Leeds is a busy city with a great atmosphere and plenty of fun things to do during a weekend break. From museums and stately homes like Harewood House, to lively shopping malls like the Trinity Shopping Centre – Leeds has something for everyone. Leeds has fantastic parks and outdoor spaces like Roundhay Park, and the northern boundaries of the Peak District are under an hour’s drive away. Leeds is also the home of Leeds United FC, based at Elland Road stadium.
Hotels in Leeds
Leeds City Centre (Leeds Arena)
Leeds City Centre (Whitehall Road)
Leeds City Centre (Wellington Street)
Leeds City (Elland Road)
Leeds South (Birstall)
Leeds / Bradford Airport
Top 8 things to do in Leeds
With so much to do in the city, Leeds is great for weekend breaks for couples, families and visitors looking to see more of the UK. Below you’ll find some of our top tips for a Leeds weekend break.
Harewood House is an exquisite 18th century Georgian house with grounds covering over 100 acres of lush parkland. Visit Harewood House’s massive gallery, tour its stately rooms and even feed penguins and other exotic birds in the Bird Garden. Harewood House is only a 20-minute drive from our Leeds Headingley hotel.
Leeds is home to great museums like Leeds City Museum, which exhibits everything from Roman mosaics to Greek tombs, and the Royal Armouries Museum near the city centre, with fascinating exhibitions on the history of war, including weapons and armour from eras past.
With an electric atmosphere and a lively party scene, there’s some fantastic places for nights out in Leeds. Vice & Virtue near our Leeds Arena hotel serves delicious cocktails in a cool, contemporary atmosphere. For a more laidback evening, try The Cross Keys pub on Water Lane, with local ales and a cosy fireplace. For clubs visit Pryzm on Merrion Street with great house, R&B and disco tracks, or try Mission at Heaton’s Court with three floors of brilliant music.
Trinity Shopping Centre is full of designer stores, independent boutiques and high-street chains. Buy a new outfit, watch a film at the Trinity Leeds Everyman cinema and see the Briggate Minerva and Equus Altus sculptures, as well as other beautiful works of art.
Leeds has an eclectic food scene with culinary delights ranging from adventurous new treats to exciting spins on classics. Trinity Kitchen at the Trinity Shopping Centre is an innovative food court with delicious street food. Kirkgate Market and Briggate Farmers’ Market have stalls from around the world with great delicacies to be found.
The Leeds Grand Theatre is a striking gothic building that’s hosted shows like Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Grease on its grand stage. The Grand Theatre is also a popular venue for comedy gigs and concerts, there’s always something fun lined up at this iconic Leeds theatre.
There’s plenty to keep the kids occupied in Leeds, whether that’s skateboarding at The Works Indoor Skatepark, go-karting in the city centre at the Team Sport Centre, laser tag at Battlefield Leeds or abseiling, archery and assault courses at West Leeds Activity Centre.
Leeds FC have been based at Elland Road stadium for over 100 years, an iconic team in English league football. The stadium holds over 25,000 fans and doubles up as a great gig venue, having had the likes of Queen, U2 and the Kaiser Chiefs play at its grounds.
Headingley Stadium is made up of two grounds: Headingley Cricket Ground first opened in 1891 and is the home of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and Headingley Rugby Stadium, the base for the Leeds Rhinos league and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union teams. Even on days where no matches are held, there’s so much to explore in the stadium with regular tours and an amazing history to discover. Our Leeds Headingley hotel is under a mile away, ideal for catching a game without worrying about rushing home.
What is Leeds famous for?
Leeds is a vibrant, modern city with plenty of parks and green areas, and is well-known for its shopping, nightlife, sports and universities. Leeds First Direct Arena is a 13,500-capacity entertainment venue that draws visitors for sports and music performances, and the city’s many museums and galleries mean there’s a wide variety of cultural experiences to enjoy. The city is also the birthplace of a string of famous faces, including broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, comedian Vic Reeves and Spice Girl Mel B.
What are people from Leeds called?
Interestingly, people from Leeds are generally referred to as Loiners. The origin of this term is something of a mystery, although one theory suggests it could derive from Loidis, which was the 8th century name for the area.
What accent do they have in Leeds?
As a northern city in West Yorkshire, Leeds locals have a northern English accent.
Is Leeds a town or city?
Leeds is a city, with an estimated population of around 780,000.
How old is Leeds city?
Leeds as a village dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, with a population of around 200 people by the time of the Doomsday Book in 1086. It officially became a town in 1207 and in 1893 was upgraded to city status, following a boom in trade and entertainment venues opening in the area.
How big is Leeds?
After London and Birmingham, Leeds is the third largest city in the UK by population, as approximately 780,000 people live in the area. The city itself, as a Metropolitan borough, covers 213 square miles. While the boundary of the city centre has no formal definition, it’s extremely easy to explore by foot or short trips on public transport.
Is Leeds safe?
Leeds is mostly a safe city, particularly around the city centre. As with any city break, it’s worth keeping some common sense around you, particularly if staying out late to enjoy the city’s buzzing nightlife.
Where is Leeds Castle?
This is important to note – Leeds Castle is not in Leeds, Yorkshire, but instead about 230 miles south of the city in Maidstone, Kent. Many folks have fallen into the trap of confusing the two, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other historic attractions in Leeds city, including Harewood House, with 100 acres of gorgeous gardens, and charming Edwardian country estate, Lotherton Hall.
How do I get around Leeds?
With a network of bus, train and tram services running throughout the city, and local bike rental services from as little as £3.80 a day, you can easily explore Leeds in a variety of ways. A free water taxi service travels between Granary Wharf and Leeds Dock and is an excellent way of viewing the historic waterfront. For longer journeys, Leeds Bradford Airport is just seven miles outside the city centre.
Find out more about getting around Leeds with our guide.
Discover more about the city with our detailed Things to Do in Leeds guide.