5 Reasons to Love Bradford the UKs ‘Worst City’

Posted on 17 December 2020
By Carlton Whitfield
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Bradford is one of the biggest cities in the UK. It’s steeped in history and culture, with roots stretching back to the time of William the Conqueror.

It is also has a very poor reputation. In fact, Bradford and its districts regularly top lists of the worst places to live in the UK. It really gets knocked by those visiting and those living in the city. As such, it’s not likely to feature on your bucket list of places to see before you die.

But can we make an argument for unfashionable Bradford as an underrated gem? We think we can. Below we are going to list five reasons that make the UK’s worst city one of the best:

TV and Movie Magic

“By order of the Peaky Blinders”. If those words mean something to you, then you have probably seen Bradford on screen. Despite Peaky Blinders’ links with Birmingham, much of the series is filmed in Bradford. The city has cashed in on the popularity of the award-winning drama by offering location tours. Other popular movies and tv shows with links to Bradford include The King’s Speech, Downton Abbey and even Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. Bradford was the first recipient of the UNESCO City of Film title.

A Literary History

In terms of literary giants, they don’t get much bigger than the Brontë Sisters – Anne, Charlotte and Emily. The likes of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are counted among the greatest novels in history. To be honest, most of Yorkshire claims the Brontë Sisters as their own, and they did move around a lot. But they were born in Thornton, which lies in the Bradford metropolitan area. As you might imagine, literary fans make pilgrimages to the sisters’ homeland, and they play a big role in the excellent Bradford Literature Festival.

Underrated Nightlife

Bradford is actually the UK’s youngest city, with around 70% of the population under the age of 50 and a quarter under the age of 16. With the enthusiasm of youth in the air, there is a highly underrated nightlife scene. Visitors on a budget can check out the cheap drinks at the rocking Underground nightclub, and high rollers can check the latest events and best offers at Bradford casino. Some might say that the city has changed from its rock and punk heyday of the 1980s – The Cult was formed in Bradford – but it still has a lot to offer revellers.

Incredible Architecture

Bradford is an old city; described in the Doomsday Book of 1086. But it really exploded into life during the Industrial Revolution and Victorian Era. As such, the city is home to some incredible architecture that reflects Britain when it was at its most prosperous. Victorian buildings, in particular, offer a glimpse into the city’s prosperous past, and there is some wonderful Gothic architecture in places like Little Germany.

A Mirror to Modern Britain

What does it mean to be British? It’s a question that the country has wrestled with for a long time, rearing its head in national debates as happened with the Brexit vote. But what we do know that modern Britain is no longer exclusively White British. Bradford has one of the most multi-cultural populations in the UK, with, for example, 20% of the population having Pakistani roots. That’s more than just statistics for the census bureau; it feeds into a diverse culture in terms of food, the arts and society.