Leeds Armouries, a family favourite day out of ours. We have been to this wonderful place countless times over the years. With free admission, it makes for the perfect family day out .
Naturally, given my background as a historian, I’m always keen to get my children interested in history and Leeds Armouries is not only informative but also interactive. This magnificent building which houses the national collection of arms and armour does not feel like a traditional museum. With collections imaginatively displayed over 5 floors, Leeds Armouries looks and feels like a modern day education centre.
The Hunting Gallery
We began our visit on the 5th floor in the hunting gallery. We were guided a magnificent display of arms used for the purpose of hunting. The displays were grouped according to historical periods and the gallery flowed nicely from the prehistoric to the more modern period. The displays included works of art, tapestries as well as actual weapons.
We then made our way over to the Oriental Gallery. The exhibition houses a beautiful collection of weaponry from Africa and Asia.
My youngest was memorised by the armoured elephant.
Given my interest in medieval history, this gallery is somewhat of a highlight for me. It is filled with amazing artefacts relating to the sport of the tournament – picture knights in shining armour! In this gallery lies one of my favourite pieces – Henry VIII’s foot combat armour which he donned at the ‘Field of Cloth of Gold’ in 1520.
Housing an incredible array of artefacts from the ancient world to the 21st century, the war gallery is a sensational experience with some incredibly life-like mannequins.
Hall of Steel
A fabulous display of weaponry encases a tall glass tower. The artefacts can be viewed as visitors climb up and down the staircase. This spectacle is made all the more impressive when viewed through the mirrors on the bottom floor of the armouries.
Bringing History to Life
At times, displays such as jousts and falconry are performed in the outside area known as the tilt yard. These events often incur a small fee, however, these exhibitions are well worth the price of admission as they are so excellently performed.
For events please see here for details.
For an all round fun filled family day out, I cannot recommend Leeds Armouries enough. With free admission and 5 floors of interesting and well presented displays, there is something to be found for all the family.