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One of England’s great cities, Leeds has grown from its industrial past into a city reinventing itself for the 21st century.

Renowned for art, culture, shopping, sport and leisure, Leeds is an ideal place to study English. It’s one of the UK leading cities that has reinvented itself as a sophisticated, creative and inspiring destination.  

With a rich Victorian heritage and an easily walkable compact city centre offering an irresistible mixture of old and new provides an ideal environment for exploration, which coupled with amazing attractions, some of the best shopping in the UK and an outstanding range of galleries, means there’s plenty for visitors to sink their teeth into.

Leeds boasts many visitor attractions, many of which offer free entry.

The Royal Armouries, Britain’s national museum of arms and armour and Keeper of the history of the Tower of London, features more than 75,000 items from around the world. And the Thackray Museum of medicine, located in one of the most impressive Victorian buildings in Leeds, is another popular attraction.

The Henry Moore Institute is an award-winning exhibition venue on the Headrow in the city centre’s cultural hub.  It is a modern extension to the City Art Gallery, which houses a fine collection of work by 19th and 20th century British artists, including Turner, Spencer and Constable.

One Yorkshire location that inspired Turner is Kirkstall Abbey. Set in a park on the banks of the river Aire, this is one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian Abbey in Britain.  Across the road is the Abbey House museum, which recreates Victorian Leeds and gives an insight into monastery life. 

Housed in what was once the world’s largest woollen mill, the Leeds Industrial Museum tells the story of manufacturing in the area, exploring the often harsh conditions in the textile, printing, engineering and locomotive industries for which the area is famous.

Known as the ‘Knightsbridge of the north’, Leeds is famous for shopping.

The centre of the city has largely been pedestrianised making it easy to get around.  The Victoria Quarter, home to more than 70 major designer brands, is a restoration of the old Victorian arcades blended with new features, including a magnificent stained glass roof and three stunning mosaic floor panels. 

For a more authentic experience, nearby Kirkgate Market, birth place of the Marks and Spencer Empire, is one of Europe’s largest indoor markets, with traders that go back generations, offering everything from food and drink to flowers, fashion, hardware and haberdashery. 

Leeds has a large student population so there is plenty of nightlife with a range of pubs, clubs, bars, and live music venues. 

The Leeds Arena, which opened in 2013, has become a popular venue for indoor sports, live music and other events.  And Roundhay Park, one of the largest city parks in Europe with over 700 acres of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens, is also a venue for major concerts.Sport lovers can catch a football match at Elland Road the home of Leeds United or watch cricket or rugby at Headingley Stadium, home to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. 

And Leeds is also well-served for theatres: home to four outstanding theatres, it is one of the only cities outside of London to boast its own opera house and ballet company; Opera North and Northern Ballet.  Whether it’s a musical at The Grand, ballet at West Yorkshire Playhouse, comedy at the Carriageworks or the charming City Varieties Music Hall or a world famous super star at the first direct Arena; there is a show for everyone.

Leeds is surrounded by beautiful easy-to-reach countryside.

Go walking in the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District or visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an open air gallery featuring works by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.  Take a trip to Bronte Country at Haworth, Fountains Abbey, or stately homes such as Temple Newsam and Harewood House; a magnificent 18th Century property with gardens landscaped by Capability Brown.

Leeds presents a diverse calendar of festivals featuring music, international film, food and drink. 

Few cities can boast such a variety of activities, performances, and attractions, making it the perfect destination for an English language course.

 

 

The IALC 2016 International Workshop will be held in the UK in April 2016.

Photos courtesy of VisitLeeds.co.uk Photos and contributions courtesy of VisitLeeds.co.uk

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