Romantic Things To Do In Leeds
There are so many things for couples to do in Leeds - it is an ideal city for a short break or weekend away together.
From the history of Kirkstall Abbey and the Abbey House Museum, to the contemporary art of The Tetley and the traditional entertainment of the Grand Theatre, you and your loved one will be kept very busy exploring this fascinating city.
Here are a few ideas for romantic things to do in Leeds:
If you both enjoy finding out about the history of a city, the first places to visit are the historic Kirkstall Abbey and the Abbey House Museum.
Kirkstall Abbey dates back to Cistercian times, with magnificent ruins to admire, and 24 hectares of beautiful parkland and riverside gardens to wander through. It is one of the most popular places in Leeds for wedding blessings and marriage proposals, so it must be a particularly romantic place!
Abbey House Museum
Right next to Kirkstall Abbey, you can take a trip back in time with your loved one at the Abbey House Museum. Together you can stroll down re-created Victorian Streets, and experience life as a Victorian couple!
It is a truly interactive museum where you can get a feel for what Leeds was like in the Victorian age.
The new Leeds Cathedral (dating from 1901) may not have a long history at this particular site, but there has been a place of worship nearby since the 1700s. It has architecture which is just as majestic as that found in older cathedrals, and is a popular venue for city centre weddings.
Out and About
A walk in the countryside with your loved one always makes for a romantic day out.
Even better if there are exotic birds or cute and cuddly animals to enjoy whilst you are strolling around!
There are over 200 acres of wonderful parkland to explore together at Harewood, with formal gardens and an exotic bird garden, where you can watch many species of exotic birds (including penguins and flamingos!).
The magnificent fairy-tale house at Harewood was designed by Robert Adam, and is full of treasures for you both to admire, such as fantastic romantic Renaissance masterpieces, and beautiful ornate furniture.
Temple Newsam has everything for a romantic afternoon in Leeds - a rare breeds conservation farm, a beautiful mansion to explore (the birthplace of Lord Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots), and over 1500 acres of garden and parkland to wander in hand-in-hand. If you need an excuse to cuddle up close, you can book yourselves on the Gruesome Newsam tour, and hold your loved one tight as you tour the creepiest parts of the house!
Back in the centre of Leeds, you'll find the "love locks" attached to the Centenary Bridge. This is where couples traditionally lock a padlock onto the bridge as a symbol of their unbreakable love. (This tradition is said to originate in Serbia, where a schoolmistress called Nada fell in love with a Serbian officer).
Leeds is full of wonderful shopping opportunities - from the sophistication of the Victoria Quarter (the "Knightsbridge of the North") to the bustling market stalls of Kirkgate Market. You're bound to find that special present for your loved one in Leeds!
Couples love to bargain hunt together - and the multiple market halls in Kirkgate Market will provide many opportunities to find that special something. Michael Marks (founder of Marks and Spencer) set up his penny bazaar stall here in 1884 - the humble beginnings of a huge shopping empire!
If you'd like to create a special memento of your time in Leeds, how about a visit to Firefly Pottery? You can purchase a pre-prepared item for painting, and together you can decorate it to remind yourselves of your romantic time in Leeds.
Leeds City Art Gallery
You can't beat a romantic wander around a good art gallery - and the Leeds City Art Gallery has a huge collection of twentieth century art to admire. As well as older favourite artists such as Turner, Rodin and Henry Moore, the City Art Gallery likes to show work by living and lesser-known artists such as Grimshaw, Rego and Riley, so you may discover a new modern-day favourite too.
For those couples who enjoy an adrenaline rush, how about a ski session at Snozone, or a flight above the city in a helicopter?
If you fancy something with a slower pace, you can take a romantic river cruise along the River Aire, in a narrowboat from Clarence Dock, just outside the Royal Armouries Museum.
A unique way of exploring Leeds on foot is to explore the Leeds Owl Trail together - you can download a map and list of owls and follow their trail around the city. Each owl tells you a little about why it is there and a little about the history of Leeds. Owls are the theme for this walk as there are owls on the Leeds Coat of Arms.
Where to Eat
If you've never been to Fazenda, you're missing out on a great new Brazilian gaucho dining experience, based around their speciality dishes of succulent cuts of meat slowly grilled over open flames. Together you can enjoy continuous table service of up to fifteen delicious cuts of meat prepared in the gaucho style. Don't forget the sumptuous salad and vegetable buffet with side dishes, and indulgent desserts to complete your meal!
There's nothing worse than a waiter interrupting at the wrong moment if you are having a romantic meal, so you'll love the chip system at Fazenda: use the special red and green chip on your table to control the waiter service - whilst the chip is showing green, the waiters will continue to bring meat to your table, and when it is showing the red side the waiters will leave you to enjoy your food and conversation! (You can always turn it back to green for service to re-commence!).
Afternoon tea at Browns is the height of sophistication - especially if you visit on a weekend afternoon, when you can be entertained by a live pianist. You can treat your cherished one to a traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches, cream scones, mini desserts and a pot of tea, or you can even splash out on a champagne tea!
Where to stay
42 The Calls
If you're feeling indulgent, you can treat your loved one to a stay at 42 The Calls, a lovely boutique riverside hotel right in the centre of Leeds. The owners have transformed an 18th century corn mill into a modern 4 star hotel with all the luxuries and facilities you will need for a romantic city break.
You can book the special Romantic Package, which includes a bottle of Prosecco, scattered rose petals, sensual bath bubbles and speciality chocolate!
A Night Out in Leeds
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to evening entertainment in Leeds, from clubs and lively pubs to the Grand Theatre and the Hyde Park Picture House - most tastes are catered for in Leeds!
Here are a couple of the more romantic things to do in Leeds at night:
Grand Theatre and Opera House
You'll be guaranteed a grand night out together at the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House. It is the home of Opera North and the Northern Ballet, so if you and your loved one enjoy classical opera and ballet, this is the place to visit.
However, don't think this is a theatre just for "highbrow" entertainment - they also have blockbuster shows and musicals, so it's worth checking what is on at the Grand!
Hyde Park Picture HouseYou can experience an "old-fashioned" cinematic experience at Hyde Park Picture House. This is said to be the cosiest picture house in Leeds and retains many of its original features - gas lights, an ornate balcony and piano in the auditorium. It is the only gas-lit cinema still in action in the UK.
The Hyde Park specialises in independent, classic and foreign films, so if your loved one enjoys arty films, they'll be impressed if you treat them to a night out here!
If you like live music and a festival atmosphere, you'll probably want to time your romantic break in Leeds to coincide with the Leeds Festival (August Bank Holiday Weekend).
Each year, the festival attracts all the biggest bands, and features hundreds of acts on multiple stages, with the best in rock, indie, dance and hip-hop.
Hopefully, we've given you a few ideas for your romantic break in Leeds - of course there are lots of other things to do, so you'll probably want to return before long!
Looking for more ideas? – check out our Things To Do in Leeds page for lots more suggestions.
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