The West Yorkshire landscape mostly consists of the Pennines and its foothills which dominate the west of the county and gradually descend into the Vale of Yorks and Humberhead in the east.
It was the tough and unforgiving textile industry that drove West Yorkshire’s economy from the 18th century onward. The woollen mills, factories and canals built to transport raw materials and finished products defined much of the county’s landscape. But that’s all in the past, and recent years have seen the transformation of this once hard-bitten area into quite the picture postcard.
Leeds and Bradford, two adjoining cities so big they’ve virtually become one, are undergoing radical redevelopment and reinvention, prettifying their centres and tempting more adventurous tourists with new museums, galleries and restaurants. Beyond the cities lies a landscape of wild moorland dissected by deep valleys dotted with old mill towns and villages, scenes that were so vividly described by the Brontë sisters, West Yorkshire’s most renowned literary export and biggest tourist draw.
Beyond West Yorkshire’s two main cities is a landscape of wide open moorland countryside with small towns and cotton mill villages dotted throughout. The remnants of the wool industry is still visible throughout with rows of weavers’ cottages in the valleys across this Yorkshire countryside, brilliantly described by the famous Bronte sisters.
If you enjoy museums and are keen to learn more of the history and culture of West Yorkshire then you will not be disappointed with a visit to the many museums in the area. Museums include The Royal Armouries in Leeds, National Media Museum in Bradford and the fantastic National Coal Mining Museum. Situated in Overton, the National Coal Mining Museum is a fantastic day out with numerous outbuildings to explore and interactive exhibitions that bring the whole mining story to life.
Take the family to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The site is spacious with plenty of wide open space for children to play in and a range of walking trails to choose from.
With Bradford recognised as the curry capital of Britain, this is clearly something you cannot miss. Bradford itself has a distinct and flourishing arts scene, with Bradford said to be the world’s first UNESCO City of Film. If you can squeeze a theatre visit into your trip you will not be disappointed.
Whether you’re looking for excitement or simple relaxation, West Yorkshire has plenty of activities to suit all needs.