Leeds, a city situated in the northern English county of Yorkshire has been voted as the 3rd most popular city to visit in the UK. This charming university city on the River Aire boasts a variety of intriguing galleries and museums, as well as wonderful shops in its old downtown district. Leeds also has a rich history of the industry, particularly textiles. Furthermore, its principal significance is as the business and financial capital of West Yorkshire.
With all that in mind, here is the list of must-visit tourist attractions in Leeds that are not to be missed.
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7 Best Tourist Attractions in Leeds
Royal Armouries Museum
Located in Leeds Dock, Royal Armouries Museum houses a vast collection of 8,500 items, divided into five galleries covering War, Oriental, Tournament, Self-Defence, and Hunting. This museum also features a 15th century Chinese Ming Dynasty sword encrusted with gold and semi-precious stones, Henry VIII’s renowned horned helmet, and a Burmese bronze cannon carved like a dragon. With so much to see, this is without a question one of the top tourist attractions in Leeds.
The pedestrian area known as City Square, which is noted for its various statues, is the heart of Leeds’ Civic Quarter. Nearby stands Joseph Priestley Church and the magnificent Town Hall, which was inaugurated by Queen Victoria back in 1858. Its façade is adorned with a Corinthian colonnade, which is overshadowed by a 200-foot-tall clock tower. Meanwhile, its elegant Victoria Hall is regularly used for concerts. Don’t forget to prepare your camera and take photos of this magnificent site with your loved ones or friends.
Temple Newsam is one of the tourist attractions in Leeds which is worth the trip out of the city centre (about 20 minutes by car). The temple features a functioning farm, majestic mansion, tearoom, gardens, and forests to discover. The Tudor-Jacobean mansion was the birthplace of the infamous Lord Darnley, the husband of Mary Queen of Scots. You can meet the estate’s pigs, sheep, cattle, goats, and ducks in here. As the majestic property has been refurbished recently, the rooms are now packed with colourful art and mysteries from former occupants.
One of the most preserved examples of a medieval Cistercian monastery in the UK is the historic Leeds monument. Aside from the ruins, which you are allowed to explore, there are 24 hectares of parkland where you could enjoy a picnic and the scenery of the beautiful River Aire.
If you plan to go on the last Sunday of the month, you can also experience the Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market. This market serves a delicious combination of street cuisine and fresh local products. So, get your smartphone ready to capture all those beautiful views of one of the top tourist attractions in Leeds.
Lotherton Hall is an exquisite jewel of an attraction located near Aberford, just on the eastern outlying districts of Leeds. There, you can discover the Servants’ Rooms and soak in their magnificent collection of ornamental art. Alternatively, you could also visit the Fashion Galleries, which feature wonderfully preserved historical clothing. Outside, the grounds cover eight acres and include everything from groomed gardens to an orchard and their famed bird garden.
Harewood House, the Earl of Harewood’s home, is a beautiful Georgian country house finished in 1771, after a 30-year construction period. This magnificent property is located approximately eight miles north of Leeds and features interiors by Robert Adam. The exquisite wall and ceiling paintings were made by Angelika Kauffmann, and furnishings by the famous English furniture designer, Thomas Chippendale.
It also boasts a considerable number of priceless masterpieces by Reynolds, Gainsborough, and El Greco, in addition to an extraordinary porcelain collection. On the outside, the grounds contain a Capability Brown-designed environment, including a 32-acre lake, a beautiful bird garden, and the remnants of a 12th-century castle.
The National Coal Mining Museum for England
The National Coal Mining Museum of England is yet another one of the famous tourist attractions in Leeds. This first-rate site in the former Caphouse Colliery in Overton is just a 10-minute drive from Wakefield. This museum highlights the difficult lives of the workers at one of the oldest existing coal mines in the country (since the 1770s).
Guided subterranean tours and a visitor centre with displays about the colliery’s lengthy history are one of the highlights. For the youngsters, don’t forget to take a ride on one of the “paddy” trains that used to transport employees around the massive construction site.
So there you have it, 7 of the best tourist attractions in Leeds! Which one will you visit first?