- For other places with the same name, see Bradford (disambiguation).
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.
- Leeds-Bradford International Airport - the 737 and the 747 buses run frequently to the airport.
- The M62 motorway crosses the Pennine belt and Bradford's own motorway the M606 is a spur off it at junction 26.
- 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. Metro has all the details of local bus travel.
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.
- Bradford Town Taxis, 78 Morley Street, ☎ +44 1274 636293, +44 1274 638751. 24/7. No call out charge.
- The City Centre has many taxi ranks, but it is often cheaper to call a private hire service in advance.
- West Yorkshire Metro - Bus timetables and journey planner.
- 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.
- National Media Museum. daily 10:00 - 18:00. 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.
- Industrial Museum. Early museum with displays of owrking textile machinery. Also working horse museum and mill manager's house on the same site.
- 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.
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 ).
- National Media Museum. 2 screens.
- Odeon (X6, 15, 72 or 636 bus from Bradford Interchange).
All styles of music are available in Bradford, from rock, pop, indie, jazz, opera, to dance, and the latest listings can be found at alive.co.uk. 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.
- Skewed Circus, Hilton Hotel. 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.
Bradford City AFC and Bradford Bulls RLFC represent the city at football and rugby league respectively.
- Bradford University - is located on Richmond Road and offers a wide range of courses
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.
- Chowdreys Restaurant (Chowdreys Restaurant), 342 Great Horton Road, Bradford, BD7 1QJ, ☎ +44 1274 579374. Seating two hundred people Chowdreys Restaurant serves the best in Indian / Kashmiri food, with a wide variety of meat and non-meat dishes.
- 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.
- Akbars. 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.
- Karachi Restaurant, 15/17 Neal Street, ☎ +44 1274 732015. M-Th 11AM-1AM F-Sa 11AM-2AM. This cheap and cheerful Pakistani/Indian restaurant is a Bradford institution. Mains roughly £4.50..
- Kashmir Restaurant, 25/27 Morley Street, ☎ +44 1274 726513. 11AM-3AM. Excellent. Cheap too - 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. Known to locals.
- The Love Apple. Quality food and drink with full table service in a relaxed atmosphere, art exhibitions, music, dance and funky loving people.
- Mumtaz - Great Horton Road - a very good up-market Pakistani restaurant, whose 'out' department has supplied Harrods among others.
- 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.
- Omar Khan's, 30 Little Horton Lane, ☎ +44 1274 720030.
- Omar's, 45 Stony Lane, ☎ +44 1274 641321. Renowned for its "family sized naan" and "naan & curry challenge".
- Native Land Restaurant, 34 Great Horton Road. 18:00-.... Great authentic Chinese food located nearby the Alhambra theatre. Make sure you order the aubergines.
- Zouk Tea bar & grill, 1310, Leeds Road, Bradford, ☎ +44 1274 258025. 10AM-12AM. Award winning Indian restaurant by far the best in Bradford.
- Cock & Bottle, Barkerend Road (near cathedral). Newly refurbished in 2005 after several decades of dereliction. Oldest pub in Bradford now serves thirteen guest Ales.
- Fighting Cock, 21-23 Preston Street. 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!
- Sir Titus Salt, Unit B Windsor Baths, Morley Street. Good decor and a selection of ales available. Its a Weatherspoons, so you know what to expect.
- Sun Hotel, 124 Sunbridge Road. Long established gay pub. Gay clubs and gay nights in other clubs change on a regular basis. Consult Yorkshire's gay paper Shout! for the latest listing. The most amazing gay club you could ever go to! It's the most popular gay club in Bradford.
- Walkabout, Glydegate Square.
- The Corn Dolly, 10, Bolton Rd, Bradford, West Yorkshire, ☎ +44 1274 720219. 11.30 to 23.00 or 12.00 to 22.30. A great pub just off the beaten track. A free house with a good amount of guest ales. Great food too. Has won several awards from CAMRA.
- The Shoulder of Mutton, 28, Kirkgate, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1QL. A little Samuel Smiths pub. All the regular Smiths' 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?
- 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 the university. Definitely one of the cheapest freehouses 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 Pubquiz 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.
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.
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.
- Saltaire - A well-preserved mid 19th century industrial town, which is located close to 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.
- Bingley - for Five-Rise Locks at the Leeds-Liverpool Canal
- Brontë Country - The area around village of Haworth, where the Brontë sisters lived. Brontë Parsonage Museum is located there.
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.