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Things to do in Leeds

Cycle over those Yorkshire fens

Bikers in Yorkshire are spoiled for choice. One of the popular routes is the West Yorkshire Cycle route, a 240km (150 mile) circular route that roughly follows the county boundary. The terrain varies but each section is graded; if you're not sure contact the Alba Rosa cycling club (http://albarosacc.com) and someone will give lend you their ears.

Go urban exploring

Your penchant for this may depend on your feelings about creeping around abandoned buildings, but urban exploring (known as 'urbex') is big news in the UK. It involves the exploration of generally abandoned man-made structures, and the forum boards at 28DaysLater (www.28dayslater.co.uk) will furnish you with advice on the best local places - Cookridge Hospital is very popular.

Lace up your hiking boots

Leeds and its surroundings are a mecca for avid walkers, and Leeds Country Way is a 101km (62 mile) circular route that can be walked in either direction. Other popular walking routes include Otley Chevin, Almscliffe Crags, and Harewood Estate. The good folk at the Tourist Information Centre (tel: +44 113 378 6977; www.visitleeds.co.uk) will see you right with maps and routes.

Ride a sunrise balloon

The 18th-century estate of Temple Newsam Country Park has over 1,500 acres of lush land and forest, making it the perfect place from which to take a hot air balloon (tel: +44 1952 212750; www.virginballoonflights.co.uk). You'll also drink in some views of the city skyline and the River Aire if the wind is blowing the right way.

Watch the UK’s best bands at Brudenell Social Club

Any local music fan will speak about Brudenell Social Club in hallowed tones. Almost singlehandedly, it has flown the flag for independent music venues in the area and puts on brilliant acts seven nights a week: previous bands to stalk its stage include the Kasier Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and The Cribs.