Designer shops, beautiful architecture and plenty of food options make this a popular choice for a day’s shopping or a stop on a visit to nearby attractions.
Leeds is a city renowned for being a shopper’s paradise – particularly so now that great glass cathedral of retail space Trinity has opened. However, it is the city’s plethora of quirky and historical arcades that distinguish it from other big cities. Victoria Arcade off Briggate is a glittering kingdom of designer shops, beautiful Victorian architecture, and sophisticated coffee shops set within a grid of five arcades and streets.
Even if you don’t have the money to shell out on high-end handbags and cosmetics, it’s worth visiting VQ if only to gaze in wonder at its curved glass roof, intricate wrought iron balconies and elaborate mosaics.
Agent Provocateur, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, Illamasqua, Paul Smith, All Saints and Harvey Nichols have all set up shop here, with many retailers choosing the precinct as a tentative first step outside London. Peckish shoppers have the choice of six eateries – from the acclaimed Fourth Floor Café for those with time to spare to Opposite Café and Bagel Nash for budget bites on the go.
Located in the heart of Leeds, VQ is easily reached by all of the main train lines and bus services, while the Union Street car park is the closest place to leave your vehicle for a few hours. The shopping centre does exude an air of exclusivity – with its uniform gold and black signs for all the shops, patrolling security guards and an absence of large gangs or any litter – but any snobbery would come from its typically well-heeled clientele, rather than from the businesses.
London has Knightsbridge; Birmingham has the Mailbox, but Leeds’ Victoria Quarter beats them all with its stunning arcades, lust-inducing window shopping and places to refresh and unwind – all within a stone’s throw of the city’s many other attractions.
|Venue name:||Victoria Quarter|
4 Cross Arcade
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 11am-5pm|