Welcome to Leeds
Not very long ago the West Yorkshire city of Leeds was a grim,
grey industrial town, which visitors could well describe as the
'dead centre' of England, and not just because of its location. In
little more than a decade, however, Leeds has enjoyed an economic
boom and its transformation has earned it accolades from all
quarters; it is now recognised as one of Europe's most successful
cities. Along with this has come a tide of tourism, spurred along
recently by a 'UK's favourite city' award from Conde Nast Traveller
Leeds currently attracts an average 1.4 million sleep-over
visitors a year, and 18 million more who come on day trips. The
reasons they come to Leeds are many and varied, because this is a
city with plenty to offer, from its renowned wild nightspots to its
cultural events, and its abundant shopping to its fascinating
collection of museums.
For shopaholics Leeds is pure paradise, its retail areas like
the Victoria Quarter, Corn Exchange, Headrow Centre and Leeds
Shopping Plaza packed with top quality big name stores. With
development ongoing, shopping opportunities are continually getting
bigger and better. For culture vultures Leeds offers major national
and international theatre, dance, opera and music events in a
variety of top-class venues, as well as a major art gallery housing
an important collection of traditional and contemporary British
Among the city's dozens of museums there is the intriguing
Thackray, offering a vivid insight into Victorian medical
practices; the Amley Mills, housed in an old woollen mill and
demonstrating industrial and railway history; and the Royal
Armouries, oldest museum in the UK, containing a fascinating
collection of ancient weaponry and torture instruments.
Plenty to do and see means there is never a dull moment in
Leeds, and at night the action shifts to the hundreds of pubs,
bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Some of the live band venues,
like The Cockpit, Joseph's Well and The Wardrobe, are
internationally renowned; not for nothing is the city recognised as
one of the UK's clubbing capitals - Leeds' nightlife is
Sharing access to the nearby international airport is the
neighbouring historic Yorkshire city of Bradford, also a vibrant,
cosmopolitan city offering plenty to amuse and entertain visitors.
Bradford has attractions like the National Media Museum with its
Imax cinema, and industrial museum, and a splendid art gallery
contained in beautiful Lister Park.
These two complementary Yorkshire cities, with their packed
calendars of festivals and events, have become the beating heart of
Information & Facts
Leeds experiences typical English weather with a mixture of
gloriously sunny days and overcast weather. During the summer (May
to September) Leeds has plenty of sunshine with mild weather, while
winters can be long, damp and cold when snow and frost is not
uncommon. Spring is the best time to visit Leeds when the weather
tends to be fairly mild from March to May.
English is the official language, though visitors will be
astonished by the variety of regional accents.
The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100
pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and
American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards
should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign
currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels,
however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.
Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by
tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid
Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).