For an unforgettable weekend in Leeds, follow our city guide to get the most out of your trip. Northern run regular trains right into the city centre, so whatever type of weekend you’re looking for, it couldn’t be easier.
Known for its hustle and bustle this Yorkshire city offers something for all ages thanks to its network of well-known and independent shopping arcades, restaurants, bars, and famous sports venues. With something new popping up every week, there’s never been a better time to jump on a Northern train and explore Leeds and its surrounding areas. Follow our below itinerary for the best way to spend a weekend in Leeds.
Friday in Leeds
After arriving in Leeds Visit the Leeds City Museum then take the free water taxi from Leeds dock (behind the train station) to the spectacular Royal Armouries or give the newly revamped Leeds Art Gallery a visit.
In the late afternoon, for a touch of retail therapy visit the Briggate shopping centre, home to all the big-name stores from House of Fraser to Harvey Nichols. For European-style shopping, take a walk through the über glamourous Victoria Gate centre and check out the latest offerings from Cos, & Other Stories and Tommy Hilfiger.
However if excellent independent shopping is more your thing, then take a wander through Thornton Arcade, Queen’s Arcade and the Victoria Quarter. Stop by the tiny but wonderful Two Boys Brew for a glass of craft beer for a thoroughly deserved post lunch treat. Then check out the Welcome Skate store for the original “Don’t Mess with Yorkshire” threads and prepare to be shocked and delighted by Mary Shortle’s iconic doll shop.
For a slightly alternative Friday night, Oxygen, a trampoline park just ten minutes’ walk from Burley Park station, is always bouncing on a Friday. Open until 9pm on Fridays only, the park hosts fitness classes, parties and trampolining courses, providing a fun way to get fit and do something different with friends.
Five minutes’ walk from Leeds station on Bond Street you’ll find Roxy Lanes, a favourite hangout among locals. The boutique city centre bowling alley is also known for its fantastic food menu – try the mouth-watering Roxy Beast Burger and be sure to order a round of their famous Sloppy Joe Fries! On your way back to the station stopping at sister venue Roxy Ballroom is a must – unwind with ping pong, pool and mini golf after a long week - prices start from just £5.00 at peak times.
Just two stops from Leeds Central Station (or a 35-minute walk if you’re feeling energetic), Headingley is the vibrant student suburb of Leeds and is packed with cute cafes and quirky stores, the perfect way to spend a relaxing Saturday morning.
Grab a coffee at café Lento on North Lane or visit Ian, the local artisan baker for some homemade Yorkshire parkin. Feeling peckish? Grab a bite to go at I Am Doner, whose special street cart fries are quickly becoming a Leeds lunch institution. Discover more Leeds restaurants and bars when planning your weekend.
It’s also where to find Yorkshire Carnegie Stadium, home ground of Leeds Rhinos rugby and the Yorkshire Cricket tea, a lovely Saturday afternoon activity for the sport lovers.
Bellies full, wander back towards the city centre and stop off at the Brudenell Social Club, a old working-man’s club that happens to be the best live music venue in Leeds. The club is split into 3 rooms, a 400 capacity concert room, a bar area and a games room. The club has played hosts to Franz Ferdinand, The Kaiser Chiefs and The Cribs over the years and labelled as ‘a primary cog in the Leeds music scene’ the Brudenell Social Club is a Saturday night staple.
If you’re wondering what’s on in Leeds on a Saturday, we’ve got you covered.
Hipster hotspot Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen hosts Belgrave Feast on the 2nd Saturday of each month. With a changing monthly theme from vegan fare to BBQ goodness to sweet treats, the event is free, family friendly and irresistibly delicious!
Kirkgate Market is one of the largest covered markets in Europe and is a Leeds institution. There is always something to see, do, buy and eat here and the market is home to many local Leeds characters.
• 1st Saturday of each month: Leeds Vintage Fair
• 2nd Saturday of each month: Leeds Record Fair
For a Sunday morning regeneration, yoga is a great way to unwind after a long week and a night out. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Yoga Hero in Clarence Dock holds a number of evening classes that are suitable for a range of abilities. Single class drop ins start from £5.00 but there are also a range of different courses available if you decide to go on a regular basis. Take a look at the website for timetables and further information.
With so much surrounding beauty, Leeds is perfect if you fancy stretching your legs and getting out of the bustling city for the day. If you’re looking for places to walk in Leeds, just three miles from the busy shopping streets you’ll find the picturesque Kirkstall Abbey, a ruined Cistercian Monastery surrounded by a haven of greenery and wildlife.
The stunning public park offers a fabulous day out for the whole family thanks to its array of activities and trails which run throughout the whole year. And even better, getting there from Leeds station couldn’t be easier. Whether you fancy hopping on the train to Kirkstall Forge Station, just one stop from Leeds or would rather walk the scenic, hour-long walk along the canal, either way it’s a day out not to be missed.
A weekend in Leeds without sampling Yorkshire’s finest export would be almost blasphemous, but of course only the finest will do. After you’ve worked up quite the appetite, a Sunday roast at The Brunswick is the perfect way to round off your trip. A 3 story pub on North Street that’s famed for it’s Yorkshire puddings and Sunday roasts, for as little as £10.50 with cocktails to match.
For a traditional Sunday lunch experience, The Cross Keys is the only pub in Leeds to feature in the Michelin Guide’s Eating Out in Pubs 2017 (alongside a host of other accolades). Cosy crannies, alluring alcoves and roaring fires help transport you away from the noise of the city, complete with locally produced food ideal for that long-lasting Sunday Lunch.
Photo credit: North Bar
Wondering what’s on in Leeds on a Sunday? You may know Leeds’ Briggate as its main shopping street, full to the brim with shops and eateries, but did you know twice a month the famous shopping street which runs through the centre of the city is home to a pop-up Farmers Market. Offering an array of freshly baked breads, hog roast sandwiches, handmade cakes, local ales and specialist cheeses, it’s a great alternative if you’re looking for places to eat in Leeds city centre on a Sunday or pick up treats for later. Whether you make it for breakfast or just for an afternoon cake, Briggate Farmers market runs between 10am-4pm on the first and third Sunday of the month and is a must have if you’re in Leeds for the weekend.
Ready to go? Book an advance ticket to Leeds today and save up to 60% on train travel to Leeds. Advance tickets are available up to 23.59 the day before travel, so spend less on travel and more on days out.