Leeds always has a special place in my heart. Life growing up in Huddersfield has always been good, but the town is small and there's not many shops or places to visit. Leeds is only 20 minutes away via train and when I was younger I spent a lot of time there as there were more shops, more things to do and as I grew older, many of my friends relocated there. Leeds was the first city I had travelled to on my own, the place I spent most of my teenage years and the city that eventually gave me my first full time job. I now work in Leeds four days a week and every week that goes by I discover more about this beautiful city. Leeds has changed considerably over the last few years with the introduction of the Leeds Trinity shopping centre and every month there are new bars to discover and places to see. Leeds this week was voted the Best Place to Live 2015 and although I don't live there, Leeds very much feels like my second home.
I was recently asked by City Living if I would put together a guide of my favourite places to visit in Leeds and I jumped at the opportunity. I thought it would be a fantastic chance to drag my husband out for a day of shopping and to visit some of my past teenage haunts. So a few weeks ago my husband and I jumped on a train and headed to Leeds and here's what we got up to.
Our first stop was Leeds Corn Exchange. The corn exchange is a popular spot for those who like indie shops, art fairs and anything vintage. There's a variety of food outlets from the Humpit to Primo's hot dogs and there's also places to get your hair done or if you're brave, get a tattoo. The Corn Exchange is a beautiful example of Britain's Victorian architecture and is a Grade 1 listed structure. The building was designed by Cuthbert Brodick and built in 1864. When I was younger, Leeds Corn Exchange was the home to those who followed different types of gothic subcultures and many of them would hang out around all the independent gothic shops, including myself. These days the Corn Exchange attracts a wealth of people and there's something that everyone can enjoy.
Our next stop was the Victoria Quarter. The Victoria Quarter is a selection of Victorian Arcades populated by high end fashion, beauty and luxury stores. As a working professional in Leeds, this is one of my favourite places to shop. My most popular haunts in the VQ are Ted Baker, French Connection and Jo Malone.
After a busy morning, my husband and I decided to rest and have a bite to eat at Filmore and Union. Filmore and Union are a small cafe in the VQ and are known for their health food. They cater for people who are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free and serve the most scrumptious meals and flavoursome shakes.
Once we had finished our scones and shakes, we then headed to the Royal Armouries, which was one of my favourite days out as a kid. I drove my parents crazy asking them to take me here every couple of weeks and even as an adult, the museum never gets old. I'm a bit of a history geek and I love visiting museums. The Royal Armouries is free-to-enter and a great day out for all the family.
We finished our day off at one of my new favourite restaurants in Leeds, Zaap Thai. If you love Thai food and you're on a budget, Zaap Thai is the place to visit. Our meals came to less than £30 for two courses and two drinks and the atmosphere is great. It is decorated to look like a Bangkok street market and is highly authentic. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Leeds.
You can check out my Leeds Guide for Morgans here.