Things to do in Bradford

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

Bradford is the civic dark horse of Yorkshire. It is often forced to compete with its larger neighbour Leeds, however, there is a feeling to this city and a cultural fingerprint that makes it totally unique within the context of Yorkshire. Whether you experience the grand scale and extravagance of the Alhambra, catch an eye opening exhibition at Impressions or spend an afternoon perusing the quirky independent shops of Oastler Market, Bradford has a certain rawness and warmth which can’t be replicated.

As a cultural centre, Bradford and the surrounding area are a Unesco triple bill. With Bronte country and Haworth a short drive away, Saltaire and Salts Mill an even shorter distance by train, bus or car and Bradford itself was named a Unesco City of Film in 2009. This comes as no surprise when you visit the National Science and Media Museum. See how Bradfordians have encouraged pioneering approaches to film, television, radio and gaming for yourself.

Having been the birthplace of David Hockney and Ian Beesley, Bradford has a longstanding reputation for nurturing young artistic talent. It has also been named as a producing hub, so we can look forward to all manner of live arts performances in the coming years, supported by venues such as Theatre in the Mill and Kala Sangam.

Everyone in Yorkshire knows that Bradford is THE place to go for a curry. It’s the birthplace of household names such as Mumtaz and Akbar’s and there’s plenty of opportunity to discover a hidden gem or a stylist restaurant with authentic home cooking. Alongside curry, the city is particularly well catered for in beer. Saltaire, Leeds and Ilkley Breweries are situated conveniently close by, nurturing a culture for drinking ‘proper pints’ rather than commercial larger. Places like the Sparrow Bier Café have turned North Parade in Bradford’s city centre into the go to street for an independent pub crawl.

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