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

Cinema

Indian independent cinema, shadowy film noir, cult queer classics and trip under the sea. Film fans are spoilt for choice this month.

Exhibitions in Manchester and across the North

Exhibitions

Like the 58th Venice Biennale which opened earlier this May, our latest pick of exhibitions across the north also has a strong ecological bent.

RNCM Young Explorers event. DJ Switch is shown by turntables in front of an orchestra. Included in family things to do guide.

Families

Avoid the post summer holiday blues with our latest top picks of family things to do. Enjoy some quality family time together this autumn.

Artist Dan Berry and writer David Gaffney.

Literature

The books are back in September with one-off reading events, some much-anticipated launches and the return of the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference as we gear up for Manchester Literature Festival in October.

Music

Manchester’s Autumn months are always chock-a-block with great gigs, and this year is no exception.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

The English National Ballet, Emma Rice’s Wise Children, Liverpool’s LEAP Dance Festival and much more feature in our new theatre guide.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

Tours and Activities

Tours and Activities

Explore the mindful tours and activities Manchester has to offer in this month’s Tours and Activities guide.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 15–18 September 2019, from £5.50

MIF19: Sunset Boulevard at HOME

Visual Arts 20 September 2018–19 September 2019, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

Red Dust Road at HOME
Literature 11–21 September 2019, from £10.00

Red Dust Road at HOME

A Taste of Honey at The Lowry
Theatre 13–21 September 2019, from £12.50

A Taste of Honey at The Lowry

Cinema 13–22 September 2019, from £9

The Shock of the Future at HOME

MIF19 David Lynch at HOME Manchester International Festival
Cinema 6 July–29 September 2019, FREE

MIF19: David Lynch at HOME

Exhibitions 6 April–29 September 2019, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Rights of the Child at Quarry Bank