A City of Culture
A Modern City with Industrial Roots
Growing quickly from industrial roots, Leeds is a city where history and modern development combine to create 21st century appeal. Leeds is in West Yorkshire, and can be traced back to the 5th century. During the Industrial Revolution, the city really came into its stride as a centre for the wool, flax, iron and engineering industries. In the last decade it has sprouted from modest foundations into the north’s glitzy home of modern technology and culture.
Updates to the city caused an influx of technology companies and internet start-ups, and Leeds is now home to a number of influential businesses. Areas that were once quiet and underdeveloped have been renovated to include the latest professional facilities and amenities. The latest in technological advances are used and worked on in offices here, making Leeds a popular destination for meetings and conferences.
Shopping opportunities are available in abundance, and for this reason Leeds has been unofficially nicknamed “the Knightsbridge of the North”. In a fashion characteristic of the city itself, the shopping centres are placed both within converted Victorian buildings and brand new, state-of-the-art centres. There are many notable shopping areas, including the Victoria Quarter, Trinity Leeds and the Corn Exchange, each offering a different taste of this very versatile city.
Apart from shopping, there are many pubs, clubs, restaurants and entertainment venues to enjoy. There are many fine dining establishments, and a wealth of well-respected chains across this modern city. Those craving something more can take in musical shows at the O2 Academy Leeds, head to the Grand Theatre, or enjoy a performance by the Northern Ballet group. There are also a number of clubs and, due to one of the largest student populations in the country, there is a lively nightlife scene. The Millennium Square and Civic areas hold most of the entertainment venues, and many visitors to the city choose to head there for their evening activities. Quieter nightlife offerings are also available, and as Leeds is known for its real ale, there are plenty of charming and rustic pubs serving local brews.
Celebrations are not taken lightly in Leeds, and there are many events enjoyed with great vigour and enthusiasm. The Leeds Carnival is the oldest West Indian Carnival in Western Europe, and rivals Notting Hill Carnival in size. There are stalls, processions and musical acts throughout the three days, and there are usually around 100,000 attendees. There is also the Leeds Asian Festival, the Leeds International Film Festival, and the Victorian Christmas Fayre.
Leeds has a reliable and extensive public transport service, plus a number of rail and road links to neighbouring towns and cities. In the centre of Leeds, the primary source of transportation comes from buses. First Leeds and Arriva Yorkshire have routes which extend to each corner of the city, and the colourful bus map seen at stops is a good reminder of the city’s contemporary edge and vibrancy. In the spirit of continued growth and development, it is also anticipated that Leeds will play a very big part in the upcoming installation of high-speed trains in the UK.