Leeds in County Yorkshire
The City of Leeds in Yorkshire was a pleasant surprise. According to our Amber driver, Leeds is home to three universities with approximately 60,000 students. Our hotel, the Radisson Blu was in the center of town and connected to a large glass-covered complex that included a Vue cinema and numerous restaurants and shops. We were across the street from the Leeds Gallery and Museum and within a short walk from shopping that I wouldn’t have imagined in Leeds. There were blocks and blocks of covered galleries and a huge glass-covered multi-story mall. Nothing in the U.S. compares to the number of shops within proximity to the downtown district.
The shops in the Victoria Arcade were very high-end and one of the streets was covered in beautiful stained-glass. It remined me of a smaller scale, Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II, in Milan. As we found in Durham, Leeds has its own version of El Mercado located in the Kirkgate Market. Fortunately, my luggage space is limited or my credit cards would have suffered a severe meltdown!
As we walked past the square in front of the St. John’s complex, we stopped to watch a dance group perform. They called themselves the Morris Dancers, a form of English folk dancing accompanied by music that is a tradition dating to the 1400s. We enjoyed several nice restaurants in Leeds. Our favorites were Brown’s Restaurant just across from the Radisson Blu and Almost Famous Burgers just down the street. Leeds is also host to several concerts which flood the downtown area with attendees. The last night we were in our hotel, it was filled with young girls attending the Little Mix concert. The following weekend, a large outdoor concert was scheduled for one of the squares a few blocks from the Radisson Blu. We were glad we were going to miss that one!