Their suburbs may have merged into one sprawling urban conurbation, but Bradford remains far removed from its much more glamorous neighbour, Leeds. Thanks to its role as a major player in the wool trade, Bradford attracted large numbers of immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan during the 20th century. Despite occasional racial tensions, these new arrivals have helped reinvigorate the city and give it new energy (plus a reputation for superb curry restaurants). A high point of the year is the colourful Bradford Mela, now incorporated into the mid-June Bradford Festival (www.bradfordfestival.org.uk), a celebration of Asian music, dance, arts, crafts and food. Bradford is on the Metro train line from Leeds (£3.60, 20 minutes, three or four per hour).
Top Things to See in Bradford
National Media Museum
Bradford’s top attraction is the National Media Museum, an impressive glass-fronted building that chronicles the story of photography, film, TV, radio and the web from 19thcentury cameras and early animation to digital technology and the psychology of advertising. There’s lots of hands-on stuff, too. You can film yourself in a bedroom scene, pretend to be a TV newsreader, or play 1970s and 80s video games. The IMAX cinema (adult/child £11.50/9) here shows the usual combination of in-your-face nature films, space documentaries and 3D animations.
The museum looks out over City Park, Bradford’s new central square, which is home to the Mirror Pool, the country’s largest urban water feature.
Hotels near Bradford, West Yorkshire, England