You may not know it, but with its reputation for mining and mills, the city of Bradford has a pretty interesting history. Once a thriving market town and industrial center, today Bradford is home to around 280,000 inhabitants. It’s also home to some amazing sights worth exploring. If you’ve got an upcoming trip to Bradford or are just looking for somewhere new to explore, there are some great places to visit here. From stunning parks and gardens to markets and cafes, here are the top places in this underrated city…
1. The Royal Grammar School
This is not just any old grammar school; it’s the Royal Grammar School. It’s the oldest grammar school in the UK and was founded in 1552. The school’s buildings date back to 1625 and are now a UNESCO heritage site. The school is open to the public, so you can explore the beautiful grounds and buildings whenever you like. There is an admission fee and it’s advised to phone ahead to check times. You’ll be able to see the school’s famous sundial and possibly even glimpse the school’s ravens, who are kept in a special enclosure on the site.
2. Lister Park
Bradford’s most famous park is also its oldest. Lister Park was opened in 1882 and covers an impressive 90 acres. It’s one of the largest parks in the UK and is home to a number of interesting sights, including a boating lake, a Japanese garden, and a large children’s play area. You’ll also find the park’s famous bandstand, which hosts summer concerts, every year. The park is a great place to visit any time of year; especially in spring when the many flowers are in bloom.
3. Yorkshire Cricket Museum
If you’re a fan of cricket, this museum is not to be missed. The Yorkshire Cricket Museum is set in the former Headingley stadium, where both domestic and international cricket matches have been played for over 100 years. There are many interesting cricketing artifacts on display at the museum, including the very first cricket balls ever made. You’ll also find many interactive exhibits for the whole family to enjoy, including a virtual reality cricket game. The museum is free to enter and is open seven days a week. There is a gift shop on site, as well as a café.
4. St. George’s ecclesiastical museum
If you’re a fan of history, this ecclesiastical museum is well worth a visit. The St. George’s museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the city’s Christian history. There are many fascinating exhibits on display, including a bible dating back to the 15th century and the remains of a giant crocodile that was found in the River Aire. The crocodile is thought to have lived around 150 million years ago. The museum is free to enter and is open 10 am-4 pm every day. There is also a gift shop on site.
5. Bradford Moor and Rotary Gardens
For something a little different, you can visit Bradford Moor and Rotary Gardens; a beautiful park full of flowers and heritage roses. The gardens boast over 5,000 different types of roses, some of which date back to the 1930s. There are also many other types of flowers and plants in the gardens, including daffodils, rhododendrons, and azaleas. There are also several interesting statues scattered throughout the gardens, including a giant ‘Bradford’ statue and a ‘Welcome to Bradford’ one. The gardens are a great place to visit year-round and are very close to the city center.
6. City of Music
If you love music, you’ll want to visit the City of Music. This is a UNESCO-designated creative hub in the center of Bradford where musicians come together to collaborate and create. There are many different events and concerts held at the hub, including a regular performance from the Bradford Brass Band. There is also an annual music festival held at the hub every September. You can visit the hub at any time of year and see musicians in action as they create new music. There is also a café on-site and a gift shop selling various musical memorabilia.
7. Bantah Coffe And Shisha Lounge
If you’d like to try something a little different, visit Bantah Coffe and Shisha Lounge. Here, you’ll be able to sample some delicious shisha and coffee, as well as experience some live music. There are different events held at Bantah Coffe and Shisha Lounge on a regular basis, including DJ nights and live gigs. You can find out what’s on by checking their website or visiting the lounge in person. There is a free parking space directly outside the lounge, making it easy to visit.
Bradford is a city rich in history and culture, with plenty to see and do. Whether you’re interested in exploring its religious past or discovering more about the city’s industrial past, there are plenty of museums and exhibitions to visit. If museums aren’t really your thing, don’t worry, because there are also some great parks and gardens to explore. Plus, there are plenty of other interesting and fun things to do in Bradford, like visiting a shisha lounge or listening to live music at the City of Music. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to include Bradford on your list of places to visit. You won’t regret it.