5 reasons why you should move to Bradford
PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 January 2020
Neighbourhood know-how, places and people
Bradford has had its share of ups and downs and a bad press to boot, mostly entirely undeserved. Forget what you think you know and instead consider this. Together with Bath, this is arguably England's greatest stone city. It has one of the country's youngest populations and a multi-cultural buzz that predates recent arrivals. Church services could be heard in German in the 19th century and a superb synagogue with Moorish motifs dates to the same period. It is the world's first UNESCO City of Film, whilst Saltaire is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Proximity to Leeds makes the city and its suburbs an enticing and much cheaper alternative and it could not be better placed as a gateway to the proposed South Pennine Park and the Yorkshire Dales. A huge regeneration effort is underway with accountancy firm PwC one of the firms that have recently located here.
Rail links from the city's two railway stations are frequent and fast. Leeds is just 20 minutes away with services every ten minutes or so, whilst Manchester is within one hour's journey time and the Airedale Line connects to Skipton and stations in between. This is the preferred choice for commuting. Otherwise links are excellent with the M606 offering a direct route into the city centre from the M62. Leeds Bradford Airport is seven miles away and cycling is a good way to get around, especially as biking charity Sustrans has built an iconic red bridge over busy traffic lanes connecting City Park and Bowling Park.
Bag a property
A two bed apartment in Little Germany - one of Yorkshire's finest city centre conservation areas - can be rented for £550. In other central areas flats can be bought from as little as £60,000. More avant-garde rooftop penthouses built by Urban Splash at Velvet Mill are available for £150,000, which buys two bedrooms and awesome views.
Desirable residential neighbourhoods include Idle, Apperley Bridge, Greengates, Frizinghall (location of Bradford Grammar School), Bingley, Shipley, Saltaire and Baildon. A five bed semi detached can be had for as little as £250k.
Bradford is home to the excellent National Science and Media Museum, complete with a magnificent IMAX theatre. The Alhambra Theatre is stunning and don't forget the smaller Bradford Playhouse, a former patron of which was JB Priestley.
The city is also home to an excellent industrial museum that traces Bradford's meteoric 19th century rise when it reputedly had more millionaires than London. Rural parts of the district such as Baildon Moor and Shipley Glenn offer fantastic walking and biking country whilst Saltaire, the model village and mill built by Sir Titus Salt, is worth a day-long visit in itself. St George's Hall is on the national stand-up comedy circuit and hosts Bradford's orchestral concert season in the New Year, featuring the world famous Halle.
Cafe and cocktails
The New Beehive on Manningham Lane is a favourite, a throwback with a sumptuous Edwardian gas lit interior. The Record Cafe on fashionable North Parade also has craft beers and food with a soundtrack of music played on vinyl records.
The choice of Asian cuisine is endless. Cheaper options include the Sweet Centre (Lumb Lane, established 1964) and the Kashmir (Morley Road), one of the oldest in Bradford, along with Omar Khan, near The Alhambra, Akbars on Leeds Road and Prasad, an exclusively veggie option in Drighlington. For Italian head to San Angelo in Baildon, or Aldos in Greengates. Delicious vegan food and cakes can be sampled at Bread and Roses on North Parade and a coffee alternative is the grand and sumptuous Waterstones cafe in the old Wool Exchange. The Cake 'Ole near the town hall offers those with a sweet tooth heaven on earth.
Bradford has plenty of quirky shopping experiences including Manning Musicals, an instrument mart on Manningham Lane, very much old school, with guitars hanging from the roof like joints of ham.
Sunbridge Wells, Bradford's new £2m underground quarter which utilises a complex of Victorian tunnels, is packed with independent traders on weekends. It is part of Bradford's push to find a unique path to regeneration. Explore the streets for the independents, including Bombay Stores, the UK's biggest Asian store on Shearbridge Road.