Friday, 7 August 2009

City day out in Leeds

I've had a city day out today, took my car to Leeds, parked on the ring road and got the bus into the centre. I love my days out, grabbing the opportunity whenever the weather looks ok. The number 163 bus dropped me in New York Street, opposite the Kirkgate Market. This is a massive indoor and outdoor market with traders selling everything you can think of. I had a browse and if I was shopping for food I would definately get my fresh fruit and veg there, plenty of bargains to be had. Three bags of cherries for £1 and 24 peaches in a tray for £2. Sadly not today, this is my sightseeing day.

I bought one of those picture maps from a machine for £1, it gave me two copies, and try as I may, I couldn't sell the extra copy for 50p. The map was invaluable for finding my way about. The Victoria Quarter was lovely, all the old shop fronts very tastefully modernised, I tried to imagine what it might have been like in the old days with the horse driven carriages clattering along the cobbles. Now it is pedestrianised with beautiful ornate ironworks and a glass roof with the sun beaming down. I couldn't resist going into Harvey Nicks, just to gasp at the extortionate prices. Looking around the ladieswear, I was shocked to see a shapeless piece of fabric that looked like a throw draped over a hanger, price tag £1,000 :-0 I asked the nice young man assistant if anyone paid these prices. He said indeed they do, and showed me a coat priced at £3,500, I was gobsmacked, people definately do have more money than sense. I could get something like that from my Hospice Charity shop for a tenner.
Strolling along The Headrow, I came across people playing chess with giant pieces, on the pavement outside the Town Hall. They had a little audience of others waiting to take their turn.

I went into the Library next door, which leads onto the City Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute. There was an amazing display of the Leeds Tapestries, depicting life in and around Leeds from days gone by. I spent a good hour looking around the exhibitions, I love modern art and trying to work out what was going through the artists mind at the time of creation.

I wandered around City Square, a lovely area with fountains and statues, old and new buildings side by side.
The Corn Exchange has a tastefully restored interior, a vast space with a coffee lounge on the lower floor, shops on the ground and upper floors. It was a shame that most of them were empty, a sign of the present economic climate I think. Looking up at the ceiling you would think you were underneath an upturned boat. Parts of the Waterfont have been transformed from ugly dock warehouses into modern blocks of flats. The old style renovated buildings, and the new and modern are side by side, with cobbled pathways and outdoor eating areas joining the two. I walked over this Centenery Footbridge. There's lots more to see in Leeds, I'll go back there another time.


  1. So glad that you had such a good day in my city! It really is a great place to live. Don't leave it too long until you return.

  2. I had no idea Leeds was so great! Just a name on the map to me... never been... I think I might like to visit one day... Thanks for sharing this.