How to have a perfect weekend in Leeds

An image showing an aerial view of Leeds
by Limara Salt
21 September 2023

Halfway between London and Edinburgh is Leeds – the fifth largest city in the country and the heart of West Yorkshire. While nearby York may get more visitors, Leeds has a wealth of culture, history, heritage, and incredible nightlife.  

In short, it’s a perfect place for a fun weekend staycation, especially as it’s reachable via most major train lines and you can earn and spend Virgin Points when booking with Virgin Trains Ticketing. Log into Virgin Red via the Virgin Trains Ticketing app and you’ll earn three points per £1, save with no booking fees and you could find the same journey for less with split ticket options. And if you’ve got points to spend, you can unlock discounts on your journey from as little as 200 points! 

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Here are some fun things to do during your visit to one of the capitals of the north.  

Walk around Roundhay Park 

Despite gaining a reputation as a motorway city in the 1970s Leeds has plenty of green space to enjoy, and top of any visitor’s list should be Roundhay Park. With 700 sprawling acres and with over 1 million visitors each year, Roundhay Park is free for all and features beautiful lakes, gardens, a skate park, and much more.   

Experience the Yorkshire Dales 

Since debuting in 1972, Emmerdale has captivated audiences and remains one of the country’s most popular soaps. And with Virgin Experience Days, two fans can embark on a 90-minute guided walking tour that will take them behind the scenes of Emmerdale farm. Wander around The Woolpack, Café Main Street, and David’s Shop for a truly unique experience telly fans will love. It’s only a short walk from Leeds city centre but your ticket includes a complimentary bus transfer. 

Explore Royal Armouries Museum  

Leeds is home to the UK’s national collection of historic armour and with free entry, there are plenty of reasons to stop by the Royal Armouries Museum. With live shows and combat demonstrations along with exhibitions covering everything from the Battle of the Somme to Japanese samurais, it’s amazing fun for visitors of all ages.  

Go for a drink with a side of games  

With four universities in the city, it’s no surprise there are several local bars providing more for a night out than just a wide range of cocktails. Pixel Bar is themed around beloved video games so you can play everything from FIFA 23 on XBox to Mario Kart on Nintendo Switch while enjoying the fluorescent décor and a themed cocktail.  

Boom Battle Bar provides different types of games like American pool, shuffleboard, and beer or prosecco pong – ideal for groups to enjoy along with a pitcher. And finally, there’s Flight Club Darts, a bar/darts club housed in a spectacular Grade II listed building in the centre of the city.

Kick around Kirkstall Abbey  

Founded over 800 years ago, Kirkstall Abbey is one of the best-preserved monasteries in the country. The Leeds landmark is not only an example of Christian architecture but is the backdrop for several events suitable for all ages. Guided tours operate daily while the Kirkstall Abbey Market gives visitors the chance to shop with local and independent businesses the last weekend every month. The best bit? General admission and the majority of events are free entry.  

It’s called art, look it up  

Fans of modern and contemporary art should stop by the Leeds Art Gallery for the award-winning permanent collection as well as current exhibitions. On until early November is Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way, an installation based on the vocals of five Black female musicians that combines video, collage, music and sculpture, while elsewhere there is an in-depth look at the work of Percy Wyndham Lewis, particularly the famous Praxitella painting.   

Join Virgin Red for more amazing ways to unlock incredible rewards.  

P.S. We always do our best to include the most up-to-date information, but Virgin Red offers do change from time to time. Click on each offer for the current points rate and all the details.