The riverside Royal Armouries is one of several unusual museums in the city – an exploration of military history, with brilliant displays of uniforms and real jousting by knights in armour. Leeds City Museum, on Millennium Square, tells the story of the town. Away from the city bustle, relax among exotic plants and animals at Tropical World in Roundhay Park, or take a trip out to stately Harewood House in wooded farm country on the edge of Leeds.
Leeds is a leading shopping city, especially for upmarket fashions and home furnishings, with elegant arcades leading off wide traffic-free shopping streets like Briggate. The arcades of the Victoria Quarter in the city centre have a luxurious feel, with leading international designers among the familiar high-street chains. The traditional Edwardian indoor Kirkgate Market, with over 800 traders, is a fun place to find bargains.
The richly restored Victorian splendour of Leeds Grand Theatre puts on a broad spectrum of variety shows, theatre, ballet and classical music, and is the home of northern England’s national opera company, Opera North. Leeds leads the way for late- night bars and nightclubs, with dozens of venues around city- centre streets The Calls and Briggate. Youthful Headingley, two miles away, is lively with affordable dining and popular pubs showcasing live entertainment.