This week we’re exploring a slice of the wonderful world of West Yorkshire with a guide to two of its biggest areas, Bradford and Leeds. Our blog is a guide to maximising your time when you’re taking a short break to these two northern cities, so without further ado, let’s get in to Bradford.
The district of Bradford can be found on the edge of the Pennines, just west of Leeds. Although the city of Bradford offers tourists an urban centre, where you can enjoy all the fun of a city break, the district of Bradford is complete with miles of rural, unspoilt beauty. So if you can’t decide between a city stay or a country affair, Bradford offers you both.
Did you know that Bradford is the Curry Capital of Britain? It has won this title four years in a row as of 2014, so if you’re a big fan of Asian cuisine, you’ve come to the right place. Being the curry capital means that Bradford has a mouth-watering array of restaurants to choose from, but the Curry Capital team comprises of these four amazing restaurants for you to check out.
Aakash – in Cleckheaton
Kipling’s – in Greengates, Bradford
Shimla Spice –in Keighley
Zaara’s – in Shipley
In Bradford there is plenty to do for all, with both city and country pursuits. But while you’re here, a trip Haworth is really unmissable, especially for fans of the Brontë sisters, who made this region famous. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were three amazing novelists, (Charlotte happens to be my favourite), whose books have stood the test of time, spanning many adaptations and making Haworth a tourist hotspot in West Yorkshire. The Bronte Parsonage museum is the place where you can learn about their life and visit their inspiration on the wild, open moorland. (Did I hear you just call Heathcliff?) If you’re not so big on the Brontës, Haworth is still a delightful place to visit, with cobbled streets, delicious shops selling hand made chocolate and art galleries to browse.
While you’re visiting Haworth on your Bradford tour, Rosebud Cottage Guest House is a delightful and informal place to stay. With five bespoke, ensuite rooms and a brilliant central location within a walk of the railway station, this is a lovely Bradford base. Especially perfect if you’re looking for a little romantic getaway.
Leeds is undoubtedly a highlight of West Yorkshire and one of England’s best and most exciting cities. But with attractions galore, tons of dishy restaurants and a plethora of places to stay, planning a short break to Leeds can seem overwhelming – there’s just so much to choose from. So let us narrow down the search for you, with some suggestions for your trip.
The best way to the heart of a city is through your stomach, and Leeds has plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from. If curry takes your fancy Hansas Gujarati Vegetarian Restaurant is top notch dining and you can even take a cooking course. Or if you’re looking to try a taste of Argentina, Gaucho’s, in the financial district, is the place to be for authentic Argentinian steak and Buenos Aires cocktails. But for a traditional West Yorkshire welcome we recommend a visit to Whitelocks, the oldest pub in Leeds.
Here, tradition and charm are combined to serve you a hearty Yorkshire dish, freshly made using seasonal produce and a great selection of real ale and beers. Once you’ve eaten here, you’ll understand why the institution has been going strong for 300 years.
A trip to Leeds wouldn’t be complete without a shopping trip in the city centre. Find those leading fashion labels in the Victoria Quarter (it doesn’t matter if you’re only window shopping), a trip to the Grand Arcade will put you in front of brilliant independent shops and of course Trinity Leeds has it all, with 120 shops and plenty of cafes to rest your weary shopping bag arms.
Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more cultural (and a little bit different) a trip to the Thackray Museum is unforgettable. Walking round this former hospital is a trip down the history of medicine, there’s even an exhibition where you can walk down a replica of a Victorian street with all the sounds and smells included. This is great for entertaining the kids and adults will find it fascinating too.
Chevin Country Park Hotel and Spa is in Otley, just outside the city centre and surrounded by beautiful Chevin woodland. The lodge atmosphere of this hotel is a wonderfully unique experience and delightfully unusual accommodation for a city break. Stay in any one of the rooms or book your own self catering lodge, if you want the ultimate private experience. And of course, you can relax at the onsite spa during your visit and eat the Lakeside restaurant. After a hearty day of exploring, Chevin is a peaceful place to rest your head.
Bradford and Leeds are only the tip of the West Yorkshire iceberg but they are great places to start exploring this beautiful area!