Leeds is a city in the county of West Yorkshire, England. The city lies in the valley of the River Aire in the eastern foothills of the Pennines. The city is the largest settlement in the county with a population of 516,298, while the larger City of Leeds metropolitan borough had a population of 812,000 (2021 estimate).[1][2] The city is part of the West Yorkshire Built-up Area, the fourth-largest urban area in the United Kingdom with 1.7 million inhabitants.[3]


Clockwise from top left: Leeds Town Hall, Bridgewater Place, Leeds Minster, Skyline of Leeds with the minster in foreground, Leeds railway station, Leeds Civic Hall, Trinity Leeds, Leeds Skyline with the city centre and town hall in foreground
Location within City of Leeds
Location within West Yorkshire
Area111.6 km2 (43.1 sq mi)
Population516,298 (2020 estimate)
 Density4,626/km2 (11,980/sq mi)
Metropolitan borough population812,000 (2021 estimate; ONS)
OS grid referenceSE299339
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEEDS
Postcode districtLS1-LS17
Dialling code0113
PoliceWest Yorkshire
FireWest Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
53.800268°N 1.5497207°W / 53.800268; -1.5497207

Leeds was a small manorial borough in the 13th century, becoming a major centre for the production and trading of wool in the 17th and 18th centuries, then a major mill town during the Industrial Revolution; wool was still the dominant industry, but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing, and other industries were also important.[4] From being a market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century, Leeds expanded and overtook nearby York in importance,[5] absorbing surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the 20th century, having attained City status in 1893.[6] Leeds is well known for being the location where carbonated water was invented in the 1760s.[7]

Today, Leeds is known for its many shopping arcades, such as Kirkgate Market.[5] Located at crossroads in Britain about halfway between London and Edinburgh, it sits on important motorway links (the M1, M62 and A1(M)),[8] while Leeds railway station is, alongside Manchester Piccadilly, one of the two main railway stations in the North of England.[9]

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