Leeds is a prosperous, commercial, industrial and manufacturing city, and is also the cultural and sporting centre for much of the region. In the City Centre, modern offices have developed alongside fine old buildings like the Town Hall and the Corn Exchange. Impressive new shopping precincts complement traditional Victorian arcades, and have created a fine regional shopping centre. Leeds is a 'green' city, proud of its parks and open spaces, including Woodhouse Moor, close to the University and Roundhay Park and the Temple Newsam estate near the City Centre.
Visitors to Leeds are impressed by the range of different leisure facilities. There are lively audiences for all kinds of films, concerts and plays. There is a thriving local music scene covering everything from soul and reggae to jazz and folk. Leeds has a rich musical tradition. Each year a full programme of symphony concerts and chamber music is arranged in the Town Hall. The world famous Leeds International Pianoforte Competition is held every three years.
The Grand Theatre is the home of Opera North. It also stages touring productions of national and international ballet and theatre companies. The new West Yorkshire Playhouse is the home of one of the leading provincial theatre companies and has been called the 'National Theatre of the North'. Costing over £12 million, the new Playhouse has some of the best facilities outside London. Leeds City Art Gallery offers a wide variety of exhibitions and also houses the new, internationally famous Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture.
If you are an active sportsperson you will find many sporting facilities both in the University and the City. You will be able to use the Leeds international swimming pool which is only ten minutes walk from the University, and other heated pools which are located in various parts of the City. There are many fine golf courses in the Leeds area and the City's parks include more than 160 tennis courts as well as pitches for rugby, cricket, soccer and hockey.
Shopaholics are in for a treat as the city boasts around 1,000 shops in a unique mix of stylish pedestrianised high streets, state-of-the-art shopping centres, Victorian arcades, historic buildings and yards and Edwardian markets. Leeds city centre has almost 1,000 shops, 16 major hotels, 4 renowned theatres, 90 restaurants and cafes and over 160 bars.
For the spectator, Headingley is the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rugby League Club; Leeds United play at Elland Road.
Leeds lies in the heart of West Yorkshire. The City enjoys excellent communications with the rest of the country. The M1 motorway provides a direct road link with the Midlands, London and the South; the A1 provides access to the North East and the Eastern Counties; and the M62 links the City with Hull, Manchester, Liverpool and the North West. Manchester is about 1 hour's drive, Liverpool about 11/2 hours, Newcastle about 2 hours, Birmingham about 3 hours and London and Bristol about 4 hours.
Inter-city trains operate frequent through services to London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Newcastle; other services provide regular connections with the North West, the East Midlands, East Anglia and the South West. Extensive coach services are available and Leeds/Bradford airport provides connections to an increasing number of locations in the United Kingdom and Western Europe.
Within easy reach of Leeds are many areas of outstanding natural beauty. You will be able to explore the Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines, the North York Moors and the Vale of York. Within half an hour of the City Centre, you can be in some of the finest walking country in the world.
The region is also fortunate to possess many places of historical interest. Kirkstall Abbey and Temple Newsam lie within the City boundaries while Castle Howard, Nostell Priory and Harewood House are some of the stately homes close to the City.