Yorkshire is the UK's largest county and just a few miles from Leeds city centre the atmosphere changes from urban buzz to green countryside. A short train ride brings you to the historical city of York. Also not far from Leeds is the historic spa town of Harrogate, where there are luxurious restored Victorian Turkish baths. If you like the great outdoors, pay a visit to the spectacular Yorkshire Dales National Park. It has some of the finest scenery in the world, with over a thousand square kilometres of natural wonders to explore. Fancy a day at the seaside? Then take a day trip to Scarborough or Whitby and grab yourself some fish and chips on the seafront.
Leeds is the financial capital of the North. It has one of the fastest-growing economies in the UK and was awarded 'Best City for Business' by the Occupier Market Intelligence Service (OMIS 2008). It's the second largest employment centre in the UK outside London, with 420,000 people employed in the city. More jobs have been created in Leeds than in any other UK city outside London over the past two decades.
Art & Culture
Culture vultures will love Leeds. The City Varieties dates back to 1865 and is the longest-running music hall in the UK. You can also see a musical, theatre production or comedy show at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Grand Theatre and the Civic Theatre. There are a range of free attractions to visit, including the Leeds City Museum, the award-winning Royal Armouries and the Thackray Medical Museum. Art lovers can visit exhibitions at Leeds City Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute. Nearby Bradford is the home of the National Media Museum, which incorporates Britain's first IMAX cinema. In addition, Leeds is host to top international performing companies such as Opera North, The Northern Ballet Theatre and the Phoenix Dance Theatre. The city offers an exciting live music scene and has a number of venues, such as the new O2 Academy, as well as smaller more intimate ones.
If you are a sports fan, Leeds offers plenty of opportunities. West Yorkshire is the birthplace of rugby league and is home to the Rugby Superleague Champions Leeds Rhinos. There's also the union side, Leeds Carnegie, with both teams playing at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Yorkshire County Cricket is also based at the Stadium and Elland Road is home to Leeds United Football Club.
Leeds is hard to beat when it comes to shopping, with over 80 designer boutiques located in the exquisite Victoria Quarter and the usual high street stores along Briggate. Check out Queen's Arcade, Thornton's Arcade and Granary Wharf for unusual and independent shops. For retro and vintage clothing, get yourself to Blue Rinse and Pop Boutique and don't miss out on picking up some bargains at the historic Kirkgate Market, the largest indoor market in Europe with over 800 stalls. Since the opening of the first Harvey Nichols outside London, Leeds continues to be transformed into a shoppers paradise, with the £650 million Trinity Leeds development and the £800 million Eastgate Quarters development currently in progress.