TRAVEL: A Day in Leeds
Updated: Jun 9, 2019
Day Trip #1 --> I took a spontaneous trip Leeds yesterday. I made this decision very last minute but I am glad I did because Leeds is actually a very pretty city that is full of history. The architecture was stunning and compared to Manchester, the amount of sunlight present (at least on the day I was there) was remarkable. It is about an hour drive from Manchester. I paid £5 (approx. $7) for a roundtrip on a coach bus and spent a total of 9 1/2 hours in the city. Here's a quick recap of my day:
First thing I did once I arrived was get coffee + breakfast at a local espresso bar called La Bottega Milanese. I was feeling sluggish and needed something that would be able to help me stay alert and running throughout the day. Breakfast here was great and I would definitely recommend this place to a friend (read more about my experience at La Bottega Milanese in the "Lifestyle" section).
Feeling more awake, I visited two museums in the Leeds City Centre. The first was the Leeds Art Gallery and the second was the Leeds City Museum.
The Art Gallery was neat and had various contemporary art exhibits. While the City museum was very informative as it told you about the history of Leeds.
My favorite exhibition was Anne Hardy's "Falling and Walking," located in the Art Gallery. Hardy utilized different artistic elements such as photography, color, sound, sculptural objects, and lighting to tell a complex story. The exhibit required us to remove our shoes and only allowed four people inside at a time which gave us a sense of intimacy in a rather large room. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this particular exhibit, but trust me when I say it is definitely worth your while.
III: Stunning Architecture
As I trekked around the city I encountered several buildings + statues that caught my attention. Many of these building were built in the mid 1800s.
IV: Leeds on Water
The city offers a water taxi ride to the public from Leeds Dock to Granary Wharf... So of course, I got on the motor boat and enjoyed myself. The trip is about 12 minutes along the canal. The view was amazing and you are able to see the different parts of Leeds and its city centre.
V: Granary Wharf
I accessed the water taxi through the Granary Wharf tunnel also known as "The Dark Arches." The tunnel is said to have been the "engine room of the city during the Industrial Revolution." It is pretty cool as it is dimly lit by colorful lights that change periodically.
VI: Shopping Centers + Markets
Victoria Quarter is an elegant shopping center in Leeds. You can find a number of nice shops here.
The interior design of the shopping centers and markets in Leeds is beautiful. Leeds Kirkgate Market is the largest indoor market in Europe. The market reminds me of my local farmers market back in America just two times bigger. Vendors sell everything from fresh food to washing machines. The market is very busy and you can hear the vendors calling out their wares.
I managed to find a hair store in this market. They were selling X-pressions braiding hair for the equivalence of $2.80 per pack which is SUPER CHEAP compared to the price that I used to pay back in the U.S.
If you are familiar with protective hairstyles and/or braiding hair, then you know X-pressions is one of the high end brands and it usually sells for $7-8 per pack...so yes, I shamelessly bought several packs to take back home with me :)
I really enjoyed my day in Leeds. I picked a great time to visit because the weather wasn't too bad which made it easy for me to roam around the city and taking pictures. Although I was exhausted at the end of the day, 9 1/2 hours was an ample amount of time to explore this beautiful city.
Many more Day Trips to come!