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Top Rated Attractions in Leeds

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National Coal Mining Museum for England

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.

Royal Armouries

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.

Kirkstall Abbey

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.

Temple Newsam

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.

Roundhay Park

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.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

A spellbinding tapestry of woodlands, rolling pastures and flowering meadows, the Harlow Carr bears a labyrinth of blooming colors that seem to stretch on forever. The garden is nestled on the western fringes of Harrogate and is managed by the Royal Horticultural Society. The garden is a seemingly unending swathe of wilderness brought alive by varicolored blooms, its expanse dotted with wooded trails bordered by vibrant roses, terraces, a lake, an arboretum and a beautiful assemblage of gardens namely the Winter Garden, Foliage Garden and Scented Garden. In addition, the garden hosts an extensive collection of alpine blooms, willows and wildflowers which stick out as jewels embedded on an emerald-hued carpet. Home to the famed Betty's Cafe & Tearoom, this well-designed garden is where one landscape blends into another, to create a space that resembles the English countryside frozen in time. Year-round, the garden hosts a number of workshops, shows and fairs, in order to imbibe and encourage the spirit of gardening and horticulture among its patrons.

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