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Celebrating Yorkshire Day 2020
AFTER nearly four months of lockdown it felt so good last weekend to finally see Grand Central trains back out there serving communities along our routes.
Like most of you, we had big plans for 2020, not least celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of our West Riding route. And while COVID may have scuppered our plans for a West Riding birthday party, we are determined to showcase once of the most diverse, historic and scenically stunning regions of the UK.
In the ten years since we began running our service between London and Bradford, the region has seen the opening of a number of visitor attractions, adding to an already impressive list of museums, galleries and theatres.
There’s no doubt that COVID has taken its toll, but many are now doing their best to regain visitor confidence with an array of measures enabling you to relax and enjoy your visit. And so for Yorkshire Day, we want to highlight some of the great places to visit along our West Riding route, as they reopen their doors to visitors.
Eureka - The National Children’s Museum | Halifax
Eureka has done a fantastic job of keeping kids occupied throughout lockdown with a weekly range of educational online activities. It’s great then to know that the museum will reopen its doors next Saturday to welcome visitors. The team there have put in a huge effort to implement a range of anti-COVID measures, but they promise it won’t take away any of the fun. Almost all of the museum’s exhibits will be available and the café is open too. Learn about the human body, the world around you and the very latest technology in fun surrounding designed especially for children. Booking is essential as Eureka will be operating time slots to enable social distancing.
The Piece Hall | Halifax
Since re-opening three years ago after a multi-million pound restoration, Halifax’s Piece Hall has become one of the West Riding’s most iconic visitor attractions. Built as a regional centre of commerce in 1779, the venue is now home to independent shops, bars, cafes a museum, gallery and visitor centre, all situated around the huge 66,000 square foot courtyard. Since coming out of lockdown the venue has brought in a one-way system and a visitor limit. While booking isn’t necessary it’s definitely worth planning your visit for a less busy time.
Salts Mill | Saltaire
Another very welcome return to West Yorkshire’s cultural mix comes on August 14 when Salts Mill welcomes visitors once again. This huge Grade II-listed building is easy to spend a whole day in thanks to its galleries, which includes works by David Hockney, history exhibition and arty boutique shops. Check opening hours before you visit and be prepared to book a table if you plan to eat. And don’t forget to make time to wander around the town of Saltaire, named after industrialist and philanthropist Titus Salt, who not only built the mill but also designed the town for his workers.
The Hepworth | Wakefield
Wakefield’s Hepworth Gallery reopens today to welcome its first visitors since lockdown. The good news is that the gallery has extended the run of its acclaimed exhibition of works by Sculptor Henry Moore and the photographer Bill Brandt, until November 1. As well as its art collection, the Hepworth also has a fantastic garden designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith. Much of the Hepworth’s exhibitions are free to visit, including the gardens, however the gallery recommends visiting at less busier times such as in the morning. For now expect all the usual anti-COVID measures including face coverings and a limit on visitor numbers.
The National Science and Media Museum | Bradford
Right in the centre of Bradford, the National Science and Media Museum is one of West Yorkshire’s major visitor attractions. The museum reopens on Wednesday August 20, giving you plenty of time to book your tickets, which is essential if you plan a trip. Spread over seven floors the museum aims to inspire ‘the innovators of the future’ through a huge range of exhibits covering the technologies and culture of sight and sound. Don’t miss the new interactive Wonderlab, which features hands-on attractions and shows exploring our perception of light and sound.
If you’re heading out this summer please plan your visit. Many attractions are now reservation only and have altered opening hours.
To travel with Grand Central we definitely recommend booking your journey and making a seat reservation directly through our website, that way we can keep in you up to date with your journey.
Grand Central is a member of Visit Britain’s Good To Go scheme.
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