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Conran Shop Week 4: Locations and Queens Arcades


Leeds arcades are awash with history, but they’re also chock full of amazing shops and eateries. Leeds’ shopping scene has been dominated by its fantastic and historic arcades for over a century now. And while many of them have been through hard times, they’re all beautiful examples of the past feeding through into the present. Even better, they offer shoppers a different kind of experience.

Built in 1889 by London arcade guru Edward Clark, Queen’s Arcade is perhaps the most daring of the original arcades. It was the only one that integrated a hotel into its design, alongside its retail offering, and while it’s no longer open, it separates Queen’s Arcade from the rest of the Leeds arcades, with a magnificent four storey frontage.Inside it was subject to a bit of a makeover in the early 1990s, the'rev is still an old school character. It’s home to some hugely reputable brands such as denim legend Levi’s, London boutique Lipsy and shoe giants Office and Jones the Bootmaker, showing the quality stores these shopping arcades attract. But it’s not all about the big names – the arcades take great pride in the city’s independents and Queen’s Arcade is no different. Accent Clothing has been dressing the men, women and children of Leeds for 30 years, while Aladdin’s Cave has some fantastic new and vintage jewellery, and Mary Shortle often delights and scares in equal measure with her doll shop.

Queens Arcade, it’s perhaps the most exclusive of the shopping arcades in Leeds, with some huge names opening landmark stores along County Arcade, Cross Arcade and Queen Victoria Street. Alongside the wonderful Harvey Nichols, which replaced the old Empire Theatre in 1996, the likes of Reiss, Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, Michael Kors, and Radley have become huge pulls for the city’s shoppers.

And alongside over 70 luxury shops, the Victoria Quarter is home to some impressive dining options too. There’s a Bagel Nash, Opposite Cafe and YO Sushi to tuck into, while Filmore and Union spread along Queen Victoria Street with their impressive, healthy fare. Oh, and Harvey Nichols have both their Fourth Floor Cafe and Espresso Bar that make the arcades here, the most impressive in Leeds.

You will find all areas of home ware covered in this multistory shop, from rugs to jugs, soap dishes to architecture books, sofas to coffee tables. The Conran Shop sits above other high street competitors both in status and in price.

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