Life In Leeds
Leeds is one of the UK’s top cities for shopping, with more than 1,000 stores in the city centre. It offers the ultimate mix of high street staples, designer boutiques, vintage hideaways, quirky independents and all the one-stop-shopping centres and department store favourites you’d expect of a big city. But the best thing about it? Unlike other sprawling city centres, ours is incredibly neat and compact - meaning you won’t be worn out and rubbing blisters at the end of a good day’s shopping.
The best of the high street
Leeds has all the high street favourites, with most situated in Trinity, the city’s biggest shopping centre, and along Briggate, the city’s main pedestrianised shopping street.
From Topshop, H&M and Zara, to higher end names, including Reiss, & Other Stories, Cos and Anthropologie (all situated in Victoria Gate - the city’s newest shopping centre), you can get your hands on pretty much any high street gem in Leeds.
We’ve also got the biggest John Lewis outside London, a massive TK Maxx where you can pick up top brand names at bargain prices, and the usual department stores, including House of Fraser and Debenhams.
Trinity is open till 20:00 every night (bar Sunday) and also holds an annual student lock in in September, where the city’s student population take over the entire shopping centre for The Trinity Leeds Student Night. With over 80 brands taking part, up to 50% off and lots of free stuff, this is one not to be missed.
If you’re into designer threads, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Leeds. Visit Victoria Quarter for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols, or Victoria Gate for top end brands including Ghost and Calvin Klein. Vicar Lane is also home to Flannels, selling men’s and women’s luxury designer fashion (Gucci, Stone Island, Valentino, Fendi, Canada Goose and more) and Hugo Boss.
Arcades full of independents
Leeds is home to several stunning arcades, hidden from the main streets and packed full of quirky independents selling everything from fashion and gifts to vintage gems and old school sweets!
Try Queen’s Arcade for vintage jewellery and delicious eateries, Thorntons Arcade for comics and skate gear, or Central Arcade for clothing boutiques.
And then there’s the jewel in our crown, The Corn Exchange, which champions the very best in creative, innovative and independent retail. Plus, shopping aside, the stunning Grade I listed Victorian building will take your breath away.
Video supplied by welcometoleeds.co.uk
Where to go to make your student budget stretch further? You can spend hours in Primark, rifling through rail upon rail of affordable fashion, or for something a little more unique, take your pick of vintage shops like Blue Rinse, Pop Boutique and Best Vintage, along with plenty of fairs that are put on monthly. The Leeds Beckett Students' Union also hold regular vintage fairs, packed full of gorgeous bargains.
Another top tip? Head to the charity shops of suburbs such as Headingley, Roundhay, Oakwood and Chapel Allerton. One person’s trash is another student’s treasure.
Hit the market
No Leeds shopping guide would be complete without mentioning Leeds Kirkgate Market on Vicar Lane. It’s one of Europe’s largest indoor markets and home to some of the most characterful traders there is, who sell everything from fruit and veg to fashion, flowers, hardware and haberdashery.
Out of town shopping
If you fancy doing all your shopping out of town and under one roof, then the White Rose Shopping Centre is the place to head. Just a 10-minute drive from the city centre, it boasts over 120 different high street shops and loads of eateries, plus it’s open till 20.00 every week night (21.00 on Thursdays) and parking is free.
There’s also Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park just next to the Kirkstall Brewery Halls of Residence, where you’ll find Outfit, JD Sports, Home Bargains, Peacocks and an M&S Food Hall.
And if you fancy going further afield, York Designer Outlet is just a 40-minute drive away. With over 120 designer stores – including Reiss, Calvin Klein and Ted Baker – all selling goods at up to 60% off, it is the place to bag a designer bargain.