Culture & Heritage

While you’re in Leeds, why not make the most of the culture that abounds in the city; from art galleries and theatres to fascinating museums, we’ve got it all, and to top it off, most of our attractions are free!

There’s culture galore in the heart of Leeds, and with such a compact city centre, many of these attractions are within walking distance, meaning you can pack in several cultural experiences in one day, or even one afternoon.

The Cultural Quarter to the North of the city is a great place to start; the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds City Museum are located here. Leeds Art Gallery is also located here but is currently undergoing essential repairs so is closed until late 2017. The Henry Moore Institute is a world-recognised centre for the study of sculpture in the heart of Leeds and is part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle; three venues across Yorkshire which collectively form the largest sculpture collection in Europe.

Evenings can be quickly filled with great theatre, as Leeds is home to four major theatres and an award-winning area. Leeds is proud to be one of the only English cities outside London with its own repertory theatre, opera and ballet companies, all of whom have extensive programmes throughout the year.

For a slice of traditional British history, the city has plenty to offer with a number of historic houses, including Temple Newsam, Lotherton Hall and Harewood House, as well as Kirkstall Abbey; one of the UK's most complete medieval Cistercian abbeys.

Harewood House is one of the Treasure Houses of England and, at just 25 minutes from the city centre, it’s well worth a visit. With a diverse art collection, including originals by Turner, as well as royal connections and extensive grounds and gardens including an exotic bird garden, Harewood House is a stunning example of British history.

It’s also worth wandering to the south of the city, or hopping on a free water taxi, to Leeds Dock where you’ll find the Royal Armouries museum and can discover Henry VIII’s original armour and weapons and marvel at the remainder of the collection, which is the largest collection of arms, armour and artillery in the UK, culminating in the epic Hall of Steel.

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