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Chillin' in Leeds: a guide to the spots you need to check out

If you’re lucky enough to be from the north like me, then you’ll know that Leeds is one of those cities that you just have to visit.

The city centre is always buzzing with life and it is home to a diverse group of people - everyone has a tale to share and a smile for strangers. But even if you know nothing about one of the friendliest cities in the UK, no fear! Here’s a guide to help you feel more at home:

Feeling adventurous? Check out these four spots:
1. Kirkstall Abbey
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#kirkstallabbey #leeds #westyorkshire

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Kirkstall Abbey is one of the most beautiful spots in the city along the River Aire. Taking a stroll around the ruined monastery is the perfect cure for anyone who wants to get to grips with history whilst searching for an excuse to walk around in the fresh air. You can explore the medieval history of the abbey, whilst taking in the wonderful wildlife and scenery.

2. Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park is always brimming with people on Bonfire Night, as the park hosts one of the most spectacular firework displays in the area. A park that covers a whopping 700 acres, Roundhay has it all. It is also home to Tropical World, an indoor wildlife reserve that enables you to experience life in the rainforest and desert, alongside the meerkats and snakes.

3. Otley Chevin Forest Park

Overlooking the town of Otley, The Chevin is a great place to go dog walking, and even if you fancy staying in your car, there’s a gorgeous view from the carpark. Lose yourself in nature at Chevin, and maybe even have a go at climbing if you're feeling adventurous.

4. Harewood House
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Dreaming of summer days at Harewood House . ?: Sony A6000

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If you want to feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the world of Downton Abbey, then Harewood House is the place for you. From the moment your eyes travel across the grounds and to the house, you will feel an intense urge to explore every part of it (well that happened to me when I visited). You can explore the inside of the house too and rub shoulders with the aristocratic family portraits. 

Hit the shops: Best places to shop ‘till you drop in Leeds:
1. The Corn Exchange

This spot is a stunning Grade 1 listed building that stands out in the city centre with its oval-shaped architecture. The first time I visited, I was blown away by the quality of its selection of cute independent stores that you can’t find anywhere else, such as The Great Yorkshire Shop, which sells handpicked goods from independent traders that have a strong connection to Yorkshire.

2. Victoria Gate

An incredible shopping district which is now the new home to the second largest John Lewis behind London. A perfect place for those shopaholics among you!

3. Trinity Leeds

When Trinity Leeds opened in 2013, I was beyond excited, as finally, the city had a place where all the cool shops were packed together in one place. All three floors of the centre are home to independent clothing and craft stores, along with Trinity Kitchen which boats a unique blend of different street food vans that allows you to explore new food from around the world.

4. The Grand Arcade
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Today's #MarchMeettheMaker prompt is Where? We're based in Leeds City centre in the Grand Arcade. It's a gorgeous old Victorian Arcade and it's full of fellow independent businesses - it's a chilled place to be! We're nestled next to the historic Potts Clock and get to watch the figures come out to take a bow every hour which is always a talking point. We love our historic location and love hearing your memories - what are your memories of our Arcade? #ourhandmadecollective #grandarcade #indieretail #OHCLeeds #Leeds #Yorkshire #MarchMeettheMaker #location #wherearewe #victorianarcade #shoppinginleeds #shoppingarcade #thegrandarcadeleeds #grandtheatre #LS1 #pottsclock #leedshistory #memoriesofleeds

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The Grand Arcade is one of the oldest shopping arcades in Leeds and it is home to hundreds of quirky independent stores that are heavenly for anyone who is bored shopping on the High Street and wants to find something a bit different.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at these cool hotspots:
1. Leeds Art Gallery

If you fancy exploring Leeds’s visual art scene, then check out Leeds Art Gallery - it’s hard to miss as its Victorian clock tower is one of the most famous sights in the city. Often, the gallery holds exhibitions on the steps of its entrance, so passers-by get a sense of the kinds of pieces of work they have on show.

2. West Yorkshire Playhouse

The first time I visited this theatre it was on a school trip to see Of Mice and Men and since then the venue has hosted an array of theatre productions. The playhouse prides itself on being an artistic beacon for the North, so if you want to experience Leeds at its finest, head here.

3. Royal Armouries Museum

This museum displays the National Collection of Arms and Armour and it has fantastic views of Leeds Dock. If you’re a history buff then the free entrance to this site is a must! Where else do you get the opportunity to look and touch the weapons that have been used in warfare from hundreds of years ago to the present day?

4. Kitty Cafe

One of Leeds’s newest attractions is the Kitty Cafe, which opened its doors in December 2017. After successful openings in Nottingham and London, the cafe was met with much excitement from the public and has already had very successful few weeks in business. Anyone who wants to spend an afternoon eating cake and stroking cats (who wouldn’t?) then get yourself down here.

Leeds promises the most memorable nights out: Take a look at these sweet spots
1. Sky Lounge
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Branded as Leeds’ finest rooftop setting, the Sky Lounge is for everyone - whether you fancy breakfast, brunch, dinner or late night drinks, the lounge caters for all. The stunning views from the 13th floor make this a must-see destination for a night out.

2. Call Lane

Call Lane is one of the most lively areas of Leeds if you're looking for a variety of clubs and bars all in one place. Your night could end up at Tiki Hideaway sipping Hawaiian juices or at Revolution trying out their cool mix of unique cocktails.

3. The Brewery Tap

This premium brew-pub offers a stylish venue for a relaxed night out. If you’re a big fan of local ales or if you’ve never tried them before, this pub is the perfect place to chill with your friends throughout the week.

In every corner of this great city there’s so much to see - don’t miss out!
Featured image: Henrykc / Shutterstock.com