Leeds’ Hidden Gems: 6 must see attractions in the city

You might have visited Leeds for the university, incredible nightlife or a tour of the Emmerdale set. But once you look beyond the surface, you’ll find there is much more to discover here.

In this blog, we’ve uncovered Leeds’ hidden gems for those who want to unlock a different side of the city.

The Domino Club

This quirky underground bar showcases the sounds of Jazz, Blues, Funk and Soul with live performances every night of the week. A true hidden gem, the bar is located behind Lord’s Barbering in The Grand Arcade Leeds. An eccentric drinks menu is on hand to perfectly accompany the live music, and the bar is keen on supporting local sound. Since 2017 they have reinvested more than £500,000 back into the community of local musicians. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes as this venue promises to have you on your feet all night!

City Varieties Music Hall

As Leeds’ oldest working theatre, established in 1865, the City Varieties Musical Hall holds the Guinness World Record for the nation’s longest-running music hall! Over the years this stage has played host to some of the greats, including Russell Crowe and the one and only Houdini. To this day the theatre continues to showcase incredible talent, from pantomimes and comedy to thought-provoking plays, and as the name suggests – MUSIC!

The Ivanhoe Clock

Located at the north end of Thornton’s Arcade is the Ivanhoe Clock, created by Leeds famous clockmaker William Potts and Sons between 1877 and 1878. The life-size figures based on the Sir Walter Scott characters are mesmerising, carved so intricately by the Leeds sculptor John Wormald Appleyard. The figures take it in turns to strike the clock, with Friar Tuck and Richard Coeur-de-Lion taking the hours, whilst Robin Hood and Gurth the Swineherd strike the quarters. It’s a pity that so many walk past and fail to look up at the clock.

Mabgate Mural

The Mabgate Mural is more than three decades old and still holds cultural significance in the community today. Painted by local artist Janet De Wagt, it depicts the lives of Caribbean residents as they settled into the city of Leeds. The mural has stood the test of time and successfully shows the merging of two cultures over 30 years later. You can easily find the mural by taking a short walk up Mabgate.

Canal Gardens

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The Canal Gardens is a beautiful haven of nature located on the outskirts of the city. This is the perfect place for coming back to nature and finding inner peace, with water features and delightful flowers in the warmer months. Mary’s Tree is a stunning sight since it was sculpted a few years ago to represent the surrounding wildlife. This is a great place for a leisurely stroll or to let the kids roam freely.

Brewery Wharf

On the south bank of the River Aire, Brewery Wharf is a vibrant community filled to the brim with restaurants, bars, offices and much more. This neighbourhood is a creative outlet for locals and appeals to those who come to visit, with tranquil views across the water and colourful visuals. Café Yum Yum is the place to be for your avocado on toast and a wonderful atmosphere, whilst Ciao Bella is on hand to supply traditional and utterly delicious Italian dishes.

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