Their suburbs may have merged into one sprawling urban conurbation, but Bradford remains far removed from its much more glamorous neighbour, Leeds. Thanks to its role as a major player in the wool trade, Bradford attracted large numbers of immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan during the 20th century. Despite occasional racial tensions, these new arrivals have helped reinvigorate the city and give it new energy (plus a reputation for superb curry restaurants). A high point of the year is the colourful Bradford Mela, now incorporated into the mid-June Bradford Festival, a celebration of Asian music, dance, arts, crafts and food.
Bradford is on the Metro train line from Leeds (£3.60, 20 minutes, three or four per hour).