Leeds London Train
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The city of Leeds is located in West Yorkshire and is considered by many to be the cultural, financial and commercial centre of West Yorkshire. Historically, Leeds was located in the West Riding of Yorkshire and has grown from a small market town in the valley of the River Aire to become a large urban centre by the middle of the 20th century. During the Industrial Revolution Leeds transformed itself into a major industrial centre which was dominated by the wool and flax industries along with iron foundries and printing.
Leeds has three universities and as a result has one of the largest student populations in the UK. It is also second largest legal centre in the United Kingdom, after London. Leeds has extensive shopping opportunities for visitors including the indoor shopping centres of the Merrion Centre, St. John's Centre, The Core, the Victoria Quarter, The Light, the Corn Exchange and Trinity Leeds.
Leeds is home to the Grand Theatre where Opera North is based. The theatre has 1,500 seats and has recently undergone a £31.5m refurbishment. The City Varieties Music Hall, which hosted performances by Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini and was also the venue of the BBC television programme The Good Old Days, and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Just south of Leeds Bridge once stood The Theatre which hosted Sarah Siddons and Ching Lau Lauro in 1786 and 1834 respectively.
London has too many buildings to be characterised by one architectural style. This is due, in part, to the varying ages of its buildings with dating back as far as the 11th century, such as The Tower of London. Many of London's large, opulent, houses and public buildings, such as the National Gallery, were constructed using Portland stone. However, different parts of the city have styles of their own. For example, the area to the west of central London is characterised by white stucco buildings. Although some do exist, few of London's surviving buildings pre-date the Great Fire of 1666. Those that do may have a trace of Roman remains or are of Tudor origins.
London is also a very green city with many parks and open spaces for inhabitants and visitors to enjoy. In central London there are a number of Royal Parks: Hyde Park and its neighbour Kensington Gardens, Regent's Park which is home to London Zoo, Green Park and St James's Park. Further out from the centre there is Greenwich Park, Bushey Park, Richmond Park and Victoria Park. Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath to the north of Regent's Park are popular spots to view the ever changing London skyline.