Things to do in West Yorkshire

Activities, attractions and tours
Leeds Park Square featuring heritage architecture and a park

Top things to do in West Yorkshire



Top places to visit

1. University of Leeds

Renowned for its research and teaching, the University of Leeds is also set apart by its campus, which unites a variety of divergent architectural styles in a celebration of British architecture throughout the 20th century. Grouped on well-manicured lawns just outside the Leeds city center, it welcomes more than 30,000 students each year from a variety of backgrounds. The university was the first in the region to accept women, Catholics and other disadvantaged groups. Go on a walking tour of its many striking buildings and have a picnic on the grass, as you watch the students go past.
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Late Victorian and award-winning brutalist and modernist architecture house the classes and students of Leeds’ namesake university, established in 1904.

2. First Direct Arena

When First Direct Arena opened in 2014, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John set a high bar for the quality of artists who would appear here. Since then, a huge variety of entertainers have come, from Drake and Miley Cyrus to championship boxing matches to beloved local acts such as the Kaiser Chiefs. Don’t miss any of the action in the arena’s fan-shaped configuration. It is unique in the U.K., with the rear seats only 230 feet (70 meters) from the stage, rather than the usual 330 feet (100 meters).
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Its honeycombed exterior glowing like a beacon at night, Leeds’ modern music venue draws crowds nightly to its shows featuring local and international stars.

3. Harewood House

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Harewood House, a popular green space in Harewood. Visit the area's shops or amble around its university campus.
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Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Harewood House, a popular green space in Harewood. Visit the area's shops or amble around its university campus.

4. O2 Academy Leeds

One of the city’s most popular venues for music gigs, O2 Academy Leeds is based in the historic Coliseum. This iconic site has long been at the core of the city’s cultural events, having hosted political meetings, variety shows and a circus. Go to see some of your favorite groups and solo artists in this majestic arena.
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If music is your religion, this impressive entertainment venue may become your place of worship; its Gothic façade even looks like a church.

5. Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park is a public park with a wide diversity of environments and manicured gardens to discover. Find a selection of formal gardens, two picturesque lakes, a sports arena, a Greek-revival mansion and a collection of greenhouses that mimic different climates from around the world when you explore this 700 -acre (2.8-square-kilometer) park.
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One of the largest city parks in Europe has a huge expanse of parkland, woods, lakes, gardens and lush tropical glasshouses to explore and enjoy.

6. Leeds Grand Theatre

A historic venue in the heart of the city, the Leeds Grand Theatre offers an eclectic program of opera, ballet and musicals. Dating back to the late 19th century, the landmark stands out with its redbrick façade covered in Romanesque and Scottish baronial designs. Attend a performance in the majestic setting of the theater’s 1,550-seater auditorium.
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The Gothic features of this tiered theater make a glorious setting for the diverse array of plays, music gigs and stand-up acts that are performed on its stage.

7. Royal Armouries

The Royal Armouries Museum is a comprehensive museum that displays a vast collection of weaponry spread across six galleries. Explore the extensive galleries and find displays of arms and armor organized into intriguingly curated exhibitions. Check out over 2,500 objects in the Hall of Steel or learn about the art of warfare and the history of hunting. Catch a live demonstration of jousting at the Tiltyard.
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Discover the world of weaponry at this purpose-built museum, which contains the national collection of arms and armor from throughout the ages.

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