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Overview

In its heyday, Bradford was the global capital of the wool trade and one of the brightest lights of the Industrial Revolution, but when the mills ground to a halt, things went downhill fast. Compared to its immediate neighbor, Leeds, Bradford still lacks polish, but the city is picking itself up from post-industrial gloom, helped by the tens of thousands of migrants from India and Pakistan who have settled here since the 1960s. Although most of Bradford's tourist attractions are museums of industry and commerce, many people come here specifically to experience the fusion of British and Asian culture and the fabulous food served up by the ...

In its heyday, Bradford was the global capital of the wool trade and one of the brightest lights of the Industrial Revolution, but when the mills ground to a halt, things went downhill fast. Compared to its immediate neighbor, Leeds, Bradford still lacks polish, but the city is picking itself up from post-industrial gloom, helped by the tens of thousands of migrants from India and Pakistan who have settled here since the 1960s. Although most of Bradford's tourist attractions are museums of industry and commerce, many people come here specifically to experience the fusion of British and Asian culture and the fabulous food served up by the city's curry houses. Hindu and Muslim festivals are celebrated with aplomb and the town's annual Mela, held every June in Peel Park, celebrates cultures and customs from across the globe. Bradford is also located in the heart of Brontë Country - the talented sisters penned most of their famous novels in the nearby village of Haworth. However, with Leeds so close at hand, most people visit on day-trips, and accommodation options can be underwhelming.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    March to October for the best weather. Hindu and Muslim festivals are big events in Bradford, but many businesses close for religious holidays.