Attractions in Bradford

Polly Checkland Harding

Bradford is a northern city home to venues with real cultural clout, with the attractions at its neighbouring locations Ilkley and Saltaire also a big draw to the area. Bradford itself was designated as the world’s first UNESCO City of Film in recognition of the rich film heritage, evocative movie locations and the plethora of film festivals and events here. Ranked as a world centre for film, Bradford is home to the National Science and Media Museum, which was the first in the UK to open an IMAX and panoramic cinema screen, as well as a live broadcast studio in the museum itself.

Visual art is another strength in the city – perhaps no surprise when Bradford’s alumnus include David Hockney, photographer Ian Beesley and multidisciplinary artist Shanaz Gulzar. The city’s Impressions Gallery was instrumental in repositioning photography as a serious art form, Cliffe Castle Museum, the former home of Victorian millionaire and textile manufacturer Henry Isaac Butterfield, holds a lavish art collection, and Fuse Art Space holds the candle for interdisciplinary and mixed medium artists.

Bradford’s music and theatre scene is not to be out done, however. This is the city where Bowie played St George’s Hall, the birthplace of playwright and novelist J. B. Priestley and now a significant producing hub. Head to the monumental Alhambra Theatre for landmark touring shows, or to Theatre in the Mill for Edinburgh Fringe previews and experimental productions.

For more information on all of these venues, and Bradford’s other stand-out attractions, as well as things to do in Ilkley and Saltaire, read on.

Our top picks

The Peace Museum

The Peace Museum, 10 Piece Hall Yard, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1PJ - Visit now

Don’t be fooled by the size of The Peace Museum, this collection of peaceful objects has a powerful message behind it and makes for fascinating exhibitions.

the peace museum
Courtesy of The Peace Museum

Impressions Gallery

Impressions Gallery, Aldermanbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1SD - Visit now

As the leading gallery of photographic arts in the UK, Impressions is making photography accessible, inspiring and approachable for everyone.

impressions
Impressions Gallery

St George’s Hall, Bradford

St George’s Hall, Bradford, Bridge Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1JT - Visit now

Bradfords flagship music venue, St Georges Hall has been bring the best touring talent to Bradford since the 19th Century.

St George's Hall
Courtesy of Bradford Theatres

Cliffe Castle Museum

Cliffe Castle Museum, Spring Gardens Lane, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD20 6LQ - Visit now

Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley, West Yorkshire, is a local heritage museum which opened in the grand, Victorian, neo-Gothic Cliffe Castle in 1959. In addition to the museum’s fixed galleries, Cliffe Castle’s temporary exhibitions often feature contemporary art works responding to local issues.

Cliffe Castle Museum
Image courtesy of Stephen Craven / Cliffe Castle museum, Keighley.

Fuse Art Space

Fuse Art Space, 7 Rawson Place, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 3JP - Visit now

Fuse is a new and exciting venue where multidisciplinary art forms meet a full spectrum of live performance; this dynamic space is broadening the artistic minds of Bradford and beyond.

fuse
Fuse Art Space

The Underground

The Underground, 9 Duke Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 3QR - Visit now

The Underground Bradford opened its doors in 2016 and has since been bringing the best of rock, indie, pop and big nights to the Bradfordians.

the underground
Courtesy of The Underground

The Alhambra Theatre

The Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1AJ - Visit now

Every big name in live entertainment will know of The Alhambra Theatre; whether you’re looking for a West End show, international dance or large scale theatre, you can be sure to find it here.

The Alhambra
Courtesy of Bradford Theatres

Bradford Industrial Museum

Bradford Industrial Museum, Moorside Mills, Moorside Road, Eccleshill, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD2 3HP - Visit now

Bradford’s Industrial Museum transports you back to the city’s former incarnation as a powerhouse of the North. See working machinery, the living spaces of both the mill owners and workers, as well as contemporary responses to the archive. As with Cliffe Castle, Bradford Industrial Museum often works with contemporary artists to create new exhibitions.

Courtesy of Bradford Museums and Galleries

The South Square Centre

The South Square Centre, Thornton Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD13 3LD - Visit now

Based in the village of Thornton, the South Square Centre is a collection of 19th century workers cottages that now house a gallery, cafe, pub and more.

South Square Centre

Black Dyke Mills Heritage Venue

Black Dyke Mills Heritage Venue, Brighouse Road, Queensbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD13 1QA - Visit now

The Black Dyke Mills Heritage Venue is an exciting community space where you can see live music, exhibitions and events. Run by the community for the community, it’s the closest a venue will feel to someone’s front room.

black dyke mills
Courtesy of Black Dyke Mills Heritage Venue

Theatre in the Mill

Theatre in the Mill, Off Shearbridge Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 1NX - Visit now

As the place to go for original and fringe theatre in Bradford, Theatre in the Mill is a hive of emerging talent and exciting new works.

Image courtesy of Theatre in the Mill

Bradford Police Museum

Bradford Police Museum, Centenary Square, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HY - Visit now

The Bradford Police Museum resides in the old headquarters of the force. Explore the cells, courtrooms and artefacts that have over a century of stories to tell.

Bradford Police Museum
Courtesy of The Bradford Police Museum

Nightrain

Nightrain, 7-19 Queensgate, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1RB - Visit now

Nightrain is a rock bar and live music venue in the heart of Bradford city centre. Live music can be enjoyed every weekend, along with a jukebox, pool and darts.

Nightrain
Courtesy of Nightrain

Bradford Playhouse

Bradford Playhouse, 4 Chapel Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 5DL - Visit now

Bradford Playhouse is a beautiful Art Deco theatre with a vintage bar situated in the heart of Little Germany, Bradford’s cultural quarter.

Courtesy of Bradford Playhouse

Caroline Street Social Club

Caroline Street Social Club, Caroline Street, Saltaire, West Yorkshire, BD18 3JZ - Visit now

Caroline Street Social Club brings together musicians, dancers, thespians and bingo players, in a club where live performance, real ale and a warm welcome are never out of fashion.

Caroline street social club
Courtesy of The Live Room at Saltaire

Kala Sangam

Kala Sangam, St. Peter’s House, 1 Forster Square, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 4TY - Visit now

Kala Sangam is an intercultural arts hub based in the heart of Bradford city centre which reflects the diversity of contemporary Britain through the work it presents, the artists it supports and the communities it engages.

Things to do in Bradford: Kala Sangam
Courtesy of Kala Sangam

Bradford Cathedral

Bradford Cathedral, 1 Stott Hill,, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 4EH - Visit now

Bradford Cathedral has been a place for Christian workshop since the 8th Century, today it feeds the community artistically and spiritually.

Bradford Cathedral
Bradford Cathedral

Salts Mill

Salts Mill, Victoria Road, Saltaire, BD18 3LA - Visit now

Salts Mill has evolved from its roots as a powerhouse of the industrial revolution to become a chic gallery and retail space.

Salts Mill
Image courtesy of Salts Mill.

Ilkley Library

Ilkley Library, Station Road, Ilkley, LS29 8HA - Visit now

Ilkley Library is one of the older institutions in the town. They regularly host literary events as well as bringing books and services to the community.

Bradford MDC

Kings Hall and Winter Gardens

Kings Hall and Winter Gardens, Station Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 8HB - Visit now

The Kings Hall and Winter Gardens is a central venue in Ilkley, its traditional Victorian theatre and adjacent glass-roofed spa hall.

Visit Leeds

Ilkley Lido

Ilkley Lido, Denton Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 0BZ - Visit now

Ilkley Lido is a Grade II listed outdoor pool, with a stunning view of the surrounding moors, there is also an indoor pool and tennis courts.

Ilkley Lido
Ilkley Lido. Image courtesy of James Smith/ Only By Land.

The Live Room

The Live Room, Caroline Social Club, Caroline Street, Saltaire, Shipley, BD18 3JZ - Visit now

The Live Room is a well established Roots music club that attracts crowds from all over Yorkshire and acts from all over the world.

The Live Room
Image courtesy of Olcay Bayir/ The Live Room.

The Bingley Gallery

The Bingley Gallery, 29A Park Road, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 4BQ - Visit now

The Bingley Gallery is a hidden haven of local art work and changing exhibitions. Curated by visual artist David Starley.

Courtesy of Visit Leeds

Ilkley Manor House

Ilkley Manor House, Castle Yard, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9DT - Visit now

Visit the collection of Roman artefacts in one of the oldest buildings in Yorkshire, or host a special occasion at Ilkley Manor House.

Ilkley Manor House
Image courtesy of Ilkley Manor House.

Ilkley Cinema

Ilkley Cinema, 46a Leeds Road,, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 8DP - Visit now

Ilkley Cinema combines relaxed and sociable spaces with state of the art screening technology. Join them for indie film, theatre and more.

Visit Leeds

Saltaire Trip Boat

Saltaire Trip Boat, Victoria Rd, Saltaire, Shipley, BD18 3LA - Visit now

Saltaire Trip boat runs every day between spring and summer, sharing the beauty of Saltaire from the vantage point of the Canal.

Saltaire Trip Boat

Where to go in Bradford

Bradford
Museum
Bagshaw Museum

‘Eclectic’ is the name of the game at the Bagshaw Museum in Batley. Their collections are varied but not lacking in quality.

Bradford
Museum
Bolling Hall

Tucked away in a quiet, leafy garden, Bolling Hall Museum is full-to-the-brim with the history of its residing families.

The Brontë Parsonage, Haworth from outside
Bradford
Museum
Brontë Parsonage Museum

The Brontë Parsonage Museum celebrates the lives of the world’s most famous literary family, beautifully preserving the Brontës’ family home.

Ilkley Manor House
Ilkley
Museum
Ilkley Manor House

Visit the collection of Roman artefacts in one of the oldest buildings in Yorkshire, or host a particularly special occasion at Ilkley Manor House.

Bradford
Museum
Bradford Industrial Museum

Bradford’s Industrial Museum transports you back to the cities former incarnation, as a powerhouse of the north. See working machinery, the living spaces of mill owners and workers as well as contemporary responses to the archive.

Bradford Police Museum
Bradford
Museum
Bradford Police Museum

The Bradford Police Museum resides in the old headquarters of the force. Explore the cells, courtrooms and artefacts that have over a century of stories to tell.

the peace museum
Bradford
Museum
The Peace Museum

Don’t be fooled by the size of The Peace Museum, this collection of peaceful objects has a powerful message behind it and makes for fascinating exhibitions.

Bradford Visitor Guides

impressions
Art Galleries in Bradford

Bradford has given us giants of the visual art world such as David Hockney and Ian Beesley, check out our guide of art galleries to find the best places to experience art in the city.

Science and Media Museum
Museums in Bradford

As a northern city with a culturally rich past, Take some time to explore the weird, wonderful and wacky variety of museums in Bradford.

The Alhambra
Theatres in Bradford

As the birthplace of J.B. Priestly and the home of the Alhambra, the city's longstanding thespian tradition ensures there are no lack of theatres in Bradford.

Nightrain
Music Venues in Bradford

Bradford has a reputation for intimate gigs and rowdy rock nights, we've rounded up the best places to see both in our guide of music venues in Bradford.

Bradford Cathedral
Walks in Bradford

A round-up of the best walks in Bradford, including the city centre, its parks, and around key attractions by Creative Tourist.

Spotlight on

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Take a look at our top recommendations for restaurants and bars to check out this spring.

Take me there

Culture Guides

Festival-goers at Green Island
Music in Manchester and the North

Gazing longingly towards the good times that will accompany the surely imminent sun, we take a look at the best music festivals coming up in Manchester and Salford.

Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre in Manchester and the North

Affecting contemporary performances and fresh, relevant takes on enduring classics, we pick out shows that help us scrutinise the world we live in.