Bradford: A mix of culture and heritage…
Once the wool capital of the world, Bradford has taken huge leaps and bounds into the 21st century to become celebrated far and wide for its rich mix of cultures, its heritage, lively festivals and upbeat city centre; in a nutshell, Bradford is fast becoming where it’s at, and to boot it has the accolade of being the Curry Capital of Britain year on year! It’s a significantly important north of England city these days, in terms of finance and industry; the ‘satanic mills’ and grimy houses of Victorian times have been cleaned up or replaced and are now home to some big names in finance, information technology, and engineering.
The Bradford district comprises quite different areas, each with their own unique feel, their own scene. The city centre has seen much redevelopment and has some very modern shopping centres but Little Germany still has a distinctly Victorian feel to it, probably due to the impressive architecture; one fine example of this is the Midland Hotel Bradford, built by the Midland Railway Company in the late 19th century. Right at the edge of this quarter is the magnificent cathedral, the historical heart of the city. The contemporary open spaces of Bradford City Park provide a complete contract to Little Germany and play host to several festivals and events throughout the year; the centrepiece is a huge mirror pond with amazing high-tech water features and special effect lighting; overlooking it is the glass fronted National Media Museum.
A few miles out from the city centre, Saltaire was built right next to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, as a model village in Bradford’s industrial hay day; now it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Ilkley and Wharfedale have a backdrop of glorious Yorkshire countryside, think stately homes, fairytale weddings, the summery chink of glasses at a drinks reception. Then of course, there’s the true Bronte country of cobbled streets, bracken-clad heaths, and brooding moors; a befitting setting for the former gothic mansion Mercure Bradford Bankfield. There’s good access from motorways and trunk roads, excellent rail links, and just 8 miles away is Leeds Bradford Airport.