While doing an exchange at the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, I had volunteered to talk to Bradford students who wish to visit or do an exchange in Australia. I had countless conversations with students revolving around Australia’s golden beaches, blue skies and kangaroos. Towards the end of each of these conversations most students would ask, (in their proper English accents) “why would you want to come to England?” I couldn’t imagine doing my exchange anywhere else in the world and this is why.
Bradford city is situated within the beautiful West Yorkshire. The city center is just a 5-minute walk from the university. When venturing to town in need of supplies the first landmark that always catches my eye is the Alhambra theatre. It holds one of the biggest stages in the country and while walking past it’s always fun to see performers giggling with nerves entering the building through back stage.
After taking a few more steps it’s hard not to realize the National Media Museum in the distance. This museum is an interactive museum and once entered hours will pass you by.
If holding an old 1940’s camera and figuring out how to record your best friend reenacting an old movie scene isn’t fun enough, walking upstairs to see a movie in Imax is something you won’t regret.
The last landmark that will strike anyone’s attention is the Bradford City Hall. Situated right in front of the City Hall is a water feature that is made up of 107 fountains which makes up the size of three football pitches. It is the largest water feature in the UK and with mirror and light reflectors most tourists swear that it regularly plays tricks on them. A common trick that this water feature plays is a “walking on water” effect where locals look like they are getting their feet wet but in reality they are walking on a small causeway in the middle of the feature.
Bradford has been named curry capital of England for the last four years and I believe that it will be always named the curry capital. This picture clearly demonstrates why. Bradford is such a culturally rich city, and has always been known for it’s multicultural society. I can honestly say from leaving my comfort zone and ordering a variety of different curries, the classic and safe ‘butter chicken’ is not my curry of choice anymore. Not only does Bradford do the best curries in England but also, they are the most affordable.
The hidden secret to a gorgeous stay within Bradford lies just beyond the city. The English countryside is like no other. With the rich green pastures, stone made fences, running rivers and the wildlife it’s hard not to take up hiking.
I used to think that I regularly hiked before coming to England. Putting on yoga pants, picking up a latte and meeting a girlfriend in a park to walk and talk, was my favorite hiking destination. I soon found out that hiking in England was not for the weak. It is considered a competitive sport. If you visit any town or village within the Yorkshire dales you will come across many shops designated only for hiking gear.
I finally realized why hiking was considered to highly once I completed my first hike. There are so many photo opportunities, plenty of wild animals to cross paths with, so many streams to cross, and loads of cliffs to look over. It’s an addictive sport and I couldn’t be happier to call myself a hiker.
After explaining these things to Bradford students as well as adding things such as the Christmas markets, hot chocolates, and big jumpers, majority of students come back with remarks such as “I guess you don’t realize the beauty your own country has to offer, we are quite lucky to live in Bradford”.