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Huddersfield city guide

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

rural life.


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.

Art Galleries

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

the year.


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.

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