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City guide to Bradford
Bradford is a large northern city, with a long and documented history, and a population of almost 300,000 people.
Bradford is a large northern city, with a long and documented history, and a
population of almost 300,000 people.
Numerous important historical buildings and monuments, including mills and factories and one of only two World Heritage Sites in Yorkshire, make the city a first choice of many history-seekers and the city never fails to reward the effort! Bradford is also home to the most visited museum outside of London.
The vibrant cultural life in Bradford, and award-winning restaurants, make the city an ideal destination for a relaxing evening out or weekend away; but the city also boasts a lively nightlife and music scene for those seeking entertainment a little more adventurous!
Like many other areas in the region, millions of pounds are pouring in for regeneration and the city offers an exciting up-and-coming feel.
Bradford was granted city status at the end of the nineteenth century, but its history is documented back to the thirteenth century. Bradford formed an important manufacturing area during the Industrial Revolution, but suffered the collapse of the manufacturing industry during the twentieth century. There have been signs of improvement over the last twenty years, but the rate of unemployment remains below the national average.
The National Media Museum is the most visited museum outside of London, exploring developments in photography, film and television, and housing the largest cinema screen in the world.
The Industrial Museum is based in an eighteenth century mill, and houses artefacts exploring the area's manufacturing past.
The nineteenth century village of Saltaire was built to house the local mill workforce, and is one of only two World Heritage Sites in Yorkshire.
Bradford has numerous galleries including Cartwright Hall with comprises four separate galleries, displaying British works of art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and a selection of South Asian arts and crafts.
Salts Mill is a shopping and arts complex, located in a converted Victorian mill in the village of Saltaire. There are four galleries in the complex, including David Hockney Gallery, a gallery exploring the area's heritage and a third displaying operatic costumes and masks.
The Manor House, in Ilkley, and the Arts Centre, in Bingley, host a range of temporary exhibitions.
The Alhambra Theatre is Bradford's sole large-scale theatre, and housed in an impressive Victorian building. The theatre regularly hosts large-scale touring productions, including West End plays and performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Alhambra Studio is located next door, and stages small-scale performances.
The Bradford Theatre-in-the-Mill is adjacent to the university campus, and offers small-scale productions, and drama and technical workshops.
Theatres specialising in musicals and concerts include St George's Hall, The Tamsin Little Music Centre and The Little Priestley.
Amongst Bradford's award-winning restaurants is Weaver's. The restaurant comes highly recommended by Good Food Guide, AA, Michelin and Hardens, and serves traditional and contemporary British cuisine.
Bradford's Curry Mile is home to more than twenty Indian and Asian-influenced restaurants, of which, The Kashmir is widely regarded as the best by customers, and Mumtaz Paan House is recommended by Good Food Guide. Kipling's Indian restaurant was awarded the 'Best in Britain Award' by a customer vote.
Chino Thai serves Chinese and Thai dishes in an up-market environment, and offers seating for 100 people.
CAMRA recommends numerous Bradford pubs in the city, and named The Junction 'Pub of the Year' in 2006. Other contenders were Haigy's and Fighting Cock.
Brewery Tap is a rock pub that presents live acts two or three times each week, offers a free jukebox and various drinks offers. Bradford's longest serving music venue also comprises a poolroom and beer garden.
Fubar is a cocktail bar and tapas restaurant, boasting a vast selection of cocktails, wines, liqueurs and beers, with a chic and stylish interior that belie its low prices.
The Sun Hotel is one of Bradford's most popular gay bars, and features regular DJs, drag acts and pub quizzes. There is a lounge area, pool and games room, secluded beer garden and rooms to rent upstairs.
Rio is a rock club and live music venue, one of many Bradford nightclubs, open three nights a week and presenting a selection from 80s and punk to indie and goth. Admission is free before 9:30pm and drinks are cheap.
Run by the owners of The Sun Hotel, Club Life is a very popular gay club, offering the best of sing-along classics and 'cheesy pop'. Admission is free on Thursdays, and a variety of DJs perform on Fridays.
Lingards is a house, speed garage and techno complex, comprising a pre-club bar, Ascension nightclub and Subterranea nightclub. There are club nights at the complex twice a week.
The Love Apple is another complex; this one comprising a cafe, bar, nightclub and art exhibition space. The club specialises in non-mainstream music, and hosts live music performances.
The Kirkgate Shopping Centre is home to 65 shops and a large market on its top floor. There are 550 parking spaces, and the centre is easily accessible in the city centre. It is open every day.
The Oastler Shopping Centre is a market in the city centre, comprising 80 stalls and shops and trading in fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables. There are also cafes and markets. St James Wholesale Market is located out of the city centre, and is the place to find exotic food produce.
Salts Mill is a converted Victorian mill, now a shopping and arts development. The development is home to numerous shops trading in unusual goods, a cafe, a diner and four art galleries.
The Richard Dunn Sports Centre is the largest of forty leisure centres in the city, and comprises a 25-metre pool and leisure pool activities for children, a gym, and a sauna, a solarium and squash courts. The centre is open every day.
The city university offers an impressive range of sporting facilities over three venues. The Sports Centre houses most of the facilities, the Laisteridge Lane site is home to squash, football and hockey courts/pitches, and the Woodhall Sports Ground provides sites for football, rugby and cricket.
There are forty golf courses in Bradford; including Queensbury Golf Club, an 18-hole course with a lounge and bar on-site.
There is also a branch of Hollywood Bowl in the city, comprising 24 ten-pin bowling lanes.