Guest Post: An Insiders Tips on Leeds

Monday, 11 November 2013

I'm always amazed by all the talented people I meet on the blogosphere. One such person is the 22 year old Emma from Leeds who recently pitched a travel post for my blog. She loves to write, takes fab photographs and runs the travel blog InspiringTravel . She hopes to inspire people to get away and see the world and she shares her own experiences and travel tips on her website. Emma was kind enough to share her tops tips from her very own city and they are all very cool. Pay attention people! 
Leeds is a vibrant and lively city with everything from great shopping, to fab buildings, to interesting museums – it’s the perfect city if you fancy taking a day trip one weekend. The city is bustling with students and you’re sure to find some fantastic nightlife, but culture-lovers are also well catered for as well. It really all depends on the sort of things you like to do on a city visit, however there are definitely some must-see sights. 

When it comes to retail therapy, Leeds doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re a keen shopper or not, you can’t miss out on visiting the Victorian Quarter in the centre of Leeds. Not only is it packed with designer shops but you’ll also find some stunning architecture. The mosaic tiles, mahogany carvings and fountain are impressive to say the least. The Corn Exchange is also home to lots of boutique shops and is set in a wonderful circular hall with balconies all the way around. For something a little more contemporary, the brand new Trinity Shopping Centre opened in Leeds this year. Inside you’ll find all the major high street shops as well as Superdry’s northern flag ship store. Plus, you’ll be spoilt for choice for places to eat and drink.

Leeds is also renowned for its vintage clothes shops. Blue Rinse and Pop Boutique are popular favourites but there are plenty of others to choose from. The newly opened Handpicked Hall on Vicar Lane is a must for anyone who loves things which are quirky and handmade. Stop by for a cupcake and tea from a china teacup!

 If you’re a bit of a culture-vulture then it’s worth exploring some of the museums which Leeds has to offer. If you’re not too squeamish then head to the Thackray Medical Museum where you can learn about health and medicine throughout the ages. There’s even a recreation of a Victorian Leeds street complete with authentic sounds and smells! Art-lovers should also check out Leeds Art Gallery where you’ll find pieces by regional artists as well as works by renowned names such as Francis Bacon and Stanley Spencer. For a bite to eat, you should definitely check out the Victorian Tiled Hall Cafe which is filled with beautiful coloured tiles.

After a hard day of culture and sight-seeing you might be inclined to relax with a drink or two. It depends on the sort of atmosphere you enjoy, but you’ll definitely find some interesting and alternative bars. The Alchemist has recently opened in Trinity Shopping Centre where you can try out some amazing cocktails including ‘The Colour Changing One’ and ‘Bigals Hot Lemsip’ (you’ll soon notice the science theme!) For an even more unusual drinking setting, head to Dry Dock. This is literally a boat which has been turned into a bar – very cool. Other great bars include Nation of
Shopkeepers, Carpe Diem and Milo to name just a few. If clubbing is more your thing, you’ll find that Leeds has a pretty lively atmosphere as the night draws in. Clubs such as Tiger Tiger, Oceana and Halo (a night club set in a church) are popular among younger people but you’ll also find a good night out on Call Lane where there is a good variety of clubs and bars to choose from. 

Leeds is one of those cities where you’ll probably be quite content just having a wander around and seeing what you can find. It’s a friendly city with lots going on – needless to say you won’t be stuck for things to do!

A big thanks to Emma for her insightful post on her home town. I'm definitely adding a few of her tips to my to-do list for when I'm next up there.  For more travel tales, check out her fabulous blog Inspiring Travel! Ann x


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