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What to see in/near Leeds

We're spending a night/following day in Leeds for a concert (traveling to/from London). What would you recommend we see/do in a half-day in Leeds? I know that's a very short amount of time, but our focus for this trip, aside from this concert, is London.

Thank you

Posted by
1260 posts

Harewood House is nearby and stunning. However, I'm guessing you are travelling by rail and, without a car, it may not be practical in the time available of only half a day (perhaps taxi? But that might be dear).
Temple Newsam is interesting and might be on a regular bus route. Or Kirkstall Abbey which is delightful and is definitely on a very regular bus route and close to the city centre.
But with limited time, you might prefer to stay in the city. In which case, the Royal Armouries Museum is okay and perhaps a walk around Leeds itself - for example the Victoria arcades (not sure the official name), and around that quarter. If you're interested in sculpture, Henry Moore came from there and there is his and other sculptors work in the Arts Gallery and next door Moore Institute.

Posted by
750 posts

Harewood House is well worth a visit. Bus 36 from Leeds Bus Station (destination Ripon and Harrogate) stops at the Harewood Arms Hotel, then a 15-20 minute walk. Frequent service and a lovely walk if the weather is fine.

Posted by
1047 posts

Armouries museum within walking distance of centre is definitely worth a visit especially if demonstrations in the tilt yard outside are going on.

The arcades referred to are the ‘Victoria Quarter’ which features swanky shops including a branch of Harvey Nicks which (largely) run off Briggate.

For a snack/coffee/tea break visit the Tiled Hall Cafe in the Art Gallery/Library building next to the Town Hall (which you can’t miss!). There used be tours of the Town Hall but there is some renovation going on there currently so I’m not sure if they are still on. There are free chamber music concerts at College of Music 1.00 - 2.00 pm - not every day though - you can pick up leaflets for these.

Kirkstall Abbey (ruins of Cistercian monastery built 1215) are situated implausibly just out of the City Centre by the River Aire and are about as far as you could sensibly travel by bus and back in half a day. The Abbey House Museum across the road is also worth a visit and also has a cafe attached which you can visit separately from the museum.

I’m a born and bred ‘Loiner’ (native of Leeds) so if there’s anything else you see that might float your boat, then feel free to ask! I have said in these very pages before that while Leeds is hardly ‘tourist central’ it does have its charms!

Ian

Posted by
1047 posts

As a sort of PS, it occurs to me that there are quick, direct trains from Leeds to Saltaire, a UNESCO world heritage site. A look round the enormous mill building with its Hockney based galleries is well worth a visit, especially if the weather is not the best. There are other shops too there inside and around the mill so if you’ve ever wanted to own a Celtic harp or mediaeval viol or tabor, well, you’d be in luck!

Ian

Posted by
6113 posts

If you only have half a day, then you don’t really have time for Harewood House. I went to Saltaire a few weeks ago and we spent about 4 hours there including lunch (the top floor restaurant was far less busy than the first floor place). During this time, we also pottered along the canal towpath and round the village in addition to spending time at the mill and seeing the Hockney paintings.

The Royal Armouries Museum would be my suggestion if you want to stay in Leeds.

Posted by
861 posts

Another vote for the Royal Armouries. It is also free to visit...