Leeds Railway Station
Leeds railway station is one of the busiest train stations in England outside the capital, with services running to destinations across the north of England, Scotland, the south west, the Midlands and London. Built in 1938, it has 17 platforms and handles nearly 28 million passengers a year – a number expected to reach more than 40 million by 2029.
Leeds itself is a thriving, vibrant city, home to around 760,000 people and bursting with shops, restaurants, nightlife and culture. Book one of our hotels near Leeds railway station and spend a few days exploring everything it has to offer.
Leeds is almost certainly Yorkshire’s best shopping centre. It has almost 1,000 stores and half a dozen indoor malls, including the Grand Arcade, full of independent retailers, and the Corn Exchange, which is also home to a number of independent stores. It is also a regular venue for vintage, craft and food fairs.
You’ll find high street brands and department stores, including a branch of Harvey Nichols, in Briggate, and around 70 luxury and designer brands in the 19th-century Grade II listed arcades of the Victorian Quarter. In the village of Churwell there’s another mall, the White Rose Shopping Centre, with more than 100 high street stores, some of which do not have branches in the city centre.
In the square you’ll also find Leeds City Museum, devoted to the history of the city, with sections on natural history, ancient artefacts and different cultures of the world. Exhibits range from a Roman mosaic and the Leeds Mummy to the museum’s centrepiece, the legendary Leeds Tiger. This creature, made of several tiger skin rugs sewn together and stuffed with straw to make it look like a real tiger, is held in such affection by the people of the city that when the museum proposed removing it, the Yorkshire Post ran a campaign to keep it.
Leeds Art Gallery
Another of the city’s major cultural attractions, Leeds Art Gallery, is home to works by Turner, Rembrandt, Whistler, Rego, Wyndham Lewis, Rodin, Gormley and many more. Its collection of 19th and 20th-century watercolours, drawings, sculpture, furniture and ceramics is designated by the government as being of national importance.
Fans of the UK’s second-longest-running soap will be delighted to hear that the Emmerdale Locations Tour starts and ends at the station. Although the soap is filmed on a closed set, the four-hour tour will take you to the major locations across West Yorkshire where it has been filmed, including the market town of Otley and the village of Esholt. You’ll drive past the farm where Emmerdale Farm was originally shot and visit the pub that was used for scenes in the Woolpack.
Leeds has more than 60,000 students and is one of the UK’s best places to go out, with a myriad of pubs, bars, clubs and live music venues. Club Mission, Mint Club and The Warehouse are all within walking distance of the station, as is gay pub The New Penny, and Millennium Square has a large number of bars and restaurants. And in vaults right under the station itself is The Hop, where you can enjoy free live music, real ale, cider and pies.
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