One of the largest cities in West Yorkshire, Bradford was once known as the “Wool Capital of the World”. It flourished in the 19th century as a hub for textile manufacturing, fuelled by a steady supply of coal and iron ore from the Pennines. It’s home to outstanding museums dedicated to industry and media, as well as a picturesque park that centres around Cartwright Hall.
Things to do in Bradford
One of Bradford’s most popular attractions is the National Science and Media Museum, which explores the worlds of photography, animation and video gaming. You can watch early TV footage and see the world’s first colour films, then get up close to artefacts and equipment from the BBC. Video gamers should coincide their visit with the Yorkshire Games Festival.
If you’re a fan of the Brontë sisters, visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, which occupies their family home in Haworth. In addition to furnishings, clothes and personal objects belonging to the sisters, it also features letters and “Little Books” filled with their tiny handwriting. Keep an eye out for the ink stains on the table where “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre” were penned.
For a retail fix with a historic twist, head to the Salts Mill, a former textile mill built by Sir Titus Salt in 1853. It was once the largest industrial building in the world and is now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Art galleries, retail stores and restaurants occupy the mill, which regularly hosts events and exhibitions.
Getting around Bradford
Bradford is a 25-minute drive from the centre of Leeds and 20 minutes from Leeds Bradford Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect to Bradford Forster Square and Bradford Interchange railway stations and buses travel throughout the city.