Conference Leeds helps delegates combine business with pleasure in #100steps

Leeds is the epicentre of the modern North. An exciting city with a rich, industrial past that has transformed into a hub of knowledge for manufacturing, healthcare and innovation, financial and professional services, and digital and information economy. 

Leeds’ cultural offering gives delegates the opportunity to experience life as a local, to get caught up in the heritage, sport and culture that the city is built on and to create valuable connections and partnerships with professionals, academics and leading industry voices. To connect with our city is to experience the exceptional and it couldn’t be easier to get here. 

On paper, visiting the UK’s third largest city could seem daunting but it couldn’t be easier to arrive and start experiencing all Leeds has to offer. Sat in the heart of an accessible network of road, rail and air transport, you could be arriving at Leeds Train Station from London and Edinburgh in under three hours, with regular intercity connections to the rest of the UK, too. Leeds Bradford Airport welcomes flights from over 70 destinations and is just 8 miles from our bustling city centre, famous for its walkability. 

Here, Conference Leeds’ #100steps campaign shows a selection of stays, restaurants and bars, places to see and things to do so you can combine business and pleasure during your time in our city. 

Find out how you can experience exceptional and explore our city here.

Leeds Train Station isn’t the end of your journey – it’s the start!

Leeds Train Station isn’t the end of your journey – it’s just the beginning. Our station is one of the busiest in the country, and is well served by national rail operators making getting to Leeds by train quick and easy. 

A private entrance from the station leads you to The Queen’s Hotel, one of Leeds’ most famous and beloved landmarks where you can follow the footsteps of Princess Grace of Monaco, Cary Grant and Nelson Mandela. Following a £16 million refurbishment, the hotel comprises 13 event spaces and 232 bedrooms and suites that have been lovingly modernised to ensure you have a majestic and restful stay. Aspire is another cutting edge conference facility that sits in the heart of Leeds City Centre. Located just minutes from the Station, Aspire has been restored as a premier conferencing facility with The Banking Hall able to host up to 300 delegates. For smaller meetings, Wellington Place is the perfect venue for business and pleasure, benefitting from 13 meeting rooms with a maximum capacity of 26 delegates.  

Behind Leeds station you’ll find Granary Wharf, a mixed use development and the pick-up and drop-off point for Leeds’ water taxi, an inexpensive and quirky mode of transport for those looking to visit Leeds Dock, the home of the Royal Armouries. The Armouries is a breathtaking venue for receptions, banquets, business meetings and conferences for up to 1,000 people. Sister venue to the Tower of London, the venue displays the biggest collection of arms and armour in the UK and offers a selection of delegate experiences, such as live combat demonstrations, to leave delegates with a taste of life in the city. 

Speaking of tastes, Leeds is the foodie capital of the North with a thriving independent food scene. Crafthouse in Trinity Leeds works with local suppliers to create a menu inspired by the history of Leeds and Yorkshire. For a foodie experience to get delegates talking, Ready, Steady Bake offers 90-minute live-baking events that is perfect for networking and suitable for vegetarian and gluten-free bakers. 

Find out how you can experience exceptional and explore our city here

A perfect combination of old and new.

Another city centre favourite is Victoria Leeds, stunning Victorian arcades recognised as one of the premium shopping destinations in the UK which combines the old and the new, bringing together Victoria Quarter and Victoria Gate

A short walk from the breathtaking arcades of Victoria Quarter is Harvey Nichols, a luxury shopping favourite that comprises an alfresco rooftop terrace and the Fourth Floor Brasserie and Bar. The award-winning drinking and dining space is the perfect destination to start your day with a seasonal menu available for delegates to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, private dining and drinks receptions.

For a more hands-on activity, Hotham’s Gin School is an immersive and award-winning gin distilling experience where delegates can create and distil their own gin recipe and take a bottle home. Hotham’s is sure to leave them talking about their time in the city long after they’ve left, as is Kirkgate Market

The largest indoor market in Europe is home to some of the most characterful traders in the city, with businesses spanning generations and representing a wide range of nationalities. Above the Grade 1 listed 1904 Market Hall, you’ll find the Kirkgate Suite, a meeting room that is ideal for delegates who wish to observe the hubbub of market life. Another listed favourite that makes up Leeds’ skyline is Leeds Corn Exchange. The home of independent retail has an extensive line-up of independent shops, eateries, studios and salons and events throughout the year to give delegates the opportunity to immerse themselves in local life. 

As well as Leeds’ rich history, the city has an exciting future on the horizon. SOYO is a brand new development that will bring together Leeds’ cultural highlights and venues, including Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Conservatoire and Northern Ballet, the only resident ballet company in the UK outside of London, to create a community that champions cultural institutions and Leeds’ thriving and respected independent scene.

After a day in the culture capital of the North, rest your head at Hilton Leeds City. Now their flagship hotel in the North, the hotel has newly refurbished rooms and offers 14 meeting rooms that can hold up 550 delegates and offer built-in AV packages to suit both in-person and hybrid events. 

Find out how you can experience exceptional and explore our city here

Explore the suburbs.

As a city of sporting success, we had to mention Headingley Stadium. The stadium has been host to some of the best sporting pedigree in the world and offers conference space where you can see an international cricket pitch out of one window and an international rugby pitch out of the other. You might be out of the city centre at the stadium, but there’s no risk of missing out on the best of the rest. 

The up and coming suburb of Headingley offers heritage destinations like Cottage Road Cinema, the oldest remaining cinema in continuous use in Leeds or Hyde Park Picture House, set in a characterful Grade II listed building. Green space is also in abundance with four star hotel Weetwood Hall set within nine acres of woodlands and gardens, offering 14 meeting rooms available for up to 200 delegates. The Village Hotel Leeds North is situated on Otley Road, which connects you to the city centre and Leeds Train Station as well as the outer suburbs of the city and Leeds Bradford Airport. 

Headingley isn’t short of bars and restaurants either, Heaney & Mill is a family-run restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and its famous Sunday Roasts – you can’t come to Leeds and not try an authentic Yorkshire Pudding. For a refined dining experience try Catch, the latest restaurant from a family fish history that spans nearly a century. 

Find out how you can experience exceptional and explore our city here

A city with a vibrant heritage.

Back in the city centre, Leeds Town Hall is another Grade I listed beauty that, like Leeds Corn Exchange, was designed by Cuthbert Brodrick. One of the largest town halls in the UK, visits to the building include a tour of the cells and a climb of the 200-plus steps up to the clock tower for complete views of the city. Just a ten minute walk from the Town Hall is the University of Leeds, a prestigious venue right in the heart of the city. The University offers a stunning array of venues, whether you’re looking for an intimate Red Brick University ambiance or the buzz of a contemporary setting.

Another academic favourite is Leeds Beckett University, which offers everything from grand halls to prestigious modern lecture theatres to cater all events; the perfect venue for academic conferences. If it’s a touch of the high brow you’re looking for, Leeds Art Gallery is a sophisticated, free attraction that comprises a collection of modern and contemporary art. Whilst you’re there, you can take in the stunning surroundings of the Tiled Hall Café, a magnificent Victorian hall which has been transformed into one of the most popular and iconic eateries in the city of Leeds.

After enjoying a taste of the city’s history, why not visit Leeds Grand Theatre or First Direct Arena for a show or concert to wrap up your time in Leeds? The Theatre offers an array of performances and stand-up shows, whilst First Direct Arena offers seven meeting rooms, the perfect spot to learn and network before taking in performances from artists from across the globe. When the day draws to a close, wind down in the restful art deco ambience of Radisson Blu. 

Find out how you can experience exceptional and explore our city here

Put wellbeing at the heart of your conference.

Leeds is famous for more than its city centre. Venturing beyond means that historic houses, beautiful parks and vibrant urban villages are right at your fingertips. Escaping the hustle and bustle of the city centre and giving your delegates a chance to reconnect with themselves will ensure they have a constructive conference experience from start to finish. Fly into Leeds Bradford Airport from over 70 destinations and travel to Harewood House. The stately home sits in the heart of Yorkshire and is a stunning setting for corporate hospitality and conferences. 

With nine meeting rooms that are capable of holding up to 150 delegates, Harewood’s dedicated spaces come equipped with full AV provision including LCD projector and PA system. 

As well as a range of activities that are perfect for ice breaker sessions, Harewood offers private tours of the House, Gardens and Bird Garden with an experienced tour guide to give your delegates the chance to delve into the history and heritage of the building and city that they’re guaranteed to leave fond of. After an insightful day, take a load off at Muddy Boots Café which serves up homemade, locally sourced, hearty breakfasts and lunches or sample their bistro menu which offers everything from Mussels and Duck Leg Confit to Dandelion and Burdock Cake and Crème Brûlée.

Find out how you can experience exceptional and explore our city here