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General Information: Leeds

Leeds is a vibrant and growing city with a thriving arts scene, rich sporting heritage and fascinating history.  Located on the river Aire and a stone’s throw from the Yorkshire Dales, this cosmopolitan, multicultural city is a must-see destination!

Leeds city centre is easy to explore and abundant with things to see and do. The Leeds skyline features breathtaking architecture, notably the Henry Moore institute which curates the Leeds museums’ sculpture collections, the Leeds Town Hall which is a hub for many sporting and cultural events, the Victoria Quarter with its stained glass ceiling, the Corn exchange, the First Direct Arena, the distinctive broadcasting tower famous for its rust-like appearance and Trinity Leeds; a shopping haven housing over 120 retail outlets under a huge glass-domed roof. 

Leeds has the fourth largest student population in the country and is famed for its music and night-life. Many popular bands originate from Leeds including the Kaiser Chiefs, Corinne Bailey Rae, Alt-J and Melanie B of the Spice Girls. Bruce Springsteen performed the first ever concert at the First Direct Arena in 2013 and many famous musicians including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Queen and U2 have appeared at some of the multitude of venues for live music in Leeds, including Roundhay Park, the O2 Academy and Elland Road.

World Triathlon Champions Alistair and Johnny Brownlee studied at Leeds University and the city is well known for its sporting history. Leeds is home to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the Leeds Rhinos rugby league team at Headingley and Leeds United Football Club at Elland Road. Many of the UK’s best swimmers and gymnasts trained in Leeds and, following the success of the Yorkshire Grand Depart for the Tour de France in 2014, Leeds has become a keen cyclist’s destination as the city and the beautiful Yorkshire countryside host an annual Tour de Yorkshire road race. 

Visiting Leeds you will be spoilt for choice for dining and accommodation. Rooms are plentiful with international brands standing side-by-side with boutique hotels; fine dining, world-class restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Man Behind the Curtain sit side by side with award-winning curry houses and vintage teahouses.

Leeds is host to an ever changing programme of unmissable events and festivals all year round including Leeds Festival through to the Leeds West Indian Carnival. Few cities can boast such a varied calendar of performances, activities and festivals. For those wanting a quiet haven to escape the bustle of the city, head north to Roundhay Park, which is one of Europe’s largest city parks. Travel a little further and you will find the Leeds Country Way and the Meanwood valley trail, or head south to explore the towpath of the Leeds Liverpool canal.

With a continual stream of new projects, Leeds has never been a more exciting place to visit!

Riverside path in the city centre

The Victoria Quarter

Roundhay Park, Canal Garden
Updated 30 November 2016

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