One of the fastest-growing cities in the UK, Leeds is the glitzy embodiment of rediscovered northern self-confidence. More than a decade of redevelopment has seen the city centre transform from near-derelict mill town into a vision of 21st-century urban chic, with skyscraping office blocks, glass-and-steel waterfront apartment complexes and renovated Victorian shopping arcades. The financial crisis of 2008–10 saw many flagship development projects grind to a halt, but tower cranes are beginning to sprout on the skyline again and a massive new entertainment venue, the Leeds Arena, opened in 2013.
Known as the 'Knightsbridge of the North', Leeds has made itself a shopping mecca, its streets lined with bustling malls sporting the top names in fashion. And when you've shopped till you've dropped, there's a plethora of pubs, clubs and excellent restaurants to relax in. From cutting-edge couture to contemporary cuisine, Leeds will serve it to you on a plate (or more likely in a stylishly designed bag). Amid all this fashion-conscious finery, it seems fitting that the network of city bus routes includes peach, mauve and magenta lines as well as the more humdrum red, orange and blue.