Leeds is known as the best English city to visit outside of London. The local weather is a mixture of warm and sunny days, but sometimes it’s cloudy and drizzling with light rain, as is the case throughout the UK. However, the weather in Leeds is generally pleasant, which promises a perfect trip any time of the year.
Leeds’ rich cultural heritage offers many attractions, and you probably want to see as many places of interest as possible.
Fortunately, a hire car will give you this opportunity. Don’t know where to find it? Book a car hire Leeds Bradford airport and pick up your vehicle right after landing. Then, keep your way to the following sights to fully enjoy your trip…
Harewood House is the home of the Earl of Harewood, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. The estate was purchased with money raised from the sugar and slave trade in the West Indies and was built in 1771 by architects John Carr and Robert Adam. This is a monumental classicist palace located in West Yorkshire, near Leeds. The magnificent premises of Harewood House contain an extensive collection of portraits, china and antique furniture, custom-made by the great Thomas Chippendale.
In the back rooms of Harewood House, you can see the conditions and environment in which employees worked and lived. The housekeeper’s room features a permanent exhibition dedicated to Princess Mary, mother of the Earl of Harewood. In the adjoining room there’s another exhibition dedicated to the history of the sugar trade.
Towering majestically above the water surface, Leeds Castle is recognized as one of the most beautiful Europe’s castles. It’s located in the south-eastern part of Great Britain, 8 km from the administrative center of Kent – Maidstone, and 60 km from the capital of England – London. You’ll spend no more than an hour to reach the castle with a hire car.
The fortress, erected on the islands of a lake, evokes genuine admiration, as well as strikes with its centuries-old history, harmony and perfection of forms. It’s surrounded by parks, gardens and wide lawns, where various events are traditionally held.
Leeds Castle has a golf course, children’s play areas and designated picnic spots. Guests are offered a ride on a segway and a boat, take a walk along ready-made routes with signs, and take part in excursions. You can stop for a few days in a picturesque tent city, castle apartments and cottages.
Thackray Medical Museum
This rather specific museum will be of interest to history buffs, doctors, medical workers or just curious individuals. The exposition of the museum is devoted to human anatomy, the history of medicine and, in particular, the history of the struggle of the British people against plague, typhoid and other diseases.
The museum also hosts conferences, and those who are interested are advised to attend lectures on medical topics. It’s important that people of all ages and categories are allowed to attend all educational events, not just groups.
Royal Armories Museum
This is another perfect destination to go with your hire car, and the UK’s oldest national museum housing a collection of weapons and armor. The Royal Armories in Leeds presents to the public more than 8,000 exhibits related to war and hostilities. There are 5 thematic galleries open for visitors: a military gallery, a gallery of knightly tournaments, galleries of defense and hunting. Next to the museum there’s a platform for demonstrating medieval military and sports rituals, as well as horse and falconry hunting.
The Royal Armories display exhibits dating back to the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, with examples of their weapons and armor. You can follow the history of the development of weapons up to the 21st century.
Although admission to the museum is free of charge, special fees may apply during various events and shows.
The outskirts of Leeds are rich in castles, but this time Spofforth Castle offers only the ruins of a hall – that’s all that remains of the fortress. The castle was built by the Percy family, an influential family in northern England, in the early 13th century, and changes were made in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.
Percy’s estates were confiscated after a revolt against King Henry the Fourth of England in 1408, then handed over to Sir Thomas Roqueby. They were then returned to Percy, but in 1461, due to the fact that Percy was on the side of the losers in the War of the Roses, the castle was again confiscated.
Spofforth was later returned to Percy and the family lived there until 1604. The castle fell into ruins during the Civil War in the middle of the 17th century.