Leeds

26th January 2007 at 00:00
Ailsa Campbell teaches media studies at Garforth Community College, Leeds

Favourite place when you have a day off?

Leeds is a big place so sometimes I like to get out and go to Otley Chevin for a walk and some fresh air. There are views of lovely countryside with rolling vales and hills (www.chevinforest.co.uk). Otley has a market on Fridays and Saturdays in the olde worlde square. Or I go to Leeds City Art Gallery (www.leeds.gov.ukartgallery) to see the Henry Moore sculptures.

The gallery is being refurbished but it will be open again in May.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, at West Bretton, near Wakefield, also has lots of Henry Moores (www.ysp.co.uk).

When's a good time to come?

In summer when Millennium Square in the centre of Leeds has concerts. Last year the Kaiser Chiefs and Hard-Fi played there. The square also has a French market in the summer with lavender and cheeses; it's just had a German market and the outdoor skating rink will be open until March 4. In August, the Leeds Festival takes place at Braham on the outskirts of the city.

Lunchtime treats?

The champagne bar in Great George Street, off Millennium Square, is an oasis away from the busy shopping areas (pernay, The Electric Press, 12 Great George Street; 0113 242 9977). People think Leeds is all built up but there is lots of greenery - you could have a picnic in Park Square in the summer.

Evening delights?

The Reliance in North Street is a really good, buzzing bar - the Kaiser Chiefs go there when they're in town (76-78 North Street, 0113 295 6060).

And I've seen Avid Merrion, the comedian, a few times in the North Bar on Upper Briggate (0113 242 4540). All along Upper Briggate are lots of bars which are open late and good for music if you like indie, which I do. The West Yorkshire Playhouse (www.wyplayhouse.com) recently had Imogen Stubbs playing in The Duchess Of Malfi. And we don't only have fish and chips in Leeds. The big old Victorian post office has been converted into a Loch Fyne fish restaurant (www.lochfyne.com). It's very upmarket. In summer, with tables and chairs outside in City Square, it's quite continental.

Don't miss Shopping in the Victoria Quarter (www.vqleeds.com) where the mosaics and tiles of the arcades have been restored. You'll find designer shops such as Vivienne Westwood, Karen Millen and Harvey Nichols.

Remember to buy A copy of the fortnightly Leeds Guide to find out which bands are on where.

Find out more

In 2007, Leeds is celebrating its 800th anniversary as a city. For a list of events, including Leeds Shopping Week, with free fashion shows and other events from May 24-June 2, visit www.celebrateleeds07.com

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