Friday, May 20, 2011

Leeds – a great option for a city break

In this guest article from One UK who specialise in apartments in Leeds, we examine why tourists should head to the thriving city of Leeds in the heart of Yorkshire for a city break.

What to do?

Leeds is perfectly situated for trips to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, and all the attractions that has to offer such as Bolton Castle and Malham Tarnbut there are plenty of attractions within the city centre itself. Leeds is a party city, with plenty of bars and clubs which have attracted attract superstar DJs including David Guetta and The Swedish House Mafia. But other popular clubs include Gatecrasher, Mission, Space, Oceania . Some of the more unique nightspots include Halo, a converted church or Dry Dock a converted boat – nowhere near any water. There also Flares for fans of the 1970’s or FAB CAFE is the world’s first television and movie theme bar. For those who prefer their music a little rockier there is The Nation of Shopkeepers, The Northern Monkey, Carpe Diem or The Cockpit all of which host regular live music. And that is not even taking into account the various music festivals that happen in and around the city.

One of the most popular tourist attractions is Temple Newsam, is one of the great historic estates in England, set within 1500 acres of stunning parkland. As well as the historic mansion house itself, amongst the parkland is the walled garden which renowned for its Rhododendron and Azalea walk and features the National Plant Collections of Delphinium, Phlox and Aster novi–belgii. Although for many people the main attraction is Europe's largest working Rare Breeds Farm, with over 400 animals, a great day out no matter how old you are. And adrenaline junkies can get there fix with mountain-biking at Dalby Forest or indoor skiing at Xscape Castleford.

For art lovers there The Henry Moore Institute and The Leeds Art Gallery, which houses a fantastic collection of 20th century British art, both conveniently located on The Headrow. The UK’s latest Art Gallery The Hepworth is a short journey away in nearby Wakefield. If that’s not enough a short walk on away is the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, which bills itself as “an oasis of calm and inspiration - just minutes from Leeds city centre!”.This hidden gem, which is often overlooked in favour of it’s city centre counterparts shows both innovative temporary exhibitions and display treasures from the University Art Collection. The collection includes wonderful examples of European and British art dating back from the 17th century right up to modern day pieces.

For history buffs there is Leeds City Museum is perfect for those rainy days. Some of the post popular attractions include the ‘Leeds Tiger’ and Nesyamun, the Leeds mummy. Visitors also have the chance to dig for fossils in the Life on Earth gallery.Down at the redeveloped Clarence Docks is The Royal Armouries, which is again free admission, although there is a fee for car parking. The Royal Armouries is home to the national collection of arms and armour. The collection is spread over theme-galleries: War, Tournament, Self-Defence, Hunting, and arms and armour of the Orient. Over the other side of the city is Kirkstall Abbey, one of the best and most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian abbey in the Britain. As well as Kirkstall Abbey there is the fantastic Abbey House Museum, where you can experience the life in the Victorian era.

Where to Shop?

Leeds City Centre is full of great shops. The Victoria Quarter is a must for all those after the latest designer look with Louis Vuitton, Karen Millen, Ted Baker and of course Harvey Nichols just some of the shops there. Plus there are plenty of unique boutiques such as Each To Their Own to guarantee you a unique style.Just outside the city is The White Rose shopping centre for those rainy days or Junction 32 Outlet Village for a bargain.

Where to eat?

Leeds boasts a number of fantastic restaurants to cater for every budget. Celebrity chefs Raymond Blanc, James Martin and the world famous Jamie Oliver all have restaurant’s in the city. And it doesn’t just stop there, in the nearby scenic town of Ilkley is the Michelin Stared restaurant The Box Tree where Marco Pierre White is a partner. There is also the popular Bibis Italianissimo, the fantastic Sous Le Nez or eclectic Anthony’s Restaurant. Diners who fancy a bit of everything could head to The Red Hot World Buffet or Spice Quarter, and pub grub fans could check out any of the many great locals such as The Greyhound in Tong or The Cross Keys.


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