Urban Lifeforce of Yorkshire

The cosmopolitan city of Leeds has come so far from its textile and manufacturing roots in the Industrial Revolution. Today it’s a place of vibrant spaces and modern service industries. It is widely acknowledged as the financial capital of the North and the premier city of Yorkshire. There is so much to see and do here and with its outstanding travel links it makes a great central base to explore the whole of Yorkshire.

The nightlife here is buzzing with trendy nightclubs, fashionable theatres, cinemas, restaurants, wine bars, bistros, pubs and cafes. And you could truly “shop ’till you drop”. Victorian market halls, incredibly ornate covered shopping arcades and ultra modern malls are all here to satisfy the most ardent craving for retail therapy! Heck – I feel in dire need of a lie down just thinking about it all! Leeds has so much to offer that you’ll want to come back time and time again.

World class museums and art galleries pay tribute to the history and culture of Leeds and Yorkshire. While the parks, leisure centres and gyms will help keep you in trim after over-indulging the night before.

You could be forgiven for thinking the city is surrounded by golf clubs – great for the sporting side of your nature. Leeds United Football Club and the Leeds Rhinos Rugby Football Club both have their homes here.

Travel a time machine! …

Why don’t you take a trip back in time and enjoy a visit to the Royal Armouries Museum. You’ll get to see awesome arms and weapons that have been used around the world. Some of the displays include oriental armour, archery weapons, and various devices that were used for torture and punishment – perhaps not for the faint-hearted! Throughout the day you’ll be able to watch skillful re-enactments of various war activities. Click to visit the Royal Armouries Museum

Armley Mills Industrial Museum gives you a look at the city’s wool and clothing industry. The city was once the mass production centre of fine worsted tailored goods such as gentlemens suits and tailored ladies skirts. The history of textiles and the heritage of the area are brought to life on film as the displays try to explain how Leeds became such a prosperous industrial city.

The Abbey House Museum at Kirkstall just a couple of miles from the city centre – puts the fun into an educational afternoon out for the whole family. Hear the echo of footsteps as you tread the cobblestones in the lovingly recreated Victorian streets and alleyways. The kids just love the interactive displays and learning areas.

Housed in a former workhouse building you’ll find the award-winning Thackray Medical Museum near to St James’ Hospital – “Jimmies” of television fame. If you think today’s hospitals and medical care are – erm! not as good as they might be, here you’ll have a chance to see how our Victorian forebears were “cared” for! A visit gives a fascinating glimpse of medicine and health care past, present and future.

Experience Culture Shock! …

The Leeds Art Gallery, re-opened in May 2007 following extensive renovations is an attraction you will definitely want to see. There are thousands of pieces of artwork featured here, and the gallery has been acknowledged as one of the best sites for Victorian and French paintings.

An evening at the theatre? …

Nationally and internationally renowned, the West Yorkshire Playhouse offers a modern venue for outstanding theatre productions that are enjoyed by 250,000 theatre-goers each year. Here you’ll find a variety of different programs offered throughout the year.

Experience the grandeur of days gone by with a visit to the victorian Grand Theatre. This wonderful venue assails the senses both onstage and off. The splendid opulence of vivid red upholstery and overwhelming gold leaf takes your breath away – until the house lights are dimmed and the curtain is raised on another splendid performance.

The Grand was built as a reaction to the “vulgar” Music Hall establishments based in pubs for the common people. The Leeds City Varieties Music Hall is a great example of one of these places and is known to millions as the home of BBC televisions “The Good Old Days”.

Leeds has so much to offer that you’ll want to come back time and time again.

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