Get to Know Leeds

A thriving city with an exciting food scene, vibrant creative community, lively nightlife, an array of historic country estates and scenic urban parks, all add up to make this Yorkshire city an ideal Northern staycation destination. Here are our recommendations of what to see and do in Leeds.
Leeds Dock

Leeds Dock – Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash



Ghost hunt

For a night out with a difference, Leeds has a haunted hospital building, where you can go ghost hunting in the dead of night. The Thackray Medical Museum is in an imposing Victorian building, which once housed a workhouse with cruel, harsh conditions, then a hospital and asylum, before being turned into the current museum of gory medical exhibits and history. You can feel its chilling atmosphere even in daylight. Spend a night there if you dare! For more ghost-hunting expeditions to chill your spine, see here.



Get creative and expose black and white photographs in Leeds’ public darkroom. Set up by a group of photography students who needed to make space for their prints, Aire Street Darkroom runs training courses where you can learn techniques and how to use a film camera. It’s for photographers of all abilities.


Plan Your Escape

Get locked up with friends at the Escape Hunt. Work as a team to crack codes, solve puzzles and complete challenges to get out of the room before you run out of time.

Heritage & Culture


Harewood House

When Edwin Lascelles built his new home in 1759, he wanted nothing but the best. Consequently, this magnificent Georgian house is filled with art masterpieces, fine china collections and rare Chippendale furniture, and sits in stunning landscaped gardens designed by “Capability” Brown. Wander at your leisure or join in some of the organised activities such as guided walks, craft workshops and outdoor yoga sessions.
Harewood House, Leeds

Harewood House – Photo by Rachel Penney on Unsplash

Royal Armouries Museum

This is a free museum which houses the national collection of arms and armour, showing how it has shaped society and culture through the ages. There are daily events including armoured combat demonstrations.

Night life

Leeds is home to some of the best nightlife venues in the UK, offering plenty of variety from top DJs and live bands to pop-up venues.


O2 Academy Leeds

Check out new up and coming artists or grab tickets to one of your favourite musicians. This venue hosts some great live music performances.

The HiFi Club

With DJ led and live music nights, as well as regular Saturday evening comedy sessions, this nightclub has something to suit every taste. And drinks are reasonably priced too.



Roundhay Park

Spanning nearly 700 acres, Roundhay is one of the biggest urban parks in Europe. Stroll around the rolling parklands, picnic by the lakes, amble through the specialist gardens, visit Tropical World and enjoy afternoon tea at the Mansion. Or go along to one of the frequent events, from brass bands and food festivals to cricket and canoeing. With so much to do, it’s no surprise that Roundhay Park is one of Leeds’ most popular attractions. There is ample free parking too.
Roundhay Park, Leeds

Roundhay Park, Leeds – Photo by Lison Zhao on Unsplash


Temple Newsam

Located in the heart of Leeds, Temple Newsam is a great place to discover a historic Tudor house and rare breed conservation farm, on a country estate surrounded by stunning gardens and parkland.


Leeds is a shopper’s paradise, where local independents rub shoulders with international brands
In elegant Victorian arcades.
Leeds shopping centre

Photo by Oliver Sherwin on Unsplash



Mrs Atha’s

A family run coffee shop, serving up delicious artisan coffees and teas alongside light meals and cakes, in an edgy brick-walled environment.

200 Degrees Coffee Shop & Barista School

Located in the heart of Leeds on Bond Street, this coffee shop is perfect for grabbing a morning commute cuppa, and also for shoppers in need of a break. If you are interested in learning how to make some beautiful lattes, why not save up and check in to the private barista school for a fun and useful workshop.



The Swine That Dines

A modern British restaurant serving incredible food in a wonderful atmosphere. For one week per month, they serve all vegetarian dishes.

Ambiente Tapas

A relaxing spot for a light snack to enjoy with friends, this independent Spanish tapas restaurant is a great place to check out!

Ox Club

An award-winning grill restaurant that champions regional Yorkshire produce. Serving up simple but imaginative comfort food, this is definitely THE place to be on a Sunday afternoon for a roast!


Find out more:

Visit Leeds


Other places in this series:

Get to know Bournemouth
Get to know Brighton
Get to know Edinburgh
Get to know London
Get to know Nottingham
Get to know Oxford