Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK

Leeds

It may have once been grim up north, but Yorkshire’s buzziest, brightest city is a full-on tourist destination these days, never mind a great place to live and work. As regional business, cultural, shopping and nightlife capital, there’s plenty in Leeds to get your teeth into, whether it’s splashing the cash in its famous designer arcades, hitting the city’s excellent selection of hip restaurants and bars, or exploring its impressive museums, galleries, parks and gardens. There’s even a go-ahead city council, which puts a lot of resources into culture and the arts, and their command – ‘live it, love it, walk it’ – for once has some resonance with visitors and locals alike, who enjoy the fully charged atmosphere of the compact city centre. If you come for the day, expect to be exhausted before the culture runs out; come for the weekend and it’s sayonara sleep.

History

Although originally a medieval market town, Leeds is really a product of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, as textile mills became mechanised and the city’s population exploded. Leeds’ enterprising heritage museums vividly show what effect this had on a city that became a byword for squalor and hardship, although the Victorian age also threw up the city’s most celebrated buildings and monuments, from the over-the-top Town Hall to the mesmerising Corn Exchange. In recent years, the modern city centre has changed a lot, and been cleaned up, and these days it has a varied selection of districts and shopping areas within the boundaries of the ring road, the River Aire and the Leeds–Liverpool Canal. Indeed it’s down by the canal and river, in the revitalised wharf areas, that contemporary Leeds really shines, with waterfront walkways, terrace cafés, and uber-cool bars and restaurants.

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Leeds

Yorkshire’s buzziest, brightest city is now a full-on tourist destination
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