In my previous post, I introduced my hometown, the city I grew up in. Today though, I will introduce the city that became my second home. As an 18-year-old, I moved to Leeds for my studies and stayed there for four years. No wonder I came to love this city as a home. After all, one will create a strong bond with the place that made them who they are today.
Leeds is the largest city in Yorkshire and is part of the county of West Yorkshire. Thanks to the many universities and colleges in the city and it has gained the name of student-city. Still, it is also one of the largest economy-hubs in the country with several HQs of large corporations. Nevertheless, the city of Leeds is a diverse city that can offer you anything you wish to enjoy. Shopping districts and centres, delicious food, beautiful architecture, beautiful ruins to travel back in time, natural reserves, city parks, and friendly people to create bonds that will last for a lifetime.
In this guide, I will introduce you to five fantastic places that you should visit.
Leeds Town Hall
Like many other buildings in Leeds, it was built during the Victorian era. The Town Hall demonstrates the importance and power of Leeds during that time. It is a beautiful building that commences strength and beauty simultaneously. The inside of the Town Hall and the Victoria Hall demonstrate beautiful carved walls and décor. Although the Town Hall still holds civic power nowadays, it mainly has a cultural character by creating and providing different performances and exhibitions.
Victoria Leeds is a shopping area in the city centre and consists of Victoria Quarter, 2016 Victoria Gate, and major shopping centres such as John Lewis and Harvey Nichols. The most spectacular sight of Victoria Leeds would be the County Arcade, which is the luxurious Victorian Arcade that, even if it’s only for browsing the shops, is worth the visit.
Shopping malls might be the first choice when visiting another city, but sometimes the local market is the best choice. Kirkgate is the largest covered market in Europe with 800 stalls. It was established in the 19th century as a place for local farmers, butchers, and fishmongers to sell their products. Nowadays, the market has expanded, and you can find anything you wish. An interesting fact is that the renowned brand of Marks & Spencer has its roots in Kirkgate Marker back in 1884.
The picturesque ruins of Kirkstall abbey have drawn visitors and artists for hundreds of years. The once magnificent abbey was built in the 12th century but was disestablished after the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. The ruins are now part of Leeds Museums and Galleries and are located at a public park that is adjusted to River Aire. It is the perfect location to admire the glorious days of a forgotten past and relax at the peaceful scenery of nature and beautiful ruins. Additionally, the grounds of the abbey are used for the Kirkstall Festival and Kirkstall Fantasia open-air concerts and markets.
If you are someone who likes a good day at the park to relax, have a picnic, or just walk around and enjoy the natural ambience, then Roundhay Park is your destination. It is one of the biggest city parks in Europe with grasslands, lakes, woodlands, and gardens. Several events are running at the park, such as park-run and fitness classes, but also bonfire nights and concerts. It is a park that can accommodate everyone and everything.