Leeds in a Day

Photo by Bryan Ledgard

Urban indulgence and brilliant local sculpture culture

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Start the day in Leeds, browsing opulent offerings from the likes of Mulberry, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood in the ornate Victoria Quarter, originally the Empire Theatre. For something less harsh on the bank balance, pop into The Corn Exchange to shop for independent goods under a vast, grade-I listed dome. Kirkgate Market in Vicar’s Croft dates from 1857 and is one of Europe’s largest indoor markets selling fresh food, flowers, jewellery and fashion with an outdoor Saturday farmers’ market.

Follow that with a visit to the Royal Armouries. One of the largest collections of historic arms and armour in the world, it’s comprised of the National Collection of Arms and Armour, the National Artillery Collection, and the National Firearms Collection. It’s also the Keeper of the Tower of London history. In the reign of Elizabeth I, selected items began to be arranged for display to visitors, making the Royal Armouries heir to one of the oldest curated visitor attractions in the country.

The Tiled Café at the Leeds Art Gallery and Central Library is another gem, magnificently arched and tiled. Connected to the Art Gallery is the award-winning exhibition venue, the Henry Moore Institute, part of the Henry Moore Foundation.

Next, travel on the M1 South to Wakefield (25 minutes) to visit The Hepworth Wakefield – one of the finest contemporary art museums in Europe. Wakefield’s collection of modern British art features some of the most significant British sculptors of the 20th Century including Barbara Hepworth who was born in Wakefield and Henry Moore, born in nearby Castleford.

Just 20 minutes south (A636/M1 Junction 38/A637 towards Huddersfield), is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – an international centre for modern and contemporary art, experienced and enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. Explore open-air displays by some of the world’s finest artists including Henry Moore, enjoy fascinating exhibitions throughout four stunning galleries and be inspired by the beauty of an historic estate. The centre is free to enter but be aware there are parking charges.

Itinerary courtesy of Visit Britian.

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