Leeds is simply a shoppers’ paradise, whatever your tastes or budget—no wonder the Rough Guide to Britain called the city “the UK’s best shopping destination”! You’re going to love exploring for yourself, but here are a few starters:
From the glitz of Harvey Nichols (the first in the UK outside of London) to the designer boutiques of the Victoria Quarter (with its award-winning stained-glass roof) and the out-of-town delights of the White Rose Centre, there’s plenty of top fashion to be tried on (and sometimes even bought). But you’ll also enjoy discovering independent boutiques, like Ginger Ink, and retro/recycled fashion stores such as Blue Rinse, especially around Headingley, Hyde Park Corner, Horsforth, Meanwood and Chapel Allerton.
For indie CDs, head for Therapy The Hub (on Kirkgate, opposite the Duck & Drake) or Relic Records—right next to Blue Rinse (see above), on Call Lane. There’s also Crash (on the Headrow) and Jumbo (in the St John’s Centre) and, of course, the usual music megastores!
For new and second-hand guitars, head for Northern Acoustics or Music Ground (both on Call Lane) or Big Deal, on Eastgate. For just about everything else, head for John Scheerer’s, in the Merrion Centre, close to the College.
Every student’s friend has to be Wilkinsons: cheap and cheerful for all the stuff you need at home. There are five in and around Leeds, Romart is a fantastic emporium of clutter and fun, on the York Road next to Kwik Save. And of course there’s a huge IKEA, just off the M62 south of Leeds (at the creatively named Junction 27 Retail Park!)
Aside from the College’s own shop, you can find a great range of art supplies, stationery, graphics and design materials, with copy shop services, at Dinsdales in Headingley. Or Centagraph, just north of Leeds in Harrogate, is also one of the UK’s leading mail-order arts suppliers.
And finally, for getting about the place… how about a bike? Re-Cycle Engineering, tucked away behind Victoria Road, Headingley, is three down-to-earth blokes in a workshop—but what they don’t know about bikes isn’t worth knowing. From second-hands all the way through to custom builds, they both sell and repair.