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.
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.
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.
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.
The United Kingdom's third-largest city, Leeds was once a thriving Mill Town during the Industrial Revolution through its history can actually be traced as far back as the 5th Century. The city's history is wrought in stone and iron from the ruins of the Kirkstall Abbey with its 100-foot central spire to the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and the Royal Armouries Museum each offering a different side of the city's past. The ultra-modern waterfront with its steel and glass construction looks to the future and tells a story of urban renewal, while its vibrant shopping districts abound with big-name brands and trendy boutiques. The food scene is no joke either and around Vicar Lane, there are restaurants and pubs featuring a variety of cuisine for every palate. A melange of modernism and British traditions basks under the glorious Leeds sun.
Housed in one of the city's many impressive Victorian edifices on Millenium Square, the Leeds City Museum (LCM) is a repository of one of England's most extensive and dynamic collections. Ever since its inception in 1819, the museum has been patronized by a steady flow of visitors. Housing an arsenal of about 1.3 million artifacts within its walls, the museum is not just a stirring window into England's rich history, but it is also a solemn testimony to the country's nuanced and rich cultural tenor. The extensive collection spans a wide range of topics including natural history, fine art, textiles and world cultures, creating an informative illustration of the evolution of the world. In addition to the museum's own permanent collection and an ever-changing array of temporary exhibitions adds a varied flavor to the usual displays.
Constructed to celebrate the town's elevation to city status in 1893, this public space is home to one of the city's most formidable landmarks, the statue of Edward and the Black Prince. The square is flanked by impressive buildings including the Italianate Post Office building to the north, the 1930s Queen's Hotel to the south and the City Square, a striking high-tech commercial building at the edge of the city's financial center. The hub of the city, this is a great place to sit on a bench and watch the world go by as long as you don't mind the traffic fumes.
A unique, versatile and multifaceted venue that lends itself in a way that every person will find a home here. An activity area, a stunning restaurant and a splendid event venue are some of the things you can get to experience here.