A Bright Canvas
Bradford is one of the UK’s cultural cities with its flourishing arts scene, fascinating exhibitions and impressive theatre.
Did you know that Bradford is the world’s first UNESCO City of Film? It’s all thanks to the city’s rich film heritage, its inspirational movie locations and its many celebrations of the moving image through the National Media Museum and the city’s annual film festivals.
Begin your tour of cultural hotspots at the National Media Museum. It’s a must-see attraction and one of the most visited museums outside London. Here you’ll discover seven floors crammed with fascinating hands-on exhibits bringing the technicolour history of broadcasting, photography and cinema to life. There’s also an intriguing exhibitions programme focusing on media-related art forms.
Catch one of the museum’s film festivals: the Bradford International Film Festival, Fantastic Films Weekend and the Bradford Animation Festival.
And while you’re there, book your front row seat at the eye-popping IMAX cinema or make your choice from a huge line up of cutting edge and classic films in the museum’s two cinemas.
You can take your pick from an impressive collection of galleries, such as Impressions Gallery. One of the UK’s most celebrated photography venues; it champions the best of today’s emerging talent. You’ll also find the Bradford 1 Gallery showcasing contemporary and historic art and craft from national touring galleries.
Then there’s the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery with its major exhibitions of contemporary art and stunning works by Lowry, Reynolds and Warhol.
Also not to be missed is Salts Mill in Saltaire home to one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s work.
As well as David Hockney, Bradford district was once home to the Brontës, one of the world’s most famous literary families. Take a short drive from Bradford and you’ll soon enter Brontë Country and the historic village of Haworth, the Brontës home from 1820 to 1861. Here you will find their former home now the Brontë Parsonage Museum, full of their possessions, as well as a changing programme of events and exhibitions.
If you love theatre, make a bee-line for Bradford’s
Alhambra Theatre. It’s one of the prime venues outside the capital for high quality productions, and the thrilling Edwardian architecture is a drama in itself. Then settle down to enjoy everything from the most exciting touring theatre troupes to blockbusting West End shows.
If live music and stand up comedy make you sit up and listen, get yourself down to the charming Victorian St George’s Concert Hall. Prepare to catch all your favourite stars from TV in an imaginative no-holds-barred programme that encompasses variety hall, stand up and classical music. And for something truly ethereal, sample an evening of Chamber music in the atmospheric surroundings of Bradford Cathedral.
The district also has a packed events programme full of cultural events from film festivals to the Ilkley Literature Festival. Highlights include the Bradford Mela, Ilkley Summer Festival and the Saltaire Festival.
01 Cartwright Hall. 02 The Alhambra. 03 National Media Museum. 04 Pictureville Cinema, National Media Museum. 05 Salts Mill.
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