Leeds is the United Kingdom's fastest growing and most prosperous city and it is considered to be an unofficial capital of Yorkshire. Being the home of over 75 nationalities, Leeds possesses a thriving artistic and cultural life. Leeds has a cosmopolitan social scene with hotels, bars, restaurants, and homes springing up all over the place at a phenomenal pace. Leeds is interesting both for its past and its present. As recently as two centuries ago, it was a successful town and today it is an excellent city with excellent nightlife, great shopping, fascinating architecture and world renowned sports venues that are just a few of the many attractions that bring over eleven million visitors to Leeds every year. Whether it is for business or pleasure, the Leeds lifestyle has much to offer you. And, maybe it has too much for you to view while you are visiting here. But, still don't get upset. Among such a variety of sights that we would like you to pay attention to; are the most popular and famous sites for locals and visitors alike.
Cloth manufacturing was the biggest industry in the area of West Riding of Yorkshire for many years and there were a variety of mills all over the region. A fascinating trip into Leeds grimy industrial part of town must be started with a trip to Armley Mills that was once the largest woolen mill is now an award winning industrial museum. The museum is located in Armley that is an area in west Leeds that is steeped in history and is a representative of the Leeds industrial past. Many of the building are still standing in and around Armley and they were built in the 1800's, including the churches, schools, shops, and houses. But, let's get back to Armley Mills. Having been the world's largest woolen mill in 1788, it was a major contributor to the economy in the city of Leeds. The earliest date of Armley Mills dates back to the middle of the sixteenth century when local clothier Richard Booth rented Armley Mills from Henry Saville.
Originally there were two mills one for grinding corn and the other for working with wool. In 1788, Armley Mills was purchased by Colonel Thomas Lloyd who turned it into the world's largest woolen mill. However, a fire in 1805destroyed these mills but they were quickly replaced with the building that can be seen today. Armley Mills as well as other mills in the area have been closed and some of them have been abandoned since the 1950s. In recognition of its historic importance it was bought by the City Council of Leeds to house a museum that opened in 1982. The displays include a fully working 1920s cinema, a collection of stem locomotives, and a journey through the working world of textile and fashion.
Another museum that is worth the visit and the admiration is the Royal Armouries Museum. It is the oldest museum in the United Kingdom that houses the British national collection of arms and armor along with an exhibition that is interactive and traces the development of weapons back to the fifth century BC. It has five galleries that cover war, tournaments, self defense, hunting, and the arms and the armor of the Orient. In addition to displays the visitors have the possibility to see live demonstrations within the galleries by teams of trained interpreters. And, from spring to autumn, you can view jousting and falconry which takes place in the tilt yard. Sword fighting techniques are probably the most gripping sight to see. Kirkstall Abbey dated back to 1152 and is one of the best preserved sites of its kind. In the middle of the 14th century it was closed as a religious monastery. Today, at the location of the former monastery visitors can enjoy Kirkstall Abbey's lush gardens and the complex of features such as a church, tower, cloisters, and chapter house.
Probably not every one of you knows that in Leeds there is the former home of the famous Bronte Family that gave us influential writers Charlotte and Emily Bronte. The 19th century house was the setting of the story, Wuthering Heights because Emily wrote it there. And, there are a bunch of collectible artifacts that can be seen their also. Leeds also has great music and opera and Leeds also support a theatre company. Please come to visit Leeds soon.