Nothing gets you into the festive spirit like walking though Christmas markets on a cold winter’s evening, mulled wine in hand. Here are our top tips for the perfect winter break in Leeds.
Want to try somewhere new for a pre-Christmas break? Unwrap the festive charm of Leeds. This city offers the full package: festive markets, some of the best shopping in the UK, delicious local cuisine and cultural highlights for a night out to remember.
Get merry at the markets
In the heart of Leeds, you’ll find Christkindelmarkt from the 13 November – 20 December. This quaint German market lights up Millennium Square and is sure to lift your spirits with over 40 wooden chalets, decorations and carousel rides. Pick up gifts and traditional German treats as you wander past the vendors, including gingerbread, bratwurst and gluhwein. Make sure you also visit Kirkgate Market, Europe’s largest indoor market where you can also pick an array of Christmas treats, gifts and ideas.
Get busy buying presents
If you are planning a winter break, shopping is a must to ensure you have all your gifts in place. Leeds city centre is compact and you can easily walk around. Yet the offerings when it comes to shopping are diverse with over 1000 stores. Trinity Shopping Centre is just one of the highlights. With 120 shops, cafes and restaurants under one roof, you’ll find everything on your list. If you prefer designer stores, Victoria Quarter is the destination for you. Over 70 stores sell luxury international designs and haute couture brands. Named after the beautiful Victorian arcade it is set in, it is not just the fashion items you’ll be admiring. You’ll find many other charming arcades in the heart of Leeds meaning you can escape the winter cold and keep warm as you shop. The Corn Exchange, one of the city's listed buildings dating back to 1864, is a must if you love independent boutiques where you can pick up unique and vintage items; the perfect presents.
Get stylish with Radisson Blu
Once you have had your fill of shopping and markets, it’s probably about time to rest and refresh at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds, before putting on your party outfits and getting ready for a night out. Start your evening at the hotel’s Fire Lake Grill House and Cocktail Bar. This Yorkshire-inspired restaurant provides a lovely ambiance and takes pride in where the ingredients are sourced. Rustic, yet refined dishes are only enhanced by the wood-smoked, flame-cooked methods used here. This will be the perfect start to the evening.
Get classy at Christmas
A trip to the theatre makes every Christmas break complete and is sure to get you into the seasonal spirit. For a light-hearted evening, book the West Yorkshire Playhouse and you’re in for a treat. The musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is taking to the stage from the 2 December – 30 January. For a more classical experience, nothing says Christmas like The Nutcracker. This performance is delivered by the Northern Ballet from 16 December – 2 January. For a night of laughter, check out the Comedy Sessions at The HiFi Club.
Leeds is a vibrant city with plenty to keep you busy. It makes for the perfect Yorkshire getaway before the busy Christmas period. Combine this with festive cheer and you have the perfect recipe for a short break.
Top image: ©Northern Ballet