West side story West Yorkshire is a rich tapestry of culture and heritage with museums and galleries in ample supply. A tantalising timetable of events, exhibitions and festivals reflect the history and creativity the area has become synonymous with. All against a breathtaking backdrop of blue skies and rolling hills. Bradford is a well-loved centre of culture and activity and a UNESCO City of Film, so where better to start your visit than a trip to the National Science and Media Museum. With six ﬂoors of exhibitions and galleries, including the thrilling Wonderlab, it’s an interactive world of live experiments and extraordinary experiences. Just minutes away is the palatial Alhambra Theatre, a major venue for all manner of acts including stage shows, ballet, opera, musicals and the good old British pantomime. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saltaire, holds the legacy of Sir Titus Salt. This is apparent in the magnificent Salts Mill, a former hive of industry that now hosts a range of shops, restaurants and galleries. Possibly its most famous exhibit is a showcase of work by David Hockney, one of the most inﬂuential Yorkshire-born artists of the 20th and 21st century. Cartwright Hall is situated in the Green Flag-awarded Lister Park and was a childhood favourite of the man himself. It currently houses more of Hockney’s work with an exhibition detailing his early life and works, including a look at his techniques as well as unseen footage of him in his Bridlington studio. Bookworms will want to head to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth to see where the famous literary family spent their formative years. Look out for literature festivals throughout the year, a chance to participate in a wide range of scholarly events designed to inspire and delight. Food fanatics won’t go hungry in Bradford either, in addition to The Box Tree restaurant in Ilkley, the city also has over 200 Asian restaurants and boasts the title ‘Curry Capital of Britain’.
Nearby Calderdale is home to the spectacular Piece Hall in Halifax, the only surviving intact cloth hall in Britain and a unique venue that could easily be mistaken for an Italian piazza. In addition to artisan craft shops, charming cafes and bijou boutiques, the Piece Hall is also working with a variety of cultural partners to host an impressive programme of events throughout 2019. One of Europe’s leading learningdisabled arts companies, Mind the Gap who will launch ‘Zara’, a large scale, immersive project providing opportunities for people with learning disabilities to work in the arts. There will also be some striking outdoor performances from national and international artists such as ‘FierS à Cheval’ by French company Quidams, featuring a magical troupe of glowing white horses. These giant puppet-like costumes will make the most of the building’s space and lead the way in a calendar of dazzling shows designed to commemorate the hall’s second anniversary since being restored. The adjacent Square Chapel Arts Centre is a vibrant arts space offering the best in live music, dance, workshops, art classes and Youth Theatre, all from within a stunning Grade II listed Georgian chapel. If you’re looking for entertainment a little more hands-on, Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is a place like no other. The only fully interactive museum in the UK devoted to children aged 0-11, everything here is readily available to be touched and explored by curious little fingers. Or, why not scale the country’s highest manmade outdoor climbing wall at ROKT Climbing Gym in Brighouse? Children and adults can clamber at levels to suit experience in this action-packed spot that also boasts escape rooms, yoga,
trampolining and the first-class Millers Bar, a family-run pub you can even take your fourlegged friend to. History buffs won’t want to miss a trip to Shibden Hall, a Grade II listed estate that was once home to 19th century diarist Anne Lister, soon to be featured in a BBC/HBO drama called ‘Gentleman Jack’ a remarkable and unlikely love story, set in the complex, changing world of Halifax - the cradle of the industrial revolution. The drama will explore Anne Lister’s relationships at home with her family, servants, tenants and industrial rivals, who will use any dirty tricks they can to bring her down. With fantastic walks and cycle routes aplenty, Huddersfield is full of wide open spaces, steep contours and the waterways of the Holme and Colne valleys. Cyclists can visit Holme Moss in the Peak District National Park for a challenging climb or Sunday strollers can take a walk around the flatter terrain of Denby Dale and its surrounding villages. Over in the National Trust’s Marsden Moor Estate the landscape stretches high across the Pennines and Pule Hill is an