Seven fun things to do in Bradford – the UK’s new City of Culture 2025

Bradford, in West Yorkshire, has been named the new City of Culture 2025.

The vibrant city was selected from a shortlist of 20 that sent in bids to take over from Coventry in three years time.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries made the announcement live on the BBC’s The One Show.

Cities beaten by the Northern locale included fellow finalists County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough.

But, Bradford secured the title as one local MP said the town was “beautiful” and “brilliant”.

If you’ve never thought to take a trip to the Yorkshire city then you may want to test out the new cultural hub for a weekend staycation.

And, we’ve come up with seven fun and interesting local attractions to check out while in God’s Own Country.

See David Hockney's work

Artist David Hockney is famous for his fine art paintings and has even been described as the “world's greatest living painter” and the “nation’s favourite”.

And, the internationally recognised star was born in Bradford in 1937 and studied at the Bradford School of Art from age 16 to 20.

You can spot his paintings around Bradford in locations such asCartwright HallandSalts MillinSaltaireUNESCO World Heritage Site.

There’s even a giant portrait of David made of 250k nails in Little Germany, Bradford.

Bradford Industrial Museum

You can’t visit Bradford and fail to see that the thriving city was once part of the Northern Powerhouse that drove the industrial revolution of the UK.

And, that proud heritage is on show for all to see at the Industrial Museum.

The building was once a spinning mill in the 1800s, but now it houses displays of textile machinery, steam power, engineering, vintage motor vehicles and more.

There are exhibitions too and many adults may remember their school trip to the mill where they pretended to be a Victorian school child for the day.

A fun and fascinating day out – and it’s free to enter.

Alhambra Theatre

This stunning theatre was built in 1913 and is lit aglow by well-placed illuminations that give it a majestic appearance.

The Grade II listed theatre isn’t just nice to look at though as it hosts regular shows including top West End productions.

The venue seats 1,400 people and is a popular choice for major touring companies including Northern Ballet, Disney, the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Matthew Bourne's New Adventures and Cameron Mackintosh.

Upcoming shows include Bat Out Of Hell, The Comedy Store, Footloose, Dreamboats and Petticoats and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Salt Beer Factory

A little less traditional than museums and plays, the Salt Beer factory is a great place to have a meal or a drink.

While its based in Shipley, the beer factory is just a short drive from Bradford and it’s worth the car journey.

The micro-brewery has a fantastically designed restaurant filled with interesting decor, kegs and other paraphernalia showing its status as a brewery and its former life as a tram depot.

It offers SALT beers, real ales, artisan gin, premium wine, à la carte dining and live music.

Dishes include loaded fries, salads, pizza and light bites such as chicken wings and bao buns.

Bolling Hall

Just a mile from Bradford city centre in a leafy garden is Bolling Hall.

This exquisite Grade I property was built in the 14th Century – meaning it’s oldest sections are around 600 years old.

It once housed the influential Boilings family and eventually the Tempest family and is even mentioned in the Domesday Book.

In 1643, during the siege of Bradford, Bolling hall was a Royalist base.

Now, it’s a library and museum which people can visit for free.

Shipley Glen walks and Tramway

If you love country walks and interesting modes of transport then head up to the tramway at Shipley Glen.

Built in 1895, this slim tram follows a “toast rack” cable up a hill every three minutes.

Hop in one of the canopy-topped trams and you’ll move between the trees to get to Shipley Glen.

It costs a couple of quid to ride, but cuts out the steep walk up the hill and it’s quite fun!

When you reach Shipley Glen there are plenty of beautiful walks to enjoy and picnic areas.

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