YorkshireNet Guide to West and South Yorkshire

Traditional market towns contrast with the bustle of modern cities built on the strength of Victorian enterprise

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West Yorkshire is celebrated for its textiles and the wealth of the Victorian era can still be seen in the superb architecture of towns such as Halifax and Huddersfield, fine bases for exploring the beautiful Pennine Hill country.

West Yorkshire’s country towns include Otley (birthplace of Thomas Chippendale), Ilkley and Wetherby, and little Pennine towns such as Hebden Bridge and Marsden. Here are the landscapes which inspired the Brontes and their home, Haworth, remains little changed. ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ viewers will recognise Holmfirth, whose moors climb on up into the Peak District National Park.

There is a vibrant city feel to modern centres such as Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Doncaster, with Leeds now firmly established as the UK’s second commercial centre after London. All have their attractions, such as the Royal Armouries in Leeds, the National Media Museum, IMAX and Alhambra Theatres in Bradford and Salts Mill in nearby Saltaire, superb sporting facilities in Sheffield, and Doncaster’s Dome and racecourse.

Pontefract, where Richard II was killed in its castle, Wakefield, and Barnsley (home of the ‘Barnsley Chop’) remain proud of their coal mining heritage.

In a county where the ‘great outdoors’ really is great - climbing, caving, canoeing, angling, sailing are just some of the outdoor activities available, with matchless walking country. Footpaths include the tough Pennine Way, the Brontë Way and dozens of waymarked local routes.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, known as the unofficial Sculpture Capital of Europe, goes from the Hepworth, Wakefield, to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park nearby and to the Leeds Art Gallery and its neighbour the Henry Moore Institute. All four are within 30 minutes of each other by car, bus or train, and all four have free admission.

National Media Museum, Bradford The Hepworth, Wakefield the heart of Yorkshire's Sculpture Triangle