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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.

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Travelodge Leeds Central

This hotel offers good value, functional rooms at a convenient location that's close to the train station.

Quebecs

A Grade II listed boutique hotel with 45 rooms, this proper offers refined, classic and contemporary furnishings. Built in 1891 as the former liberal club, it offers a distinctive terracotta facade, wrought iron gates, Corinthian columns and stained glass windows. It's been voted one the world's top 80 hotels by Conde Nast Traveller.

Oak Villa B&B

This charming friendly B&B is situated close to Headingley Cricket Ground and is set in the heart of a pleasant wooded conservation area. The Victorian house has free parking Wi-Fi and a licensed bar. Some rooms have en-suites and there are different sized rooms. The hotel is just 1.5 miles from the city centre.

Malmaison

In a grand former bus and tram office, the Leeds branch of this popular chain offers stylish and contemporary rooms that all come with CD and DVD players as standard by the River Aire. There are 100 stylish rooms while British classics feature strongly on the menu.

Queens Hotel

For location, this landmark hotel is unbeatable. Adjacent to the railway station and overlooking City Square, it's a stone's throw from all the action. With 215 rooms, an executive floor and two dining options, it is a large hotel with plenty of amenities and top notch service.

Met Hotel

This fabulously-ornate Grade II listed building has recently been refurbished and offers guests elegant, spacious rooms, a terracotta exterior and ornate furnishings. It's located in the business district but is still close to all the restaurant, shops and nightlife action.