Top 10 places to visit Leeds
With Leeds being known as the ‘Capital of the North’, you would expect there to be a list of attractions that are comparable to London and you will not be disappointed. As well as having an astonishing array of facilities, Leeds is blessed with historical, natural and architectural wonders that will have you reaching for your camera.
10: Armley Mills
An industrial museum that has won numerous awards, Armley Mill was once the biggest woollen mill in the world. The modern day museum contains exhibits showing the history of the clothing and textile industry. Some of the most popular attractions include a steam engine and water mills. There is also a Victorian Schoolroom which allows you to see what schools looked like more than 100 years ago, and count yourself lucky! Armley Mills.
9: Golden Acre Park
This is a beautiful area of parkland which is maintained by Leeds City Council. It covers a total of 137 acres, contains astounding flora and fauna and is the ideal place for a picnic. Interestingly, Golden Acre Park started out as a private amusement park way back in 1932 and had a boating lake, miniature rail and swimming pool. Unfortunately, World War II caused it to close down. Golden Acre Park.
8: West Yorkshire Playhouse
The Playhouse is a theatre that was first opened in 1990. It cost an estimated £13 million to build and was opened by Diana Rigg of The Avengers fame. The Playhouse contains the 750 seater Quarry Theatre and the 350 seater Courtyard Theatre and also has an award-winning bar, restaurant and wireless internet connection. It’s the ideal location for those seeking some culture in Leeds. West Yorkshire Playhouse.
7: Thornton’s Arcade
IBuilt by Charles Thornton in 1877, this arcade became the first major shopping centre in Leeds. As well as being home to dozens of retail outlets, Thornton’s Arcade is famous for its sensational architecture with the whole place designed to cater towards shopping as a show rather than as a means to an end. Thornton’s Arcade.
6: Kirkstall Abbey
This was once a monastery that was founded in the 12th century. It ceased to be a monastery in 1538 and fell into ruin. However, these ruins still offer intriguing viewing for lovers of history. In fact, famous painters such as Turner created masterpieces featuring the ruins of the abbey. Kirkstall Abbey.
5: Harewood House And Bird Garden
This magnificent stately home was completed in 1771 by a family that made its fortune slave trading in the West Indies. This remarkable structure has dozens of rooms to be explored and gives us an idea of the astounding living conditions of the elite in the 18th century. The grounds themselves are worth making the trip for and have even been used in the hit TV soap, Emmerdale. Harewood House and Bird Garden .
4: Tropical World
Located just a few miles away from the centre of Leeds, Tropical World is like stepping onto a desert island. It’s a manmade area with golden sands, rainforest and exotic animals like meerkats and lemurs. Tropical World is open every day in the year except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Tropical World.
3: Roundhay Park
This park has the honour of being one of the largest city parks in the whole of Europe. With over 700 acres of lakes, woodland and park to explore, visiting here once will certainly not be enough. Roundhay Park is an attraction that never loses its lustre which is why more than a million people come here each year. Roundhay Park.
2: Royal Armouries
This is a museum dedicated to showcasing weapons and armour throughout British history and is the UK’s oldest museum. There are few museums in the world that have a larger collection of armour and weapons. The Royal Armouries also has the distinction of keeping the history of the Tower of London safe. Anyone with an interest in British history would love to see those records! Royal Armouries.
1: Thackray Medical Museum
Although Thackray only opened in 1997, it has already won a number of prestigious awards including ‘Museum of the Year’. It contains exhibits relating to the history of medicine with one of the most popular relating to life in Victorian Leeds. This exhibit is a realistic portrayal of life in the 19th century and paints a grim picture. Thackray Medical Museum.
The attractions in Leeds are plentiful and unmissable. The level of high quality museums in particular is amazing and makes Leeds one of the best cities for lovers of all things historical.