A Few Facts About Bradford

Bradford Bradford boasts an impressive history, which is reflected in the striking architecture found throughout the city. Our West Yorkshire home was once considered to be the wool capital of the world and is now proud to be the first ever UNESCO City of Film. 

The area is also blessed with a significant cultural and literary heritage. Novelist and playwright J B Priestley is a Bradfordian, as is artist David Hockney. Haworth, in the Bradford district, is home to Brontë Parsonage. Here the country’s most eminent literary siblings wrote classics of English literature including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The Brontë’s significant influence on the area, and vice-versa, is celebrated by our mutli-site public art installation, The Brontë Stones. 

Beyond the buzz and excitement of the city itself, Bradford’s position in West Yorkshire offers access to the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and picturesque towns such as Ilkley, Saltaire, Haworth and Hebden Bridge. Additionally, you’re only a short drive or train journey from Leeds, York and Manchester. 

To find out more, click here to visit the Visit Bradford website. 

Getting Here

There are a variety of travel options available for attending the festival. Bradford Literature Festival events mainly take place in easily accessible city centre locations. Most of our venues are within a 5-15 minute walk from either Bradford Interchange or Bradford Forster Square station.  

By Air 

Leeds Bradford International Airport is only seven miles away with regular flights running to major cities throughout the UK and beyond. For more information about flights please visit the Leeds Bradford Airport website. 

By Rail 

The city is served by two train stations, both of which are located in the city centre, providing fast and easy access to most festival locations. 

Bradford Interchange is a five-minute walk from Centenary Square and has rail, bus and taxi services all under one roof. From here, you are just a 20-minute direct journey from Leeds train station, with links to the rest of the country. You can plan your journey using National Rail. 

Bradford Interchange also runs a direct service to London Kings Cross, via Wakefield and Doncaster. Visit the Grand Central Rail website for more information. 

Bradford Forster Square is a 5-10 minute walk from Centenary Square and City Hall. The station has daily direct London North Eastern Railway services to London, and also serves Leeds, Ilkley, Saltaire, Keighley, and Skipton. 

By Bus 

Bradford Interchange is located in the city centre and is just a short walk from the majority of festival venues. You can find timetable information on the West Yorkshire Metro website here. 

By Car 

Bradford city centre is just two miles from the motorway network. From the M62, take junction 26, joining the M606, and follow the brown heritage signs which will bring you into the city centre.  Bradford city centre has limited on-street parking. However, the centre is served by a number of large multi-storey car parks: 

  • The Broadway Shopping Centre – Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1JR 
  • The Kirkgate Shopping Centre – Godwin St, Bradford BD1 3PT 
  • Westgate Multistorey Car Park – 67-68 Oastler Shopping Centre, Bradford BD1 3SS 
  • NCP Bradford Halls Ings – Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 5SD 

For an additional list of Bradford Council Car Parks, please click here. 

Visiting with Children

Our children’s programme is a major part of the festival line-up, with dozens of events including storytelling, crafts, workshops, theatre shows, film screenings and much more. All of these events are FREE for everyone including children and their parents/care-givers. At our pop-up family venue no 1 we cater to the needs of families with young children, with everything from child-sized furniture to a dedicated baby changing area and buggy park.

Accommodation

Combining a visit to Bradford Literature Festival with a Yorkshire city break is the perfect way to experience all that Bradford has to offer. Whether you want to escape to Bronte Country, experience the World Heritage Site of Saltaire or stay in the centre of Bradford to enjoy the city’s rich heritage, you’ll be spoilt for choice for somewhere to stay. There are many accommodation options in Bradford to suit all different tastes and budgets. For a full list of hotels and B&Bs we recommend  you take a look at the Visit Bradford accommodation pages.

Food and Drink

Often hailed as ‘The Curry Capital of Britain’, there is no shortage of South Asian food on offer. Most of the festival events take place in and around the city centre where you will find a rich variety of food and drink options. Around the festival hub on festival weekends there are numerous local food vans dotted around City Park. Behind City Park you will find Sunbridge Wells – historic tunnels that have been converted to house bars and restaurants. Many of our larger venues, such as St George’s Hall and the University of Bradford also have their own bars or eateries on site.