Tourist Information Guide to Halifax

By: Ms Leisha Greenfield
Halifax is set into rich countryside and home to 82,000 people. With a history dating back to the twelfth century, the town is rich in history and offers one of the most unique and popular museums in the country.

With a vast selection of theatres, performance spaces and art galleries, the town forms a cultural centre of the north and offers much for a quiet weekend away. Its busy nightlife, and variety of bars, makes for a vibrant nightlife; and there are numerous recommended restaurants to choose from.

The town is well connected by transport links and offers plenty of reasons to visit!

History

Halifax is steeped in history and has been a unified parish since the twelfth century. The area became involved in woollen manufacture, and this increased the population by 25 times between the fifteenth and sixteenth century. By the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, manufacture in the area had branched out into other types of textile materials.

The Piece Hall was built in the eighteenth century as a market for trading textiles, and remains an important work of architecture in the region. Bankfield Museum and Art Gallery comprises 10 galleries and explores the region's manufacturing history.

Eureka! is Halifax's most famous museum, and an exploration of science and technology for children. The museum comprises 400 interactive displays and exhibits, documenting human biology, scientific development, ecology and the world of work.

Art Galleries

Halifax's main art collection is housed in the Visitors Centre and Art Gallery in the Piece Hall, and comprises works of art, craft, photography and design, with a new emphasis on crafts. The gallery covers a number of open-plan units, allowing browsers to savour the works individually.

Halifax's Bankfield Museum and Art Gallery comprises 10 galleries, and focuses on textiles and contemporary craft works that document the area's manufacturing history. Galleries include 'World of Textiles', 'Edith Durham Gallery' and 'The Toy Gallery'.

The Dean Clough Gallery is home to 600 art and design exhibits, and comprises The Viaduct Gallery, The Design House Gallery, the Crossley Gallery, the Link Gallery and a number of seminar galleries on the upper floor.

Theatres

The Victoria Theatre stages around 165 productions each year, and seats 3500 people. Previous and upcoming performances include comedies, musicals and dance productions. The theatre bar has seating for 120 people.

The Square Chapel Arts Centre is a painstakingly renovated eighteenth century building, staging drama, children’s theatre, dance, musicals, community drama and various lectures and talks throughout the year.

The Viaduct Theatre specialises is small-scale productions, and The Playhouse has seating for 260 people.

Restaurants

The Millbank is just one of Halifax's highly rated fine dining restaurants, and has been honoured with a Michelin star and recommendations by Good Food Guide, The Independent and The Times. The menu comprises contemporary European cuisine with 'a Yorkshire touch' and an extensive wine list.

The Bore is close by, serving classic British dishes, and is also highly rated.

Meena’s offers Balti, Tandoori and Bengali cuisine in a traditional setting, and is extremely popular with locals. Open late and situated in the town centre, the restaurant is also popular with post-party clubbers.

El Gato Negro Tapas Bar serves classic and contemporary tapas dishes and a variety of wines.

Pubs/Bars

Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA awarded The Fox and Goose 'Pub of the Year' in 2006, and also rates The Shears Inn, with has been recommended in 10 consecutive editions of Good Beer Guide.

Bar 15 is a bar and club, with seating for 200 and showcasing rock and alternative bands on Friday and Saturday nights. The bar is also known as 'The Rockshack' and has a resident classic rock DJ who plays regularly.

The Standard of Freedom and William IV are popular, traditional bars, with long histories and loved by locals.

Nightclubs

Although there aren't a huge number of nightclubs in Halifax, there are a few very popular venues and Coliseum and Maine Street is the most popular. The club presents dance, r'n'b and party tunes, and opens three nights a week.

The Tube is a house music venue, open Friday and Saturday nights. The d?r is impressive, 70s-influenced designer kitsch, with state of the art lighting and sound technology, plush seating and a VIP lounge.

Acapulco presents mainstream dance and house music three nights a week, and is affectionately known as 'Acca'. The club is renowned for its exceptionally cheap drinks and special offers.

The Tramshed Zoo Bar is a rock club, currently closed for a license review.

Shopping

The Piece Hall is Halifax's most popular shopping area, comprising 50 independent retail units and a large market square. A fleamarket is held on Thursdays, and an open market on Saturdays. Specialist markets include a Christmas Market and continental markets.

Close by is The Woolshops Shopping Centre, home to more than 80 high street shops and 300 parking spaces. Units are currently occupied by River Island, HMV, Miss Selfridge, 2 coffee shops and a cafe.

The Halifax borough market is located in a Grade II listed, nineteenth century building, and comprises almost 200 stalls.

The main shopping street in the town is The Market Arcade; lined with charity shops, high street stores and cafes.

Sports

The North Bridge Leisure Centre is one of eight in the town, and offers an extensive programme of sports, athletics, aerobics and martial arts. There is a large sports hall and Projectile Gallery, a gym and Ofsted-registered creche.

Another popular leisure centre is Halifax Swimming Pool, comprising a 25-metre pool, fitness studio, dance studio, 2 squash courts and a multimedia multi-sensory room.

The Halifax Ski and Snowboarding Centre is based in the Sportsman Inn and Leisure Complex and offers a choice of slopes for beginners and the more experienced, with a range of tuition available to suit all abilities.

There are 10 golf courses in Halifax, including the notoriously difficult, 18-hole Halifax Golf Club that offers a challenge to the most experienced of players. The Halifax Bradley Hall Golf Club is also an 18-hole course, but is smaller and offers a more relaxing game.
Top Searches on
North America Destinations
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on North America Destinations
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles