Leeds is often referred to as one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets. The city itself is compact but it is packed full of funky bars and restaurants, has great shopping options, beautiful architecture and welcoming locals. It’s the perfect place to spend a weekend away with the girls, whether you are after some food and drink, shopping, relaxation or sightseeing.
Here are our top 8 activities for a girly weekend in Leeds:
Kick off your visit to Leeds with a fun afternoon of craft beer tasting, suited to connoisseurs and novices alike. As part of the tour, you will be brought to three different breweries, some of which are not usually open to the public, so you get to experience a true behind-the-scenes look at how the beer is being brewed.
If beer isn’t your drink of choice, grab a seat on the Chesterfield sofas in Lazy Lounge for a cuppa with a difference. Afternoon Tea in Lazy Lounge, one of Leeds’ best gin bars, is served with a teapot of Gin Punch, instead of Earl Grey.
The punch itself is a beautifully fragrant mix of Hendricks gin with Elderflower syrup, strawberries, cucumber, mint, Elderflower tonic and Sauvignon Blanc. And all of this is served with a lovely selection of cakes and light bites to share.
This restaurant is inspired by The Wizard of Oz and there is no mistaking that once you walk through its doors. The name itself refers to the head chef, Michael O’Hare, who truly comes out from behind the curtain, alongside all the chefs in the restaurant, to cook the quirky dishes centre stage in the restaurant for everyone to see.
The 12-course degustation menu is a truly memorable experience with each dish being served to you by the chef who made it.
Shopping in Leeds
When it comes to shopping, Leeds has something for everyone. The new Victoria Gate shopping arcade is an architecturally beautiful building that houses some of the more high-end brands and stores, like Aspinal of London, Cath Kidson, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis.
You’ll find all the usual high street names and more in the Trinity Leeds shopping centre shops, which has more than 100 British and international brands on offer. These include everything from H&M, Mango and Primark to Apple, M&S, Boots and more.
When you’ve finished shopping at Trinity Leeds, be sure to check out the street food emporium where you’ll find an astonishing number of food outlets under one roof.
For something a little different, the Leeds Corn Exchange, which is Grade I listed, is worth a visit. It’s home to variety of independent boutiques and shops from local artists, craftspeople and designers in Yorkshire.
And finally, a shopping day in Leeds wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of Europe’s largest indoor markets – Kirkgate Market. Here you will find over 100 different traders selling everything from fresh meat and vegetables to clothing and homeware.
For a fun and active day out in Leeds, try the indoor bouldering experience at The Climbing Lab. Suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, this is a great group activity that everyone can enjoy at their own pace.
Throughout the week, there are various events and sessions taking place for all levels of climbers at The Climbing Lab, like social Tuesdays or free pizza on Fridays, so check out their schedule before you visit.
Did you know that outside of London, Leeds is one of the only UK cities with its own Opera House and Ballet Company?
If your trip coincides with a performance, you are in for a treat. Opera North is known for being one of Europe’s leading arts organisations.
Hyde Park Picture House is one of the oldest cinemas in the UK. It was founded in 1914 and is now fully restored as a Grade II listed building, offering a mix of classic films, new releases and special events with filmmakers, fans, artists and more.
In keeping with its roots, the Hyde Park Picture House still shines under gas lights and serves ice cream during the intervals.
Finish your night off in Leeds with dinner and cocktails in one of the city’s best kept secrets – The Maven.
Once you step through the inconspicuous door, you will find yourself in prohibition-style surroundings with menus offering a selection of clever cocktails and delicious Mediterranean small plates.
Looking for more recommendations on what to see and do in Leeds? Use our Clayton Hotel Leeds Online Concierge tool to see Leeds like a local with tips on where to eat, drink and find out what events are happening in the city.