Bradford, West Yorkshire
Bradford’s cultural pedigree is truly impressive. With its UNESCO film credentials and addictive Asian food scene, it’s a city for all the senses.
A vibrant, multicultural city nestled in the rolling foothills of the Pennine mountains in West Yorkshire, Bradford was famously the world’s first UNESCO City of Film. It’s also well connected to the North of England, its city centre just one hour away from Manchester airport.
Bradford’s top attraction is its National Media Museum, an impressive glass-fronted building overlooking the newly developed City Park. Inside, it tells the story of television and film across nine floors of displays and interactive exhibits. Choose from over 25,000 titles from the British Film Institute’s archive or visit the IMAX theatre with its exciting programme of films. With a screen as big as five double decker buses, it’s the perfect way to end your visit.
Bradford was once the ‘Wool Capital of the World’ and a 10 minute bus ride northwest of the city centre takes you to the Victorian model village of Saltaire. Founded in 1853 by the English industrialist Titus Salt, this UNESCO World Heritage Site recreates life for Victorian factory workers during the Industrial Revolution.
It’s here you’ll find Bradford Industrial Museum, housed inside a 19th century textile mill, where visitors can experience the hiss and roar of working steam engines and hop aboard a horse-drawn tram. Don’t forget to also visit the site’s focal point Salts Mill, whose cathedral-like space is packed to the rafters with independent traders and art exhibitions, including the world’s largest collection of works by the Bradford-born artist David Hockney.
The small village of Haworth was famously home to the Brontë sisters and is a 25 minute drive west of Bradford. Surrounded by windswept moorland, its rugged setting inspired famous novels like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Cobbled streets lead Brontë fans on a pilgrimage to the very places where the three sisters lived and wrote. A highlight is the Brontë Parsonage Museum, with its well-preserved rooms and telling collection of personal items.
If you’ve come to Bradford with a thirst for adventure, strap your boots on for the Dales Way, an 80 mile-long (129km) walking route starting in Ilkley and ending in Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria. The Yorkshire Dales are famous for their rolling hills and rugged moors and there’s no better way to explore this epic landscape than on foot, choosing from a myriad of walker-friendly pubs to stop in for a pint of local ale.
If you don’t fancy taking on the whole route, but would still like to spend a good day walking, start in Ilkley and follow the 15 mile (24km) route to Grassington before returning to Bradford by bus.
If all that fresh air has given you a healthy appetite, sampling Bradford’s Asian delicacies is a must. Having won the title of ‘Curry Capital of Britain’ four times over, Bradford takes its curry very seriously. Whether you choose to indulge your palate at a contemporary curry house, dine out on regional dishes at a family restaurant or relax with the locals at a friendly neighbourhood café, your taste buds are in for a treat.
Want to find out more about Bradford’s film heritage? Download the Bradford Film Heritage App and follow in the footsteps of the stars across Bradford District’s film and TV locations.