Huddersfield was dubbed ‘the poetry capital of Europe’ for its thriving
creative industry and numerous poetry publishers, editors and writers,
and regular readings and poetry events, and the city’s reputation for
creative excellence is deserved. The Kirklees Media Centre is home to
seventy creative businesses and there are half a dozen studio units
available to hire in the city centre alone.
Huddersfield’s role as a creative centre is reflected in its dozens of
theatres, performance spaces, galleries and art studios, and the
country’s rising ‘cafe culture’ is certainly apparent here.
Author: Leisha Greenfield
Having spent 10 years working as a visitor guide at various top London
tourist attractions, Leisha Greenfield has now writes articles on UK tourism. http://www.ukcityguide.info.
Set into 160 miles of the Pennines and encompassing surrounding
villages, such as Holmfirth, Huddersfield combines the best of city and
History in Huddersfield dates back to a mention in the Doomsday book, when
it was the village of ‘Oderesfelt’. Today it is a city with a
population of 150,000, and the third highest number of listed buildings
in the United Kingdom.
Oakwell Hall is a sixteenth century manor house, its seventeenth
century fixtures and fittings restored or reproduced. The Hall is set
into 100-acres of country park, picnic areas, nature trails and an
adventure playground, and is open to the public.
The Red House Museum was once a seventeenth century home, home to close
friends of Charlotte Brontë’s. The home is now a museum devoted to
seventeenth century servant life, with a Brontë exhibition in the
Longley Old Hall is another historical family home, this one a
fourteenth century timber-framed building.
The art exhibition spaces in Huddersfield are too numerous to mention,
but the Huddersfield Art Gallery is the largest, with 2000 twentieth
century paintings, prints and sculptures. The venue also hosts music
concerts and festivals, and original art is available for £2 for
the Art Vending Machine.
Stansfields Gallery is home to workshops and an exhibition space in the
gardens. Park View Studios exhibits works by Tony Chisholm, a local
There are three more large galleries in other parts of the borough: The
Lupton Square Gallery in Holme Valley, the Bruton Gallery and the
Ashley Jackson Galleries in Holmfirth.
The Lawrence Batley Theatre is the largest of many theatres and
performance spaces in Huddersfield, and located in an early nineteenth
century Methodist church. There are two auditoria and a busy programme
of productions of drama, comedy, dance and music.
Cragrats Theatre, in Holmfirth, seats eighty people and presents
small-scale touring performances and productions by the in-house
theatre company. The theatre is located in Holmfirth.
Proper Job Theatre Company is an organisation that presents drama in
schools and on educational sites to emotional wellbeing. Mikron Theatre
Company is a small-scale, touring drama group that use drama and music
as tools to explore educational, historical and social themes.
For traditional British cuisine in upmarket surroundings, The Olive
Branch has been listed in Good Food Guide on more than one occasion and
offers idyllic countryside views, and the Grade II listed hotel, The
George, is open and newly refurbished. Bradley’s serves high quality
British dishes in a more relaxed atmosphere, and is owner-run.
Cragrats is a fine dining restaurant, with chic leather and suede
furnishings, serving unique, high quality cuisine and open until 9pm.
Popular Indian restaurants include Kebabeesh, Shabab and Elahi
Tandoori; and in Holmfirth is The Wrinkled Stocking, tearooms devoted
to Last of the Summer Wine.
Huddersfield CAMRA particularly recommend The Rat and Ratchet, The Sair
Inn, and Rose and Crown which has received mentions in the last thirty
editions of Good Beer Guide, and awarded The Grove Inn its ‘Pub of the
Season’ accolade in 2006.
There are branches of Wetherspoon and O’Neill’s in the city, as well as
Revolution Vodka Bar with DJs every night, a license until 2am and free
Vox Bar serves a range of unique and classic cocktails, real ales,
beers and food, and plays continental chillout music.
Huddersfield has several night clubs. The Camel Club opens four nights
a week, to a capacity of 450 people, and presents a mix of pop,
commercial dance, underground music and a punk, rock, ska and metal
night on Fridays.
Club Tokyo comprises four themed rooms – Club, Basement, Courtroom and
Bar – with funky house in the first, indie and rock’n’roll in the
second, r’n’b in the third, and funk and disco in the fourth. The venue
hosts live bands on non-club nights. The official afterparty is held at
Rouge, open until 6am.
Visage and Ethos comprises The Union, Visage and Ethos, with a total
capacity of 3000 people over the three venues. Music includes chart,
commercial dance, funky house, disco, hip-hop and r’n’b from the 60s to
the present day.
The Kingsgate Centre is the main shopping mall in the city, and is home
to more than thirty stores and half a dozen cafes and bars. Close by is
The Packhorse Centre, comprising a dozen budget jewellery, clothes and
gift stores. The Byram Arcade is a shopping and office complex, with
units currently occupied by creative businesses, independent publishers
and music, gift and art stores.
Huddersfield Queensgate Market is a huge indoor market, trading in
clothes, food, electricals and more, with a cafe and hairdressers on
site. There is also an open market and specialist markets throughout
Huddersfield Sports Centre is one of fourteen leisure centres in the
city, and comprises two pools, health and fitness suites, a climbing
room, sports hall, bowling hall, junior gym and an Ofsted-registered
creche. Free childcare is available, and first time visitors do not pay
to use the pool.
For those interested in outdoor climbing, Huddersfield Climbing Club
are active in the area.
Castlefields Golf Club is one of fifteen in the area, and covers 2406
yards; Huddersfield Golf Club is an 18-hole course with an eighteenth
century clubhouse. There are also numerous hiking paths and
horse-riding trails set into the picturesque Pennine valleys around the
city, and White Rose Potholing Group take groups out every Sunday.