Hotels in Bradford, United Kingdom
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So Much to See in Bradford
You might not find Bradford on any must-see UK travel lists, but those that find themselves in Britain’s fifth largest city are often pleasantly surprised. With a rich history in textile manufacturing, this under-the-radar urban centre boasts a nice juxtaposition of old and new, and is bursting with arts and culture. It’s easy to see why a quick weekend trip won’t be enough to see all of the sights, especially if you want to explore the surrounding countryside, like the picturesque Pennine Hills and the much-travelled Pennine footpath, or neighbouring Leeds with the spectacular Leeds Cathedral, 30 minutes down the road. The magical moors portrayed in the writings of the Brontë sisters are also accessible from the city centre. Feeling inspired at the end of the day, don’t be surprised if you are curled up with a copy of Wuthering Heights in one of the cosy hotels that Bradford has to offer.
Arts and Culture? Right This Way
Bradford has been designated a UNESCO City of Film, thanks in large part to the National Media Museum, where visitors can explore everything from traditional cinema, live performances, the National Cinematography Collection, and the unique Pictureville cinema that showcases 35 mm and digital screenings on a one-of-a-kind curved screen. The city comes alive in March for the Bradford International Film Festival, and it’s wise to book a hotel in Bradford well in advance if you plan on attending. The Bradford Animation Festival in November sees the same influx of tourists, so make sure to secure a Bradford hotel room with plenty of time to spare. For something decidedly less modern, stop into Bolling Hall for a fascinating trip back in time that depicts local families over the last 500 years. For a little eye candy, immerse yourself in exquisite Victorian architecture by way of Bradford’s oldest building, the Bradford Cathedral, or see first-hand the Gothic Revival architecture of The Wool Exchange. When it’s time to sit back and relax, be entertained at St. George’s Concert Hall, or catch a show at the Alhambra Theatre.
You’ll Never Go Hungry Here
If your idea of a good time is finding that hidden gem for a tasty lunch and doing it all over again for dinner, Bradford has you covered. The city proudly claims the title of Curry Capital of Britain for the sixth year in a row, and with over 200 Asian restaurants to choose from, tourists will find themselves in curry heaven. Wash it all down with a local ale from the burgeoning craft beer scene while you get your bearings for more sightseeing. A good choice to walk off all the calories is with one of the city operated free guided tours of Little Germany and the city centre, or when in doubt, why not do a little shopping? If you only have time for one shopping stop, Sunbridge Wells shouldn’t disappoint, and really, how often can you go shopping completely underground- in a series of Victorian tunnels no less? These shops have direct access to City Park, and when you are ready to come above ground, the park’s largest manmade water feature in the UK will be waiting for you. So will over a hundred computerized fountains, music and laser lights, which make for a stunning show. If you’re in the mood to check out more city parks, add Lister Park to your list for lake boating and the Mughal Water Gardens.
Have Kids, Will Travel
If you have little ones in tow, you’re in luck in Bradford. This family-friendly city has a lot of all-season entertainment to offer the younger crowd. Let the kids loose at Geronimo’s Indoor Play Area, featuring over 9,000 square feet of slides, ropes and ladders, and a separate area for toddlers. Richard Dunn Sports Centre has drop-in rates for use of the children’s gym and the leisure pool with a seriously steep waterslide. When energy levels are winding down, Bradford Industrial Museum could be a good choice. Admission is free, and inquiring minds can peruse working textile machinery, steam power, motor vehicles, and many other fun exhibits while they learn about Bradford’s industrial past. For a dose of fresh air, don’t miss Roberts Park, where the whole family can enjoy feeding the ducks, indulging in an ice cream and strolling the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, not to mention the fantastic play area. If you find yourself in Bradford in June, the Bradford Mela will delight young and old. This celebration of South Asian culture was the first of its kind in Europe, and it would be easy to spend a whole day taking in the acrobats and street theatre, going for a spin on the rides, and of course, visiting the food stalls.