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For other places with the same name, see Bradford (disambiguation).

Bradford [18][19] is a city in West Yorkshire, a county in the north of England, in the United Kingdom.


The City of Bradford has a population of 536,000 and is part of the West Yorkshire conurbation, at the foothills of the Pennines close to the Yorkshire Dales. Originally founded by the Saxons, the name is a corruption of "Broad Ford", reflecting the watercourse which ran through the fledgling town.

The city expanded rapidly in the 19th century, based on the wool industry and was the wool capital of the world. The population grew from 16,000 to 100,000 in the first half of the 19th century and continued to expand. The legacy of Bradford's economic past remains today, it having over 5,800 listed buildings, with large mill complexes such as Lister's Mill (Manningham Mills) dotting the landscape and fine Neo-Gothic Architecture in the City Centre reflecting the city's importance.

The city has a diverse range of cultures, as many immigrants from County Mayo and Sligo in Ireland and Jewish wool merchants from Germany came to the city in the 19th century, people from Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia came to the city during the second world war and latterly many South Asian immigrants came to the city in the 1950s and 1960s, mainly from the Mirpur area of Kashmir, but some from other parts of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

The traditional industries of Bradford declined during the 1970s and 1980s, so Bradford is now in the process of re-inventing itself. Bradford is UNESCO's first city of film and the city has a UNESCO World Heritage site at Saltaire.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Leeds-Bradford International Airport [20] - the 737 and the 747 buses run frequently to the airport.

By road[edit]

  • The M62 motorway crosses the Pennine belt and Bradford's own motorway the M606 is a spur off it.

By bus[edit]

Local Buses

  • There is a fast bus service from Leeds, the X6 which is every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday during the day. The 72 bus is a frequent bus link between the town and Leeds. The fast X6 bus runs to Huddersfield in the opposite direction. Metrohas all the details of local bus travel.

Megabus Services

National Express

  • National Express [22] serves the city with links to Manchester, Birmingham and London and other cities. Local passengers can alternatively travel on the National Express between Bradford and Leeds in only 25mins, instead of the 72 or X6 buses, including late night / early morning journeys.

By train[edit]

Bradford city centre has two railway stations, located about 15 minutes walk apart. If you are travelling from London, North Lancashire, Greater Manchester, York and Leeds there are regular direct train services to Bradford. From other areas of the UK, the easiest option is often to travel into Leeds and then catch a connecting service into one of the Bradford stations (journey time from Leeds of about 20 minutes).

  • Bradford Forster Square - Train from this station go to Leeds, Ilkley and Skipton.
  • Bradford Interchange - Trains from Bradford Interchange go west to Manchester Victoria station, Blackpool North via Preston and Huddersfield and eastwards to Leeds and York. There are direct trains to London operating from the Interchange. The Interchange is conveniently located next to the bus station.

Get around[edit]

By taxi[edit]

Metro Taxis Bradford, ☎ +44 1274 733733, +44 1274 728999. 24/7. A reliable taxi company based in Bradford city centre. No call out charge. (updated Feb 2018)

The City Centre has many taxi ranks, but it is often cheaper to call a private hire service in advance. Like most British cities, you have two options. Your first option is the traditional hackney carriage taxis which can be hailed from the side of the road (look out for the white colour taxis with a green "Taxi" sign being illuminated). The second cheaper option is by private hire or minicab which cannot be hailed and must be ordered by telephone. There are many other private hire private hire operators which are also cheaper than the white hackney carriage cabs: their phone numbers are clearly displayed on the windscreen and side of the vehicles. Never use unlicensed private hire taxis, which can sometimes be seen touting for business outside nightclubs near closing time and near legitimate taxi ranks. Always look for the white or yellow council licence plate attached to the rear bumper of the vehicle if unsure.

By bus[edit]

  • West Yorkshire Metro [23] - Bus timetables and journey planner.

See[edit][add listing]

The Wool Exchange Building in the City Centre.
  • Bronte Country.  edit
  • Five Rise Locks.  edit
  • Little Germany. Stunning architecture - especially the area known as Little Germany - a unique collection of 85 buildings constructed between 1855 and 1890, during the peak of Bradford's wool textile industry, now a popular residential and business area. 55 of the 85 buildings are listed because of their architectural and historical importance.  edit
  • Saltaire. Saltaire. A well-preserved mid 19th century industrial town, which is located within Bradford. The site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the mill itself you will find a large David Hockney exhibition, two restaurants and numerous shops - well worth a visit.  edit
  • St Ives. The St Ives Estate is a wonderful Country Park with woodlands, open moor, and a wildflower meadow, and paths throughout. The Adventure Playground is a fantastic feature for the children, and Coppice Pond offers both fishing opportunities, and a chance to feed the ducks.  edit


  • National Media Museum, [1]. The wonderful museum - as featured so memorably in Bill Bryson's book Notes from a Small Island. A wealth of information and exhibits from the history of photography, film and television, as well as the IMAX cinema. Free.  edit
  • Industrial Museum, [3]. Early museum with displays of working textile machinery. Also working horse museum and mill manager's house on the same site.  edit
  • Bolling Hall Museum - a beautiful hall, partly going back to medieval times, comes as quite a surprise on the ring road only about a mile from the centre.

Do[edit][add listing]


Bradford has a wealth of theatres and performing companies to enjoy, watch, and participate in, both amateur and professional. Theatre venues include the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford University's Theatre In The Mill, the Priestley Centre, and St George's Hall. Theatre companies to get involved with, include Lost Dog at Theatre in The Mill, the Asian Theatre School (also at Theatre In the Mill, though operated by Red Ladder from Leeds), Page to Stage at the Priestley Theatre, and madcap theatre/caberet, and comedy promoters/performers (specialising in new writing), Komedy Kollective Theatre Company.


Bradford is blessed with a useful number of film venues ranging from "arthouse" to "mainstream" flicks, and is also the home to many budding filmmakers, some of whom are based at Bradford University, and offer opportunities for students to get involved. The National Media Museum also operates two film festivals, the Bradford Film Festival, and the the Animation Festival (Bradford Film Festival [24]).

  • National Media Museum. 2 screens.  edit
  • Odeon, (X6, 15, 72 or 636 bus from Bradford Interchange).  edit

Live Music[edit]

All styles of music are available in Bradford, from rock, pop, indie, jazz, opera, to dance, and the latest listings can be found at Bradford's most well known musical group is New Model Army, who have released numerous albums. Their live shows are not to be missed. Live venues include the Gassworks, St George's Hall, the University Union bars, and the Beehive. The Bradford Mela takes place every summer at Peel Park. Formally part and parcel of the now defunct Bradford Festival, this is now a free-standing gypsy event, fusing Eastern musical influences with Western commercialism.

  • Skewed Circus, Hilton Hotel, [5]. Skewed Circus aims to recreate the vibrancy of the Bradford Festival, combining stand-up, breakdancing, rock, dance music, hip hop, juggling, fire-eating, facepainting, and not-for-profit/charity info stalls. Music and comedy will take place once a month.  edit


Bradford City AFC and Bradford Bulls RLFC represent the city at football and rugby league respectively.


  • Bradford University [25] - is located on Richmond Road and offers a wide range of courses

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Once famous for its woolen textile manufacturing, Bradford is now known as one of the best cities in Britain to have a curry.

  • Chowdreys Restaurant (Chowdreys Restaurant), 342 Great Horton Road, Bradford, BD7 1QJ, 01274 579374, [6]. Seating two hundred people Chowdreys Restaurant serves the best in Indian / Kashmiri food, with a wide variety of meat and non-meat dishes.  edit
  • Kebabish Original, 49 Great Horton Road. Serves curries and grills. Meat and fish is cooked over a charcoal grill and is without doubt one of the top restaurants in the UK. The grilled food is superior to the curry. Try the Chicken Tikka  edit
  • Akbars, [7]. A modern style curry house with contemporary feel and superb value for money. The restaurant is always packed - always book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. £10.  edit
  • Karachi Restaurant, 15/17 Neal Street, +44 1274 732015, [8]. M-Th 11AM-1AM F-Sa 11AM-2AM. This cheap and cheerful Pakistani/Indian restaurant is a Bradford institution. Mains roughly £4.50..  edit
  • Kashmir Restaurant, 25/27 Morley Street, +44 1274 726513. 11AM - 3AM. . Excellent. Not just cheap - a main meal will cost including starter will cost about £6 per person. The oldest established curry cafe in Bradford. Absolutely phenomenal food. Recommended in the Rough Guide to Britain. [9][10]Known to locals. Easily the best curry in the UK  edit
  • The Love Apple, [11]. Quality food and drink with full table service in a relaxed atmosphere, art exhibitions, music, dance and funky loving people.  edit
  • Mumtaz - Great Horton Road - a very good up-market Pakistani restaurant, whose 'out' department has supplied Harrods among others. [26]
  • Nawaab's, 32 Manor Road, +44 1274 720731. Very average curry restaurant in Bradford, just up from Valley Parade. Portions are thankfully small but dull. Never packed. Relaxed atmosphere and good people watching; try the Nirali special. * <eat name="Omar Khan's" alt="" address="30 Little Horton Lane" directions="" phone="+44 1274 720030" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">  edit
  • Omar's, 45 Stony Lane, +44 1274 641321. Renowned for its "family sized naan" and "naan & curry challenge".  edit
  • Native Land Restaurant, 34 Great Horton Road. 18:00-.... Great authentic Chinese food located nearby the Alhambra theatre. Make sure you order the aubergines.  edit
  • Zouk Tea bar & grill, 1310, Leeds Road, Bradford, 01274 258025, [12]. 10am - 12am. Award winning Indian restaurant by far the best in Bradford.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Fighting Cock, 21-23 Preston Street, [13]. The best range of real ales in the city plus a great selection of specialist bottled beers. A 10 min walk out of the city centre but well worth it!  edit
  • Sir Titus Salt, Unit B Windsor Baths, Morley Street. Good decor and a selection of ales available. It's a Wetherspoons, so you know what to expect.  edit
  • Sun Hotel, 124 Sunbridge Road. Long established gay pub and the most popular gay club in Bradford. Consult Yorkshire's gay paper Shout! [14] for the latest listing.  edit
  • The Corn Dolly, 10, Bolton Rd, Bradford, West Yorkshire. A great pub just off the beaten track. A free house with a good amount of guest ales. Great food too.  edit
  • The Shoulder of Mutton, 28 Kirkgate BD1 1QL. A little Samuel Smith's pub. All the regular Smith's favourites on draft. A typical locals' pub, in that if you aren't a regular, the people in there stare at you like you are some kind of freak until you leave out of fear. Traditional decor. And a great beer garden if you can figure out what time of the day the sun is overhead.  edit
  • Westleigh Hotel, 28-30 Easby Rd, BD7 1QX, +44 1274 727089. A large pub/hotel near Dennis Bellamy Halls and other student accommodation, also close to the university. Definitely one of the cheapest free houses in Bradford. A lovely atmosphere with an eclectic mix of students and locals. Traditional decor, mostly friendly staff. Karaoke night every Tuesday and you get a free shot for every song. Help For Heroes Pub quiz every Thursday with a free meal at the end. They do a very nice Sunday roast for £5.00. Large smoking area out the front.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There is a wide range of accommodation options in and around Bradford. Whether it is student accommodation for the college and university or businessmen and women.

  • Mercure Bradford North Hotel, Bradford Road, West Yorkshire, BD16 1TU, Bingley, Tel. +44 844 815 9004, [15]. 2 miles from Bingley Railway station, the Bradford North Hotel is surrounded by Yorkshire's Bronte country. Guests at the Bradford North Hotel can take a short walk to the banks of the River Aire, and after enjoy a meal at hotels restaurant - The Brasserie.  edit
  • ibis Bradford Shipley, Quayside, Salts mill road. Shipley, [16]. Located on the banks of the river canal, the ibis Bradford Shipley Hotel is a budget hotel in Bradford.  edit
  • ibis Budget Bradford, Prince Court, Canal Road, BD1 4SJ, +44 844 815 9020 (, fax: +44 113 267 4410), [17]. Ibis budget Hotel Bradford is a low-cost hotel located in central Bradford.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

The city has a fairly high rate of crime, but not as high as some other large cities such as Leeds or Manchester.Use common sense and avoid wandering off the beaten track. The area around the clubs (such as Revolution and Tokyo) near the city centre is safe, and you are unlikely to see much trouble. The area is well-policed (when they stop laughing at you long enough to actually be of any assistance).

Get out[edit]

The Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales are all within reach of the Bradford district, with plenty of hotels available for people to check into. The nearby spa town of Harrogate is also within reach and well worth a visit.

  • Todmorden - A lovely Victorian town about 30 minutes away by train. A bustling market, fine restaurants and striking natural beauty are all included within the town. Population : 14,000
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