Huddersfield is among the largest towns in the country and the largest town and administrative centre of the metropolitan district of Kirklees. With a population of around 434,000, Kirklees is the seventh most populous metropolitan district in the country, the figure representing one in every 150 of the UK population. Some 243,000 of that number live in the 'Greater Huddersfield' or 'South Kirklees' area including the town itself and more than 100 small towns, villages and hamlets in a hinterland of more than 100 square miles. Another 191,000 people live in 'North Kirklees', which includes several towns of which Dewsbury is the largest.
Despite its high population and increasingly delicate balance between housing and other land uses, the district remains one of the country's most attractive leisure areas. It includes Pennine moorland, parts of which are in the Peak District National Park and the National Trust Marsden Moor estate.
Much of the local population is based around the valleys of the Rivers Holme, Colne and Dearne, Fenay Beck and Hall Dike while the River Calder lies just north of the Huddersfield area. High moorland valleys feed into some of Yorkshire's most scenic reservoirs. Deep valleys, moors and former mining activities have helped to maintain the area's unique character of a high density of distinct villages rather than urban sprawl.
The Victoria Jubilee Tower at Castle Hill overlooks Huddersfield, which has fine architecture, much of it dating from the town's Victorian expansion and including a grade one listed railway station.
The town has also seen growth in recent years with the addition of new buildings at the University of Huddersfield, the creation of a new Kirklees College building and a recently-opened Huddersfield Leisure Centre.
The town has an award-winning modern stadium which hosts the soccer matches of Championship team Huddersfield Town, who were Yorkshire's only Premier League club in the 2017-18 and 2018-2019 seasons, and rugby league games of the Huddersfield Giants. It will also be a venue for a quarter-final match of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. Huddersfield is the birthplace of rugby league.
The Huddersfield area is the location of Britain's tallest free-standing structure and listed building, the TV tower at Emley Moor, which is taller than The Shard in London which claims fame as Western Europe's tallest inhabited building.
Huddersfield also has the country's longest and deepest canal tunnel, the Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, a historic contrast to the highest point on Britain's motorway network on the M62 just west of Huddersfield.
Huddersfield was on the route of the 2014 Tour de France cycle race, which passed through the area on Sunday July 6, 2014, it has also featured in several other cycle races, including the Tour de Yorkshire and town centre criteriums. Huddersfield will be one of the host towns of the 2020 Tour de Yorkshire.
A millennium pie was the latest in a succession of world's largest pies to be made at Denby Dale, near Huddersfield.
Huddersfield has an international reputation for its music and its surrounding area has also become well-known for TV locations. The past list of programmes include Oh No It's Selwyn Frogitt, Wokenwell, Where The Heart Is, filmed around Slaithwaite, and most notably TV's longest-run comedy Last Of The Summer Wine, filmed mainly around Holmfirth. More recently Jamaica Inn, Remember Me and Happy Valley used locations in and around Huddersfield.
Huddersfield traditionally had industrial strengths in textile manufacture, chemicals, engineering and farming and to the east of the town coal mining. In recent years, though, many former manufacturing sites have been converted to residential and retail developments and sometimes to educational or commercial use. There has been increased diversity of remaining industry in the town, which now also includes retailers' warehouses. There has been the encouragement of media businesses to the town and the area also currently offers a great deal of town centre office space just 20 and 30 minutes from Leeds and Manchester city centres.
Commuters find Huddersfield is well-connected for rail and road travel. The town's impressive station, a connecting point on the TransPennine Express route, is the fourth busiest station in Yorkshire after Leeds, Sheffield and York with more than 250 trains per day. It is also close to M62 and M1 motorways. Train travellers can reach more than 100 other stations by rail within an hour including a direct link to Manchester airport, one of six airports providing air travel within easy reach of Huddersfield. The two nearest cities to Huddersfield are Wakefield and Bradford. Leeds and Manchester are very well connected while Yorkshire principal city York is only 50 minutes away. More than 100 small towns, villages and hamlets in the Huddersfield hinterland are well connected by rail or by bus.
If visiting the town for leisure, there are plenty of places to visit in the area and the town provides an excellent centre for travelling to other parts of the country. In addition to the Peak District National Park being just 15 minutes drive from Huddersfield town centre, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North York Moors National Park and Lake District National Park are all within an hour to two hours away and Snowdonia National Park in Wales is just over two hours away.
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