene and A Certain Ratio – plus plenty of rising stars.

  • 5. Kirkstall Abbey

    Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds

    Kirkstall Abbey, Abbey Road, Leeds, LS5 3EH - Visit now

    Founded in 1152, Kirkstall Abbey on the bank of the River Aire is one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian monastery in Britain. Its dramatic ruins have inspired artists such as JMW Turner over the centuries, and provided the perfect setting for Yorkshire’s Gothic Film Festival in 2013

Visitor guides

Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds

Museums in Leeds

The famous, man-eating Leeds Tiger, a 3,000 year-old-mummy that survived WWII, the gothic ruins of a 12th century Cistercian monastery, and ‘the best cinema in the world’ are just some of the treasures waiting to be discovered as you work your way through this hand-picked selection of museums in Leeds.

Leeds Central Library Literary Places in Leeds.

Literary places in Leeds

With Simon Armitage as the University’s first Professor of Poetry, no less, there’s plenty going on literature and spoken word wise in Leeds, including a number of regular nights, events run by literary magazines such as Strix and Zarf, and a thriving festival scene.

Leeds Art Gallery, galleries in Leeds

Art Galleries in Leeds

From purpose-built, civic institutions to art deco breweries and repurposed mills, Leeds and its surrounding region is bursting with some of the best galleries and art centres in the North. Check out our top picks.

Theatres in Leeds

Theatres in Leeds

From family-friendly fun to unique productions, there’s something for everyone in Leeds. Check out our guide to the best theatres in Leeds.

Music Venues in Leeds

Boasting a strong musical heritage, Leeds has a wealth of music venues to match: from suburban social clubs and former textile mills to co-operatively run DIY spaces and its recently built arena, the city has plenty of exciting spaces to offer its young, outgoing population.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Cinemas might be closed but independent venues and distributors need any help they can get. We look at some films you can stream and places to donate.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

The elves and the shoemaker. Two green puppets with a male and female actor either side of them.

Families

Need some inspiration for fun and creative family days out? Look no further than our top picks for families across Manchester and the north.

Carcanet exhibition: Carcanet poets Michael Schmidt and Michael Symmons Roberts.

Literature

News of books just out and books worth revisiting, even if you can’t get to the events yourself. Plus a fabulous new exhibition about independent publisher Carcanet, on for the next six months…

Music

Discover the best live music coming up in Manchester and the north this spring and, dare we say it, summer!

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Bringing opera, dance, fierce experimental performance and new writing, there’s much to enjoy in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.

Things to do right now

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Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.

Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.

Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.