Leeds is one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the UK. Not only is it a great city destination for a day trip or short break, but it is also the beating heart of Yorkshire, arguably one of the country’s most beautiful and diverse counties.
Here, Quingo Scooters, as part of our Accessible Getaways series, dive straight into exploring what the city has to offer.
Whether you’re into shopping, art and culture, outdoor activities, music or eating out at some of the best restaurants in the country (everything from Indian street food to the best tapas this side of Madrid), Leeds really has something for everyone. Here are our top picks.
- A classic shopping experience
There can be few cities that have as many stunning shops, many of them independent, packed into such an accessible and easily navigable city centre. You’ll find everything from high end boutiques through to the biggest names in retail, all within a relatively small area. The gorgeous Victoria Quarter arcades are well worth a visit (just don’t forget to look up at the stunning architecture!), with plenty of easily accessible (although small) shops at ground level. At the Victoria multi-storey car park there are 50 Blue Badge parking spaces. You can find information on parking here.
The Trinity Leeds shopping centre, which opened in 2013, is more mainstream and is also fully accessible (although some of the ramps into the centre are quite steep). There is audio support in the lifts and a free wheelchair and mobility scooter hire service, as well as fully accessible toilets. You can find out more here or check out a detailed review of access to the site. The centre also has 630 parking spaces, including 14 reserved for Blue Badge holders.
- A city of art and culture
One of the best things about Leeds is how accessible so much of the art in the city is, not least stunning public works such as Athena Rising near the train station, which is the tallest mural in the country. We also think that the Tetley (yes, that Tetley) is well worth a visit too. The former HQ of the brewery giant has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery and it’s all accessible by lift, with toilets on every floor. For more information on accessibility at the Tetley, head to its site here. There is also a large car park right next to the site, with several spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders.
Leeds Art Gallery has also been recently refurbished and has a ramp outside as well as an alternative entrance for easy access. The Tiled Hall café there is also beautiful, and it’s well worth stopping by for a quick cuppa if you have time. There are Blue Badge parking bays on nearby Cookridge Street and Alexander Street. You can find out more here.
- Step back in time
If you need a break from the fast-paced city centre, then a trip out to Kirkstall, with its romantic abbey ruins and a fascinating museum should definitely be on your list. The 12th century Cistercian abbey itself is beautiful and the grounds are fully accessible to all visitors, despite some uneven patches of ground here and there. The Abbey House Museum over the road is also worth negotiating a steep but short slope up to the entrance. Most of the galleries in there, including a recreation of a Victorian street, are fully accessible to all visitors. If you’re planning a visit to the Abbey or the Museum take a look at the relevant guides here and here. The Vesper Lane car park across the road on Abbey Walk has four Blue Badge spaces for visitors to the Abbey and the Museum.
- A breath of fresh air
Leeds is blessed with some beautiful green spaces and, if your getaway can stretch to a few days, we recommend that you take the time to explore some of them. One of our favourites is the enormous Roundhay Park, where you’ll be astonished at how quickly and easily you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. All of the entrances and paths are accessible, and there are fully accessible toilets at Tropical World, Explorers Café, the Visitor Centre and the Education Rooms. You’ll find more information on access to the park here. There is also Blue Badge parking available on Princes Avenue by Tropical World and Canal Gardens.
Leeds is the perfect destination for a few day’s getaway, with plenty of accessible attractions in the city centre and some beautiful parks, gardens and countryside to explore if you want to venture further afield. For a general overview and accessibility ratings of many of the shops and attractions in Leeds, we also recommend you pay visit to http://www.accessibleleeds.com
Whether you’re travelling by car, train or even plane, Leeds is very straightforward to get to. If you’re driving, the M1 and the A1 both link with the M62 which runs across West Yorkshire. If you want to leave the car on the outskirts and get a bus in, then use the Park and Ride sites at Elland Road and Temple Green which have Blue Badge parking spaces and buses into the city every 15 minutes. The Metro website is a great source of travel information if you need to know more about getting around the city. The train station is right in the city centre, and you can be in Leeds in just over two hours from London. The station is served by all the major operators, including Virgin Trains East Coast, TransPennine Express and Cross Country. Finally, Leeds Bradford Airport is only around eight miles from the city centre and is well connected with the rest of the country. It’s just a short hop there from Aberdeen, Belfast, Glasgow, Guernsey, Jersey, London Heathrow T5, Newquay and Southampton airports.
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 308478.