I’m Em from onlythejade.blogspot.com. Over at only the jade I talk about everything from mental health to beauty. I am so excited to take part of this travel series for the lovely Steph. So, without further ado, let’s talk about Leeds.
Why I chose to write about Leeds…
Being a very proud Northerner, I have always had a love affair with Leeds. Filled to the brim of culture, restaurants and events, Leeds really does have something for everyone. You simply don’t know what’s around the next corner.
5 things to see and do in Leeds
The Royal Armouries
Leeds is filled with museums, each more amazing than the next. Yet, the Armouries are simply breathe taking. Being filled to the brink (literally) of stunning exhibitions, ranging from the Romans to displays of the stunning architecture of local villages and castles. The true excitement of this venue is shown through the displays. I couldn’t recommend the sword fighting display in the medieval era enough- it’s so interesting and it’s amazing to see everyone in owe of the techniques shown. I truly could go on and on. The Royal Armouries is simply worth a visit.
Due to the Royal Armouries, being in located near the city centre, park is quite difficult and pricey. I would suggest trying to attend this amazing museum by one of the many coach tours which take place throughout the year. Most of the tours include the price of entrance to the armouries and the travel itself. A definite help.
An incredibly sophisticated cocktail bar with a unique twist. This chain (Based all over the UK) has somehow managed to create each bar with an individual style. The Alchemist is exceedingly well known, meaning that it can get busy quickly. Personally, I find The Alchemist on Greek Street a little less stressful.
Both the cocktail and food menu are utterly breathe taking. A twist of science, a dash of alcohol all wrapped up with a creative bow- if you have the opportunity to, you need to visit The Alchemist.
A stunning shopping centre in the middle of Leeds, being home to stores and restaurants such as Oasis, Lindt and Mango to name but a few. Leeds Trinity is so popular, many stores spill out onto the high street and into Leeds quarter.
Being one of the key attractions to Leeds city centre, it is no surprise that many attractions, restaurants and pubs are all situated in and around it. If you do chose to venture to the high street- you need to have a look into the Hotel Chocolat, bar and restaurant- it is stunning and a taste card can be used for a little discount.
With easy access to the all public transport in addition to a car park directly adjacent to the shopping centre- it’s safe to say you won’t be walking around with shopping bags for too long! Just be aware that parking is very pricey and can be up to £28 a day in the centre.
First Direct Arena
About a 10-15 minutes’ walk from the Train station the First Direct Arena is an incredible. With the Likes of Green Day, Drake and even Cirque De Solei, performing, this space has something for everyone. Holding up to 13,500 people and multiple concerts and activities the First Direct Arena inspire anyone who enters its doors.
If you’re anything like me, then you love everything to do with Christmas. The ultimate place to find all those little extra treats to make things extra festive. If I could suggest anything I would highly recommend the garlic bread stall which is, usually, in the far right hand corner… its delicious.
Leeds Christmas market(held in Millennial Square) is on the smaller side, in comparison to York and others. It still holds everything magical that you would need, want or love at Christmas time. Thor’s Tipi is an amazing place to finish off a perfect festive day- with a mulled wine at the side of a log burning fire!
Em’s Recommendation for Food & Drink in Leeds
Whether strolling down the river or strolling around the shopping district, Leeds have a restaurant for you. Gluten Free, themed bars or just a stunning little pub, there will be something that caters to your taste throughout this stunning city.
Calls Landing (Calls District)
Situated on the river, Calls Landing is the perfect summer time bar! Being home to local gins, ales and mixers, calls landing is amazing for finding new local brands. The décor screams quaint little pub; cosy and comfortable. There is plenty of seating inside and out so you won’t be searching for table, a rarity in cities like Leeds.
Stark Tavern (The Light)
For any Game of Thrones Fans out there this tavern is worth a visit. Stark Tavern is slightly on the pricey side, yet, it does make for an amazing night. Dark wood, fake fires and a few of the North’s ale’s make for the best nights. Being placed in The Light, is perfect as it is neatly tucked away in the city centre but still a few seconds walk from taxi’s or other night life.
CAU (Victoria Gate)
CAU is in centred in Victoria Gate and it’s simply beautiful. A perfect place for a ‘posh’ burger- although it has plenty of vegetarian options too. Being tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Victoria Gate (the new addition to Victoria Quarter home to and other stories, John Lewis and Porsche Experiences to name a few) CAU is the perfect place for an intimate lunch or dinner. Being quite small in size, booking is a must as waiting times can be a little extreme. Saying that, it is definitely worth the wait and I can’t wait to go back.
A map of things to do in Leeds…
Other Recommendations from Em
Roundhay Park (15 minutes drive out of Leeds City Centre)
Roundhay Park is stunning. Being centred on a huge beautiful lake and surrounded by trees and animals. If the walk gets too much there is plenty of seats, play areas and a small café to rest and enjoy. My favourite time of year to visit Roundhay is autumn, when the ground is crunchy with frost and there is a little chill in the air. A perfectly Instagram worthy park, If I ever did see one.
YES, Christmas again. But there is something quite magical about Leeds Christmas Lights. Some may say they’re utterly over the top. Yet, they scream Christmas and I love them! Christmas lights follow you wherever you go, each one more beautiful than the next.
Things to see & do
Leeds Art Gallery
A 15 minute walk from the train station, Leeds Art Gallery is truly captivating. Leeds Art Gallery is definitely not like any other I have ever had the privilege to go to. The statements start even before you enter the building. Being greeted by a giant King Kong (yes, seriously) instantly displays this unique museum in the most bazaar way.
Being home to numerous exhibitions, from displays of Yorkshire Heritage to Women Work and War. Personally my favourite part of the whole museum is the Fairy tales and Fantasy, being filled with beautiful mystical objects which really capture the imagination of anyone. Who doesn’t love a little bit of magic?
*Currently, the art museum is closed, due to work on their Victorian roof. Therefore, prices and opening times are not available*
Being based in the Trinity shopping centre, the Everyman is the most amazing cinema I have ever been too. After walking up the (very steep) stairs, you are taken to a land of sofas, blankets and table service. I absolutely love, ‘Speilburgers’ purely because of the pun.
If you are wanting a relaxing night with minimal walking I would definitely recommend this cinema, I have never had service like it. A perfect date night.
Food & Drink
Greek Street is filled with so many amazing Bars and restaurants. Being home to The Liquourist, The Alchemist and Carluccio’s amongst others. Not to mention the small independent restaurants to the end of the street, La Rambla is the best tapas I have ever had!
I love Greek Street, not because of the fancy bars or restaurants, but because of the atmosphere. In the summer the street is filled with tables from every bar and restaurant; the street is filled with laughter- it really warms my heart. It’s hard to put into words, but Greek Street in summer, just makes me so happy.
Like the Alchemist, the Botanist is home to some of the weirdest concoctions I have ever seen. But they are amazing concoctions! From the Bunsen burners, to the stunning wooden décor, there is something so intriguing about this place.
Situated at the side of the Trinity shopping centre, The Botanist is a shopper’s favourite place to distress after a few trips around The Trinity. With cocktails galore, you will definitely be spoilt for choice. Most cocktails are priced around £10 onwards, which is a little steep depending on your budget.
Definitely worth a visit.
As you can tell, my heart is very much with Leeds. The culture, nightlife and overall feel of the city, is something I haven’t quite manage to find elsewhere. And I don’t think I ever will.
I hope this, travel series helps you see that no matter where you are in the country, there is something magical around every corner.
All the love,
Thank you to Em for taking part in the Travel in the UK Guest Blogger Series. You can catch up with the rest of the series on Steph’s World.