Leeds Essentials

Catch a Show

Leeds is home to four outstanding theatres and the award winning first direct arena, as well as being one of the only cities outside London to boast an Opera House and Ballet company; Opera North and Northern Ballet. Whether it’s a ballet at West Yorkshire Playhouse, comedy at Carriageworks Theatre or the charming Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, or a superstar at the arena; there’s a show for everyone!


Leeds has a wealth of new developments and has become a shopper’s paradise. Described by The Lonely Planet Guide to Britain as the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’, Leeds has consistently been ranked as one of the UK’s top five retail destinations.

With wonderfully diverse shopping combined with quirky boutiques, high-end luxury as well as the big name high street brands means there really is something for everyone.

With shops housed in beautiful arcades and listed buildings, and a centre that can be covered on foot in a few hours, Leeds offers a shopping experience like no other UK city. It’s why people travel for miles to shop here.


Leeds is a city steeped in history and heritage that can still be discovered today. Explore the history of the city at Leeds City Museum in the Leeds Story Gallery, from the first archaeological finds to changing community displays reflecting people’s lives in the city today. Or visit Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills; the Galleries and collections tell the story of number of industries that have shaped the city we know and love today, from the recreated Victoria Cottages through to the waterwheel.

Leeds’ historic Kirkgate Market, part of which is a Grade I listed building dating from 1875, is one of the largest covered markets in Europe and is open 6 days a week. Kirkgate Market is also where Marks & Spencer was born - Michael Marks opened his Penny Bazaar there in 1884.


Leeds has played host to a number of unforgettable international sporting events including BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Yorkshire Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France and Rugby World Cup 2015. The excitement doesn’t stop there with the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon taking place in the city in June 2016.

Leeds has a strong sporting heritage and in the early 20th Century was known as a rugby town. This passion for the sport was highlighted when it hosted Rugby World Cup 2015. Headingley Stadium, just ten minutes from the city centre, is one of the world’s best known cricket stadiums and 2015 saw even more international cricket grace the hallowed wicket of Headingley. Leeds offers impressive sports grounds and stadiums, including the 40,000 capacity Elland Road Football Stadium and 22,000 capacity Headingley Stadium, regularly playing host to some of the world’s biggest sporting names. The city is also home to several highly regarded sports teams, including the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds Rhinos, Leeds Carnegie and Leeds United A.F.C. June 2016 will also see Leeds being host to the ITU World Triathlon Series. This will be an opportunity to see Team GB triathletes swim, bike and run on home soil before they compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Discover More: Leeds & West Yorkshire.