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

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

Bradford City Hall.


The City of Bradford has a population of approximately 300,000 and is part of the West Yorkshire conurbation, adjacent to Leeds and 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 afterwards 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. However, Bradford still faces similar problems to other post-industrial towns in northern England, including economic deprivation and social unrest.

Get in

By plane

By road

By bus

Local Buses

Megabus Services

National Express

By train

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).

Get around

By taxi

By bus



National Media Museum.



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 Animation Festival (Bradford Film Festival ).

Live music

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 Gasworks, 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.


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



Morrisons HQ, In Thornbury, Bradford

As the home of the headquarters of the British Supermarket Chain Morrisons, there are 11 Morrisons in Bradford. Morrisons was founded in the suburb of Thornbury in 1899. They are also a large employer of people and a tourist destination in themselves for Morrisons' 100K+ employees.


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


A 10 min walk out of the city centre but well worth it!

And a great beer garden if you can figure out what time of the day the sun is overhead?


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.

Stay safe

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. Avoid areas such as Lidget Green and Manningham, as well as Low Moor.

Go next

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.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.