Top things to do near Leeds Bradford Airport
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage village
Sir Titus Salt, who opened Salt's Mill in 1853 and created a thriving textiles production hub in the Shipley area of Bradford, founded the Victorian model village of Saltaire. He built houses for his millworkers, along with a school, a hospital, a library and a concert hall, many of which are still standing and well-preserved to this day thanks to the village's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saltaire is a great place to spend an hour or two just exploring the Victorian architecture, while the mill now contains art galleries, a bookshop, a diner, an espresso bar and more. You can reach Saltaire in just under half an hour travelling by car or you can get the bus into Leeds and catch a train there.
Explore a medieval castle
Just 40 minutes' drive away from Leeds Bradford Airport is the market town of Skipton, which is known as 'The Gateway to the Dales'. As well as being an ideal starting point for walks in the rolling hills of Wharfedale, Skipton is home to one of England's best-preserved medieval castles. Skipton Castle dates back over 900 years and is in remarkably good condition. It is fully roofed and features an early Tudor courtyard, a medieval kitchen, a watchtower and a banqueting hall. The castle is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm on Sundays and is only closed between the 23rd and the 25th of December.
Shop in a historic covered market
You can hop on the 757 bus at Leeds Bradford Airport and head into Leeds city centre for a shopping experience that has been enjoyed in northern England for well over a century. Leeds Kirkgate Market is one of Europe's largest indoor markets and “Loiners” (as people from Leeds are known) have been flocking to it every day since 1857 to buy groceries, clothing, hardware, fabrics, jewellery and much more. The atmosphere inside is always buzzing and you'll hear plenty of Yorkshire accents as the traders bellow their latest offers to entice you to their stalls.
The journey to Kirkgate Market from LBA takes around 45 minutes by bus or 35 minutes by car and the market is open from 8am to 5:30pm, Monday to Saturday.
Walk on the moors, baht 'at
On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at' might sound like gibberish, but it is a well-known Yorkshire phrase and the title of a folk song about taking a walk on Ilkley Moor without a hat, which just so happens to be something you can easily do if you've got a couple of hours to spare when you're waiting for a flight at Leeds Bradford Airport. Just nine miles (14.4 kilometres) away from the airport is the rolling moorland that sits above the towns of Ilkley and Keighley, where you can enjoy panoramic views and walk among the numerous large rock formations, such as the poetically named 'Cow and Calf'. If it's a bit blowy on't moors, as they say in Yorkshire when the wind is up, you can always huddle around the open fires and enjoy some local food and drink at The Cow and Calf pub.
Have a chippy tea
Yorkshire folk, like people from pretty much anywhere in the UK, are partial to a portion of fish and chips every now and again. Luckily, Leeds Bradford Airport is located within walking distance of an excellent 'chippy' (as fish and chip shops are known in the north). In fact, Murgatroyd's claims to serve Britain's finest fish and chips and you can decide for yourself by walking a mile (1.6 kilometres) down the road from the airport to the restaurant, where you can order your food to takeaway or take a seat and enjoy some deep-fried delicacies.
Explore Brontë country
The lives of the Brontë sisters, who wrote classic works of literature from a cold, cramped 19th-century vicarage in Haworth, continue to fascinate readers and historians all over the world. The Brontë society dates back to 1893, making it one of the oldest literary societies in the world – you can visit their collections at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth, just 18 miles (29 kilometres) from LBA, which equates to a 48-minute drive. Whether you're a fan of books like Wuthering Heights or not, the museum offers a fascinating insight into what life in Yorkshire was like for one of its most famous families.
The museum is open all-year-round from 10am to 5pm in winter and 10am to 5:30pm from April to October.
Take a stadium tour
Leeds and Bradford are both proud sporting cities and, whether you're a fan of football, rugby or cricket, you will find a venue of interest within a short drive of Leeds Bradford Airport.
Valley Parade, home to Bradford City Football Club, has a long, turbulent history, while across the city at Odsal Stadium, the Bradford Bulls rugby league team has created something of a fortress. In Leeds, you can visit one of the true homes of cricket at Headingley, which also plays host to Leeds Rhinos rugby league team, and to the south west of the city you'll find Elland Road, where Leeds United Football Club plays its home games.
Elland Road offers regular stadium tours and is only 9.6 miles (15.5 kilometres) from the airport.
Take a walk in the woods
“Chevin” is the old English word for hillside and Otley Chevin is situated on the south slope of the Lower Wharfe Valley at the end of Leeds Bradford Airport's main runway. A local nature reserve since 1989, the Chevin rises to 919 feet (280 metres) above sea level and it is well worth the steep climb for the spectacular views across the Vale of York to the North Yorkshire Moors. Within the dense woodland, you have a good chance of seeing unusual wildlife, such as the green hairstreak butterfly and the woodcock. At the top of Jonny Lane you will find the Whitehouse Café, serving hot and cold drinks and snacks. The café has disabled facilities, too.