Destination: Leeds

It’s March and our new Destination of the Month is one of the most pleasant cities in the United Kingdom. Leeds has it all: culture, shopping, nightlife and countryside.

This month we are going to be discovering where to go, what to see and how to find the best bargains in one of the UK’s most important cities.

I have a special reason for choosing Leeds as Destination of the Month and that is because I was born there. I grew up close to Leeds city centre, went to school there and played with my friends there. Later I discovered the vibrant nightlife on offer in Leeds and acquainted myself with the best bars, restaurants and shops.

As you know, I actually live on the island of Mallorca now, in Spain. It’s over ten years since I left Leeds for Mallorca but I visit my hometown every year.

Parish Church, Leeds

I never get bored of visiting Leeds as there is always so much to do. For instance, a couple of weeks ago when I was there, I did the rounds of my favourite shops, enjoyed the wonderful architecture in the city centre, visited the National Mining Museum and dined at some of my favourite restaurants, many of which specialise in foreign foods. Leeds is a truly diverse city with over 140 ethnic groups, and with minority ethnic populations representing 17% of the total population, so it’s hardly surprising that there is such a good selection of international restaurants.

Once a thriving industrial city, Leeds is the largest in the county of Yorkshire (though it’s not the capital, York is).  And with a population of approx. 800,000 Leeds is the third largest city in the UK.

In the 17th and 18th centuries Leeds became an important centre for the production and trading of wool. Then, during the Industrial Revolution, Leeds developed into a major industrial centre; wool being the dominant industry. From being a compact market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century.

Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the north and has a great public transport system, one of the country’s most prestigious universities, some of the most important museums and galleries and plenty of nature. There are many green areas in Leeds itself and around the city. The Leeds Country Way is a waymarked circular walk of 62 miles through the rural outskirts of the city, never more than 7 miles from City Square.

Leeds is surrounded by delightful villages such as Ilkley and Skipton and Selby which, despite being a short commute to the centre, preserve their village-esque charm. From Leeds it is only a short drive to stately homes with their vast grounds and the Yorkshire Dales are easily within reach for day-trippers, as are several seaside towns on the east coast.

Leeds has a major river, of 71 miles in length: the River Aire, which flows straight through the city on its way from Malham in North Yorkshire to the mouth of the River Ouse in Airmyn, East Yorkshire Riding.

The other main artery to go through Leeds is the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, on which construction started in 1770 for the purpose of transporting coal from nearby Bradford’s collieries, and textiles from factories in Leeds to the Port of Liverpool . Measuring 127 miles and with 91 locks along its length it is  the largest single canal in the UK. Mainly due to the fact that the canal crosses the Pennines, the canal took 40 years to be completed.

This month we will be discovering more of what Leeds has to offer, a little about the history and we’ll be learning where to eat and drink too.

Step into my shoes…. We are going to Leeds. Bring a warm coat because March can be freezing!

 

Filed Under: featuredleedsUK

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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  1. Encarna says:

    I can not wait to read next posts about Leeds !it seems a beautiful yet interesting place!
    kisses

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks so much for your support as always, Encarna. Leeds is a great city and in fact it deserves more than a month to be Destination of the Month. There are certainly parts of the city that are beautiful and it has a really old charm about it in the architecture, plus as the shiny modern buildings. But there are also plenty of places that are not beautiful. It is a great city but it is a hard city, an industrial city. I shouldn’t romanticise it too much. I hope you get to visit some day dear xx

  2. susan sykes says:

    Yes you are correct there are some lovely places and the old buildings are lovely but there are some black spots as well, I’m really looking forward to hearing the rest of your travels in leeds.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you. I’m really enjoying the research and writing these posts about Leeds. It’s a very interesting city.

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