48 Hours In Leeds

Tuesday 16th April 2019
Imagine spending a weekend in a hedonistic blur of great food, amazing drink, superb coffee and self-indulgent shopping. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, want no longer – Leeds offers all that and more. Join us as we custom pick our ideal things to do in Leeds for a great weekend.
After you’ve hopped off the train, found your accommodation and checked out the quality of the complimentary bath soaps it’s time, surely, for a coffee and some breakfast.

COFFEE STOP

Laynes Espresso
16 New Station Street, LS1 5DL

Just a couple of strides from the station, Laynes is brilliant at coffee, and also brilliant at vegan brekkie options (like Welsh Rarebit with Henderson’s Relish).

La Bottega Milanese
Bond Court, LS1 2JZ
The Light, LS1 8TL

Is another fine breakfast stop off. It has two venues (Bond Street and The Light) and both are minimalist temples to amazing Italian food and knockout coffee.


Shopping in Leeds


There’s more to Leeds than shopping… but then, there is a lot of shopping to Leeds. The city centre has (deep breath) 3.5 million square feet of retail space, five miles of shopping streets and one of the largest pedestrian shopping areas in the country.

Right, there’s a lot to get through here so this is your whistle-stop tour of the incredible mass of shopping in Leeds:

Kirkgate Market
Vicar Lane, LS2 7HY

This iconic Grade I listed market is the largest indoor market in Europe and is packed with, bargains. It even hosts events like the Leeds Record and Book Fair (on the second Saturday of every month).
Kirkgate Market Leeds © Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds

Leeds Corn Exchange
Call Lane, LS1 7B

This Grade I beautifully-domed shopping hub is a palace of eclectic indie shops and great food stops.
Corn Exchange Exterior © Simon Dewhurst
LCC Corn Exchange

Trinity Leeds
Albion Street, LS1 5ER

Housed under a giant iconic glass roof, Trinity Leeds is located in the heart of the city and is home to over 120 shops, bars and restaurants and Trinity Kitchen.

Victoria Leeds
Briggate, LS1 6AZ

The stunning Victoria Quarter arcades have a rich history dating back over 100 years. The breath-taking stained glass roof runs the full length of Queen Victoria Street and is the largest stained glass window in Britain! Here you’ll find elite emporiums such as Harvey Nichols and Paul Smith for that special something.

There’s all this, but there’s still more. We haven’t time to list all the other arcades that criss-cross the city. There’s Thornton’s, Queens, Grand and Central Arcade all within a short walk of each other. Shop. Drop. Stop for lunch…
Thorntons Arcade © Hannah Webster

Where to go for lunch in Leeds

Trinity Kitchen
Trinity Leeds, LS1 5ER

Every few weeks five new street food vans turn up at Trinity Leeds to give punters a unique rotating menu that’s very popular with the locals.

Bundobust
6 Mill Hill, LS1 5DQ

This is another likely lunch spot and it offers a wonderful modern twist on Indian street food, and, if you’re having a jolly, they also stock amazing craft beers and a good wine list too.

Museums in Leeds
Leeds Art Gallery Leeds Museums and Galleries

Leeds city centre has a ton of distractions to be lured by, and the recently refurbed Leeds Art Gallery is a firm favourite – it punches way above its weight with a brilliant collection. The Henry Moore Institute celebrates (like its namesake) amazing sculpture and has a programme that changes year-round featuring both historical and contemporary works. Finally, Leeds City Museum is a fun, family-sized afternoon’s worth of interactive galleries to play around in.
Leeds City Museum © Leeds Museums and Galleries

Evening Drinks

After a day of wandering and wondering, it’s probably time to take the weight off your mind and take some refreshment, these are just a couple of the best bars in Leeds.

Headrow House
Bramleys Yard, The Headrow, LS1 6PU

Taking in the sights and sounds of the city (and potentially posting the former to Instagram) Headrow House, with its rooftop gardens, is a brilliant spot to look out over the heart of Leeds.

The Domino Club
7 Grand Arcade, LS1 6PG

New to Leeds, this speakeasy-style bar offers live jazz, blues, funk and soul and epic cocktails.

Cocktails in East 59th
Victoria Gate, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Ludgate Hill, Leeds LS2 7AU

More cocktails abound at this Manhattan-style bar and grill. There are regular DJ events too, so you can dance along in the glow of the city lights.

Dining Out

We talked about the wonder that is The Man Behind The Curtain in a previous blog post. It’s one of the best restaurants in Leeds – and reason enough to head to the city on its own – but there are plenty more delicious dining opportunities. Here are just two to think about:

Ox Club
Bramleys Yard, The Headrow, LS1 6PU

This contemporary, solid-fuel, grill restaurant has been attracting a lot of attention. Jay Rayner’s review ended: “they know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it at a reasonable price too.”

Issho
Victoria Gate, Eastgate, LS2 7AU

This modern Japanese rooftop restaurant & bar in Victoria Gate offers contemporary dishes served at tables for two, and booths for groups, plus there’s counter-seating where you can watch the chefs at work while you devour the rewards.

SUNDAY

Once you’ve had your Sunday lie in, it’s time to get your energy levels up again. Time for breakfast.

Fettle Café
73 Great George Street, LS1 3BR

Fettle offers punters a relaxed vibe with a locally-sourced, organic menu – it even serves a full English alongside the smashed avocado and rice pudding. Treat yourself.

Right, now you’ve had your fill it’s time to excite the grey matter with one of the country’s most unsung museums.

Royal Armouries
Armouries Drive, LS10 1LT
Royal Armouries Museum Leeds View of the War Gallery © Richard Davies

The National Museum of Arms and Armour is 1) five floors of fascinating military history, 2) right on the banks of the Aire and 3) Free.
  

Sunday lunch in Leeds

After a relaxing breakfast and a nice leisurely stroll then, in our book, it's time for a wonderful Sunday Roast – if you concur, this is our tip.

Matt Healy x The Foundry
1 Saw Mill St, Leeds LS11 5WH

Matt is a Masterchef: The Professionals runner up and here he serves up sharing boards of Roast Sirloin of Beef & Roast Chicken or Mushroom Wellington with all the trimmings. Pretty much slamming the Sunday lunch nail right on the head.


There are so many things to do in Leeds that we’ve barely had space to list some of our faves. Maybe it’s time you filled in the gaps yourself and booked an Advance Train Ticket to Leeds today.