Huddersfield

West Yorkshire

Huddersfield town centre

The university town of Huddersfield, on the edge of The Pennines and close to the Peak District National Park, is the largest town in Yorkshire.

Only five of Yorkshire's seven cities, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull and York, have a larger population than the town.

Huddersfield is also the administrative centre of the metropolitan district of Kirklees, the seventh most populous metropolitan district in the whole of the UK. The metropolitan district has several towns, including Batley, Cleckheaton, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike and Mirfield in its northern area. In the southern portion of the district, around Huddersfield, there is a hinterland of more than 100 villages, hamlets and small towns, including Holmfirth, Kirkburton, Meltham, Slaithwaite, Marsden and Denby Dale.

The Kirklees district is one of five in West Yorkshire and covers 157 square miles. Its size compares to about one-third of the area of the whole of Greater Manchester, which is divided into 10 metropolitan districts, or just under half the size of the whole West Midlands, which is divided into 7 metropolitan districts.

Beyond the Kirklees district, Halifax is 8 miles by road north-north-east of Huddersfield, Bradford is 11 miles north, Wakefield is 12 miles east-north-east, Barnsley, in South Yorkshire, is 14 miles south-east and Leeds is 15 miles north-east.

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. Near to the town is Britain's highest free-standing structure and listed building, the TV mast at Emley Moor, which is taller than The Shard in London.

Also near to Huddersfield are the longest and deepest canal tunnel on the highest stretch of canal in the country and the highest point on Britain's motorway network.

Among the town's other claims to fame is that it was the birthplace of rugby league, formed in 1895 at the George Hotel in Huddersfield as the Northern Rugby Football Union.

The town has a modern football stadium, opened in 1994, which hosts the soccer games of Championship club Huddersfield Town, rugby league games of Huddersfield Giants and sometimes international matches.

While Huddersfield has a long history of settlement, in which it outgrew its district of Almondbury as a market place, it saw massive expansion in the Victorian era as a centre of excellence in the textile industry. It also has long traditions in other industries, including engineering, chemicals and a diverse range of other businesses, more recently including media businesses and retail warehousing.

Town features


Huddersfield has a well-defined town centre encircled by a ring road and including a wide range of independent shops, major national retailers, supermarkets and pound stores, together with charity shops. Kingsgate shopping centre offers a department store and other major retailers and there are also Packhorse and Piazza shopping centres. King Street and New Street are also a big focus for shoppers while Victorian arcades provide an attractive location for niche shops. The town has an indoor market hall adjoining the Piazza shopping centre and a semi-outdoor and outdoor market at Brook Street. Warehouse-type stores can be found at a number of out-of-town retail parks just outside the town centre.

Huddersfield has town centre post offices in Northumberland Street and New Street and sub-offices in its districts.

The town has banks and building societies.

Huddersfield has many pharmacies in the town centre and its districts.

The town's pubs cater for a huge variety of tastes from lively bars popular with students to quieter places to relax. Many pubs offer a choice of real ales. Outside the town centre there are district and village locals and country pubs, many offering a good menu for diners.

Huddersfield's annual food and drink festival attracts thousands of visitors each year, but shows only a small outdoor sample of what is available across the town all year round. In terms of wide choice, quality and ease of access, Huddersfield must feel it has the potential to be the culinary capital of Yorkshire. Just about every cuisine is catered for somewhere in the town and if that's not enough there are scores of village pubs and country inns in the surrounding villages, each with their own menu.

A huge range of takeaways in the town centre and its many districts and villages offer an immense selection of British and international dishes.

Cafes and coffee houses can be found throughout the area.

Huddersfield public library is at Princess Alexandra Walk (The Piazza).

For museums, theatre and concert halls see below.

The town has hotel and guest house accommodation.

There are dozens of schools and colleges around the Huddersfield area. The University of Huddersfield campus is at the edge of the town centre at Queensgate. For more on the university see below.

Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed, Islamic, Sikh, Hindu, Bhuddist, Other.

The River Colne flows below and around the southern and eastern edges of Huddersfield town centre. The River Holme joins the Colne just outside the centre and the Colne flows into the River Calder around 3 miles north-east of the town.

The Huddersfield Broad Canal links the Aspley Basin near the town centre to the Calder and Hebble Navigation about 3 miles north-east of the town. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal runs for 20 miles from the Aspley Basin along the upper Colne Valley to Marsden, continuing through the Standedge Tunnel to Diggle and on to Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester.

Entertainment


Lawrence Batley Theatre

Queen Street, Huddersfield
The modern theatre was purpose-built within the shell of what was once the Huddersfield Methodist Mission and features a huge variety of performances including musicians, musicals, opera, drama, dance, children's entertainment, film, magic, pantomime and, of course, the theatre's famous Comedy Cellar.
More information at the  Lawrence Batley Theatre website.

Huddersfield Town Hall

Ramsden Street, Huddersfield
The magnificent concert hall at Huddersfield Town Hall seats 1,200 people, providing a grand venue for musical performances from local brass bands and choirs to international stars, tribute acts, opera and orchestra. The Town Hall also attracts visiting comedians.
Concert hall events at the  Kirklees Town Halls website.

St Paul's Hall

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate
St Paul's Hall is a smaller concert hall, close to the town centre, with seating for 400. The hall was converted from a church in 1980. It is a venue for regular concerts by musicians of the University and by Huddersfield Music Society.


Sport

Huddersfield Town

The Terriers / Town play at the John Smith's Stadium, near Leeds Road. Now back in the Championship for the 2019-20 season, they were Yorkshire's only team in the Premier League in the 2017-2018 and 2018-19 seasons.
 Huddersfield Town official website.

Huddersfield Giants

The Giants play rugby league at the John Smith's Stadium, near Leeds Road. Huddersfield is the birthplace of rugby league.
 Huddersfield Giants official website.

Huddersfield RUFC

Huddersfield RUFC play rugby union at Lockwood Park, Brewery Drive, Lockwood.
 Huddersfield RUFC official website.

Huddersfield Cricket League

The league includes dozens of cricket clubs from the villages and districts of the Huddersfield area.
 Huddersfield Cricket League official website.

University

University of Huddersfield

Queensgate
The University has seen some major new developments in recent years on its expanding campus including modern buildings and refitted former textile mills in an attractive canalside location near to the town centre. The university can trace its history back 175 years, to the Young Men's Mental Improvement Society formed in Huddersfield in 1941, a Female Educational Institution being formed 5 years later. By 1970 Huddersfield Polytechnic had developed, becoming the University of Huddersfield in 1992. The University is situated just across the Queensgate ring road from the town centre shops and bars and within easy walking distance of the bus and railway stations.
 Univerity of Huddersfield website.

Museums

Tolson Museum

Ravensknowle Park, Moldgreen
Set in the former Ravensknowle Hall in Ravensknowle Park, Moldgreen, about a mile west of Huddersfield town centre, the museum has fascinating collections revealing the development of Huddersfield from prehistoric times, its earliest settlements, the Roman era, its textile industry and Luddite rebellion, through Victorian times to the modern day. The museum also has exhibits from an age of vehicle-making in Huddersfield and a natural history collection including an interesting display of birds. The park outside features the clock tower of Huddersfield's former cloth hall.
More information at this  Kirklees Council - Tolson Museum web page.

National Coal Mining Museum for England

Wakefield Road, Overton
The National Coal Mining Museum for England is mid-way between Wakefield and Huddersfield, about 6 miles from each, on the main A642 road at Overton. It is also around 10 miles from Barnsley and just under 5 miles from Dewsbury. The former Caphouse Colliery has exhibits showing the history of mining in the Yorkshire coalfield and beyond. The museum also offers the chance to don a miner's helmet to take an underground tour down the mine. The tour takes about an hour and shows the changes in mining and conditions in the pit through its history. There's also chance to meet pit ponies, to take a trip on a colliery railway, to walk its nature trail or relax with food or a drink in its cafe.
More details at the  National Coal Mining Museum website.

Colne Valley Museum

Cliffe Ash, Golcar
After a period of closure, The Colne Valley Museum reopened at the start of October 2016. It tells the story of the early textile industry and life in the Colne Valley from a row of traditional weavers' cottages, featuring a loom chamber, spinning and cropping rooms. The museum also has a period living room and wash kitchen of around 1850 and a clog-makers' workshop. The museum, run by volunteers, often has demonstrations of the crafts. The museum also has an exhibition room, children's corner, arranges school and group visits and has occasional themed events. The museum is generally open to the public on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday afternoons. Details can be found on its website.
More information at the  Colne Valley Museum website.

Places to Visit

Castle Hill

Castle Hill Side, off Ashes Lane, Almondbury
Castle Hill is a dominant feature overlooking Huddersfield, a scheduled ancient monument and rare example in the north of England of a late Bronze Age or early Iron Age hill fort. It was first used for settlement about 4,000 years ago and first enclosed in around the 7th century BC, but was apparently abandoned by the end of the 5th century BC. After many centures of being unoccupied, earthworks were remodelled to create a motte and bailey castle in the early 12th century AD, when licence to fortify was granted by King Stephen, grandson of William the Conqueror. Traces of timber buildings, some stonework and medieval pottery and metal were found during excavations together with a well. It appears the castle was abandoned quite early in its life but a small settlement remained until the 15th century. The hill was reoccupied by a 19th century hotel and pub, but this was totally dismantled in, contravening a planning application for its remodelling and new building works were removed. The tower at the top of the hill is the Victoria Tower, opened in 1899 after public fund-raising started two years earlier in the diamond jubilee year of Queen Victoria. The hill has nature trails on paths encircling the castle earthworks and offers spectacular views across the surrounding area. The hilltop has been used for the lighting of beacons, one fire being lit at the time of the Spanish Armada. Little early stonework remains except for the well which can be found not far from the Victoria Tower. The tower itself is open to the public during summer weekends and holidays to climb its internal staircase to the viewing platform at the top. Opening details can be found at the Kirklees Council website.
More information at this  Kirklees Council - Castle Hill web page.

Standedge Tunnel & Visitor Centre

Waters Road, Marsden
The Standedge Visitor Centre at Tunnel End, Marsden, tells the history of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the building of Britain's longest canal tunnel, the three-and-a-quarter mile long Standedge Tunnel. The tunnel is also the deepest below ground and is the highest stretch of canal in the country. An exhibition centre shows the work which went into the opening of the tunnel in 1811 and how goods were propelled through the tunnel by leggers laying on the boat roof and walking on the tunnel sides or roof. There is also a children's play area and the opportunity to travel deep into the tunnel on a guided narrow boat or to relax at the Watersedge cafe beside the tunnel. The centre hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Marsden is about 7 miles west-south-west of Huddersfield and is easily reached by train to Marsden station, bus or car. The visitor centre is about half-a-mile along the canal towpath from the station. The visitor centre is managed by the Canal & River Trust
More information at the  Canal and River Trust - Standedge Tunnel web pages.

Holmfirth

Holmfirth is a small market town full of character in the Holme Valley 5 miles south of Huddersfield, 6.3 miles by road and easily reached by bus. Holmfirth was the principal location of TV's longest-run comedy series Last Of The Summer Wine and tourists visiting the town still head for Sid's Cafe, Nora Batty's steps or take a scenic trip around some of the other famous locations. The town is bustling with smart shops, boutiques, pubs and restaurants, while stone-built cottages and houses seem to cling to the steep sides of the valley, some reached by cobbled streets. See our Holmfirth page for more details.

Kirklees Light Railway

Park Mill Way, Clayton West, near Huddersfield
The Kirklees Light Railway is a 15-inch-gauge light railway on the trackbed of the former Clayton West branch line from the Huddersfield-Penistone-Sheffield line. The branch had survived the Beeching axe of the 1960s but eventually closed to coal traffic in 1979 and passengers in 1983. Work began to create the new 15-inch-gauge light railway from Clayton West in 1991 and was completed along the full 3.5 miles to Shelley in 1997. The line operates most weekends and on weekdays at certain times of the year. It has four steam locomotives and two diesel locomotives and on special occasions has guest visits from other lines, including the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in Sussex and the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in Cumbria. Santa Specials operate in December. The railway is based at Clayton West where there is a cafe, play area, picnic area, miniature railway, gift shop and toilets. At the Shelley end of the line there is also a cafe, play area, picnic area and toilets. There is no interchange with the adjoining main line at KLR's Shelley station, but there is a waymarked walk to the station at Shepley taking about 20 minutes. The KLR's intermediate stations at Skelmanthorpe and Cuckoo's Nest provide access to a good network of paths for walkers, Skelmanthorpe station being a short walk from the village.
More information at the  Kirklees Light Railway website.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

West Bretton
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton is 9 miles east of Huddersfield. Set in around 500 acres of beautiful parkland within the Bretton Estate adjoining Bretton Hall, Yorkshire Sculpture Park offers what is probably the finest outdoor exhibition space in the country for modern and contemporary sculpture, attracting regional, national and international exhibits. For more details and a link to the park's website see our Sculpture Park page.

Peak District National Park

The vast area of the Peak District National Park starts at Holme and just above Meltham and Marsden, just over 5 miles to the south-west of Huddersfield. The National Park stretches from Yorkshire into Derbyshire and beyond. Buses run from Huddersfield via Holmfirth to Holme in the National Park, there are buses to Meltham and buses and trains to Marsden. For more details see our Peak District page.

Travel


Huddersfield

St George's Square

Huddersfield Station is a magnificent Grade I listed building, one of only three working stations outside London to be so listed. Its classical style and portico of eight Corinthian order columns give it the appearance of a stately home and Sir John Betjeman once described the station facade as the most splendid in England.

The station is the second biggest rail hub in West Yorkshire after Leeds with more than 250 trains a day and in terms of passenger numbers is the fourth-busiest station in Yorkshire after Leeds, Sheffield and York.

The express line offers local and express services westward to and through Slaithwaite and Marsden to reach Manchester stations, Manchester Airport and Liverpool. The express line north-eastwards serves towns in the northern part of the Kirklees district, including Mirfield, Dewsbury and Batley before continuing through the Morley tunnel into the Leeds district with destinations including Leeds, York, Hull, Scarborough, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

The station also offers local services to Huddersfield-area villages, including Denby Dale, on the line to Penistone, Barnsley and Sheffield and trains to Wakefield Kirkgate, Normanton and Castleford. Wakefield Westgate is no longer served directly. Trains also operate via Brighouse and Halifax to Bradford, these usually continuing indirectly to Leeds. Without a direct train to London there are frequent connection options for anyone heading to the capital by connecting at Leeds, York or Manchester Piccadilly and at occasional times via Brighouse or Mirfield.


Station managed by TransPennine Express. Rail operators: TransPennine Express, Northern.

 Northern - Huddersfield Station and departure information at Northern website.

Huddersfield bus station

Upperhead Row
Huddersfield has a wide range of bus services to its districts and surrounding villages and towns, most operating from the bus station which is 5 minutes walk via Station Street from the railway station. A few through-town local services have stops in nearby Market Street or Westgate and some bus station services also have stops in town centre streets.
The bus station is managed by Metro (West Yorkshire transport authority)

Road travel

The M62 east-west motorway is around 3 miles north west of Huddersfield town centre, while for traffic heading south, the M1 is 11 miles to the east.

Routes from the town radiate from the A62 ring road around Huddersfield town centre:

A640leads towards the M62 WEST (J23-west facing only) and to Denshaw and Rochdale. A629WEST leads towards the M62 (J24), Elland, Halifax, Keighley and Skipton. A641heads north towards Brighouse and Bradford.
A62EAST leads towards Liversedge, Birstall and Leeds, connecting also with the A644 around 3 miles from the town centre for the M62 EAST (J25), Mirfield and Dewsbury.
A629EAST runs towards Penistone, Rotherham and routes to Sheffield and connects to the A642around 2 miles outside the town centre towards Wakefield and the A637 towards the M1 and Barnsley. A616 leads south towards Stocksbridge and routes to Sheffield, with the A6024 branching off it around 3 miles from the town centre towards Holmfirth.
A62WEST leads towards the Colne Valley and Oldham.

Parking in car parks and on-street in the town centre is pay and display. There are several car parks within the town centre, the largest being at Queensgate, the Kingsgate shopping centre and the Upperhead Row car park above the bus station.
Some streets in the town centre are restricted as bus lanes between times displayed on road signs which vary from street to street.

The HS2 effect

Our new Yorkshire.guide study has assessed cities and major towns throughout the Yorkshire region for the benefits HS2 will bring in travelling from Yorkshire to London when the proposed section between the Midlands and Leeds is complete in 2033. The line is also planned to link to existing lines to Sheffield and York. Each city or town has been given one of three simple ratings based on convenience and time saved over existing services.
White elephant: Takes the same time or longer than an existing service* or saves less than 10 minutes while now causing a change of trains. (* or HS2 completed to Manchester).
Coffee break: Saves 10 to 45 minutes. Time for a cup of coffee at your destination rather than on the train?
City slicker: Saves 45 minutes or more on existing service getting you to that all-important London meeting in good time.

We've been fairly generous to HS2 in making the assessment. Where a change of trains is now needed, we have assumed that you are on the fastest train to the station where you change to HS2, that it arrives on time, you have 10 minutes to change to the HS2 platform and an HS2 train is waiting to depart at that time. No assessment is made of additional journey costs possible in connecting to or travelling on HS2. The assessment is made on journeys from Yorkshire to London with again no account taken of any convenience or inconvenience in arrival at London Euston rather than London King's Cross station. Further details about our study can be found on The HS2 Effect page.

Huddersfield

While HS2 should speed up connections to and from Huddersfield, it falls into the white elephant category here on the basis HS2 will be built first to Manchester. After that, the journey via the Leeds arm of HS2 would be slightly longer.

Emergency services

West Yorkshire Police  West Yorkshire Police website.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government


Metropolitan district council

Kirklees Council

Kirklees Council covers a large metropolitan district based in Huddersfield but also covering well over 100 towns and villages.

They include those in the former county borough of Huddersfield, the former boroughs of Dewsbury, Batley and Spenborough and former urban districts of Heckmondwike and Colne Valley and the five large civil parishes created from former urban districts in Holme Valley (around Holmfirth), Denby Dale, Kirkburton, Meltham and Mirfield. Areas other than the latter five are without town or civil parish councils. Part of the district is in the Peak District National Park.

Kirklees Council is made up of 69 councillors with three councillors per ward in 23 wards. Councillors are elected for four-year terms with one-third involved in elections in three out of four years. Councillors elect a Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Kirklees each year.

Link to council website
 Kirklees Council .

The political composition in April 2019 was:
353178321

The political composition after the May 2019 election is:
342179331 DBI
69 members Vac = vacancy | DBI = Dewsbury Borough Independent

County strategic authority

West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Covers some combined services of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield - which were at one time provided by a West Yorkshire metropolitan county council, with the addition of the non-contiguous City of York council and unelected Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.
 West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire
 Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire website.

Fire Authority

West Yorkshire Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the five metropolitan district councils of West Yorkshire - Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield.
 West Yorkshire Fire Authority web pages.

Ceremonial county

West Yorkshire

Historic

Huddersfield is within the historic West Riding of Yorkshire
1868-1889 Municipal Borough of Huddersfield
1889-1974 Huddersfield County Borough
1974 - Principal town of Kirklees Metropolitan Borough

Other websites


Plenty of detailed information about Huddersfield and its surrounding towns and villages can be found at our associated website  Huddersfield.guide.


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