By Train (inside UK):
Leeds has a major train station easily accessible from most of the UK. Tickets for all train companies and lines are available at thetrainline.com, or directly from the ticket operators. Trains from London leave from Kings Cross and take 2:15-2:45. Booking well in advance can be the difference between a £15 ticket and a £115 ticket. There is also Megabus, National Express and GoEuro. See below for train/plane combinations.
By Train (international):
Scholars coming from France, Belgium, the Netherlands (and even parts of Germany) may want to consider Eurostar. On the Eurostar website, you can book a train directly from you origin all the way to Leeds. The transfer in London is very easy, as the Eurostar arrives to St. Pancras, and the train to Leeds leaves from King’s Cross, which is across the street. If you book all through Eurostar, they time the connection so that the transfer isn’t rushed, and you have a guarantee in case there is a delay. If bought in advance, prices can be comparable to flying.
Leeds Bradford is a relatively small airport that does have a range of flights internationally, although it can be limited in terms of the days in which flights are available. A taxi from the airport, purchased from the care hire stand in front and paid in advance, is roughly £20-25 to the city centre. There is also a bus which runs regularly to the Train Station in the centre, which is near the hotels.
Most people coming to Leeds internationally fly to Manchester. The airport in Manchester has a train station built into the airport, with direct trains to Leeds every 30 minutes during peak periods and every hour after. Tickets bought at the airport are between £20-30, but can be purchased for as little as £10 if bought in advance via thetrainline.com or via Transpennine Express. The cheap tickets bought in advance require you to choose a time, so be sure you leave enough time for immigration, baggage, etc., and remember that if there is a delay you are out of luck.
Other options: Birmingham has a growing airport with many cheap flights, and a train station with direct service to Leeds (2 hours). You can also take the train from Stansted (one change) and Luton (one change). For many people, flying to London is far more economical, and if you book your train from these places in advance (again leaving plenty of time and checking the train availability via thetrainline.com) it can be the cheapest way to get to Leeds.
Thee is a ferry from Rotterdam to Hull in East Yorkshire (UK Capital of Culture 2017). It is an overnight ferry and looks really cool. We have never taken it but would be thrilled if someone did. Trains from Hull take an hour and run regularly throughout the day.