Check out our final part of our A to Z of Leeds.
The arrival of Leeds Arena sparked a transformation in the city’s Northern Quarter. Its established independent bar scene, which stretches down Lower Merrion Street and New Briggate through the likes of Mojo, Verve, Sela Bar and North Bar, is constantly developing. The newest arrival includes cocktail bar Vice and Virtue.
It’s an initiation to Leeds student life and one that sees students take on a pub crawl that could include up to 20 pubs and bars along the route from Headingley to Hyde Park and on to Leeds City Centre. It isn’t an uncommon sight to see various university societies don the fancy dress and work their way along the A660 dressed as film stars and pop stars.
Leeds is home to plenty of vibrant green parks. Pudsey Park, Golden Acre Park and Middleton Park are just some of the spaces to escape the hustle and bustle of Leeds city centre. Roundhay Park is one of the most popular parks and is home to Tropical World, famous for its meerkats, the Canal Gardens, and hosts the annual firework extravaganza,
It started life as a tram and then a bus depot before becoming one of the most popular music spots in the history of Leeds. AC/DC, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Thin Lizzy have all passed through the legendary venue’s doors. It was demolished in 1989.
Leeds Rhinos fans celebrated a jubilant season last year after the club charged its way the Grand Final glory to achieve a historic treble title. It was a fairytale ending for Rhinos stalwarts Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai, whose efforts on the pitch were their last in a Leeds jersey. We can’t wait to see what the club have in store this year!
The Loiner was responsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses and is often regarded as the “Father of Civil Engineering”. The John Smeaton Academy in the city is named after him and he is even named-checked in the Kaiser Chiefs’ song “I Predict a Riot”.
The one million sq ft centre, named after the Holy Trinity Church it stands next to, officially opened its doors in 2013. Work on the £350m project began in 2008 but was stopped for more than year as the economic storm swept the UK. The centre is home to a dazzling array of shops and has helped to reinvigorate the city’s retail offering.
Leeds is lucky enough to be the home of three universities. The University of Leeds was founded in 1904, but its origins go back to the 19th century with the founding of the Leeds School of Medicine in 1831 and then the Yorkshire College of Science in 1874. Leeds Metropolitan University was renamed to Leeds Beckett two years ago - and don’t forget Leeds Trinity University in Horsforth.
This game-changing £150m development springing up in the centre of Leeds looks set to officially open its doors later this year. It will be the home of the city’s brand new John Lewis flagship store. It will also boast two arcades – a north and a south arcade with around 30 retailers – as well as a casino, restaurants and a multi-storey car park.
Dame Fanny Waterman
Music maestro Dame Fanny Waterman (pictured, top right of montage) has helped the city hit the right notes. Dame Fanny, 95, is the driving force behind the Leeds International Piano Competition for which she has become renowned. The ‘Leeds’, as it’s often called, has been going for 52 years and has seen the world’s brightest musical talents shine on the stage.
Leeds certainly has the X Factor when it comes to talent. Songbird Carolynne Poole reached the final of BBC One’s Fame Academy in 2003 and made it through to the live stages of ITV’s X Factor in 2012. Show judge Gary Barlow called her “supremely talented” and threatened to quit the X Factor after she was controversially kicked off the series. Don’t forget Nicola ‘Bupsi’ Brown from last year’s cohort and Luke Friend. Plus the live tour is set to arrive in Leeds next month.
For the last 125 years the Yorkshire Evening Post has had its finger firmly on the pulse of news in the heart of Leeds. Last year we marked our very special anniversary by giving readers a free pint at Leeds Brewery as well as creating a special souvenir calendar showcasing the city’s proud history. The YEP was first published on September 1, 1890, with a promise to bring its readers “news of all kinds”.
Leeds has played host to a number of weird and wonderful zoos and menageries over the years. Back in the 19th century an incredible collection of big cats, bears and elephants were regularly on show in the city - drawing massive crowds.
Headingley’s Zoological and Botanical Gardens, which opened in 1840, was home to a bear pit which can still be seen today and George Wombwell’s travelling menageries, which featured elephants, giraffes, rhinos and lions regularly visited Leeds.