City life

Leeds is a bustling city, surrounded by beautiful countryside. A thriving cultural centre, it is also home to some of the country’s major sports venues. It’s a diverse city with a huge range of places to eat and drink.

Investment in the city continues with a major new retail development due to open in 2016. Leeds offers something for everyone; however you like to spend your spare time. We’re a campus University, right next to the city.

Theatre and cinema

Leeds’ theatrical offering includes one of the UK's largest regional repertory theatres, the West Yorkshire Playhouse. The Victorian Leeds Grand Theatre shows major touring productions, as well as acclaimed productions from Northern Ballet and award-winning Opera North

The Carriageworks has an exciting mixture of drama, musicals, dance, pantomime, exhibitions and community events and City Varieties is a rare surviving example of a Victorian music hall. The University also has its own licensed theatre space on campus, stage@leeds which is open to the public and host to a wide variety of performances. 

As well as city centre multiplexes, and smaller cinemas showcasing independent and foreign language films, the Leeds International Film Festival is chance for film fans to enjoy two weeks of premiere screenings, world cinema, theme nights and all the latest in cutting-edge film and documentary every November. 

Museums and galleries

Leeds is a city rich in heritage. Leeds City Museum takes you through the city's 800 year history with hands-on and audio-visual displays, exhibitions and interactive games. The city is also home to the Royal Armouries which displays part of the national collection of arms and armour and holds many treasures including the world's only suit of elephant armour.

Leeds City Art Gallery houses a world-class collection of 20th century British art with works by Francis Bacon, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Our own Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery showcases the University's outstanding art collection. For more information visit Leeds City Council's museums and galleries website

Live music

The University's Refectory is a legendary music venue. Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix have all played here as well as more contemporary talent including the Arctic Monkeys and Rizzle Kicks.

Music fans are spoilt for choice with Leeds’ First Direct Arena attracting world-famous acts and the O2 Academy, another major venue in the city centre. The city also has a thriving underground network of smaller venues which showcase the best in new music, including Brudenell Social Club, Belgrave Music Hall and The Key Club

Leeds also hosts the prestigious International Pianoforte Competition and the Leeds International Concert Season, an annual music programme featuring jazz, world music, brass, classical and chamber music. Major music festivals are held here including Leeds Festival, Opera in the Park and Party in the Park.

Eating and drinking

Leeds’ clubs, bars and restaurants cater for every taste and budget. For comprehensive up-to-date listings of pubs, clubs and restaurants check out Visit Leeds


Leeds has a well-deserved reputation for being great for shopping. Stylish arcade the Victoria Quarter and high-end department store Harvey Nichols sell top designer labels, and all the leading high street shops can be found on Briggate, a pedestrianised street in the city centre, or in the Trinity Leeds complex, which also has a selection of bars and restaurants.

The city will boast the largest branch of John Lewis in the north of England when the new Victoria Gate development opens in Autumn 2016.

Located on Vicar Lane, Kirkgate market is the largest covered market in Europe — the Marks & Spencer chain was founded in this magnificent Edwardian building in the late 19th century when it started operating there as a penny bazaar. The M&S Company Archive, home of the Marks in Time Exhibition is located on our campus.


Leeds has several major sports teams but the city is also a gateway to some of the finest cycling, walking and climbing routes in the UK.

Since 1891, Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground has hosted international Test matches and Twenty20 games as well as being home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Leeds United Football Club is based at Elland Road football stadium. It’s one of the longest established teams in the country and has an illustrious history of great wins and dramatic comebacks. Leeds also has rugby league team Leeds Rhinos and rugby union club Yorkshire Carnegie.

And if you want to take part in sport yourself, as well as the University's own sports centre Leeds is well catered for by a range of sporting facilities and gym.

If you're looking for challenging outdoor pursuits, such as skiing, mountain biking, white water rafting and learning basic military skills, the Yorkshire Officers’ Training Regiment (YOTR) could be for you. It attracts students from across Yorkshire.

Yorkshire region

The Yorkshire countryside is ideal for outdoor activities such as walking, climbing or mountain biking.

To find out more about what’s on offer in and around Leeds and Yorkshire visit the Welcome to Yorkshire website