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.
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’.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.