Shopping centres and arcades in Leeds
Leeds is a great place to shop, there is something for everyone but the emphasis on quality shopping has led some commentators to refer to Leeds as the Knightsbridge of the North, particularly since a branch of Harvey Nichols was launched in the city. Leeds is a city of shopaholics and the immense student population means that large numbers of shoppers are interested in designer clothes.
While Leeds has plenty of modern shopping centres it has also kept and renovated the charming, old arcades around the city centre. There are lots of cafes, bars and pubs around the largely pedestrianised city centre so there is always somewhere you can stop for a break. The Merrion centre which opened in the nineteen sixties is home to a couple of supermarkets, a large indoor market. Leeds Plaza boasts budget conscious yet stylish shops such as TK Max and H&Ms – both of which are a good draw for students eager to start spending their student loans. The Headrow centre contains a number of stores and cafes as well as a great food hall, and the Light sports a range of designer shops and a number of bars and restaurants. Granary Wharf is an underground alternative to the usual shopping malls and is full of independent shops, stalls and eating places.
The Victoria Quarter at Leeds Briggate is probably the most impressive of all Leeds’ arcades, with their elegant Victorian and Edwardian facades. The centre has a beautiful and vibrantly coloured stained glass roof, well worth straining your neck to have a look at. The arcade has mosaic patterend floors, so it is small wonder that the quarter attracts some of the more exclusive shops such as Karen Millen, Vivienne Westwood and Ted Baker. The arcade also houses the first Harvey Nix store to open outside of London with all the designer labels you could wish for.
Kirkgate market is renowned for being one of the largest indoor markets in Europe with shops and stalls selling fruit, vegetables, meat, leather goods and fashionable clothing. The Corn Exchange is a listed building that dates back to 1864; this has recently been redeveloped as a Food Emporium and is designed to hold all manner of shops relating some way to food.
As a University City, Leeds boasts a number of major book stores, including a large Waterstones, and a Borders that also stocks CDs and DVDs, there are some comfy chairs and sofas where customers can browse, relax and read. If you like some refreshment with your reading then Starbucks is there to provide you with one of their speciality coffees or teas. Waterstones is a bit more sedate but there is still some room to relax and sip a coffee from Coffee Republic.
Leeds is a popular shopping venue for people in and around the West Riding. There is something in the city of Leeds that will appeal to everyone’s tastes, be they old or young. Leeds is a vibrant and welcoming city.