18 events to look forward to across Leeds in 2018

There's never a shortage of exciting activities in Leeds, whether they are sporting, cultural or food and drink-related. Get your diaries out as the YEP presents its guide to the highlights of the coming 12 months.

It can be hard to get back into the swing of things after putting the festive period to bed, but 2018 has plenty of inspiring things in store that will help fend off those January blues. Here are 18 exciting events to look forward to in Leeds next year.

Leeds Gymfest 2018

The best of the UK’s gymnastics teams (from pre-school children, to British team members and Leeds’ own Olympian, Nile Wilson) will be gathering to put on a superb display of strength, flexibility and choreography at this impressive exhibition of gymnastic talent and creativity.When? January 21, First Direct Arena – firstdirectarena.com

Anatomy Lab Live

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Beginning with a glamorous dining experience where guests can enjoy a two course meal, the room will then be transformed into a live dissection lab, featuring hands-on demonstrations and a variety of samples to dissect.

When? February 17, Village Hotel Leeds North – anatomylablive.co.uk

Leeds Sports Awards

Returning for its 15th year, the Leeds Sports Awards celebrates the city’s proud sporting heritage and champions the success of some of Leeds’ best athletes, coaches, teams and volunteers – a true highlight on the sporting calendar.

When? March 1, First Direct Arena – firstdirectarena.com

Hop City 2018

After its inaugural success in 2017, the UK’s first hop-led beer festival will be making its return next year, presented by Northern Monk Brew Co.

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Twenty-five breweries will be in attendance to showcase the best hoppy beers on the planet – perfect for any beer lover.

When? March 29–31, Northern Monk Refectory – eventbrite.co.uk

Easter Tournament 2018

Get a taste of medieval jousting at this fun, authentic tournament held in the Royal Armouries Museum, where you can watch live action battles, sword combat, knight demonstrations and a parade, alongside a busy museum programme.

When? March 30-April 2, Royal Armouries Museum – royalarmouries.org

Yorkshire Warrior

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The region’s ultimate obstacle course is returning for its sixth year in 2018 at Ripley Castle, just a short drive from the centre of Leeds.

Expect mountains of mud, treacherous lake crossings, slides, electric fencing and the gruelling eight metre high KillerManJaro.

When? April 21, Ripley Castle, Harrogate – yorkshirewarrior.com

Tour de Yorkshire 2018

The increasingly popular cycle race will be extended in 2018, with the men’s race covering four days and the women’s across three.

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The grand finale will be held in the Leeds – the first time the city centre has hosted a world class cycling event since the Grand Depart in 2014.

When? May 3-6, Leeds city centre - letour.yorkshire.com

The Girl on the Train

It proved to be an international phenomenon after selling more than 20 million copies worldwide, and now Paula Hawkins’ gripping novel can be enjoyed live on stage.

When? May 12-June 9, West Yorkshire Playhouse – wyp.org.uk

Pint of Science

This annual science festival takes place across 26 cities in the UK every May, bringing researchers to your local pub to show off the latest happenings in the world of science.

When? May 14-16 – pintofscience.com

ITU World Triathlon Leeds

Since it first arrived in the city in 2016, the ITU World Triathlon Leeds hasn’t failed to pull in the crowds, and its return next summer looks set to be just as thrilling.

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Witness the world’s elite triathletes – including Leeds’s own Brownlee brothers – battle it out around the city centre.

When? June 9-10, Leeds city centre – leeds.triathlon.org

March for Men

Raising money and awareness for a worthy cause, there are three different routes to take on at this march for Prostate Cancer UK at Roundhay Park, from two to 16 kilometre distances.

When? June 23, Roundhay Park – prostatecanceruk.org

Leeds Tattoo Expo

Welcoming more than 170 artists from the UK, Europe and beyond, this two day tattoo expo will feature live music and entertainment, a piercing show, a market of hand-picked traders, and the popular tattoo contests, showcasing the best work from the weekend.

When? July 7-8, First Direct Arena – firstdirectarena.com

Harewood Soap Box Derby

This high speed racing event not only helps to raise money for a variety of local charities, but is also thoroughly entertaining to watch. Witness a collection of teams battle it out to reach the finish line first in their soap box motors.

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When? August 19, Harewood Hill Climb, Harewood – harewoodsoapboxderby.co.uk

Ice Cream Festival

The first ice cream festival will be making its way to Leeds next summer, so you can cool off with a refreshing cone or cup and indulge in a range of new and exclusive creations. When? August 24-26 – facebook.com/icecreamfestivalUK

Leeds Festival

Held once again at Bramham Park, you can enjoy a lively weekend watching some of the world’s biggest artists. A highlight of the summer.

When? August 26-28, Bramham Park – leedsfestival.com

Leeds Beer Festival

Spread across four days in the heart of Leeds, this annual beer festival features more than 100 craft beers and ciders brewed in the UK and overseas, along with a street food market and live music.

When? September 6-9, Leeds Town Hall – leedsbeer.com

leeds International Piano Competition

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This acclaimed competition only takes place every three years and attracts some of the finest pianists from around the world to go head to head for the coveted first place position.

When? September 14-15, Leeds Town Hall – leedspiano.com

Thought Bubble Festival

It’s the largest festival of its kind, celebrating sequential art in all its forms, from comic books to independent artists and writers.

Featuring talks from leading artists, publishers and writers, alongside reading spaces, a cosplay parade and more than 400 stalls, it’s a hugely popular creative festival.

When? September 17-23, Leeds city centre – thoughtbubblefestival.com

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