Leeds is a small-ish city located in Yorkshire in the north of England. While it might not be the first place that jumps to mind when I say the words “United Kingdom” and “shopping”, there are many reasons why it should.
Home to more than 1,000 shops in its compact city center, Leeds is one of the most diverse and exciting places to shop in the UK. It was recently named as the best shopping destination by the Rough Guide to Britain (2016) and has routinely held one of the top three spots over the last decade.
There are many reasons that it’s quietly climbed to the top of the list, but let’s highlight my favorite two:
There’s something for every style. Whether you wear head to toe leather, rock a chic shift dress and pumps, or prefer more of a hipster aesthetic, Leeds has something to satisfy your every shopping desire.
There’s something for every budget. The downtown core of Leeds is quite small; walking at a snail’s pace one could make it from one side to the other in 30 minutes or less. But within this tightly packed town there lays something for every budget: whether you’re watching your pennies or throwing caution to the wind, you will, no doubt, find what you’re looking forward.
The Ultimate Shopping Guide to Leeds
Now that I’ve told you why you should consider shopping in Leeds, let me tell you where to go to meet all your shopping needs.
Victoria Quarter is a series of historic arcades bridging the high streets throughout Leeds. Packed with more than 70 high-end boutiques and international fashion brands, from Louis Vuitton and Agent Provocateur to Vivienne Westwood and Harvey Nichols, these arcades are the perfect place for an afternoon of luxury shopping (or window shopping) and people watching, as you’ll often find the city’s elite strutting their stuff through these marble arcades.
Victoria Gate is the newest addition to the Leeds shopping scene. Having opened just this past October, the Victoria Leeds shopping centre is home to more than 17 shops, many of which had yet to make their home in the north of England, including the first John Lewis department store to open outside of London, and Anthropologie.
Victoria Gate is also home to a myriad of cafes, bars and high-end dining establishments, making it the perfect location to satisfy your sartorial needs and your appetites.
Trinity Leeds is pretty much the go to for all your shopping needs. With more than 120 international brands under one roof, it was hard to believe that you won’t find what you were looking for here!
Home to all your favourite high street brands, like H&M, Zara, Next and Primark, Trinity Leeds has transformed the city centre and its skyline thanks to its open-air concept that links Leeds’ high streets (Briggate, Albion and Commercial).
Trinity Leeds is also home to Trinity Kitchen, an upscale food court that every six weeks opens its doors (literally) and rotates in five new food trucks giving visitors the chance to sip and sample amazing new flavours and cuisines.
But the food trucks aren’t the only offering, Trinity Kitchen also has permanent staples, like Duck ‘n Roll, Rola Wala and 360 Champagne and Cocktails, making it more than just a shopping destination.
The Leeds Corn Exchange is one of Britain’s finest Victoria buildings and a Grade 1 listed structure. Built in 1864, the Corn Exchange was once the hub of the city and the site of its grain market. Today, the Leeds Corn Exchange sits on the edge of the city centre and is home to three stories of independent boutiques offering funky vintage finds and one-of-a-kind gifts, including the Great Yorkshire Shop, the perfect place to find that unique gift or souvenir to remember your visit to Leeds and Yorkshire.
When you’re done browsing the racks, why not pick up a delicious snack at one of the Corn Exchanges’ cafes and pop down to the bottom floor, where you can take part in a game of ping pong or even salsa dancing.
Kirkgate Market is one of the largest indoor markets in Europe and has been the heart of Leeds’ retail scene since the mid-19th century. It’s even the birthplace of Marks & Spencer; talk about a fashion legacy!
This labyrinth of more than 170 shops, stalls and traders offer everything from flowers, fruits and veggies, to stylish gifts and unique finds, to jewellery and a whole new wardrobe. It’s safe to say that no matter what you’re looking for, you can find it at Kirkgate Market.
Leeds is one of the fastest growing areas in the UK and is quickly rising the ranks as one of the country’s most exciting and interesting fashion destinations. With more than 1,000 shops in its compact city centre and over one mile of indoor shopping, including its arcades and open-air malls, Leeds is a city that can meet your every shopping need, no matter your style or your budget!