Things to do in Leeds
From shopping and indulgent dining, to contemporary arts and a dynamic nightlife, there is plenty to see and do in Leeds. Here is a taste of some of the variety of attractions:
The Royal Armouries Museum
The Royal Armouries Museum is home of Britain’s national collection of arms and armour where there are over 8,500 objects on display, spread over five galleries: War; Tournament; Oriental; Self Defence and Hunting. This is a purpose built museum which now displays items that were once on display in the Tower of London. They regularly hosts jousting tournaments, costumed performances and falconry displays to bring the history to life and you could even try your hand at sword fighting, archery or enrol in their Knight School. Their newly refurbished Tournament Gallery is a must, to experience the might of Henry VIII – king and sportsman alike! With free entry this is definitely worth a visit.
There are three wonderful Historical Houses near Leeds:
Temple Newsam, a Tudor-Jacobean estate that is one of the most celebrated historical houses in the country. Once owned by Henry VIII there are over forty restored rooms open to view and is also the home to one of Europe’s largest working Rare Breeds farms.
Harewood House – an 18th Century treasure house with art collections rivalling the finest in the land, set in 100 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. There is an Exotic Bird Garden where you can see endangered species up close and can find out about their conservation work. Harewood House hosts regular events and themed weekends throughout the year.
Lotherton Hall, a magnificent Edwardian estate offering something for everyone. An enchanting country house with a red deer park, nature trail and woodland walks, bird garden and exquisite gardens, regular exhibitions, a shop, stables and playgrounds, you certainly won’t get bored.
Western Europe’s oldest West Indian Carnival, and the UK’s second largest after Notting Hill Carnival. Attracting around 100,000 people over 3 days to the streets of Chapeltown and Harehills. There is a large procession that finishes at Potternewton Park, where there are stalls, entertainment and refreshments
There are also a number of festivals that take place in Leeds, such as The Leeds Music Festival, The Leeds Asian Festival, The Otley Folk Festival, Walking Festival and the Leeds International Film Festival and the Victorian Christmas Fayre to name a few.
Leeds Grand Theatre is the home of Opera North and the performing home of the Northern Ballet Theatre. A wonderful example of Victorian architecture, it hosts a wide variety of performances from West End and Broadway musicals, dance, drama and comedy. A little further down the New Briggate is the Howard Assembly Room, a restored venue in the heart of Leeds, a contemporary arts space with a varied programme of music, photographic exhibitions, spoken word events and film to name a few.
More information of events and attractions in and round Leeds can be found at the Tourist Information Centre: http://www.visitleeds.co.uk/