Just when you think you know the city like the back of your hand, you discover something new to do…
From perfectly placed vineyards where you can pick up a bottle of local wine to secret gardens, hidden art galleries and world-class beers supped in the brewery they were made in – you never know what surprises await in Leeds.
Drink one of the best IPAs in the world, at the brewery it was made in
Northern Monk is the only English brewery to ever have won a World Beer Cup Medal for an IPA, which means Leeds is the only place in the entire country where you can sup a bronze medal winning IPA in the brewery it was made in. Go order yourself a pint of Eternal Session IPA.
Take a wander around someone else’s garden
Ever wanted to have your own secret garden? Well, we have the next best thing, because you can visit someone else’s garden. It’s all thanks to the National Gardens Scheme, an organisation that allows you to book a visit to two incredible Leeds locations – The Jungle Garden, a multi-level hideaway filled with jungle-style plants, boardwalks and bark pathways, and The Orchard, a lush garden that boasts unusual fruit trees, Oriental-style seating areas and even a Tea House.
Tuck into a wrap… made from a Yorkshire pudding
Only in Yorkshire, and indeed, only in Leeds can you indulge in this marvellous delicacy. These Yorkshire pudding wraps are filled with tasty eats like pulled pork and slow roasted beef – get them at the Yorkshire Wrap Company in Kirkgate Market.
See original manuscripts and handwritten notes by the Brontë sisters
You’d probably expect all of the Brontës manuscripts and materials to be in their museum, over in Haworth, but actually, you’ll find some of them a little closer to home. The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery is filled with unusual finds, including a small, handwritten book of poems and letters by the Brontë sisters.
Visit a Victorian bear pit
It may not be in use anymore, but you’ll find the remains of an old Victorian bear pit on Cardigan Road. The building, which looks like a mini castle, was once part of Leeds Zoological and Botanical Gardens. They opened in 1840 but closed soon after in 1858, and for a brief while, they were home to a brown bear, monkeys and an eagle.
Go to an art gallery in someone’s basement
With Leeds Art Gallery closed for the foreseeable future, you’re going to have to look in the most unexpected places for your next cultural hit – including, it seems, someone’s basement. BasementArtsProject is an unconventional art space, tucked away in a pre-war, mid-terrace house in South Leeds, and it offers an eclectic range of events and exhibitions throughout the year.
Buy wine straight from the vineyard
Yorkshire isn’t exactly famed for its vineyards, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have them. In fact, Leventhorpe Vineyard is one of the city’s best kept secrets – they make a small but delicious selection of wine, using grapes grown on their 5 acre plot, and you can buy them at the vineyard itself.Cover image credit: The National Gardens Scheme.