This is why Leeds proved a hit with travel bloggers from around the globe

SELFIES AND THE CITY: Bloggers Claire Sturzaker and Lauren Gallagher and Jenny Lippmann at Leeds Town Hall. PIC: James Hardisty
SELFIES AND THE CITY: Bloggers Claire Sturzaker and Lauren Gallagher and Jenny Lippmann at Leeds Town Hall. PIC: James Hardisty
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A group of key bloggers and "influencers" were in Leeds over the weekend.

They were invited to explore some of the best spots in Leeds for heritage, culture and food and drink. So what did they think?

Rachel Cohen loved the variety of ingredients sold at Kirkgate Market  - and the huge range of street food

Rachel Cohen loved the variety of ingredients sold at Kirkgate Market - and the huge range of street food

The last time Rachel Cohen visited Leeds her car broke down and she spent half the time on an industrial site sourcing spare parts.

After her brief and “somewhat disastrous” first trip, this weekend Ms Cohen was “bowled over” by the city for the right reasons.

Edinburgh-based Ms Cohen - @travelswithmyphone - did not expect the city to be as architecturally good-looking, and found the food market at Kirkgate “extraordinary.”

The photographer, who has a 100,000-strong following on Instagram, was also blown away by the “Art Deco jungle” wallpaper at the newly-opened The Ivy in the Victoria Quarter and the amount of free stuff to do.

Rachel Cohen

Rachel Cohen

“Next time I’ll bring my family,” she said.

“I am impressed - people were super-friendly.”

For Katya Jackson, who has 30,000 followers on Instagram @katya_jackson it was a first visit and her perception beforehand had been of Leeds as an industrial city.

She raved about the nightlife, calling it a “perfect place to party with friends.”

Katya Jackson

Katya Jackson

Ms Jackson, who is from Russia and lives in London, said her target audience was ex-pats and foreigners who wanted interesting places to visit in the country, rather than jumping on a plane and flying to Europe.

She was impressed by the fact M&S started life in Leeds and enjoyed her trip to Leeds Art Gallery and the Brewery tour at Northern Monk.

She concluded: “I think there are at least 10 reasons to visit - the culture, the architecture, there are a few rooftop bars with great views.

“There are areas which look like Shoreditch. I didn’t expect there to be so many places to go out and it is quite a compact city centre.”

Last year, Leeds welcomed 29 million tourism visits, a 6.3 per cent increase from 2016.

The first #INLeedsweekend, which aims to promote Leeds as an all-year round city break destination, was organised by Visit Leeds, with the backing of a host of key organisations, including the Yorkshire Evening Post.