"Leeds – A victorian city wakes up" Top 5 Page for this destination Leeds by Airpunk

Leeds Travel Guide: 631 reviews and 1,877 photos

The inspiration to travel to Leeds was quite simple. I was on the way from Hamburg to Amsterdam on which I normally use the late Ryanair flight to Lübeck and the early Easyjet flight from London/Stansted to Amsterdam. Usually, I sleep at Stansted but this time I chose to pay 20 more pounds, sleep in a coach instead of the airport and fly from Leeds. Jet2 would take me to Amsterdam. Anyway, the largest bonus was a full day in Leeds, a city of which I haven’t heard a lot before. I knew that the “Royal Armouries” is the most visited place in Leeds, but I also knew that I am not really interested in seeing a collection of weapons and uniforms. Time to explore this victorian city which is slowly taking its step into the 21st century:

My first impression of Leeds wasn’t really nice. I arrived at quarter to five in the morning and was looking for a place to leave my bag for the day. I did not found any lockers at the coach station so I took a walk to the train station where I was sure that there were baggage storage facilities. On the way, I listened to some announces (“Beware of pickpockets…”) and met some strange people asking me for cigarettes. At least, two students among them were very nice and friendly. Arriving at the train station, I noticed that there weren’t any lockers, but a desk which opened at 7:00 a.m. That meant two hours waiting…

Anyway, after I finally left my bag, I started to explore the city. Leeds was waking up, not only because it was just a few minutes after seven, but because of a city full of contrasts. It was here, where victorian age (in its most splendid way as well as in form of ruins) met 21st century. Two good examples were “The Calls” and the corn exchange. “The Calls” is a former harbour area which is turned into a modern place for business and livin, mostly by refurbishing old warehouses around the river Ayre. The corn exchange, a building from the late 19th century, is now a shopping center with alternative/surfer stores (unfortunately quite expensive…) and a café with a stage in the basement. I spent the day walking around in the city discovering more examples of victorian architecture which I found in “Victoria’s Quarter” for example, but also in some streets which did not found the way into the 21st century. This interesting contrast was rounded up by modern buildings and some gothic churches.

Among my personal top five things I did in Leeds was surely the visit to a fish and chips shop. After I tried this flagship of british cuisine a long time ago in Scotland, I really enjoyed it. It was served in a traditional way, with a lot of fries (and a lot of fat…) on a piece of paper. Awful looking, but DELICIOUS! I can’t remember the name nor the adress of thic location. Anyway, you should try this when you are in England.

At around half past three in the afternoon, I left the city center and took my bus to the airport. I haven’t really slept a lot during the last few hours so that I fell asleep in the bus (and woke up when I fell onto the lady sitting next to me – sorry again…). Counting alls my impressions of the city, I came to the conclusion that it was really worth to visit Leeds. After having visited Glasgow, Edingburgh and London I finally got a more authentic impression of Britain. Sometimes, I was thinking if I were the first foreign tourist since William the Conqueror (although I am not sure if William ever was in Leeds). Next time, I will expand my knowledge about West Yorkshire by visiting places like Kirkstall Abbey and Harewood House. And of course, I will also come back to enjoy a large serving of fish and chips.

one of the lesser beautiful streets...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:beautiful victorian architecture, authentic city life
  • Cons:not really made for visitors (also a pro:) )
  • In a nutshell:Where victorian age meets modern life
  • Last visit to Leeds: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (3)

  • traceyspacey's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2008 at 3:08 AM

    Hi, I have just moved to Leeds. Although I knew a little about Leeds, your page has filled in the rest. Thanks.

  • bankowskiboy's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2007 at 9:29 AM

    hi there airpunk,i liked your page on my home city leeds.very good and honest.next time you come to leeds,you must try yorkshire pudding.

  • Aug 29, 2005 at 1:53 PM

    Glad you were able to eventually leave your heavy bag in storage!


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