Telling an interesting story about the local mining history with guided underground tours and a vast collection of mining machinery and tools, the National Coal Mining Museum for England may be the closest you can come to experience the heritage of Britain. It opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum and was granted the National status in 1995. The collections in the museum have been assembled by the National Coal Board. Apart from the artifacts, the museum houses pictures and various books and documents relating to the mining history of the country. The underground tour puts you into a miner's shoes and takes you inside the mines for a first-hand experience.
Opened in 1996, the spectacular building, which is the home for the national collection of arms and armor, is situated in the rejuvenated waterfront area, just a five-minute walk from the city center. The Royal Armouries provides display case upon display case of guns and weaponry in five separately theme galleries covering War, Tournament, Self-Defense, Hunting and the arms and armor of the Orient. Dynamic live action displays, interactive demonstrations and thought-provoking historical interpretations guarantee an enjoyable and educational day out. If you can, visit in summer when you will see thrilling displays of jousting, falconry, and horsemanship, along with the opportunity to get up close to the animals in the Menagerie.
Opened in 1908 as a hotel, the Hyde Park became a cinema in 1914 and remains one of the few picture palaces in Britain battling the growth of multiplexes with the help of its determined supporters. A listed building, the Hyde Park has been lovingly preserved and maintains its original features, such as the exterior façade, gas lighting and its stunning Edwardian balcony. The only cinema hall in Leeds to offer 'art house' films, in addition to mainstream and classic films, the Hyde Park is the most unique cinema experience in the city. There are regular matinees during weekends.
Settled along the banks of River Aire, Kirkstall Abbey is a marvelous amalgamation of scenic greens and historic architecture. One of Leeds's key historical landmarks, this sprawling abbey remains remarkably well preserved despite the ravages of history. Situated in an area of open parkland west of the city center, Kirkstall Abbey still stands to its original height, lending a true sense of its former scale and spiritual resonance. Its ruins are a muse to many artists, whispering secrets of its storied past through the high arches and narrow alleys. A moving relic of the 12th Century, the abbey bears many more spectacular architectural elements like vaulted cellars, ancient quarters and an idyllic cloister. A soulful embodiment of the Cistercian design, Kirkstall Abbey is an insightful nod to the glory of Henry de Lacy, its master, and the monks who flourished in its fabric.
Proudly sitting on rolling, landscaped grounds, the stately Temple Newsam is steeped deep in history. Having been under the ownership of several notable personalities and organizations including the Knights Templar, this house is today under the watchful eye of the Leeds City Council. The house bears incredible influences of Tudor and Jacobean styles of architecture and is home to dense drapes of woodland, farms, charming open spaces and a walkway lined with blooming rhododendrons. Part of what makes the site so absorbing is the wealth of artworks and cultural pieces which are wonderful remnants of its artistic phase, including decorative artifacts by the Department of Culture and stirring exhibits by the Chippendale Society. The estate comprises large acres of parkland which is used in the summer as a venue for high-profile pop and opera concerts. An exuberant representation of the English countryside, Temple Newsam is a timeless edifice portraying rich cultural nuances stringed together with an indelible history.
Ever since its opening in 1872, the Roundhay Park has served as a spectacular venue for music and cultural festivals in the summer, while also offering wooded walks, horticultural displays and sports facilities. Boasting a stunning tapestry of woodlands, parkland, lakes and charming gardens, this gigantic park is spread across acres and acres, frequented by about a million people each year. Hemmed by the Roundhay suburb, the park is one of the most favored in Leeds, not just for its unbridled natural beauty and magnificence, but also because it has plenty to offer to its patrons. 'Tropical World' is a canvas of wilderness, which shelters exotic tropical plants, and a marvelous nexus of glasshouses, aquariums, a desert house and a butterfly house. Interspersed with winding and wooded alleyways, the Roundhay Park also shelters a tracery of delightful gardens like the Monet Garden, Alhambra Garden and the splendid Canal Gardens which harbor aged trees and carpets of flowers. Other attractions in the park include a grandiose Mansion House, the magnificent, bird-laden Waterloo lake and the Arena studded on the rolling Hill 60, making it an idyllic, undisturbed oasis in the heart of the city.
The Carriagework Theatre is located on the glassed in courtyard that once housed the West Riding Carriage Manufactory in Victorian times. The beautifully renovated brick warehouse is now home to two theater spaces on Millennium Square. Home to the Leeds Civic Arts Guild, Carriageworks stages community and professional performances in dance, music and theater. The Main Auditorium seats up to three-fifty while the smaller Upstairs seats sixty-five.
A stunning hybrid of classical Greek and baroque styles, this mid 19th-century public building is perhaps Leeds' most well-known landmark. Built by Charles Broderick between 1853 and 1858, it features a facade of giant columns supporting an elaborate domed tower. The richly decorated interior is equally spectacular, with statues by Matthew Noble sitting beneath ornate plaster ceilings. As well as being of great historical and architectural interest, the Town Hall is one of the city's premier music venues, hosting events including Lunchtime Organ Music and the International Concert Season.
City Art Gallery has something for all artistic tastes, whether you're into Rego or Rodin. It houses one of the best collection of 20th Century British art and is among few such places outside London. Lovers of fine art should head here. Those who prefer sculpture will be impressed by the gallery's wonderful collection of pieces by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. There are various events, activities and exhibitions that take place here and are widely loved and attended. You cannot afford to miss this place. Admission is free.
Located on the lively plaza outside the City Art Gallery, this sculpture by the internationally renowned Henry Moore - a true pioneer of modern art - has become a major Leeds landmark. It embellishes the presence of one of the UK's most important modern sculpture galleries - the Henry Moore Institute. Cast in bronze, Reclining Woman (Elbow) (1980) addresses the dynamic spatial relationships that comprise the human form.
Astounding architecture and countless books are the two main aspects of the Leeds Central Library. Visit the Library to witness arches, carvings, and roof lights coming together in harmony. You can also find books on almost every topic, along with individual study areas. There is a separate section that houses books on art. There is an access for the physically challenged, and there is also a café for refreshments.