Wednesday 30 March 2016

Lead on to Leeds

A long weekend.
A change of scene, and a destination easily accessible from South Yorkshire and the North East were required.

Solution? The West Yorkshire city of Leeds.

Here's the gang, all set to explore.

Past and present.

There is much evidence of Leeds' industrial history. Its wealth was largely built on the wool and linen trade in the 17th and 18th centuries, and further industrialisation through the development of mills and the Leeds-Liverpool canal brought great prosperity. 

The city's current affluence owes much to the financial, legal and service sectors. 
There are imposing Victorian buildings wherever you look, built to represent the city's wealth and success. 
This is the Town Hall, complete with lions and a Henry Moore sculpture. It was opened in 1858 by Queen Victoria.
This used to be the central Post Office in Leeds, now a restaurant. 

The Leeds City Museum.

The Corn Exchange, opened in 1864, is a beautiful building inside and out.

The spectacular domed glass roof was designed to allow in as much light as possible so the corn merchants could clearly see the quality of the produce on offer.  

It is still a centre for trade, albeit no longer corn-based; it houses a selection of independent shops and cafes. 

The lavish Victorian arcades are testament to the fact that a love of shopping is not a modern phenomenon. 

The setting for the shops might be stunning, but the same can't always be said for the merchandise...

Kirkgate Market is the largest covered market in Europe, and home to the original stall where Marks and Spencer started trading in 1884.
And because we all love a bit of gruesome medical history, we also went to the Thackray Museum, housed in the old Leeds workhouse next to St James' Hospital.

It wasn't all about history though.
There was also fun with wigs...

and plenty of pit stops...

and a wander around Park Square, an elegant city-centre Georgian square which now also includes a peace tree planted by the majors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2003.   

We love our weekends away with Sabena and Gary, and Leeds didn't disappoint.
Discussions about our next destination have already begun!


diaryofapennypincher said...

You've made me want to visit Leeds now, what fabulous buildings, especially the Corn Exchange, how grand, and all for grain! Those wigs all look like they belong to Eighties bands, and those dolls are just plain scary!

Polyester Princess said...

Yet another UK city to add to my list. Love the Corn Exchange and those Victorian arcades are truly stunning. I really like your photos, you have such an eye for detail. xxx

Unknown said...

Wow Leeds does indeed look a fabulous place to visit I love the corn exchange what an amazing building inside and out as you say is very impressive. Lovely photo's and magical memories to treasure, dee xx

Unknown said...

Some great photos there, the corn exchange and arcade are beautiful! And my how the kids have grown! :)

Vix said...

Ahhhh, Leeds is a fabulous city, I remember getting off the coach by the Corn Exchange and nipping into Presto's loos before catching a bus to Headingley. Looks very posh now.
I bet Em could work her magic on those dolls.
What great family photos, loving the wigs. Black afro. That could be your next 'do. Its a good look. The boys are rocking the blond mullets, look out Bon Jovi.
The kids are growing taller by the minute, I bet Claude's taller than me now!
Are those owls wearing wigs, too?
Yes, where next???
Love you! xxxxxx

Miss Magpie said...

Another city I plan to revisit one of these days. Looks like a fabulous weekend. x

Lynn Holland said...

Lucky you, we love Leeds and have had a couple of weekends there even though it's only an hour away. The theatre there is lovely and we've been to a vintage fair that was really good.
You all look to have had a great time
Lynn xx

Kezzie said...

The arcade with the shops in looks amazing- that ceiling and all those facades!!x

SAM said...

I got my travel fix for the day. I love the corn exchange building. Beleive it or not, we have an old Grain Exchange in Minneapolis, not quite so impressive architecturally, but more so than other buildings around it. It still has a hand in the grain trade, but lot's of other shops and things as well surround. thanks for sharing your outing. Is that a family picture? I'm not sure which bloke (aren't I proper English) is Sabeens Gary.

Suzanne said...

What a fun outing!

The wig photos are hilarious!

Some of those dolls were freaking me out.


Sheila said...

Ooh, I love the Corn Exchange - what a gorgeous building! This looks like such a fun outing! thank you for taking us along!

Jane said...

What a great review of Leeds!! AND what a beautiful family you have Curtise!! :)

Mim said...

That looks wonderful - nowhere does Victoriana quite like the North! I'm amazed you got so much done, too, you must have amazing people-wrangling skills. Going anywhere with my family is like herding cats...

freckleface said...

Leeds is definitely up there for a top city day out. Something for everyone. I remember the Corn Exchange, truly an amazing building, but I didn't know about good old Marks and Suspenders! Fancy!
It's lovely to see the gang all together having fun with wigs! The one with the boys in is hilarious. Owen looks like a very benevolent Judge. Gary's expression and stance is priceless!!
Oh my goodness, Claudia is nearly as tall as you are and Nina has the legs of a super model! You are looking good in those specs I must say. But please don't dye your hair black and have a Nana perm!! :D xxxx

Señora Allnut said...

Love your weekend outings posts, and love particularly all those victoriana stuff which caught your eye, such amazing buildings and details!, lovely arcades and markets!. Obviously, you're looking fabulous, handsome gentlemen and gorgeous ladies, you've got pretty smiles, thanks for sharing them!!

Patti said...

You must compile your travel writing into a fabulous book! I enjoy travelling England with you and your family. The dolls creeped me out though, sorry. You all look happy and full of life, hooray! xox


Beth Waltz said...

Thanks, Curtise, for inviting us to share in this family excursion. The Corn Exchange is an astounding feat of architectural design! Your splendid job in photographing its odd -- but beautiful -- angles inclines one to overlook those awful creepy dolls. (And is your eldest, tallest now wearing vintage, too?)

Ivy Black said...

Excellent! What a lovely trip and how gorgeous is Leeds. I do love a northern city as you know and I haven't been to Leeds in years n'years.
Nope...those dolls don;t do it for me and starngely I find them more creepy than old scary ones. Something about those newborn dolls!
You all look divine but I'm with Tan...don't be having a curly perm!
Love ya.

Goody said...

The dolls are the stuff of nightmares (we have a doll collector in the family-her entire home looks like that photo).

The weather might have been grey, but the smiles in the photographs would chase away the darkest clouds-those are truly wonderful family photographs. I can feel the joy right through the computer.

Lisa said...

The corn exchange is a truly stunning building, I want to go there, but I shall avoid the doll shop, too creepy!
Lovely family photos and I love the wigs, got to have a go at dressing up if it's on offer.
Lisa x

Sue said...

Domed ceilings and mosaic floors, just stunning. Thanks for taking me on another one of your adventures.

Fiona said...

Lovely to see you and your tribe enjoying yourselves in Leeds. (another city I've never visited) Hilarious wig shots, the boys seem to be camping it up big time. The Corn Exchange is especially beautiful, look at those floors....but they can keep the creepy dolls, thank you. Hope work going OK and still enjoyable? x

bahnwärterin said...

hey - glasses! :-)
what gorgeous victorian architecture!! clearly all of you enjoyed the trip very much - smiling faces everywhere! need a change of wallpaper too - i think dresden will be visited very soon :-)

Connie said...

Way out here in Southern California where I live, there is very little grand and old architecture. Lots of stucco and beach huts. Yawn. So it is great to see some "real" buildings for a change. Leeds is quite lovely. And look how your kids have grown. Claudia is almost as tall as you are! Everyone is looking bright and wigged and bushy tailed. Thank you so much for inviting us along on your family day out.

Witchcrafted Life said...

The original Penny Bazaar is so awesome! What a marvelous slice of the past - as this whole lovely post is. Thank you very much for taking us along with you, sweet lady. This avid armchair traveler sincerely appreciate it.

Big hugs & joyful start of April wishes,
♥ Jessica

The Vintage Knitter said...

Woah! Scary dolls there...especially the baby ones. They would totally freak Monkeychild out.

The Corn Exchange looks like a beautiful place to shop in, absolutely stunning architecture. In fact all the buildings in your photos look impressive.

Mrs Bertimus said...

I really enjoyed the tour, thank you.
I fancy going to the medical museum X

Forest City Fashionista said...

The kids are growing so fast (I hear they do that) - Claudia is almost as tall as you! Leeds looks like a great place for an outing - lots of impressive architecture, especially the Corn Exchange. The inside is spectacular! Too bad they couldn't have found anything more creative to do with it other than turn it into a fancy shopping mall.

Trees said...

Wow! Your kids are really looking grown up!! I don't know much about Leeds, but this makes me want to visit, actually all your posts about various places in the UK makes me want to visit!! The corn exchange looks particularly spectacular, I can't believe something so fancy was built to actually exchange corn (when I first read it I thought corn exchange must have been a name for something that actually had nothing to do with corn! duh). I love the wigs!

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

You look like you had a wonderful day out, Curtise. Leeds looks very interesting and I bet the charity shops are good!

I've only been to Leeds twice, once to a hotel on the outskirts for a curriculum training day when I worked in an FE college; and once to stay with my OH's good friend and his wife. We're due to visit them soon and this time I'm checking out the chazzas...

Have a great week xxx


Jazzy Jack said...

That roof!!!
Wish we had more interesting architecture here.
I loved the Wolsey string underwear and those gorgeous socks!
Take your time. I'm finding my rhythm too.
Life changes are exciting but can be disorienting for a while.
All the best.
And I love your first purchase from your shop!
Xo Jazzy Jack

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