See a film at Hyde Park picture house, a lovely old cinema which shows all sorts of films, both art house and mainstream. The cinema was opened in 1914 and was soon acclaimed "the cosiest in Leeds" - a reputation that it still lives up to! Perfect therefore for a rainy day, and you won't have to search long to find a rainy day in Leeds! The Victoria Quarter is an upmarket shopping area in the heart of the city. Designed by Frank Matcham (who also built the London Coliseum), the building is a classic Victorian mix of marble, mosaic and high stained-glass windows. The labyrinth of arcades contains an array of high and mid-range shops including Vivienne Westwood and Harvey Nichols, and a small number of cosy cafes. If you fancy getting away from the city, there are many UNESCO world heritage sites near Leeds such as Fountains Abbey and Saltaire, which make for lovely days out if you have a car.
Leeds is perhaps best known as Yorkshire's biggest shopping city. From high-end to high-street and vintage, there's not a lot you won't find in Leeds. The city also has an impressive indoor market, which can be found on the corner of Kirkgate and Vicar Lane. Originally built in 1857, the market space is clad with domes and wrought-iron balconies from which to observe the hustle and bustle of the scene below. Market stalls sell just about everything, and are the perfect place to pick up some bargain snacks for an inner-city picnic should the sun decide to show, or to hide from the rain if you're not so lucky! If it's culture you're after, visit Thakray Museum, which tells the story of medicine and even houses a Victorian operating theatre! If weird and wonderful medical instruments aren't you're cup of tea, the Royal Armouries can be a great day out, especially on days when the museum has archery displays. Just outside of Leeds, and accessible by car or bus, visit Xscape - an indoor ski slope and activites centre, or Tropical World - a greenhouse with waterfall, terrapins and spiders next to Canal Gardens. Leeds has a huge clubbing scene which is mainly dominated by large, mainstream clubs. As an alternative, go for a cocktail and tap your feet to some salsa at the up-and-coming underground District Bar. The bar does great food and some days it even offers half price tapas. The year-old Nation of Shopkeepers also has a lot of good gigs, and is the choice destination for trendy kids!
To think about
Leeds is easily accessible by train, which takes under two hours from London, Birmingham or Liverpool, and just 55 minutes from Manchester! Like most of the Northern giants, Leeds is a city that is prone to rain, so remember to bring your brolly and to wrap up warm. It's helpful to have a car in Leeds, as many local UNESCO attractions are more difficult to reach by public transport.