Went to Bradford in the summer of 2021. Found it rather desolate, with grand buildings in disrepair, boarded up shops and crumbling former textile factories. Very stark contrast with nearby Leeds.
Regarding culture, apart from the aforementioned (and rather excellent) Science and Media Museum, there is the Impressions Gallery, which hosts regular photo exhibitions. When I visited there was a very interesting display by Carolyn Mendelsohn. Free to visit, and the staff were absolutely lovely.
Other than that I can’t remember many cultural highlights. There is a David Hockney mural:
Cartwright hall is a great gallery with a really nice park gardens
Little Germany’s a good area for architecture/ history, the original independent labour party headquarters were in there somewhere
Industrial Museum is good for some local history too and is in a lovely old mill building
The city centre can be a bit bleak, but jesus, you didn’t see it when I was growing up lol.
For fun stuff to do, the Media Museum cinema is open & they run quite a few cool weekenders and stuff. it’s widescreen weekend atm for example.
carwright hall and lister park in general are nice - the hall has a lot of art, including a rare original Warhol, which I was delighted to discover earlier this year:
The Exchange is a really good pub (and just started doing Pie Minster pies!)- thats next door to Pizza Pieces (also great), and round the corner from the amazing Waterstones in the old Wool Exchange building (it’s seriously beautiful in there and well worth a look)
North Parade at the top of town is your next best place to go visit - it’s basically a road with all our nice bars on, including the Record Cafe, which is a brilliant bar that also sells records. The whole road can get a bit busy on matchday though, as Valley Parade is a 10 min walk down the road.
Oh, and if you head to Centenary Square, there’s an amazing cafe called the Cake 'Ole - it’s a very friendly spot that does amazing cakes, sandwiches and stuff.
If you are going a bit further afield, then yes, saltaire is well worth a visit (and not just saying that because I live there lol)
Also, if you do go to the media museum, have a look next door and marvel at our insane Akira baby statue:
no worries! the shopping centre thing is also pretty good - for years it was literally just a big pile of rubble, as they ran out of money when building it. oh, and not sure if you drive, but our city centre roads are atrocious at the moment because of some ongoing roadworks, so use trains or walk as it’s miles faster and easier!
Marko, the guy that started Bundo, used to run The Sparrow (which at one point was the only bar on NP), before heading off to Leeds to do Bundobust. He’s a nice guy - often see him kicking about. Used to do loads of gig nights around town at venues long since departed
another mention for the media museum, i went a few times when they had the bradford animation festival there which was always excellent. i was going to say my mate is moving there soon as him and his wife are going to be managing a pub, but it turns out it’s in barnsley
I cannot recommend this place highly enough - it’s amazing. It looks a bit like a works canteen when you get inside but the food is absolutely fantastic. You can eat so much that you can barely stand for £20 a head as well.
Get stuck into the Tandoori Mix Grill if you are a meat eater, some fantastic dhals and vegetable dishes if you are not. Great breads too.
It’s a little bit out of the town but well worth it. If you are going to Salts Mill (which I also recommend) you can combine the two because it is on that side of town and quite close.
(Went to Cake Ole @worrier1 - lovely nana called Liz was a total queen, i said i was in a bit of a rush and had a job interview and asked if they had time to make me a sandwich. Got the red carpet treatment, she was like no time to decide love I’ll get you a tuna sandwich and a cup of tea, sit down. She was adorable)