Museums in Bradford

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

Bradford gained its status as a UNESCO world heritage site for film this decade and has gone from strength to strength since then. Although there are a varied collection of museums in Bradford, the jewel in the city’s crown, is definitely the National  Science and Media museum. It was the first place in the UK to open IMAX and Panoramic cinema screens, it was the first place to open a live broadcasting studio in a museum and it’s now moving forward to incorporate the history of video games as well. Although their doors are currently closed there are a wealth of online activities, talks and tours to dive into on a rainy day.

The Industrial Museum in Bradford is unlike others in the North, as it highlights the importance of how the industrialisation and the need for a larger workforce lead to the diverse cultural landscape of Bradford as a city today. These stories are represented through archive, demonstrated through machinery and responded to by contemporary artists working in Bradford today. Helping us all feel connected to our past. In a similar vein, the Police Museum is a fascinating journey through Law and Order over the past century. You can visit the Victorian cells or court and see the ornate batons of 19th Century bobbies.

Another Victorian gem is Cliffe Castle, the old manor house has been preserved and expanded with exhibitions of Natural History, Minerals and Molecules and of course the outrageously lavish collection of art from the home’s former resident Henry Isaac Butterfield. With the surrounding park and an extensive playground, it’s a great day out for the whole family.

Although it’s the smallest of the Museums in our guide, The Peace Museum should not be underestimated. Their collection of peaceful objects all link to a time and place where someone has taken action towards a more peaceful world. Walking through the exhibits is a very powerful experience and will have you motivated to become more active in your peacemaking role in the world today.

Scroll down to find out more about our top picks of museums in Bradford.

Here are our picks

  • 1. The National Science and Media Museum

    Science and Media Museum
    Courtesy of the National Science and Media Museum

    The National Science and Media Museum, The National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ - Visit now

    Visit the Science and Media Museum to explore how light and sound work and how film, television and video games have developed, with interactive exhibitions a live studio and a one of a kind cinema it shows how Bradford earned its reputation as a UNESCO city of Film. 

  • 2. The Peace Museum

    the peace museum
    Courtesy of 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.

  • 3. Cliffe Castle Museum

    Creative Tourist

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

    Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley, West Yorkshire, is a local heritage museum which opened in the grand, Victorian, neo-Gothic Cliffe Castle in 1959.

  • 4. Bradford Industrial Museum

    Courtesy of Bradford Museums and Galleries

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

    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. 

  • 5. Bradford Police Museum

    Bradford Police Museum
    Courtesy of The 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.