Leeds

Your Local editor is Chelsea and you can contact her at: leeds@mumsnetlocal.com

Leeds is a busy city boasting a wealth of parks and open spaces, as well as being the home of Asda and the birthplace of Countdown.

Leeds has a vibrant economy, with the largest finance, business and legal sectors outside the capital, and has great transport links – it's close to the M1, around two hours by train from London, and has it's own airport.

Culturally the city has much to offer: Leeds is home to the brilliant West Yorkshire Playhouse, it has the oldest Caribbean-stylecarnival in Europe, and there's posh shopping at the Victoria Quarter or bargains galore in KirkgateMarket.

Best of all you can choose from stylish city centre living and, if Emmerdale is more your thing (minus the kidnappings and the Dingle family), picture perfect villages.

Leeds is exciting but it doesn't take itself too seriously. Where else would you find Harvey Nicholstwo doors down from Poundland?

So there's plenty to attract and entertain parents, but what about those pesky children? Leeds' trump card is a city centre perfectly designed for pushing a pram around or chasing afteryoung children – it's all wide open pedestrianised spaces. When the shopping is done you can visit thetiger at Leeds City Museum and spot the gold post boxes and owls on your way.

Tropical World in Roundhay Park houses the UK's largest collection of tropical plants outside Kew Gardens. And if your toddler isn't that excited about hot plants, try the meerkats, butterflies,bats and crocodiles.

Picturesque market towns like Wetherby and Otley are great for families who want to explore
outdoors. Popular suburbs of Horsforth, Chapel Allerton and Kirkstall are busy with baby-friendlycafes, community events and festivals.

Roundhay Park, Golden Acre Park and the Otley Chevin Forest Park all have plenty to discover butif you really want excitement sign up for Knight School at the Royal Armouries Museum, dress up asa Tudor at Temple Newsam, or visit penguins and the adventure playground at Harewood House.

And, when you want to get out of town, The Yorkshire Dales National Park is just a short drive away.

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