Yorkshire’s top destination for pubbing, clubbing, dining and shopping, Leeds has cast off its industrial cocoon and emerged a shiny, new cultural haven. You’ll find cool music venues, arts spaces, delis and eateries all over, especially in the hip and studenty Headingley, but we’re here to get serious about shopping.
Leeds Weekend Shopping Guide
Leeds ain’t been dubbed the Knightsbridge of the North for nothing. This city is home to more designer boutiques than even a seasoned WAG could handle.
The first city outside of London to be deemed worthy of a Harvey Nichols store, since the uber-department store moved in, the arcades of the city’s gorgeous Victorian Quarter have been transformed into a home away from home for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Mulberry.
With five indoor shopping centres and 4.3 million square feet of retail space packed into five miles of shopping streets, you might want to swap those heels for flats as we take you on this shop-til-you-drop tour of the city.
If you’re serious about shopping, and aren’t afraid to flash that credit card, the Victoria Quarter is the destination for you.
With a mix of designer fashion, beauty and lifestyle stores contained within the jawdropping architecture of the quarter’s ornate arcades, you’ll find over seventy stores in all.
Alongside the aforementioned Harvey Nic’s, Vivienne Westwood and Mulberry, there’s Karen Millen, Jo Malone, Reiss, Whistles, Diesel, Space NK, Paul Smith, Kurt Geiger, Kiehls, Louis Vuitton, French Connection and more.
The Corn Exchange
Leeds’ self-proclaimed Home of Boutique Shopping, The Corn Exchange is a unique Grade I listed building, and it’s fitting that the shops that it houses are unique too.
Home to endless delicious cafes, as well as exhibition space and music events, it’s also one of the only corn exchanges in the country that still operates as intended – as a centre for trade.
This is the place to head for independent boutiques like Lou Lou Puchalka the milliner, silver jeweller Outrage, and vintage/reworked/handmade clothier Mad Elizabeth.
The largest covered market in Europe, and home to over 800 regular traders, Kirkgate Market is a real Leeds institution. Dating back to 1822, the Edwardian building which houses the market is worth a visit in itself.
A great place for a bit of bargain hunting, you’ll find clothing, arts and crafts, DIY goods, fishmongers, bakers, butchers, world foods, florists – anything and everything you could ask for from a local market and more.
Head into Headingley and you’ll find an area buzzing with bars, vintage stores and charity shops, with a cool vibe thanks to the high student population.
The Bowery on Otley Road is a retail, education and arts space that serves up delicious coffees and treats in its coffee bar, regular creative workshops on everything from digital photography to made to measure blinds, and a fabulous independent shop.
Designed to showcase the work of emerging artists and designers, many of whom have taken part in and taught workshops here, you’ll find art work, ceramics, jewelry, cards, textiles and more – the perfect place to pick up unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else.
(photo credit: 1)