Leeds is a vibrant city in West Yorkshire, England, combining British traditions and history with the hectic pace of a metropolis. However, what you might not know is that Leeds is a great destination for families and lots of the attractions in the city will be interesting for children. In fact, today it is the fastest growing city in England, being the most important financial center in the country after London. Leeds is one of the largest cities in the UK and is a center of art, culture and history, so there is plenty to see and do with your kids in Leeds. There are many activities that you can do in this exciting and cosmopolitan city. If you want to get an idea of what you can’t miss in Leeds, read on.
Tip: Exploring Leeds with the kids will be easier if you opt to rent your own car. Check enjoycarhire.com in order to compare car hire in Leeds.
The River Aire flows through the city of Leeds and on its banks, to the northwest of the city, you can find the fascinating Kirkstall Abbey. These are the remains of a monastery from 1152 which was active for almost 400 years until King Henry VIII decided to dissolve it, but it still retains its medieval character. Here you can explore the park and its surroundings, or visit the market and participate in the various events they organize regularly which are very family-friendly. You will undoubtedly learn a lot from the chaotic religious history of England.
Tip: If you have a day off in Leeds and you like quiet programs, this is a very good option.
Royal Armories Museum
This is the oldest museum in the United Kingdom and one of the oldest in the world, previously located in the Tower of London, from where it received a large part of its objects on display. It has a collection of 8,500 pieces of weapons, one of the most impressive collections of its kind in existence. The weapons catalog is organized into six different exhibitions, which encompass the categories of War, Tournament, Oriental, Self-Defense, Hunting and Peace. If you are a lover of history and of war history in particular, you will be eager to know this incredible place. Your kids will have the chance to play knight here and will be amused with all the weapon types they often see in their video games.
Tip: Go in the early hours to avoid crowds and have more space for the kids.
This is one of the largest urban parks in Europe, one of the must-see sites in Leeds. England stands out for its beautiful green pasture landscapes and cities like Leeds are no exception. Roundhay Park is a great example of this; it is located in the heart of the city of Leeds and extends over more than 200 hectares. This park features multiple lakes, a mansion to walk around, and a beautiful castle gate that was built in the 19th century, so here you will find a variety of outdoor activities as you walk through it. It is one of the most visited Leeds attractions: around a million tourists a year a big part of which are families enjoying the outdoor activities or having a picnic.
Tip: Bring snacks and drinks with you to enjoy the sun in the grass and take a break.
Meanwood Valley Trail
This is a beautiful 11-kilometer tour that will take you to places like Woodhouse Ridge, The hollies and Scortand Mll’s Dam to the Seven Arches Aqueduct. You can start walking from the H.R. Marsden (former Mayor of Leeds) and finish the tour in the heart of the Leeds suburbs. Just keep in mind that if you decide to do all the way on foot, it will be about 22 kilometers and that’s like a half marathon. Luckily, the trail is very well signposted and you are unlikely to get lost, you will be able to learn about the wildlife of the place shown in the signs. It is an interesting tourist attraction and an ideal opportunity to get to know Leeds in depth. It will also be very fun for the kids to be out in the open and even though it can be tiring, they will have an incredible time exploring and learning.
Tip: Bring lots of water for you and the kids if you’re planning to do all 22 kilometers at once.
Leeds and Liverpool Canal
This beautiful canal runs for about 200 kilometers and connects the cities of Leeds and Liverpool. It is an idyllic stretch of river that was completed in the early 19th century. You can hire a boat ride with the whole family that lasts around an hour. Or if you prefer, you can walk along the river bank for a few kilometers. Whatever activity you choose with your little ones, you will not regret knowing this wonder that Leeds offers.