Bradford is a city in West Yorkshire, England, that is known for its rich industrial heritage. It was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, and it has a wealth of attractions worth the travel that highlight its past. From industrial museums in Bradford to beautiful parks and stunning architecture, there’s something to entertain everyone in this vibrant city.
Today, alongside the celebrated music of the Black Dyke Band (which has operated since the 19th Century), and of course the timeless rural landscapes of Yorkshire and the many hiking trails that explore them, you’ll find many modern venues, attractions and eateries too. Some of these fun things to do in Bradford are free, others are paid, but these attractions only help to ensure that whether you’re on your own, visiting as a couple, or as a family with children, Bradford will keep you occupied, engaged and interested on your visit – and that’s even before the city takes up it’s place as the UK City of Culture for 2025!
The Bradford Industrial Museum is one of the top attractions to visit in Bradford. It opened in 1974 and has been credited as being one of the most important museum collections relating to textile industry history anywhere in Britain. The museum features interactive displays about textiles and weaving machinery from different periods. There are also choice collections on local industries such as engineering, printing and dyeing, as well as an extensive photographic archive which documents more than 200 years of Bradford’s history. This is also where the Christmas Market Bradford takes place each year, a festival of festive cheer!
The National Science and Media Museum (formerly known as The National Media Museum) is another top attraction worth visiting when exploring Bradford. This museum showcases photography, television broadcasting, radio broadcasting and film from around the world with interactive exhibits designed to inform visitors about the science behind media technology – from its beginnings up until today’s digital age. This is especially meaningful in Bradford as it is the first UNESCO city of film, home to one of the first IMAX cinemas in the UK, and the museum also houses several galleries dedicated to the experience of British film-making. It’s definitely one of the most fun things to do in Bradford, especially if you have kids curious about science and technology. They will thank you for an exciting adventure day out!
If you’re looking for something more cultural or educational during your visit then there are plenty of other attractions in Bradford worth seeing too, like The Salts Mill Gallery which holds works by famous British artists such as David Hockney. This is one of the perfect things to do in Bradford on a rainy day, as there is lots to explore all under one roof! There is a cafe to grab a drink, a restaurant for food, an antiques shop and plenty of other things to do if your little ones get bored of the art exhibits.
Cliffe Castle Museum offers visitors a chance to explore Victorian life with its period furnishings including furniture made by George Smith & Sons who supplied furniture for Buckingham Palace. And if you’re looking for something outdoors then why not take a stroll around Lister Park? This award-winning park covers over 70 acres with landscaped gardens surrounding an impressive 19th century mansion house – perfect for a family day out!
What about fun things to do in Bradford that aren’t museums?
The City Park area within Bradford also deserves mention; here you’ll find the walking adventure of two lakes connected by cascading waterfalls whilst sculptures dot throughout the garden, giving this place an almost magical atmosphere! A variety of events are held here throughout the year ranging from theatre performances through to food festivals – so make sure you check out what might be going on during your stay.
There are also lots of sports in Bradford to try, depending on where in the city you’re staying. Dotted throughout the city, activity centres and playing fields are open to everyone and a great way to stay active and healthy. You’re never far away from a swimming pool or basketball court, great places for a parent to take their child for an afternoon. Or, if you’re a child-free adult, there is always a yoga class to experience or a five-a-side game to play, depending on the dates of your trip.
Finally don’t miss out on experiencing some fantastic shopping in Bradford while you’re here! Kirkgate Shopping Centre provides everything from high street fashion brands like Topshop through independent retailers offering unique items such as vintage clothes or handmade crafts – ideal if you’re looking for gifts or souvenirs after your trip. The Broadway is another place packed with fun things to do in Bradford, you could spend a whole day exploring everything it has to offer!So whether it’s discovering fascinating culture through museums in Bradford or taking part in fun outdoor activities at City Park – there really is something for everyone when exploring this exciting UNESCO City Of Film – making it well worth taking time out during any UK holiday itinerary!
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