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Exploring historical Leeds city centre

If you fancy taking some time to explore Leeds city centre, then it’s well worth parking the car and taking a slow stroll around this beautiful metropolis on foot.

With a highly pedestrianised city centre, Leeds is full of beautiful architecture, places of interest and myriad shopping opportunities. When you’re exploring Leeds, don’t forget to look up – Victorian buildings have been turned over to shops, and above the storefronts you’ll see remnants of the city’s history, including roof gardens and iconic buildings like Kirkgate Market and the Corn Exchange. Of course the town hall, museum, library and art gallery are all located in the city centre itself and are housed in imposing old buildings too, giving a real insight into the city’s past.

As you’re wandering around Leeds city centre, make sure you incorporate the stunning and ornate arcades into your route. Even if the designer shops are a little out of your price range, they provide some fantastic opportunities for watching the world go by and taking some photographs of your visit.

A surprising hint of nature

There’s more to explore in Leeds city centre than just the shops, museums and theatres too; why not take a walk up the canal if you fancy a bit of fresh air and nature? You can head south towards the picturesque village of Woodlesford, or in the opposite direction you can find historic Kirkstall abbey and its green, rambling grounds.
All of that walking and exploring is sure to leave you with a thirst, but don’t worry there are plenty of traditional ale houses where you can quench and feast to your heart’s content. The oldest pub in Leeds is a matter of some contention, with two establishments trying to claim the title. Both located in the little alleyways leading from the main pedestrianised shopping street known as Briggate, try both Whitelocks and The Packhorse while you’re around.

The best car park in Leeds city centre?

So for a taste of history mixed with all the modern trappings you could wish for, Leeds city centre really can offer it all – but while it’s the perfect city for walking, you can make life easier by driving close to the pedestrianised centre and dropping your car off at one of the budget car parks on the periphery. Trafalgar Street Car Park in Leeds is the ideal choice, being just minutes away from the central market and visually stunning Victoria Quarter shopping precinct.

Because you need at least a full day to explore, this is one of the most cost-effective car park options around; just £3 for all day parking on Sundays, £4 on Saturdays and £6 on weekdays, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper alternative in Leeds city centre. Trafalgar Street Car Park also offers 24 hour parking, so if you’re planning on extending your visit by staying in one of the city’s hotels, you won’t be stuck when you discover they rarely have onsite parking facilities!