Leek is a historic market and mill town of 20,768 people (2011) lying on the southern edge of the Pennines. Known as the Queen of the Moorlands most of the town is at or above 600 feet (180 m) and is surrounded by the higher countryside of the Staffordshire Moorlands, with the Peak District National Park boundary some 3 miles to the North.
The town has a thriving arts community and is a centre for the antiques trade. It has a well-used community-run arts centre in the Foxlowe at the top of the market square. The town has a wide range of independent shops and services, including many good restaurants and cafes. Leek’s Totally Locally is very active in promoting local businesses and town centre activities.
Leek has a rich architectural heritage with many listed buildings including the Grade I listed All Saints’ Church by Richard Norman Shaw.
There is a college, a community hospital, football, cricket and hockey clubs, a library and museum, two golf courses, and two high schools. The River Churnet flows around the town.
Leek has an annual Arts Festival in May which attracts internationally known performers.