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 West Yorkshire 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, art gallery in Leeds
    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

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

A Salford leisure centre, a city centre library and a Manchester museum – theatre can happen anywhere. Here’s our guide to the best performances popping up across Manchester and the North.

Cinema

Valentine’s ideas, hard-to-see queer cinema and the best in new releases — we’ve got it covered.

Kimsooja, To Breathe. Photo © Jaeho Chong

Exhibitions

Inspired by the meditative qualities of space and eastern notions of the Void, Kimsooja’s mesmerising installation at YSP’s historic chapel heads our top pick of exhibitions this month.

Big Up! Courtesy Theatre Rites / Helen Murray

Families

See Mer-folk in a Human Aquarium, experience Trouble at t’Mill and the world of nocturnal animals after dark. Then break all the rules in new show Big Up!

Writer Nicole Flattery.

Literature

Those darling buds are coming back to life in live literature land as 2019 gets properly underway, and we’ve plenty to look forward to – from performance poetry and soundscapes to readings from magazines, memoirs and award-winning short stories.

Music

We have some hotly anticipated gigs coming up in Manchester and the north over the next few months! Read about them here!

Tours and Activities

In this month’s roundup of best Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North, we highlight the pottery and craft workshops giving you some cathartic and creative opportunities to get making.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Families 18–22 February 2019, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Trouble at t’Mill at Quarry Bank

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

SparkPlug at HOME
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

PERSPECTIVES – Venture Arts
Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry