Whether it's iconic historical landmarks, or beautiful vast landscapes, Leeds and its surrounding areas have so much to offer.
While the centre of Leeds is a buzzing hub for both business and recreation, there’s also much to be discovered in the surrounding cities and towns, many of which are ideal for entertaining the partners of delegates visiting. These experiences can really enhance an international delegate’s, and their partners’, trip to Yorkshire and provide a taste of the variety of activities the region has to offer.
One of the most picturesque cities in the country, York is steeped in 2,000 years of history just waiting to be explored. What’s more, this historical city is only a 30 minute train ride from Leeds train station. Walking these cobbled streets, you will find yourself surrounded by a number of historic attractions from multiple eras (such as Romans, Vikings and Georgians) all culminating to create a beautiful and vibrant city renowned for its quirks and traditional English heritage.
Also located in York is the world-famous Shambles – one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe – which is lined with curious boutiques, delicious cafes and unique stores bound to leave a lasting impression.
Attractions not to miss in York:
Jorvik Viking Centre: One of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK you’ll be transported back to the year AD960 and learn more about the Viking story of and learn more about the Viking story of York through their ride, exhibitions and dig sites.
York Minster: One of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals dating back to the birth of modern day Christianity in Roman York. From 2018 for the first time in nearly a decade, visitors are able to see one of its most famous works of art – the Great East Window – following a decade-long restoration and conservation project.
York Chocolate Story: This interactive tour will take you through the history of chocolate and confectionary in the city and York’s most famous chocolate-making families along with some of their finest creations from the Chocolate Orange to the globally famous Kit Kat. You can also make and decorate your own chocolate as part of the experience.
This Victorian spa town, which is a 30 minute train ride from Leeds, is a quaint and relaxed hub of shops, restaurants and history. Harrogate became a popular tourism destination in the 1800s when the high society of Victorian Britain flocked to Harrogate to ‘take the waters’ which were purported to give great health benefits. You can still experience the ‘healing’ waters in the Turkish Baths & Spa where you can relax and unwind in their baths and spa facilities as well as choose from a number of luxury treatments.
The town is also home to Betty’s Tea Room; a prestigious establishment found only in Yorkshire and originally opened nearly 100 years ago in 1919. The perfect venue to take in a quintessentially English pot of tea and delicious cakes and treats.
3. Harewood House
Just 20 minutes outside of Leeds, Harewood House; a stunning historic Stately Home which was built in the 18th century and has an array of fabulous art collections that can rival some of the finest in the country. Situated amongst over 100 acres of fantastic, award-winning gardens and grounds, the House is surrounded by a range of exotic and beautiful plants that make taking a walk around the land a beautiful way to spend an afternoon.
If you want to take in all the beauty of the gardens but don’t want to walk across all 100 acres, visitors can also take a boat named The Capability across the lakes on the grounds, giving you the full picture of this beautiful Stately Home and surrounding grounds. What’s more, for those with an interest in wildlife, Harewood House is also home to a Bird Garden which features an array of different birds from over the world including flamingos, penguins, owls and parrots.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site, located 20 minutes from Leeds’ city centre by train, is renowned for its industrial heritage and stunning visuals. From the spectacular architecture as you wander around the village, to the independent shops and restaurants spread amongst its streets, much can be said about the relaxing and quaint vibe that Saltaire provides.
The town is also home to Salts Mill,originally opened by Sir Titus Salt as a textile mill, now it is a place for art, dining and shopping in one stunning historic building. On display, partners of delegates will find world class art along with one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s work in existence.
5. Yorkshire Dales National Park
The Yorkshire Dales are an ideal attraction for those with a passion for outdoor exploration. With an array of beautiful valleys, unique crags and breathtaking views, this is must-see attraction during your visit to the County.
Whether you’re walking or cycling, exploring the Yorkshire Dales is something to remember. Stone-built villages sit amongst traditional farming landscapes and show how the area has been shaped over thousands of years by the people who have lived and worked here, giving visitors a real insight into the rural history of the region.