5 Things to do on a Leeds Short Break

In April 2010 I took a 2 night Leeds short break, staying at the Hilton Leeds City. I was fortunate to have a local resident, Darren Cronian creator of My Life in Leeds to show me around the city. Here are my ideas for five things to do on a Leeds short break.

Royal Armouries

The Royal Armouries Leeds housing the national collection of arms and armour is one of the top Leeds attractions. It’s located at Clarence Dock and it’s free to get in. 

things to do in Leeds

The Royal Armouries from Knight’s Way bridge

Most days there are several live shows, many of them are also free.  The Interpretations are performed by actors, I attended the one about Annie Oakley and learned a lot about this famous female sharpshooter who was a star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.  The shows held in the Tiltyard arena such as Tudor Riding Skills and Falconry cost £1.50 for adults and £1 for kids.

things to do in Leeds

Armoured Elephant at the Royal Armouries

The Victoria Quarter

The Victoria Quarter with its beautiful arcades was originally designed by theatre architect Frank Matcham in the early 20th century.  It was renovated in the 1980s and is now known as the Knightsbridge of the North home to stores such as Harvey Nichols, Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith.My favourite arcade wasCounty Arcade.

things to do in Leeeds

In 1989 Queen Victoria Street was covered with the largest stained glass window in the UK, by artist Brian Clark.

things to do in Leeds

Queen Victoria Street with its stained glass roof

Leeds Waterfront

I had no idea that Leeds had a waterfront until I visited the city.Now I suppose that my impression was somewhat influenced by the pleasant sunny weather during my Leeds short break but I loved the Leeds waterfront.The regeneration of the area kicked off in the 1980s. There’s a mix of renovated old buildings and new builds.

There are several bars and restaurants with great views from either inside or outdoor seating.  I’d much rather sit outside next to a canal or river than on a pavement near a busy road.

View from Clarence Dock Leeds

View from Clarence Dock

The Leeds Waterfront Festival runs from 18 – 19 July 2010.  Granary Wharf is the location of a monthly Pannier Market which will include other outdoor arts activities such as  storytelling..

Leeds Art Gallery & Tiled Hall Cafe

I only had time for quick look around Leeds Art Gallery, which is free to enter.  The Tiled Hall Cafe is so beautiful and the thick slices of cakes in the cabinet looked very enticing. However, as I’d had a delicious breakfast at my hotel, the Hilton Leeds City, and was due to have lunch at Salvo’s at 1pm, so there was no way I could manage to eat cake.

things to do in Leeds

Tiled Hall Cafe at Leeds Art Gallery

Skylounge at the DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds

The 13th floor Skylounge at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Granary Wharf has amazing views over the city from the terrace.  It’s on the pricey side at £2.75 for a soft drink, £7.95 for a cream tea, however it’s a great vantage point.

things to do in Leeds

View from the DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds Skylounge

I was impressed by the city, especially the waterfront, so why not organise a Leeds short break to see it for yourself?

Click here for the lowest prices on Leeds hotels

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About Karen Bryan

Hello, I'm Karen Bryan, I created Europe a la Carte in 2002 to highlight the best places to visit in Europe with travel tips, photos and no fluff reviews. I’m also an artist; my artworks are often inspired by my travels