The Armouries, Leeds Dock

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Trips & Adventures – 1 August 2019

Whilst waiting for the group to gather at Victoria train station I was approached by a stranger who recognised me from the internet – “Changing the Record on Growing Older in Greater Manchester” – I was amazed by the power of social media!

Anyway, five of us met and left Manchester with its heavy downpours of rain and travelled to Leeds where we found not only dry weather, but also warm sunshine.

We knew the Royal Armouries were on the outskirts of the city near the Leeds Dock area on the bank of the river Aire, but we were unsure which bus to catch. We decided to get a taxi and arrived just in time for lunch. We sampled various dishes – crispy fish and chips, Caesar salad and soup – and three of us washed this down with a bottle of Punk IPA, a fruity beer favoured by revolutionaries!

The Royal Armouries is the UK’s oldest museum, originally housed in the Tower of London from the 15th century. But today the collection of arms and armour is split across three sites in Leeds, London and Portsmouth.

The building in Leeds opened in 1996 and is very impressive, built on five floors with wide open spaces.

In addition to the five original galleries which house 5,000 objects in the permanent displays and the more recent Peace Gallery, the museum also includes the Hall of Steel, a giant staircase whose walls are decorated with trophy displays composed of 2,500 objects reminiscent of the historical trophy displays erected by the Tower Armouries from the 17th century. This was spectacular and the number of brilliant photos indicate the stunning displays throughout the museum.

Wandering round the building were various cowboys, centurions and gladiators ready to demonstrate their skills in battle.

We wandered over to the waterfront and by chance saw that there was a water taxi from the Royal Armouries back to the train station down the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The journey was approximately twelve minutes and cost only £1.00 per person. Imagine our surprise when the water taxi turned up sporting a rainbow flag. It was a fantastic way to finish our visit to Leeds giving us a different view of the city.

To find out more about our next outings click here

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