The city and surrounding areas include museums, art galleries, beautiful parks and so much more. There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy. You’re guaranteed to find something fun to do when visiting this area. We’ve put together a list of 8 fun things to do in Leeds. Let’s get started!
1). The Royal Armouries Museum
Here you’ll find a collection of arms and armour from all over the world, with over 75,000 objects on display. The museum presents over 3,000 years of armour and weaponry from around the world. You’ll find the armour of medieval knights, including the full-body armour worn by Henry VIII. The museum even boats an Oriental gallery, with displays of magnificent armour worn by Japanese shoguns and much more. And don’t forget to view the elephant armour from India—the largest animal armour in the world!
The museum also features live combat demonstrations and hands-on historical activities, making this a great stop for the whole family.
2). Harewood House
Harewood House is truly a treasure worth visiting—it offers everything from exquisite Chippendale furniture to lush gardens, including a bird garden. The house, itself, holds beautiful Renaissance masterpiece family portraits, a fine china collection and more. You can get an idea of what life was like both above and below stairs with the enticing exhibits throughout the manner.
Harewood also includes over 100 acres of gardens, with a wide variety of plants from all over the world. The fine landscape was created by the famous gardener Lancelot ‘Capability” Brown. The gardens include the Lakeside Garden, the Himalayan Garden and the Walled Garden.
Even more, you’ll find a lovely bird garden where you can view beautiful exotic species from all over the world, including Humboldt penguins. They are a sight to see and your kids will enjoy helping the keepers feed the penguins at feeding time!
3). Roundhay Park
If you enjoy parks, gardens and more then Roundhay Park may be just the thing! This beautiful area is one of the biggest city parks in Europe with over 700 acres of parkland. According to the Roundhay Park website, the Royal Horticultural Society awarded the park “Best Public Park” for it’s wonderful green spaces.
The park includes lakes, woods and formal gardens all owned by the Leeds City Council. Not only that, but wildlife abounds in the park—you may be able to spot woodpeckers, herons, foxes, roe deer and much more.
Roundhay also offers Tropical World, where you and your family can enjoy spending time in a tropical rainforest environment, the desert and even a nocturnal zone. The rainforest section of the park includes flittering exotic butterflies and birds—all native to the rainforest. Next, you’ll enter the desert area, complete with cacti and meerkats. The nocturnal zone features fruit bats and other animals that are active at night.
If you enjoy sports, then Roundhay won’t disappoint. The park features a variety of sports facilities including bowling greens, a canoe club, skateboard park, tennis courts, and more.
4). Kirkstall Abbey
If you enjoy medieval history and architecture, then Kirkstall Abbey is the place for you. The abbey was founded in 1152 by Cistercian monks. It’s one of the best examples of medieval Cistercian abbeys and is one of the most complete in Britain. Kirkstall Abbey is situated in the midst of rolling parkland, following along the banks of the River Aire.
The abbey features a visitor center where you can learn bout the abbey’s history, architecture and more. You can also learn about the daily activities of the monks who lived there through exhibits and interpretive displays. Once you’ve finished at the visitor center, be sure to visit the Abbey House Museum, where you can see recreated Victorian-era shops and homes.
The area offers fun activities for families, too, with the sports and play areas. Take a refreshing stroll along the river or enjoy the hiking paths. If you enjoy country markets, then be sure to check out the Kirkstall Abbey Markets, which are open one weekend a month from March to November.
5). Middleton Railway
Are you and the kids interested in old trains and railways? Then be sure to visit the Middleton Railway, where you’ll be able to see the world’s oldest working railroad. This old railway was established back in 1758 by an Act of Parliament and is now an accredited museum. You and the kids can take a 25-minute ride on the old train and visit a wonderful museum on the site.
The museum is located in the Engine House building and features a large hall where you can find a collection of locomotives on display, along with other railway exhibits.
During the winter, your children even have the chance of meeting Santa while riding the train!
6). Leeds Art Gallery
Leeds offers a wide variety of art galleries, including the Leeds Art Gallery. The gallery’s Victorian glass roof was recently refurbished, so you can enjoy a spectacular glassy ceiling and the sky above. You’ll also view some beautiful works of art by national and international artists. The gallery’s 20th century British art collection is recognized as “of national importance” by the British government. This is one of the city’s most visited attractions! The collection features paintings, sculpture and other media—including paintings from the Victoria era.
7). Stockeld Park
This is a wonderful area for your family, especially for the kids. Check out the five adventure playgrounds including Spider’s Lair, the Tepee Enchantment playground and the Tangle Tree Climb. The park also features a Buccaneer Boat ride (small, single electric boats) you can use to zip around the lake. If you love mazes, then you’ll have an amazing time in the Magical Maze. Enjoy working your way out of the maze, where you can even find secret objects hidden as you go. Your kids can also enjoy the park’s go karts! The whole family can enjoy the woodland train while riding a three-wheeled electric scooter. Visit this park, and you won’t have to worry about having bored little ones!
8). LockedIn Games
Do you enjoy testing you and your friends’ logic and problem-solving skills? Then check out the LockedIN Games in Leeds. To enjoy this game, you and some friends (2-6 people total) are locked in a room and given one hour to escape! You’ll all have to work together to solve the mysteries and find the clues leading to codes for your release. Choose a favorite theme for your Lockedin experience, such as nursery nightmares, classroom of doom, the hotel heist and more!
We hope this list will inspire you and help you find fun activities during your visit to Leeds. The city and surrounding areas offer a wide variety of activities perfect for everyone, including families with young children. You’ll have a great time when visiting the beautiful city of Leeds. If you do make the trip, learn more about us and then pop in and say hi!
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.