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City Guide: Leeds

City Guide: Leeds

City Guide: Leeds

Leeds is an exciting, modern city, yet it still manages to maintain a proud industrial past. Located within reach of the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and commonly referred to as the ‘unofficial capital of Yorkshire’. So, whether you’re looking for culture, history, shopping or just to wander and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, award-winning eateries and many more attractions, Leeds is the place to be. So, if you can deal with (lots of) rain and the constant mention of ‘Super Leeds United’ then you better get yourself to Leeds.

Food & Drink

Whether you’re after craft ales, fancy cocktails or just your favourite bottle of beer, the list of bars in Leeds is endless. Bundobust is part bar, part restaurant and brings together unique Indian street food and craft beers meaning you can line your stomach and test out a range of ever-changing beers all in one place. Hidden below a barber shop, in speak easy style, is The Domino Club, famous for its exciting cocktail menu and live jazz, you’ll find yourself here until the early hours wondering where the hours have gone. In similar style there’s Blind Tyger, its seemingly unassuming blue door on Cross Belgrave Street suppresses a lavish prohibition-style bar serving cocktails and concoctions you’ll have never experienced before.

If you’re sick of drinking and just after a drool-worthy dish then Leeds has a range of restaurants from fine dining to street-style and you’ll certainly find something to your taste. Once a greasy spoon, now a fine dining destination, The Swine That Dines serves quality cuts of meat or completely vegan dishes so is sure to serve even the fussiest of eaters. Cosy cafe by day fine-dining dynamo by night, Fettle is full of surprises. Recently it’s blossomed into one of the best restaurants in Leeds, serving unique dishes that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re brave enough why not attempt The Otley Run – a legendary pub crawl from Headingley into Leeds city centre. With 16 pubs along a 1.5-mile route, it’s the ultimate drinking challenge that takes tactics and a strong stomach to complete. 


Although Leeds has less extensive public transport coverage than other UK cities of comparable size it’s still easy to get around. Leeds has a large network of buses and trains which usually run from 5am until 11pm. These can be used to get around the city centre or out into other parts of the city. There is also a strong Uber and taxi presence in Leeds city centre should you require this option.  

Where to live

  • For young professionals there’s Horsforth and Chapel Allerton – Both places enjoy a lively centre with a good combination of cafes and independent shops alongside popular bars and restaurants.
  • Roundhay – a rising suburb with a beautiful park and plenty of bars & restaurants on its’ doorstep and only 5 minutes from Leeds city centre itself.
  • It’s not all about the suburbs though - Leeds Waterfront is definitely one of the city’s best places to live. Absolutely everything you could need is right on the doorstep: shops, bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, businesses, the train station etc. Although you’ll pay top dollar, Leeds Waterfront is a picturesque location along the banks of the River Aire and the views are certainly worth investing in.
  • Headingley – often favoured by students and young professionals, this suburb has a lot to offer everyone from including its affordable housing prices. Headingley town centre is full to the brim with shops, bars, cafes and restaurants of all shapes, styles and sizes.

What to do in Leeds 

“LEEDS! LEEDS! LEEDS”! can be heard miles away from Elland Road on matchday. Come wind, rain, snow or sunshine, the fans are out and they’re loud and proud. A trip to Elland Road and a glimpse of the love they have for their beloved team is an experience everyone should have. 

Maybe just as much as football, Art plays an important role in Leeds’ identity and it’s therefore unsurprising to know there are plenty of art galleries to visit in the city.  Leeds Art Gallery is home to the best twentieth century collection outside London. The Henry Moore Institute is dedicated to celebrating sculpture and they host a year-round changing programme of historical, modern and contemporary exhibitions presenting sculptures from across the world. Located in a former brewery, The Tetley is a centre for contemporary art, centred around creativity, innovation and experimentation. Meanwhile, Leeds Gallery at Munro House is an independent art gallery exhibiting artists, illustrators, photographers and designers working in all types of media. 

Interact with farm animals and join in with farm practices at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. There’s also an organic market garden with fresh produce for sale, a nature area, shop, picnic area, visitor centre and cafe.

If you’re a sucker for a soap opera then step into the drama at the Emmerdale Studio Experience and discover how the characters you love, and the stories you remember are brought to life.

Music plays another important role in Leeds’ city identity and whether you’re in the First Direct Arena or up to your knees in mud at Leeds Festival your favourite artist is almost certain to make an appearance eventually.

Leeds can please us all.

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