Huddersfield City Guide

By: Ms Leisha Greenfield
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.

Set into 160 miles of the Pennines and encompassing surrounding villages, such as Holmfirth, Huddersfield combines the best of city and rural life.

History

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 Bront?squo;s. The home is now a museum devoted to seventeenth century servant life, with a Bront?xhibition in the barn.

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 artist.

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.

Theatres

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.

Restaurants

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.

Pubs/Bars

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 entry.

Vox Bar serves a range of unique and classic cocktails, real ales, beers and food, and plays continental chillout music.

Nightclubs

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.

Shopping

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.

Sports

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.
Travel Tips
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel Tips
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles