Sun shines on a city street in the centre of Leeds, England
Photo by chas B  –  Link

Leeds

England

The bustling city of Leeds in northern England's Yorkshire county is known for its prestigious university, popular summer music festival and world-class football team. But there's more to this ancient city than just sports and students; it may not be a mainstream tourist destination, but that's exactly why it's worth discovering if you're looking for a weekend trip from London (it's 2.5 hours away by train) or a new city break spot.

Leeds is home to free museums, fun cultural events and lots of reasonably priced bars and restaurants, so it won't break the bank to plan a trip here. In fact, in 2003 it was voted the UK's favourite city in Conde Nast's Readers' Traveller Awards.

Things to do

While Leeds is the third largest city in England, its compact city centre makes it easy to get to know on foot. Have a walk around and find your way to Leeds Town Hall, a stately Grade II-listed 19th-century building that hosts concerts, weddings and graduation ceremonies for the university. Check the Town Hall website in advance to see if there are any events on during your trip. You'll also want to visit Millennium Square, a cultural hub where major events take place throughout the year.

If you're in need of retail therapy, look no further than Victoria Quarter, an extremely ornate indoor shopping centre with all the best high street shops. Trinity Leeds, which is housed under a giant glass roof, has even more shopping options.

Enjoy a show

One thing this city is great at is offering live music events and performances. Head to one of the venues under the converted railway arches for an authentic underground experience. The Shed Bar, which opened in 2008, has regular rock and indie concerts and serves up cocktails and ales.

If you're in the mood for something a little more high-brow, catch a show at one of the great theatres in town like Leeds Grand Theatre, Carriageworks Theatre and City Varieties.