Discover Bradford and District

Every season we will be highlighting one place that we think deserves to be discovered by all people visiting Yorkshire.  This Winter, that place is the metropolitan borough of Bradford in West Yorkshire that also includes the towns of Keighley, Shipley, Bingley and Ilkley.  A historical boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, Bradford was a prominent centre for textile manufacture and soon became known as the ‘wool capital of the world’.  More recently, it has just reached the last 8 in its bid to become UK City of Culture 2025 – the only place in Yorkshire to do so.

Don’t Miss

Bombay Stores – The UK’s largest Asian department store specialising in theatrical, dancewear, bridalwear, and partywear fabrics and products.

National Science and Media Museum – one of many Bradford museums with free entry (please make a donation though), the museum aims to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers. Don’t miss it.

Little Germany – a protected conservation area in the heart of Bradford, this place is full of listed buildings of architectural interest.  Scenes for Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small were also filmed here in 2021.

Bronte Parsonage Museum – situated in the picturesque village of Haworth, this is the home of the famous literary Bronte family.

Saltaire – a village near Bradford named after Sir Titus Salt, the man who built the textile mill (Salts Mill) on the River Aire. Such is its significance and beauty, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the past 20 years.

Ilkley Cow and Calf Rocks –  a fantastic place to climb to see spectacular view of the moors.  Also known as Hangingstone Rocks, they are given their other name as the rocks are distinctly animal shapes.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – famous for its historic role as the backdrop to the 1970 film The Railway children, the 150 year old 5 mile long heritage railway runs from Keighley to Oxenhope.

East Riddlesden Hall (National Trust) – a former farming estate, this 17th century manor house with impressive gardens in Keighley can be enjoyed all year round.

Interesting facts

On 22 May 1936, the Zeppelin Hindenberg, en route from the Unite States to Germany, dropped a parcel which landed in Keighley High Street.  The parcel contained a crucifix and some flowers with a note asking for the items to placed on a nearby gravestone of Lieutenant Franz Schulte. The note was from Franz’ brother John.

Ilkley Moor, located south of Ilkley, is the subject of Yorkshire’s unofficial anthem ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at’ which translates into proper English as ‘On Ilkley Moor without a hat’.

London apart, Bradford is currently undergoing the largest population growth in the UK with the city also having the largest proportion of Under 19s.

Famous people hailing from Bradford and District include politician Alistair Campbell (Keighley), street magician Dynamo (Bradford), One Direction star Zayn Malik (Bradford) and gardener Alan Titchmarsh (Ikley).