Ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, we explore the highlights in each of the host cities and venues.
Saturday, September 26: Italy v Canada
Sunday, September 27: Scotland v USA
Leeds has been dubbed the London of the North and it doesn’t take long to see why. With a vibrant city centre that has recently undergone a big revamp, the heart of the city now boasts a state-of-the-art shopping complex in Leeds Trinity, complete with award-winning restaurants and nightlife.
If you’re after a more historic afternoon then look no further than the Royal Armouries, which is a stone’s throw from the centre of town at Clarence Dock. The museum opened in 1996 and displays over 8,500 objects throughout its six themed galleries: War, Tournament, Oriental, Self-defence, Hunting and Peace.
In Roundhay Park, Leeds boasts one of the biggest urban parks which is over 700 acres large. The park has two lakes and a golf course to enjoy the fine Yorkshire weather and if that wasn’t enough, Tropical World – to the East of the park – includes a butterfly house, exotic gardens and animals.
Where and what to eat:
A popular spot to eat in the town centre is the Trinity Kitchen which is made up of 30 cafes, bars and restaurants including The Alchemist cocktail bar and the Italian restaurant Carluccio’s – wherever you choose to wine and dine you won’t go far wrong.
The Scarborough Hotel pub is a traditional English pub located on the doorstep of the train station and is perfect watering hole for a pre-match drink or two to calm the nerves. It's one of the most popular pre-match pubs for Leeds United home games, so is used to handling and serving an army of sports fans with a Yorkshire smile.
Look no further than the central Roxy Ballroom for a post-match beverage, whether it’s to celebrate a hard-fought victory or to drown your sorrows after a defeat. Roxy’s have a variety of entertainment to keep the party going long into the night with ping pong, pool tables, mini-golf and beer pong all on offer.
Stadium: Elland Road
Leeds is somewhat of a hotbed of rugby league but the World Cup will be hosted at the city’s football stadium, Elland Road, home to Leeds United FC. The stadium has hosted the code just once before in 1992 when over 14,000 turned up to watch a North of England XV take on South Africa. The venue boasts fantastic views from all four stands and impressive hospitality facilities which were recently installed in 2014 for a more upmarket visit.
The stadium is a five-minute bus journey from the centre of the city and a 15-minute walk if you choose to take in the sights (just follow the crowd). The venue provides a special bus service on match days which picks up from outside of the Hilton hotel, next to the train station, and runs an hour before kick-off to allow plenty of time to travel.
Elland Road has an all-seater capacity of 37,914 and the stadium itself has a very feisty old-school feel. Each stand sits virtually on top of the pitch which allows fans to feel part of the action and helps builds a fantastic atmosphere for any event at the venue.