Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 George St, Leeds, LS2 7HY – Visit Now
Housed in a colossal Victorian edifice of 1875, Leeds Kirkgate Market towers over the city’s shopping scene, like some mighty cash-heavy colossus. Located right in the city centre, next door to a parking garage and on all the main transport route, it’s the largest covered market in Europe, so there’s no need to bring a brolly. We recommend you set a full day aside – there are over 800 stalls to choose from.
Weaving your way through the warren of bespoke boutiques, it’s interesting to remember that, back when the venue was still under construction, a certain Michael Marks of Lithuania opened his stall, the Penny Bazaar, with the slogan – “Don’t ask the price, it’s a penny”. He would later be joined by a certain Tom Spencer. Sound familiar? Yes, you’re walking on historic ground, the birthplace of Marks and Spencer.
The birthplace of Marks and Spencer
The tradition of small, innovative shops continues to this very day. Rude Studios is the foremost tattoo studio in Yorkshire, with a perfect safety record and some of the best skin artistes in the business. Fantasia of Leeds is a novelty shop selling all kinds of souvenirs, jokes, and fancy gifts. Gifford’s butchers is the place to go for fresh cuts of locally sourced beef, pork, lamb and chicken, a cut above what you’ll find in supermarkets. Myers’ fishmongers sell all the fruit de la mare a seafood chef could ask for, whilst Hayes’ Seafood actually employs some of the best seafood chefs to serve up scallops and fish and chips. Wilde About Cards and The Original Card company sell special greeting cards and stationery crafted by local artists. For uniform and workwear check out Design; for lingerie, visit Dorothy Goodall.
If walking the rows and sampling the local wares has tired you out, you might want to sit down for a bite to eat one of the many food and drink outlets – Bennet’s Roast House, Karpaty Bakery, Kirkgate Café and the Yorkshire Wrap Company await you. And the list so far is only a small sampling. Leeds Kirkgate Market is a place to wander at length, full of character.