LeedsYou are Here: Scotland; North; Leeds
I have to admit that my preconceptions of Leeds as I drove down were not of the sort of place I would particularly go by choice. In a way I was proven right, as this large city is a big, noisy place. However, as I was to discover, early on a Sunday morning there is a much quieter, friendlier side to the centre. I had two opportunities to take a wander round the city centre, the Saturday Evening and the Sunday Morning:
Saturday EveningHaving been in Glasgow city centre on various weeknights to find the shops open to 8 or 9pm, I half expected Leeds to be the same. Well, yes, but not on a Saturday. On a Saturday everything is shutting by 6 o'clock, so I had barely half an hour to do any shopping in and that simply wasn't long enough! Instead, I filled up the remaining time by roaming randomly around the city centre with my Camera. I found the Catholic Cathedral, the imposing Classical Town Hall, built long before Leeds became a city. There are also a great number of Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades, hotels, offices and other buildings displaying a vast and bewildering array of architectural styles.
Sunday MorningThe next morning, after an early breakfast, I once again had an hour to myself, and so I set off to find the river, hidden between old warehouses, now mainly converted to flats. I then went further east than I had managed the night before, found the Corn Exchange and some more great Victorian edifices. Back across the city centre to the western end, I found the Inner Ring Road, a rather mad urban motorway that carves through the city. Back to the river once more, amongst the new developments of hotels and apartments, and thus back to the hotel.
The hotel itself is a great Art Deco pile attached to the station. Opened in 1937, the Queens Hotel is a huge building displaying many Art Deco features on the exterior, but seemingly harking back to a more Victorian style for the interiors. Perhaps anything else would have been seen as too American at the time - a great shame. The rooms are essentially the same as any Premier Inn or Travel Lodge room, just with a bit of a modern take on Art Deco in the way they are furnished.