Living in Bradford
Bradford combines with next-door-neighbour Leeds to form one of the biggest urban areas in the UK but the area around the University of Bradford, where all your essentials are located, is actually quite compact.
Living costs here are comparatively low - an important factor for many students - and there’s a lot of diversity. Bradford is famous for being a City of Film, and many of the main attractions focus around this. The Bradford International Film Festival is held here annually and draws a huge crowd, and for the rest of the year film buffs can enjoy the National Media Museum, which has its own cinema and IMAX attached.
Also close to the main university campus are the main shopping areas around Forster Square and the Kirkgate Centre. As well as the ‘clone brands’ you’ll find in any town, Bradford has a lot of independent and family-run shops, meaning that there’s always a chance to hunt out a deal. There’s a couple of regular markets too, so making your money go a long way isn’t hard to do.
The nightlife here is thriving, and can be found in two main areas; Manor Row and the West End. Both are within a short walk of the main university campus and contain a good mix of bars, clubs and restaurants. If you’re a fan of the theatre then it’s definitely worth checking out the Alhambra. As well as being a living slice of history this gorgeous old Victorian building is still a major venue, and can take on anything from ballets and operas to concerts and touring West End productions.
Bradford has repeatedly been crowned the Curry Capital of Britain - good news for students! Traditionally the city is a welcoming place for all kinds of people and one of the most successful examples of this is the large Asian community that call Bradford home. The annual Bradford Mela is the largest festival of it’s kind outside of Asia, so that should definitely be on your To-Do list.
What can I do today?
- Culture: If you’re willing to travel a bit further you can visit the historic villages of Saltaire and Haworth. Both of them look like they could have jumped straight out of a Victorian novel.
- Sport: Bradfordians do love their sport, so hunt down a society or local team and join in! For spectators, the two big teams here are Bradford City football club and the Bradford Bulls rugby league club.
- Outdoors: Bradford is close to two large national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines. Whether you’re a hardcore outdoors enthusiast or more of a gentle stroller, there aren’t many more stunning places you could find to indulge yourself.
Good to know
- Car?: It depends. If you know you’re going to stay mainly around Bradford then probably not, but if you like to explore away from the beaten track it’s not a bad idea.
- Taxi: Metro Taxis
- Train: Bradford is extremely well connected, with trains to famously nightlife-friendly Leeds taking less than 30mins, and Manchester only 1hr.