Welcome to Leeds

Leeds is one of the UK’s fasting growing metropolitan cities and is officially the UK’s second largest economy and second largest financial centre after London. The city centre is home to the perfect mix of the world’s best restaurant chains and independent cosmopolitan bars for all tastes and preferences. The new Victoria Gate is another addition to Leeds’ bustling shopping haven where shopaholics immerse themselves at retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss.

Home to the Royal Armouries, Leeds City Museum, Henry Moore Institute and West Yorkshire Playhouse, the city is packed with leisure and tourism attractions to satisfy the cultural tastes of its 780,000 residents. In addition to this, the 11.5 million annual visitors (who stay overnight or visit on day trips) also enjoy everything the city has to offer.

History of Leeds

Loidis, the ancient name for Leeds, was first mentioned in a book called Historia Ecclesiastica, a book that served to collate the history of the Anglo Saxon people. The book was written by Saint Bede and it is thought it was published in the year 731. In 1207 it is documented that Loidis gained it’s first charter from Maurice de Gant and was by then a thriving place to be. In more recent history, in the 17th and 18th century,  the woolen industry ensured Leeds became a prosperous mill town that took full advantage of the opportunities offered by the industrial revolution.

Geography of Leeds

Leeds is in Yorkshire and is approximately 169 miles north of London. It has a thriving city centre and incorporates bustling market towns such as Pudsey and Morley, suburban areas like Alwoodley and Chapel Allerton, and also swathes or beautiful countryside that can be found around areas such as Otley.

Demographics of Leeds

The population of the City of Leeds is estimated to be around 780,000. The makeup of the population is diverse with many different ethnicities and religions being reported at the time of the most recent census.

Economy of Leeds

From humble beginnings when Leeds was first written about in 731, Leeds is now a hub for the financial and business service industries. Leeds is reportedly the fastest growing city in the UK with an economy that is forecasted to grow by 21% over the next 10 years.

Transport in Leeds

Leeds has fantastic transport links with the M1 motorway being a direct link for drivers travelling from London. Leeds train station connects the city to the rest of the UK, with regular departures to London. The new HS2 service will also run through Leeds, further improving travel times for those who make use of the trains for business and pleasure. There are also regular buses in place.

Schools and Education in Leeds

Leeds is home to three major universities. Leeds University is part of the Russell Group and has notable alumni such as Jack Straw, who was a former Secretary of State. Leeds Beckett and Leeds Trinity Universities two the two other higher education facilities in the city which draw in many students from across the UK and further afield. There are many primary and high schools across the city which make it a great place for families to live.

Arts and Culture in Leeds

Leeds boasts an impressive range of art and cultural events. The Henry Moore institute is dedicated to celebrating sculpture, as is the Yorkshire Sculpture park that is a short distance from Leeds in Wakefield. Harewood House is a stately home that offers access to the house and it’s grounds and has a vast calendar of activities and events throughout the year. The Leeds Chapeltown annual carnival has the accolade of being the oldest running West Indian carnival in Europe. There are many diverse art and cultural events that happen regularly across the city and there is truly something for everybody.

Things to do in Leeds

Leeds City Centre offers a vibrant shopping experience and many fabulous places to eat, drink and enjoy the nightlife. The John Lewis store is part of a brand new shopping arcade called Victoria Gate which houses a casino and lots of high end places for shopping and eating. The Victoria Quarter is another arcade which has lots of designer boutiques and big named shops. The Trinity shopping centre has hundreds of shops and the Trinity Kitchen within the shopping centre is an open planned street food styled venue which offers a welcoming environment to grab some food and recharge. There are many independent restaurants and as the city expands it seems there are new places opening up all the time to cater to the myriad of different tastes of the Leeds population.