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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire

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West Yorkshire is a county in Yorkshire in the north of England. It's largely industrial, but with a surprising amount of countryside, especially in the Pennine hills to the west.

West Yorkshire is nowadays a county in name only, as it comprises five "unitary" or metropolitan districts with no county level of government. It's convenient here to describe it in terms of those five, since transport routes radiate and visitor amenities cluster in that way.

Cities, towns and villages[edit]

Map of West Yorkshire
Map of West Yorkshire

The five districts are Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees.

  • 1 Leeds is West Yorkshire's biggest city and main transport hub. It makes its money from IT, finance and law, and has a large university quarter. It has the best shopping, dining and drinking, and a modern art gallery. Within the district are:
2 Otley in the valley towards Skipton.
3 Wetherby, a small market town with a racecourse.
  • 4 Bradford, the second-largest city, hosts the National Media Museum and has a wide variety of shops, restaurants and pubs. Within the district are:
5 Bingley is industrial, but the canal is worth walking by the ladder of locks.
6 Ilkley is a market town on the edge of the Dales.
7 Keighley is the start of the steam-hauled railway to Haworth.
8 Haworth is where the Brontë sisters did much of their writing. Other locations associated with them, the Brontë Country, stretch across the north of England.
9 Saltaire is an outstanding "model village" and UNESCO World Heritage site, centred around Salts Mill.
  • 10 Wakefield is home to the Hepworth, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the National Mining Museum. Within it:
11 Pontefract is a small market town with a racecourse and ruined castle.
  • 12 Halifax, the chief town of Calderdale district, has "Piece Hall", a well-preserved 18th C market place, and Eureka children's science museum.
Within the district are the scenic villages of 13 Hebden Bridge, 14 Heptonstall and 15 Todmorden
  • 16 Huddersfield is the chief town of Kirklees district. Within the district are:
17 Holmfirth is a charming rural town.
18 Marsden in the Pennines, with good local walking.
Birstall has a huge retail park and cinema. Just north of it is Oakwell Hall, a fine Elizabethan manor.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

1 Leeds-Bradford Airport (LBA IATA) is the major airport in the area. It's a base for budget airline Jet2, and also served by Ryanair, and has decent connections across western Europe. But it's not on the rail or motorway network, and from the point of view of Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees it's the wrong side of the Leeds-Bradford sprawling metropolis.

Manchester Airport (MAN IATA) has global connections, competitive fares, and is linked by frequent fast trains to all the main towns of West Yorkshire.

By train[edit]

Trains from London Kings Cross run direct every 30 mins to Wakefield (2 hrs) and Leeds (2 hrs 20). Change at Leeds for Bradford (total 3 hrs), Huddersfield (3 hrs) and Halifax (3 hrs 20). Huddersfield and Halifax can also be reached in similar time from London Euston, changing at Manchester Piccadilly.

Transpennine services every 30 mins link Manchester Airport and Piccadilly to Huddersfield and Leeds, continuing to York and Middlesbrough.

Hourly cross-country trains run south from Leeds and Wakefield to Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Bristol and Plymouth; and north to York, Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

By bus[edit]

All the main towns have a direct National Express coach daily to London Victoria, about 7 hours. Most other destinations involve changing at Leeds.

Fast buses ply between Leeds, York, Hull and Manchester. The slightly more leisurely Yorkshire Coastliner runs from Leeds via Tadcaster, York and Malton to the seaside resorts of Scarborough, Filey, Bridlington and Whitby.

Get around[edit]

West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive provide rail and local bus information on their website, and offers the innovative "My Next Bus" service of real-time bus information online or by text message. This real-time information is also displayed in certain bus shelters.

There are a number of different day rovers available that give unlimited travel in the West Yorkshire region, including a Train Day Rover (£7.50), Family Day Rover (£12.20) and a Day Rover (valid on both Buses and Trains, £8.20) full details are available on the National Rail Enquires Website. Prices accurate from November 2018

West Yorkshire Metro also operate multi-operator MCards (similar to London's Oyster Card system), which can be used for Bus Travel and Rail Travel, find more information on the MCard website

Bus Companies[edit]

In West Yorkshire, there are a number of bus companies that cater to the local area, and many offer West Yorkshire tickets, such as Arriva Yorkshire, First West Yorkshire and The Keighley Bus Company

Check out the following Network Maps to see where your single operator tickets get you:

Arriva Yorkshire

First Leeds, First Bradford, First Halifax, Calder Valley & Huddersfield (Note: a West Yorkshire ticket will be valid on all First West Yorkshire buses)

Keighley Bus Company

Other bus companies do exist, such as Yorkshire Tiger, Connexions Buses and Stagecoach, but most of these companies only operate in one specific town or city and therefore do not offer pan-network tickets

Train Companies[edit]

In West Yorkshire, there are numerous train companies operating the local network, most services are run by Northern. However, TransPennine Express operate regular services between Leeds and Manchester through Batley, Dewsbury and Huddersfield, and some services to Hull. Additionally, Cross Country operate services between Leeds and Wakefield. Services less run are Grand Central services between Bradford and London Kings Cross through West Yorkshire towns and cities Bradford, Low Moor, Halifax, Brighouse, Mirfield and Wakefield.

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This region travel guide to West Yorkshire is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!