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The growth of Leeds

One of the biggest and fastest-growing cities in England, Leeds displays true northern grit alongside a cultural renaissance. The city is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of West Yorkshire, and is the largest centre for business, legal, and financial services in the UK outside London.

Today, Leeds is a thriving 24/7 business-driven city to match any of Europe’s finest, with upmarket shopping and thriving sports, culture and nightlife; as well as a large university.
This is all quite surprising given the city’s roots, which can be traced to the 5th-century forest which gave it its name.

Leeds grew up as an agricultural hub, then as a centre for the manufacture of wool and linen. It was ideally placed between the key ports of Hull and Liverpool, and became a hotspot on the canal network. Its civic pride and new-found prosperity are visible in the grand Victorian buildings in the city centre, which include a grand classical town hall and the over-the-top glass-roofed arcades of the Victoria Quarters.

Recommended in Leeds

106770 2

Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa

A well-presented, comfortable hotel convenient for the motorway.
120221 3

Innkeeper's Lodge Leeds Calverley

A striking 19th-century Victorian lodge in a picturesque village.
119896 3

The New Ellington

A thoughtfully designed central hotel with art deco and musical themes.