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One of the plus points of the situation we’re all in is that many people have enjoyed experiencing their own local area, discovering hidden gems and new favourites. So as restrictions start to ease, why not become a tourist in your own city? This is a time to enjoy what’s on your doorstep, rediscover Leeds and take a fresh look at what many people enjoy seeing on their first visit!

Leeds has an amazing blend of old and new architectural styles. Did you know, their exquisite Victorian arcades rival those in Milan and Budapest? Each has a unique atmosphere and identity; from the magnificent Victoria Quarter with its ornate marble and mosaics, to the Grand Arcade, one of the oldest arcades in the city and featuring an amazing Potts Clock with Robin Hood and his merry men taking a bow every hour.

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Leeds Mural
Leeds Mural. Photo by Leeds City Council

How long is it since you’ve wandered into Leeds Kirkgate Market; one of the largest indoor markets in Europe? It’s a shoppers’ paradise – on your doorstep! The market is full of history and character, with everything from fresh food and flowers, to hardware and haberdashery. The Market Kitchen has a vibrant mix of street food and is the perfect place to pick up lunch or a tasty treat. But it’s the friendly faces of the traders and the vibrant atmosphere that make it one of a kind.

You don’t have to venture far to immerse yourself in more of Leeds’ history; the Leeds Corn Exchange is Grade 1 listed and is one the finest in the city. Look out for the intricate detail and sheaves of corn set within the huge domed roof. It’s also home to a number of wonderful independents, and the perfect place to start exploring the shopping in Leeds. Whilst you’re taking in the architectural delights of your fantastic city there are further notable buildings you don’t want to miss, look out for Leeds Town Hall, Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds Cathedral and City Square – the list goes on!

Leeds Station and Athena Rising Mural
Leeds Station and Athena Rising Mural. Photo by Carl Milner Photography for VisitLeeds

To complement the fascinating buildings, there are plenty of open spaces to relax or picnic in; enjoy greenery in Park Square, St John’s Gardens or Queens Square, watch the world go by on the waterfront, or take in the stunning surrounding buildings from the benches at Millennium Square or Victoria Gardens.

Did you know that Leeds has striking street art throughout the city? Be sure to take a look as you explore, or follow their street art trail and encounter all the distinctive designs. A walk along Leeds’ waterfront provides a glimpse into the city’s industrial past, as historic mills rub shoulders with modern structures like the Royal Armouries, with wildlife along the way. Keep your eyes open for the unique Leeds Owls, download the Leeds Owl Trail map and uncover the history of the city’s owls.

Leeds Corn Exchange
Leeds Corn Exchange Photo by Carl Milner Photography for Leeds City Council

After all this exploring you’ll be sure to have worked up an appetite. The food and drink scene in Leeds is some of the best in the country and many bars and restaurants are open once again to welcome you back.

And one of the brilliant features of Leeds is that you can walk everywhere and it’s safe and friendly. Leeds City Council are working hard to make sure their public spaces are safe and ready for you to visit. You’ll find hand sanitising stations in all major public areas and key information on social distancing – read more about what is in place here.

If you’re visiting by public transport, you can plan your journey here or if you’re driving, you’ll find plenty of car parks in the city centre.

Check out their A-Z Guide of visiting Leeds as restrictions start to lift – so you know what to expect.

Why not #RediscoverLeeds this summer; you’ll find a warm welcome waiting for you.

Leeds Town Hall
Leeds Town Hall. Photo by Carl Milner Photography for Visit Leeds
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