About Leeds


Leeds is a city in the northern English county of Yorkshire. On the south bank of the River Aire, the Royal Armouries houses the national collection of arms and artillery. Across the river, the redeveloped industrial area around Call Lane is famed for bars and live music venues under converted railway arches. Leeds Kirkgate Market features hundreds of indoor and outdoor stalls.

Area: 551.7 km²


» Over 1,000 shops || 4 major theatres and an arena || Over 300 bars and restaurants || One of Europe's largest covered markets || More than 16 museums and galleries || Ballet and Opera companies



With over 1,000 shops, you’re never far from a superb retail experience.

Fans of the high street can hit Trinity Leeds, or if you’re looking for luxury brands head to Victoria Leeds, home to Victoria Gate and the Victoria Quarter. Vintage goods and boutique shops can be found aplenty in Leeds Corn Exchange, or stop by Leeds Kirkgate Market to browse the vast array of independent stalls.


If culture is your thing, Leeds doesn’t disappoint.

Highlights include Harewood House, The Royal Armouries, Temple Newsam, The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds City Museum, Kirkstall Abbey and Leeds Art Gallery. The city also boasts its own ballet and opera companies, along with several theatres and the iconic first direct arena.



Leeds is also within easy reach of some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside.

There are two National Parks on the doorstep, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, offering endless opportunities to explore dramatic and diverse landscapes – as highlighted by the routes of Grand Départ of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire cycle races.



Leeds has a truly vibrant food and drink scene, offering an ever-changing menu. With flavours to savour and tastes to tantalise, you can tuck into traditional Yorkshire fare, the finest French cuisine, hearty Brazilian dishes and zingy Thai delights to name just a few.

In fact whatever kind of food you fancy, you can eat your way around the world, from restaurants with starched white tablecloths to authentic street food stalls in the Trinity Kitchen. So be sure to bring your appetite.



Whether you’re looking for somewhere to network or let your hair down, there’s a rich abundance of nightlife to enjoy in Leeds. From cocktails served with panoramic city views to diverse DJ sets and the best in live music, the city caters to every taste after dark. So whether you like it laid back or lively, there’s always somewhere to carry on the party.

Leeds is now a Purple Flag accredited city, indicating the nightlife in Leeds is entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable.



There’s all the sport anyone one could hope to see in Leeds, from international cricket at Headingley Stadium to Championship football at the iconic Elland Road.

Following on from the phenomenal Grand Départ of the Tour de France, the first ever Tour De Yorkshire cycle race saw thousands flock here. While other major sporting events coming to the city include international cricket and the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathalon Leeds for the second time.




Frequent direct trains cary visitors from London to Leeds in just over two hours, with all other UK cities also easily reached by train. Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford all enjoy regular services from London with Virgin Trains East Coast, as well as connecting to Edinburgh. The quickest journey time between Leeds and London is just over two hours and during peak times, services run at least every half an hour. With Eurostar connections at St Pancras, journeys to Leeds from Brussels and Paris take just over five hours. The First TransPennine Express service provides excellent links from Liverpool, Manchester and York. Cross Country run frequent services to Leeds from many of Britain’s major cities including Newcastle and Birmingham..



Leeds and West Yorkshire is located at the cross roads of the M62 and the M1, with the A1/M1 link making it easy to reach from all directions. The the M1 runs North to South and M62 runs East to West right through West Yorkshire, with the M621 leading from it into the centre of Leeds and the M606 into Bradford.

National Express coaches run into the city from a host of UK destinations and our coach station is located in the city centre with many of our venues and hotels just a short walk away.




Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) is situated at the heart of the Leeds City Region, approximately eight miles from Leeds city centre and seven miles from Bradford and is one of the fastest growing regional airports in the UK.

Yorkshire’s gateway airport connects to a wide range of domestic and international destinations, either via direct flights or through the European ‘hub’ airports of Amsterdam and Brussels.
Visitors can now fly direct to LBA on scheduled flights from over 75 destinations across 25 countries. This includes many European capital cities, including Paris, London, Berlin and Rome. British Airways fly from London Heathrow to Leeds three times daily






It’s no secret that the history of Leeds boasts a wealth of culture, but what isn’t as well known is the amount of firsts, both in the UK and the world, that have taken place here. Leeds is also home to a number of artefacts and attractions that are the oldest of their kind. From the first steam locomotive, to the medical marvels that have taken place in Leeds General Infirmary, read on to find out why Leeds is anything but ordinary.

A beating heart

Marian Lonescu, a pioneering British cardiac surgeon, became the first surgeon in the world to successfully reconstruct a
heart with a single ventricle at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).

All hands on deck

In July 2016, Chris King became the first person in the UK to undergo a double hand transplant and only the second person ever to have a hand transplant, at the UK’s specialist centre for the operation at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).

A kidney pioneer

The LGI continues to supply more world firsts! One of the services that Leeds pioneered for the whole of the UK was kidney dialysis, with the first ever such procedure in the country performed at the LGI in September 1956.

The birth of digital

The UK’s first Internet service provider, Freeserve, was born right here in Leeds in 1998 – connecting us from the get go.



Lights, camera – action!

Who doesn’t love sitting down to a good film? Oakland Grange and Leeds Bridge were stars of the show when Louis Le Prince filmed the first motion picture right here in Leeds in 1888.

Enjoy the film

Leeds is not only a pioneer in making films, but playing them too. Hyde Park Picture House is a Grade II listed building and cinema that opened on the 7thNovember 1914. It is the only remaining gas lit cinema in the UK and one of the oldest in the country.

One for the bookworms

Love a good read? The Leeds Library, which can be found on Commercial Street, is the oldest surviving subscription library in the UK and was founded back in 1768.

Full steam ahead

Salamanca, the world’s first steam locomotive was made in Leeds, by Matthew Murray back in 1812. The train was named after the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the famous battle fought in the same year.

All aboard

Not only do we supply the power, but also we are also home to the first ever commercial railway – Middleton Railway. Middleton Railway is the world’s oldest working railway, putting the trains on the tracks in 1758.

High flyers

The oldest flying aeroplane, The Blackburn Type D, was made here in Leeds. Robert Blackburn built the one seat monoplane in 1912 for Cyril Foggin.

Hold fire!

You can find a lot of hidden historical gems in the Royal Armouries Museum here in Leeds, but perhaps the most impressive is the oldest firearm in the UK: the Danzig gun which dates back to c1400 AD.

Up for a party?

The Leeds West Indian Carnival has been blending costumes, music and masquerade together since 1967.