Misconstrued by some as the underdog of West Yorkshire tourism,  for those in the know Bradford offers an authentic slice of multicultural Yorkshire wrapped around sandstone Georgian architecture, with a wealth of charms to attract visitors and film crews alike.

Two of its most popular filming locations are the grand, decorative City Hall, which featured in the film Official Secrets, among others, and the heritage enclave of Little Germany, which has played host to period productions such as Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders, Gold and Gentleman Jack.

Bradford is also home to the National Science and Media Museum and was designated the world’s first UNESCO City of Film in 2009 in recognition of its film heritage.

Ivegate, Bradford

Although there’s been a settlement here since Saxon times, Bradford was little more than a rural market town until the start of the 19th century. At that point, the local cottage industry of wool spinning and cloth weaving exploded with the Industrial Revolution. Mills sprung up and merchants moved in, leading to a building boom that transformed the town into the city it is today. A stroll through Bradford’s streets – particularly down Ivegate, or past buildings like Pennine House and Thorpe Building – perfectly encapsulates the historic industrial wealth that defines huge swathes of West Yorkshire.

In the 1830s, a significant wave of German and German Jewish migrants helped bring wealth to the city, and triggered the establishment of ‘Little Germany’. But it was the Commonwealth and post-war immigration a century later that established Bradford as a cultural centre for Indians and Pakistanis. Today the city is known for its amazing Indian food: Bradford has been crowned the curry capital of Britain six times in recent years.

Bradford’s proud multicultural history also made it an ideal filming location for Ackley Bridge, the Channel 4 comedy-drama about white and Asian communities overcoming their differences in a West Yorkshire mill town. City Park and the Ice Arena are two of the central locations that have been featured in this series, now into its fourth season.


City Park, Centenary Square, Bradford BD1 1HY

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