My City: Bradford and Bronte County by Lisa Brankin

My Bradford by Lisa Brankin

  • Haworth

    I would take a first-time visitor to my city to Haworth it is a charming village amongst inspirational moorland.

  •  My favourite restaurant is the Cut Waterside restaurant at Shipley because of the quiet relaxed surroundings of a canal side location and it delicious modern British cuisine.
  • My favourite event in my city is Saltaire Festival because it is a fun, vibrant art & music event.
  • My favourite pub is Shipley Pride because they have a great video jukebox; it’s a traditional pub; think real ale and dogs allowed.
  • I would have my picture taken outside City Hall (location that shouts Bradford) because of the landmark bell/tower clock.
  • My favourite view of the city is looking across the valley from Bolton Road.  You can see for miles on a clear day, the view takes in all that defines Bradford countryside, Bradford City football ground, and industrial heritage; mill chimneys standing proud in the distance.
  • You can buy great gifts at Salts Mill from one of many independent stores.
  • For the best night out, I would go Alhambra theatre, because it attracts Broadway shows and great actors.

  • The most unusual thing about my city is the House of Rose & Brown vintage shop because not only is it a great shop but they hold fashion shows and regular vintage fairs in Saltaire.
  • I would describe the people of my city as friendly and down to earth.
  •  If you have half a day in my city, I would suggest you visit the Bradford Industrial Museum.  When I think of the history of Bradford I think of wool and mills all of which can be found at the Industrial museum which celebrates Bradford’s Industrial heritage.
  • The best way to see my city is on foot, following great countryside walks or trails of the city centre.
  • I would like to stay at Midland Hotel if I came to visit because of its Victorian charm, and stunning ballroom with glittering chandeliers.

My City: Jean from Portsmouth…

Jean Barrow, Personal View of Portsmouth

Who better to get some information on their favourite places to visit in Portsmouth than Jean who works at the Portsmouth Visitor Information Centre…..

Having lived in Surrey, Northumberland, Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and Somerset , Jean has now been happily living in Portsmouth for 25 years, working at the Visitor Information Centre for the last 9 years. Her two daughters and son have moved away but still love coming “home” to the seaside, and Southsea

1.    My city could be described in one word as ….. “surprising”

2.    If my city was an animal it would be an octopus – with a very interesting central body and tentacles in the form of ferries and roads taking you to interesting places close by.

3.    I would take a first-timer of my city to The Spinnaker tower, The Historic Dockyard and The Royal Marines Museum

4.    My favourite event in my city is The Kite festival in August because the sky is filled with colour and people of all ages have such fun

5.    I would have my picture taken by Camber dock (location that shouts your city) because it always comes as a surprise that we have a busy fish dock with passing ferries and in the background my favourite structure, the Spinnaker Tower

6.    My favourite view of the city is from the top of the Spinnaker tower – ever changing

7.    If you’re on a budget the best advice for my city is walk everywhere, especially around Old Portsmouth following the Millennium Promenade and then go to one of our many free museums especially the Aspex Art Gallery or the City Museum

8.    For the best night out, I would go to one of the historic theatres – The New Theatre Royal or the Kings Theatre, because it’s great to experience live entertainment and then be able to walk home

9.    The best way to see my city is from the top of Alf the big red bus offering a guided tour through the summer months.

10. To escape the crowds, I go to the seafront and walk along the miles of promenade

My City: By Steve of Sheffield….

Steve Bissell was born on the outskirts of London at the tale end of the 60s and he’s been confused ever since…   Moved to Belgium then back to London, then Stratford, then Canterbury, back to Stratford, then back to Canterbury and finally, in 1991, up to Sheffield as his then girlfriend and now wife was doing a degree at the University of Sheffield. They like the place so never left . Steve has now lived in Sheffield longer than any other place.

We posed these ten questions to him and learned loads about him and the city from his answers…   Sheffield really has got some interesting, unusual and fabulous ‘stuff’ going on

I would take a first-time visitor to my city to the Winter Garden to look at the plants but mostly the amazing building itself and then on to the Botanical Gardens with a bag of peanuts (still in their shells) to feed the Squirrels and then a tour of the city to all the places that I know of where you can see art by Phlegm

The most unusual thing about Sheffield is that more people don’t come and visit because it’s an amazing place packed with things to do, full of friendly people and right next to some of the most spectacular countryside in England.

If you want to splurge I would visit the Devonshire Quarter; plenty of interesting shops to visit and a wide choice of places to have lunch.

If you’re on a budget the best advice for my city is museums, galleries and parks. Sheffield has a huge choice of all three and they are free.

For the best night out, I would go to one of Sheffield many live music venues ranging from the City Hall to the Leadmill, the O2 Academy Sheffield to the Greystones and all the smaller venues like The Red House or The Rude Shipyard because nothing beats live music in my book.

The best season to travel to my city is spring because it is great to see the city, and especially the parks, turn green again after the winter.

You can buy great gifts at John Lewis.

My favourite pub is The Red House because seeing Groanbox play live with support from Sheffield’s own Pete David & the Payroll Union  was a highlight of my year. Plus the staff were friendly and the beer was good. What more could you ask for?

I would describe the people of Sheffield as friendly and down to earth.

My city: Leeds by International Film manager…

Kay Brown is the Communications Manager for the Leeds International Film Festival which presents more than 250 films over 18 days in November. This year the event is celebrating its 25th anniversary and is opening with an exclusive screening of the stunning adaptation of Wuthering Heights directed by Andrea Arnold. For more information about the Film Festival visit:

My city could be described in one word as emerging. Over the last 5 to 10 years Leeds has developed dramatically in terms of both its cultural and commercial offering. There is a great appetite for events such as the Leeds International Film Festival, Leeds International Concert  Season and Leeds Digital Festival amongst others along with a great grassroots arts scene which reinforces the cultural offering of the city.

If my city was an animal it would be an owl. Owls are featured on the Leeds Coat of Arms and there are a number of owls that can be seen throughout the city; integrated into the architecture, found in interior decorations and etched in glass. In 2009 the Leeds Owl Trail was launched and has since informed and inspired visitors and residents alike about city’s rich heritage.

I would take a first-timer of my city to Leeds Town Hall and Leeds Art Gallery and The City Varieties. Leeds Town Hall is steeped in history with the cells, clock tower and courtroom accessible to visitors on the Town Hall Tours. It’s impossible to visit Leeds without having lunch or afternoon tea in the Tiled Hall Café in Leeds Art Gallery, the beautiful surroundings of the café were hidden for years until they were discovered a few year’s ago. Finally, The City Varieties theatre, has recently reopened after being beautifully restored and also has a great history worth discovering.

You can buy great gifts at Jumbo Records in the St John’s Centre. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you’re looking for, Jumbo will have something that you can buy, whether you want a CD, vinyl or a gig ticket.

If you’re on a budget the best advice for my city is to visit the free venues such as Royal Armouries, Leeds Art Gallery, Henry Moore Institute and Leeds City Museum. There’s a lot to discover in our museums and galleries and the best part is that it doesn’t cost you a thing to look around.

If you want to splurge I would visit the Victoria Quarter. The Victoria Quarter houses a plethora of designer shops including Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton plus high end high street stores such as Ted Baker and French Connection alongside the department store, Harvey Nichols.

I would describe the people of my city as enthusiastic and helpful. It doesn’t matter where you go, whether you’re shopping or visiting a local venue, people in Leeds are enthusiastic about what’s happening in the city and are happy to inform you about local events and generally help answer any queries.

The best way to see my city is by foot. Leeds is best explored by walking and the rise in walking tours and photo trails shows that there is a real appetite for discovering the city with friends.

If you came to my city and wanted to live like a local, I would suggest you read The Culture Vulture. The Culture Vulture inspires locals to be home tourists and encourages conversations about the city and what there is to do. It’s a great place to find out about events that you might not have heard about anywhere else.

The best season to travel to my city is Autumn. There’s lots of events on to keep you warm, whether you’re looking to catch a glimpse of a band turning on the Christmas lights, are looking to get festive by visiting the Christkindelmarkt or want to sit inside watching films all day in civic buildings at the Leeds International Film Festival.




My city – Rochester

Robin the Town Crier of Rochester gives his tips on visiting the city.

  1. My  city could be described in one word as  –  Historic.
  2. I would take a first time Visitor to;
    – Rochester Cathedral
    – The Six Poor Travellers
    – A trip on the Kingswear Castle  Paddle Steamer.
  3. My favourite event is The Sweeps Festival. It is the first of our festivals and after a miserable winter, and with the Morris Dancers, represents a new beginning.
  4. My favourite restaurant isThe Atrium. It is intimate and tasty!  Always try to be seated in the front downstairs area.
  5. I would have my picture taken with a background of either the Cathedral or the Castle. They are both so iconic and are in fact ~ Rochester.
  6. My favourite view of the city is from Church Green, adjacent to Frindsbury’s;  All Saints Church. However don’t miss the view from Fort Pitt.
  7. If you’re on a budget then you’ve come to the right place. The Cathedral entry is free, probably the only one in the country that is genuinely free and does not suggest a donation of some amount. The Six Poor Travellers is free and delightful. The Guildhall Museum is free and wonderful and the parking is some of the cheapest in the country. Apart from that all of our views are free and extensive!
  8. The best way to see my city is on a guided tour (seasonal) by a member of the City of Rochester Society. Free! But a donation would be gratefully received.
  9. To escape the crowds (during festivals) I go to Eagle Court. A quiet area behind the Eagle public house and in the shadow of the City Wall. To escape the heat, try the Crypt in the Cathedral.
  10. You can buy great gifts at ‘Carters’, a few yards from the Visitors Information Centre and full of interesting and delightful Bric a Brac and more!  If its tourist gifts you’re after then of course the Visitor Information Centre is the place. That said, the whole of Rochester is full of shops that are ‘different’ and not to be missed amongst them is Nucleus ~ stocked and run by local artists. Oh! And then there’s Baggins Book Shop, the largest second hand bookshop in England. I could go on…….!
Robin – Rochester’s Town Crier

Robin gave us a little autobiography about himself…

Born Bexhill I have since lived in Hastings, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks before being Evacuated (by my father) to Rochester in 1941. Rochester Technical School educated.

Apprentice Joiner, had own firm mainly supplying staircases.

Joined City of Rochester Athletic Club early 50’s Failure! Then joined Wigmore Cycling Club, Failure! Entered a 25 mile road race and was so long getting back that they’d all gone home. I was taken in by AP ‘Titch’ Freeman, Kent and England cricketer and brought back to life with bread and milk. Joined a motorcycle club and succeeded. Hoorah! Entered a 600 mile round Britain Rally and after some years came third.

Scouts. Joined 24th Medway in 1946 in an air raid shelter in Borstal. Represented Kent at 7th World Jamboree in 1951 in Austria. Joined 28th Medway Rover Crew, became a Scout Leader and eventually left in 1990. Still think it’s the best organisation in the World.

Became a car owner and every one I brought blew up. Joined the world of drinkers at an early age and succeeded at that as well. Retired from work in 2003 when I had a heart operation and as soon as I recovered got a job as Town Crier! And that is the best job in the World (only fault I could find is it wore out two kneecaps) Plus of course I’ve got the best boss in Mary Sewell!!! Sniveller!

My personal view: Stoke-on-Trent

My City – Stoke-on-Trent

Name: Joseph Perry
Age: 24
Occupation: Museum Assistant

I’m lucky enough to work in the historic environment of Stoke-on-Trent and, being based at Etruria, am blessed to work in such an exciting and interesting place. I have a great interest in local history and archaeology and very keen to sing the praises about this under-rated part of the world!

  1. My city could be described in one word as ‘Surprising’ (in a good way!)
  2. I would take a first-timer of my city to the museums in the area starting with Etruria Industrial Museum and finally to a traditional Oatcake Shop!
  3. My favourite event in my city is the Canal Festival because it brings together so much of the city’s history in one place.
  4. My favourite view of the city is looking east from Etruria towards the City Centre. The canal makes a great peaceful foreground against the hub of activity in Hanley.
  5. The most unusual thing about my city is the amount of green space because many visitors simply don’t expect to see it! The canals down at Etruria are a particularly pleasant oasis at the junction of 2 canals the Trent & Mersey and the Caldon canal.
  6. I would describe the people of my city as proud and honest.
  7. The best way to see my city is by bike. The canal towpaths are a great, safe way to explore the city on two wheels.
  8. If you came to my city and wanted to live like a local, I would suggest you read the Sentinel but also keep an eye out for Stoke Museums ‘What’s On’.
  9. The best season to travel to my city is summer. Museums hold lots of activities for all ages and are popular during the holidays.
  10. I would like to stay on a canal boat if I came to visit because you’d have the freedom roam. Moorings at Etruria are perfect as a base to explore the city.

My personal view: Portmouth

This week Gabriele gives his view on Portsmouth.  Gabriele is Italian and a teacher of Spanish and Italian, he has lived in Portsmouth for about 4 years and plays drums in a band.

My city could be described in one word as – fast paced
If my city were an animal it would be – a bird because of the versatile nesting places and plenty of food.
I would have my picture taken – Spinnaker Tower(location that shouts Portsmouth) because it is an iconic modern symbol of Portsmouth…against a backdrop of historical architecture.
My favourite view of the city is – The Garrison Church from the grassy bank of the ramparts. Grass to the left and sea swell to the right.
You can buy great gifts at – a selection of shops along Marmion Road
If on a budget my best advice is – Visit the Portsmouth Visitor Information Centre for vouchers to various attractions and places to eat. Make the most of the wide open spaces and picnic on Southsea Common.
The most unusual thing about my city is – the warmth and politeness of the residents.
I would describe the people of my city as – open minded
The best way to see my city is – on foot with a map
To escape the crowds go to – Victoria Park or the garden behind the Natural History Museum.