Bradford Literature Festival (BLF) is set to reimagine the Brontës, celebrate David Hockney and focus on some of the district’s greatest architectural treasures in 2022.

As a city with history and heritage woven into its fabric, the festival will take people on a journey through time with more than 500 events for adults and children.

Taking place between June 24 and July 3, the festival will feature an impressive line-up of authors, artists, curators and historians.

People can dive into anything from fairytales and film to poetry and politics.

In the first preview for BLF 2022, we take a look at some of the heritage-themed highlights for 2022.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: All photos via Bradford Literature Festival for the 2022 programme of events.All photos via Bradford Literature Festival for the 2022 programme of events.

Tickets for the full programme for Bradford Literature Festival 2022 are on sale now via

Printed brochures are available in Waterstones Bradford and other outlets around the city.

Bradford Literature Festival 2022 highlights

The Brontë siblings

Brontës for Beginners with Kate Fox, French Ballroom, The Midland Hotel: Saturday, July 2, 10am – 10.30am.

Poet, northerner and Brontë superfan Kate Fox, kicks off the annual Brontë Day with this beginner’s session that will clue you in on everything you need to know about Bradford’s iconic literary family.

Inspired by the Brontës (chaired by Sally Bayley, a panel of guest speakers including Tasha Suri, Isabel Greenberg and Shereen Malherbe), French Ballroom, The Midland Hotel: Saturday, July 2, 10.45am – 12pm.

The Brontë siblings, their stories and diverse global appeal will be explored by a panel of authors, chaired by Sally Bayley. The line-up includes award-winning fantasy writer Tasha Suri from What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix; Shereen Malherbe, author of The Land Beneath the Light and Isabel Greenberg who wrote the acclaimed graphic novel Glass Town.

Giles Deacon and Peter Reed: A Dinner at Wildfell Hall, French Ballroom, The Midland Hotel: Saturday, July 2, 12.15pm – 1.15pm.

Giles Deacon and Sean Clayton, CEO of luxury linen brand Peter Reed discuss their mutual love for Northern England, its rich textile heritage and how the Brontës inspired their new textile collaboration.

Bringing Charlotte Brontë’s Little Book Home to Haworth, French Ballroom, The Midland Hotel: Saturday, July 2, 2pm – 3pm.

In 2019, the Brontë Parsonage Museum bought a tiny, hand-written book by Charlotte Brontë at auction in Paris. Ann Dinsdale and Rebecca Yorke from the museum discuss the significance of the book and other Brontë treasures.

No Net Ensnares Me: Charlotte Brontë Abroad, French Ballroom, The Midland Hotel: Saturday, July 2, 3.15pm – 4.15pm.

Pauline Clooney, author of Charlotte and Arthur, Monica Kendall, author of Lies and the Brontës: The Quest for the Jenkins Family, and Michael O’Dowd, author of Charlotte Brontë: An Irish Odyssey lead a wide-ranging discussion, examining Charlotte’s attitudes to and experiences of travel abroad.

That Wretched Woman: The Lydia Robinson Story, French Ballroom, The Midland Hotel: Saturday, July 2, 4.30pm – 5.30pm.

Lydia Robinson is believed to be the older married lover – and employer – of Branwell Brontë. She was blamed for the addictions and early demise of the sisters’ only brother. Dr Emma Butcher, lecturer in 19th-century literature at King’s College London, and Bella Ellis, author of The Brontë Mysteries, explore the rumours, legacy and truth surrounding this controversial relationship.

Brontë Heritage Tour, starts at the National Science and Media Museum: Sunday, July 3, 9am – 5pm.

Led by Brontë enthusiast Christa Ackroyd and back by popular demand, the tour includes journey by vintage coach to the Brontës’ childhood home in Thornton village and lunch at Branwell Brontë’s favourite local spot, the Lord Nelson pub.

David Hockney’s Bradford heritage

Hockney Gallery Tour, The Gallery, Salts Mill: Sunday, June 26, 9.45am – 10.30am. 

Part of BLF’s Hockney Day, this is a tour of one of the largest collections of Hockney’s art in the world.

Hockney for Beginners - a 30-minute, crash course with Helen Little, Salts Mill: Sunday, June 26, 10.45am – 11.15am.

Tate curator, author and all round Hockney expert Helen Little will offer a beginners’ guide to the pioneering artist.

iPad Painting Like Hockney (16+, iPads will be supplied), Salts Mill: Sunday, June 26, 11.30am – 1pm.

Artist and educator Roz Hall will explain how he has embraced technology to help create his recent masterpieces using an iPad.

David Hockney Gallery Tour, Cartwright Hall: Sunday, June 26, 2pm – 3pm.

Bradford’s civic art gallery, Cartwright Hall, showcases an unrivalled public collection of Hockney’s work. This gallery tour guide offers a special insight into his world.

Heritage and walking tours

Saltaire Model Village Walking Tour with Maria Glott, outside entrance of Victoria Hall: Sunday, June 26, 2pm – 3.30pm.

This guided tour ties in with Hockney Day. Led by Maria Glott it will show what life would have been like living and working in Saltaire when Salts Mill was in its heyday. 

Undercliffe Cemetery Tour with Gaynor Halliday and Steve Lightfoot: Monday, June 27, 6.30pm –, and Thursday, June 30, 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

Tour guides Gaynor Halliday and Steve Lightfoot bring together tales of the authors, poets and painters who reside within the grounds of this historic cemetery.

Bradford in Blue Plaques: Walking Tour with Bradford Civic Society Chair Simon Cunningham, Meet at Western Entrance to City Hall: Wednesday, June 29, 6pm – 7.30pm. (The Registry Office)

Bradford is home to 40 blue plaques, each celebrating a notable person, building or spot within the city – and author and Bradford Civic Society Chair Simon Cunningham will shed light on some of its most famous signs.

Walking Tour: 150 years of Bradford’s buildings with George Sheeran, architectural historian at the University of Bradford, City Hall: Friday, July 1, 6pm – 7.30pm.

George Sheeran, architectural historian at the University of Bradford, leads a walking tour of Bradford’s urban landscape, taking in everything from Victorian mills to Sixties Brutalism.

Little Germany Heritage Tour, starts Merchants House, Little Germany: Sunday, July 3, 10am – 11.30am.

Local historian Nigel Grizzard leads this walking tour exploring the architectural history and industrial heritage of this vibrant cultural quarter that was once home to Jewish German merchants who settled in Bradford during the mid-19th century.

In the Footsteps of the Brontës, Brontë Bell Chapel, Thornton: Sunday, July 3, 10am – 3.15pm.

This eight-mile, five-hour walking tour, led by Brontë Stones Project creator Michael Stewart, follows in the Brontës’ footsteps taking you from Thornton to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth.