Opened in 1996, the Royal Armouries is one of the jewels in the crown of Leeds. I remember when it was opened, how it was such a big thing for Leeds to have such a national treasure. However, being from Leeds, perhaps it is taken for granted somewhat.

We have visited the Royal Armouries a couple of times now and felt that it needed a blog post doing!!

Royal Armouries splash image

What is at the Royal Armouries?

The Royal Armouries is the home of arms and armour from all over the world, both historical and modern day, held over 5 floors.

I am in no way an expert in any of these areas, and so I’ll let the pictures to the talking, but as you can see, there are lots of artefacts to view.

Royal Armouries armour

The most visual displays, particularly for younger children, are the animal exhibits, showing how animals were used in battles. Depending on the age of your child, they may just see them as dressed up animals, which isn’t a bad thing at all!!

Horse and soldier

There are talks and demonstrations as well throughout the day, and on the top floor, there is a paid-for activity, using a cross-bow to shoot balls. We didn’t have chance to give it a go, but it did look fun and decent value for money (2019 price: £3 for 8 balls)

The Royal Armouries also do special events as well, particularly in the summer and bank holidays, so keep an eye out for upcoming events, especially as they tend to get quite busy!

Is Royal Armouries child friendly?

It depends on how old your child is. If your child understands war and has a historical understanding of certain events, then the Royal Armouries will be very, very educational.  However, if your child is more hands-on or doesn’t understand the concept of war, then the attraction may not be for them.

Elephant going into battle

However, there is lots of space for children to explore and as such, they can find what appeals to them.

There are really good baby changing facilities, with separate toilet facilities, was well as changing facilities in the men’s toilets.

Is the Royal Armouries just about War?

Pretty much. However, there is a small “Peace” section hidden away on one of the upper floors. Whilst it is important to know about the past, it would have been good to see how we can avoid wars going forward.

It's not all about war at the Royal Armouries
It’s not all about war

How can I get to the Royal Armouries?

Probably the best way to get to the Royal Armouries is via the free water taxi service from Granary Wharf. It gives a view of Leeds that you wouldn’t normally see and is very interesting. There can often be a large queue in summer, but if you can take the trip, do so.

There is a large multi-story car park about 300 yards away, which charges city centre prices (understandably), but is very convenient.

Perhaps the best way would be to get a bus/coach into the bus station and do the 10 minute walk down. This is especially true if you have older children.

To read about our experience of getting a National Express coach, check out this blog post.

How much is admission to the Royal Armouries?

Entry into the Royal Armouries is free. There are places to make a donation throughout, as it is a registered charity.


The Royal Armouries may not be ideal for your child, depending on their age and level of understanding. However, it is a national treasure and its quality is amazing. With everything undercover and free entry, it is well worth a trip and see for yourself!

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2 Replies to “Royal Armouries”

    1. Yes – You’ll need to use the lifts to get to each floor, but there is plenty of space for mobility scooters all around.

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