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I was born in Huddersfield, when I was four my family (me, mum, dad and big brother) moved to Bridlington for a taste of seaside life. We got more than a little homesick and returned to Huddersfield when I was in the last year of junior school; minus my big brother, who had fallen in love with a Brid girl and moved in with her.
All my family live in Huddersfield and I don't have any plans to move away, in my opinion Huddersfield has everything you could ever want.
** A bit of background...................
Huddersfield was one of the largest and most important textile towns in its time (second only to Bradford in the UK) any visitors will notice the vast amount of empty/renovated textiles mills around the town. I live in one such conversion and have to say these buildings are fascinating, the walls in my lounge are over 2 foot thick and the building has such charm.
The university has also taken up residence in one of the largest textiles mills in the town centre, this conversion is a talking point amongst everyone in the town (even my Nanna thinks it's such a beautiful use of an old mill) I have to say it added such character to my textiles lectures in my time at the uni if they were housed in this building.
Huddersfield is officially the largest town in the country, many question why it hasn't been made an honorary city but I feel that would make little or no difference to the community and I'm more than happy to live in this town.
Harold Wilson was also born here and his statue stands proud in the square outside the Railway station.
Rugby League was actually founded in the George Hotel in the town centre in 1848 so we also have a huge sporting history, the town's rugby team is the Huddersfield Giants (formerly Fartown Giants) and they play in the Gapharm Stadium down Leeds Road.
Huddersfield Town football team are not as successful as their rugby counterparts but the atmosphere at home games is second to none.
Due to the towns textiles history, canals are a major part of Huddersfield, we have the Huddersfield Broad Canal which runs into the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
The Broad canal runs from Leeds to Aspley in the town centre, Huddersfield Narrow Canal runs from the town centre for 20 miles all the way to Ashton under Lyne; passing through the Standedge Tunnel on the way (this tunnel is the longest canal tunnel in the UK) The canal has recently undergone a huge rejuvenation project and was re-opened for navigation in 2001. This was around the time a lot of the mills and the university mills were converted and the canal paths were really cleaned up. It's a pleasure to walk along the canal in the summer and we often walk from where we live (Milnsbridge) along to the start of the tunnel at Marsden.
The buildings in the town centre are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, the Town Hall is just one example of the fantastic Victorian architecture along with the Library and many of the older shops.
The Byram arcade is a Victorian arcade which has never lost any of its old charm, u really do feel as if you've stepped back in time when you enter this place.
The railway station is one of my favourite buildings; very similar to the town hall in Leeds with all the columns running along the face of the building.
Obviously the Mill buildings add a lot to the towns architecture and nobody can deny the impact of these impressive structures. Titanic Mill (absolutely huge) is now one of the most gorgeous Mill conversions ever, check out www.lowryhomes.com/titanicmill.
** The Moors................
One of the best things about my home town, you have everything you could need from an urban town but then get in your car, drive 10 minutes in any direction and you are in the middle of the moors in the middle of nowhere!
There are miles and miles of barren moorland with old farmhouses dotted around this bleak canvas. Perfect for those Heathcliffe moments.....
I love the combination of these two extremes, you really could never want for anything here.
** Castle Hill..................
Before I moved out of my mum and dads house last year I lived with them in the middle of nowhere very close to here. They still live in the same area but moved slightly closer to civilisation and actually live on a road now but still they love their view of Castle Hill.
Castle Hill doesn't actually have a 'castle' just one tower, erected for Queen Victorias jubilee in 1897.
There are said to be old tunnels which run through the well on the hill and these lead down into the nearby village of Berry Brow, apparently these were used by people escaping the tower and not wanting to be seen.
The hill has a lot of history much further back than these times though, it was originally an Iron Age hill fort and other buildings will have stood in place of the tower.
A fantastic landmark in the town.
** Storthes Hall.................
Now the main student digs for the university, the old hall buildings were pulled down (god only knows why, they were so amazing) and new buildings were built in their place.
Storthes Hall was one of the largest Mental Asylums in the country (it really was absolutely huge and covered tens of acres of land); the place has a horrible history. They pioneered electric shock 'treatment' here, women were locked up for getting pregnant out of wedlock and they also kept people with Downs syndrome and other such illnesses locked up. This was the norm for the time and not specific to Storthes Hall but it doesn't make it any more acceptable.
The woods around the site are said to be haunted by the many souls which escaped and found themselves lost in the dense forest, most were found hanged.
In the 1980s the asylum was shut down and the poor patients were just released into the town to fend for themselves.
Only one of the old buildings still exists and this is a long way from the uni digs.
A very sad but amazing building.
I love all the history but a girl loves her shopping too!
In the town centre we have every high street shop I can think of (except H and M for some reason!)
The Kingsgate centre is the newest addition and the new centre-point of shopping in the town, it was opened around the year 2000 and houses around 40 stores including Miss Selfridge, House of Fraser, Office, Republic, New Look, a huge HMV and many more. There are plenty of cafes/food places too, these include: Bagel Nash, Costa Coffee, House of Fraser café, a juice bar and Greggs.
The second phase which will include a hotel and leisure centre has just been given planning permission and this will be an exciting addition, work will be starting later this year.
** Eating out..................
There are plenty of places to eat in the town. Many main stream cheapish food places such as Pizza Hut and McDonalds take pride of place in the centre. The food at many of the bars is great too especially Varsity and Yates'.
There are plenty of coffee shops, mostly open until 7pm-ish too.
The viaducts by Tesco are home to 2 cool new restaurants; Cibos (Italian) and Gringos (Mexiacan) both owned by the same man and hidden under the actual viaducts.
There are plenty of curry houses, Italian restaurants, a few Spanish Tapas bars, everything really. Nothing is too expensive in the town centre, if you start venturing out a bit into the surrounding villages you will find more upper class expensive places such as Trattoria in Honley.
If you drive a bit further out of the centre (10 min or so) you will find lots of old country pubs dotted among the lovely landscape and these serve good old fashioned British grub!
There are hundreds of takeaways too so if you fancy eating in but not cooking you have plenty of choice.
Huddersfield is known as a town of higher education.
There are 2 main colleges in the town centre; Greenhead College and Kirklees college (formerly Huddersfield Tech).
The University is huge and offers many different courses, I loved my time there I really did. They quite predictably specialise in Textiles courses, which I took.
Last but not least :)
The nightlife centres around 'The Yards' an area outside the Kingsgate centre which used to be the old yards for little shops and pubs in Victorian times, the street is still cobbled but now houses bars such as Yates', Lloyds, Zephyr and many more. Great on a rainy night as you don't have to walk far (also good for those in ridiculously high heels...me)
The main night club used to be Visage or Heaven and Hell but both of these closed down and now people tend to go to smaller clubs such as Tokyo's or The Camel Club. It's a great night out in Huddersfield and you always seem to find somebody you know as everyone frequents the same places!
I could probably talk forever about this town, I love the place. I don't want to bore you by going into insane detail but there is so much more to find out about Castle Hill, the textile mills and Storthes Hall if you want to! I really have only briefly touched on these subjects.
Thankyou for reading.
Huddersfield is in my opinion an exceptional place to live (possibly biased seeing I've lived here my entire life). There are so many reasons why it is a great place to live, though not the most interesting of places to visit. Firstly there are the cities around it, namely Leeds (fastly becomming the clubbing centre of the north) Sheffield and Manchester all within a short train journey. Secondly 'A small town' is not a title it should wear as it is the largest town in Europe (or possibly just the UK) this means it dosen't have the lack of character a city has but is big enough for things to be interesting. Also another if not THE reason to live in huddersfield is the fact the town has more take aways per person than any other place in England. Taking a walk up my own road gives me the choice of four Chineses, two Indians, fish + chip shop and a KFC. Obviously a rival to Bradford, Curry capital of the world. Huddersfield can and is slatted for it's poor club scene which is frankly lacking, but if you like pubs, come to Huddersfield. There is no point while wandering around the town centre that you cannot see a pub. Of course if the fact most of the inhabitants spend most of their lives drinking pints and eating curries dosen't appeal perhaps the wide variety of culture and history of the place? Huddersfield is 3rd in the country for minority cultures, to London and Bradford. I've lived in Huddersfield my entire life and racismn was something that happened on TV not in my school. If not perhaps the character? The Examiner man or 'Namer! man as he's known on the corner shouting out just the title of the paper he sells day in day out. Greenhead park which can be a beautiful place during the summer relaxing with a group of friends. With it's large monolithic war memorial at it's centre. Or Castle Hill, which houses more a little tower than a castle to the
disapointment of our american exchange students. Of course theres 'Last of the summer wine' Holmfirth but the less said about the place the better. Huddersfield was obviously seen a little while ago as a place that was going places, first the beautiful structure of the macalpine stadium (I'm saying nothing about the team). Also UCI's largest cinema complex in England, which unfortunatly makes the smallest amount of money out of all the UCIs. Huddersfield isn't THE best place to live but it does stand out in my opinion even if it rains a little too much.
Huddersfield - the name says it all really! visions of a dark satanic mill town in the middle of no where spring to mind! For years this was my impression of my adopted home town. My only experience of Huddersfield was on the train journey home to Hull from Manchester. One minute you are way up on the bleak moor land then suddenly you are in Huddersfield railway station. The view from the railway station comfirms your thoughts of the town, with the only view being of large Victorian buildings in various states of repair. The view does not get any better as the train heads out of town towards Leeds passing the Zeneca chemical works and other industrial sites. Then countryside again till you see the relatively familar landmarks of Leeds and breath a sigh of relief at having escaped! Now you could be forgiven for thinking that I do not like living here in Huddersfield - you'd actually be further from the truth its a great little town! After several years of sitting on a train and feeling incredibly sorry for the mates I had, who actually lived here I got off the train and feel in love with the place and the chap who was to become known as Himdownstairs! Now your probably thinking ok where is the place, before you start loking it up on a map I'll tell you! Huddersfield is about 20 miles from Leeds, 25 miles from Manchester and about 30 miles from Sheffield. With easy acess via train or road to all of these places. If you fancy a night out in either Manchester or Leeds then the Manchester Airport trian runs throw out the night and will get you home safely. Shopping in Huddersfield Town centre is reasonable much like any small town with the usual high st shops ie Next, Dot perkins, Principles, M&S and BHs to name a few. This is going to change when they finally open the new Kingsgate shopping centre on the edge of town then the wonders of a proper department store and A TK Maxx will be with us. For a better retail ther
apy experience jump on the train to either Leeds or Manchester, or get on the M62 and head for the delights of the Trafford centre which takes about 45 minutes to get to. Word of warning if you do go to the Trafford center make sure that Man U are not playing a home or the journey time can be extended some what due to all the Essex boys coming up to see their home team! Out side of the town centre there are the usual run of the mill retail parks with DIY superstores, PC world and the electrical warehouses all fighting to part you with your hard earnt cash! The markets in Huddersfield include the covered market just off the Piazza and the out door market which is open several times a week. Great second hand market on a Saturday Out and about in Huddersfield at night is a relatively safe experience, unlike some bigger towns the town centre does not develope a siege mentality on a Friday and saturday night! The pubs in the town centre cater for a wide age group, so if you are not an under 21 you can still find some where to drink. Eating out in Huddersfield is a little bit limited. The town centre has two curry houses that should only be entered if you've consummed vast quantities of alchohol and want food poisioning! But should you want to actually eat then you could try the Italian in Imperial arcade - very busy on a Friday and Saturday night! The Nawaab housed in a converted bank is a truely wonderful culinary experience with a wide variety of indian dishes catering well for vegetarians, again very busy on a friday and saturday night. Other resturants include a French bistro which has not quite got the ambience or food right or a Greek resturant. Huddersfield offers several Pubs and clubs which hold late licensces notably the Head of Steam next door to the station. Night clubs include Johnny's, Ethos and Visage. Eden which is housed in the University of Huddersfield student Union is a good night out if you can ga
in entry. Read Assethounds op on it for more information. Every town has it landmark, when I lived in Hull I used to sigh with relief in the early hours of the morning when we finally spotted the Humber bridge lit up in the distance. Hudersfield's landmark must be the Victorian folly a tower built on Castle Hill. Next door to the tower is a pub so it's well worth a trip up there!!! Greenhead park just outside the town centre is a large park with a spectacular war memorial - reminicent of a greek temple. The park itself is home to many events during the summer months including the Afro cariaben carnival, Asian mela, Jazz concerts and and in recent years an anti racist festival organised by the Students union. The park does get busy when the sun comes out (- Yes it doesnt always rain here!!!) but it is big enough to find a nice corner to soak up a few ultra violet rays in relative peace. Huddersfield also offers a range of cultral experience most of which are held in the refurbished Lawrence Batley theatre with regular plays, ballet etc being held in the main theatre.The cellar bar host's comedy club and film society. The old flea pit was closed down about 3 years ago and turned into a theme pub! But in the McAlpine stadium - home to Huddersfield Town footy club the is a multiplex cinema. If your film isnt showing there you can make the 15 minute journey down the A62 to Birstall which is home of Ikea Leeds and yet another multiplex. The countryside around Huddersfield is ideal for gentle works along the Leeds to Liverpool canal being a favourite of mine. Last of the Summerwine country can easily be found by making the 15 minute car journey into Holmfirth. Word of warning - gets very busy in the summer and Sid's cafe does a lousy cuppa!! To be honest Holmfirth is very much like any other small yorkshire village and so isn't very special!! But one thing in its favour is that it is home to a monthly farmers market
so if you fancy a wonder round of a sunday morning go when the market is on! With any small town there is a limit to what can be offered but given that Huddersfield is located so close to a variety of cities then its actually an ideal place to live!! Now your probably wondering why I called this opinion Wi'bits? This is a strange Huddersfield expression which took me a while to cotton onto - I just thought they were a wee strange up here when I first moved up! Picture the scene you're queueing in your local chippie and most people politely ask for fish n chips wi'bits love! this quaint expression basically means they want the batter scraps on their chips! Strange but true!!! Huddersfield web sites include: www.huddersfield.net www.kirkleesmbc.gov.uk
Huddersfield is the place to be with lots of pubs, clubs and bars. They are superb and I would recommend it to any one. Well, actually It's not that good. The shops are pretty average, although they have one of those new and groovy Virgin V shops. Burgerking has been recently refurbished and is a welcome home and meal for many a drunkerd on a late night, with new opening times and fabulous leather seats. The bars are quite good with a good atmosphere later on a Saturday night. The places to be are 'Visage,' 'bar non,' and a few others. Places that have never let me down in serving a poor pint are 'The head of steam' which is on huddersfield station, and O'Neils, which is quite near the university. Avoid the club 'Jonnys' as you will quite definately get lost if you are sober, let alone drunk. Overall, Huddersfield is O.K, but you're better off going to Leeds if you live in the area.