The market town of Keighley is a little spot just outside of Bradford in West Yorkshire. Keighley is most known as a former industrial hub, and its old stone buildings – mostly terraces and converted factories – have a gritty appeal, with some darkened from the days of the Industrial Revolution. The town holds tons of working-class history and is particularly plentiful when transporting museums and related attractions. If you are looking for things to do in Keighley, you are on to a winner.
The town has lots to do and see – including lots of free things to do in Keighley. A short break here offers a unique insight into Yorkshire’s industrial history. It provides some fun things to do and beautiful natural scenery. And this guide will inspire you with the top 20 best things to do in Keighley.
1. The Picture House Cinema
Price: £7 per adult ticket
Address: 132 North Street, Keighley, BD21 3AF
The Picture House Cinema is one of the most aesthetic cinemas you can visit near Keighley. The Picture House Cinema rocks unapologetically red vintage seats and a cinema screen framed by thick curtains in a world of black leather cinema seats and sleek screens. The cinema was built in 1913, and while it is admittedly a little worn and rickety, visiting is one of the most fun things to do in Keighley. You can grab a box of popcorn and check out movies; it is perfect on a lazy day or as a rainy day activity in Keighley.
As of 2023-2024, tickets are £7 for adults, £6 for children, and £6 for seniors (65+).
2. Holden Park
Address: Colne Road, Oakworth, BD22 7PB
Holden Park is one of the top free things to do in Keighley, and if you fancy an hour strolling through greenspace, this activity is up your street. Located in Oakworth, a pretty village just outside Keighley, Holden Park is super easy to reach – taking just a 10-minute drive or 15-minute bus ride. The park has a war memorial and plenty of statues. If you prefer more active attractions, there’s a cute little cave system, bowling green, basketball court, and a playground for families to enjoy. Holden Park is a mixture of open fields and woodland, and it is a really peaceful spot to enjoy Keighley’s nearby greenspace.
3. Catch the Train to Bradford
Price: £6 for the train + spending
Did you know Bradford is the UK’s City of Culture for 2025? As another underdog when it comes to the tourism scene, there are so many things to do in Bradford. Visiting Bradford is one of the most fun things to do near Keighley. You can check out the museums – including the massive National Science and Media Museum – or catch a show at the Alhambra. There’s tons to see and do, and Bradford is great for itching that big-city craving.
The train costs as little as £6 for a return ticket, and then you have your spending to factor in. If you visit Bradford, check out La Caverna Pizzeria. The restaurant is a hot local secret for delicious pizzas and authentic Italian cuisine.
4. Lund’s Tower
Address: Dick Lane, Cowling, Keighley, BD20 7BD
Lund’s Tower is a stunning 1887-built stone tower in Cowling overlooking the Worth Valley. It is one of the prettiest places to visit near Keighley, and you can climb a spiral staircase to the top to reach a viewing platform. Visiting Lund’s Tower costs nothing – it is one of the best free things to do in Keighley. By car, it is just a 10-minute drive, while by bus, you’ll be in for around an hour of travel time and a long walk. Lund’s Tower is definitely one of the most unique places to visit in the Keighley area. And if you coincide your visit with a pretty sunset or sunrise, even better. Driving to Lund’s Tower with a hot flask and snacks is ideal if you are wondering where to watch the sunset in Keighley.
5. Day Trip to Skipton
Price: £5 for the train + spending
It is impossible not to love Skipton. The little market town is the opposite of Keighley’s gritty aesthetic, offering cobbled streets and cutesy independent coffee shops instead. You can reach Skipton by train in just 20 minutes from Keighley or drive in 20 minutes. We’d suggest the train, as parking can get a bit crazy in Skipton and its cramped streets. You won’t be worrying about rushing back for paid tickets, either.
In Skipton, you can enjoy the market, the beautiful canal, and the independent café scene. We’ve got loads of existing information on Skipton, including our guides on taking a Skipton Canal boat trip and the best Skipton walks.
6. Wycoller Country Park
Address: Colne, BB8 8SU
Wycoller Country Park is a 350-acre park near the protected village of Wycoller. The 350 acres are centred around a 1550-built hall, and the park is like a living museum of local history and rural living. You can check out Wycoller Village and Wycoller Hall and enjoy numerous scenic walks around the reserve. The human history at Wycoller adds a real twist to the standard country park experience.
If you fancy getting a bit off the beaten track from ‘mainstream’ Keighley, it is one of the best things to do nearby. Wycoller Country Park also costs nothing to visit – making it one of the best free things to do in Keighley. The park ruins are super romantic, and you can easily spend a whole day wandering the ground.
7. Day Trip to Hebden Bridge
Hebden Bridge is one of the prettiest towns you can day trip to from Keighley. It isn’t as well known as towns like Haworth, and even Skipton – aka the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales – think of it as much of a local tip. The town has a similar industrial aesthetic to Keighley, but its distinguishing factor is its hippie meets BoHo culture. You can hop between artisan shops and window shop for beautiful jewellery. There are frequent festivals, pop-up markets, and creative events. And Hebden Bridge is known as a really LGBTQ+ friendly destination.
When it comes to things to do, window shopping is a popular Hebden Bridge activity. There are some really pretty walks around Hebden Bridge.
8. Visit HAPPA
Address: Black House Lane, Briercliffe, Burnley, BB10 3QU
Visiting HAPPA is one of the most wholesome things to do near Keighley. It is a 40-minute drive from Keighley town centre, and you’ll need a car rather than public transport. Still, HAPPA is definitely worth the extra effort. The equine rescue and rehabilitation centre saves horses and ponies from abuse and gives them a second chance at life. The vast majority of horses and ponies are rehomed with lifelong homes and those that aren’t stay to happily live out their days at the HAPPA centre.
For just £6, you can visit the centre and meet all the cute residents. Just book online and then head over. You get to see all the horses in their fields, and there’s also a café onsite. HAPPA is a fantastic charity to support. And for animal lovers, this is such a lovely day out.
9. Day Trip to Goit Stock Waterfall
Address: Harden Lane, Wilsden, Cullingworth, Bingley, BD16 1BG
Goit Stock Waterfall is the closest Keighley waterfall, which certainly does not disappoint. The waterfall spills over a rockface in multiple sections, landing in a deep plunge pool. It has that fairytale aesthetic – not just a flashy single-drop waterfall, which the woodland setting emphasizes even further. It is free to access and a brilliant way to spend a few hours. Who doesn’t love chasing waterfalls?
Reaching Goit Stock Waterfall is just a 15-minute walk from Harden Lane or 30 minutes from the Malt Pub. From Keighley, reaching the Malt Pub takes 12 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus (you’ll have to switch between the Shuttle 662 and the K4).
10. Keighley Tarn
Address: Redcar Tarn, Keighley, BD20 6QX
Keighley Tarn, aka Redcar Tarn, is a beautiful little pond outside Keighley town centre. A little tarmacked trail loops around the tarn perimeter, with wildlife like geese and ducks to meet on the way. It is popular amongst families who bring children to feed the ducks and geese. It is also beautiful at sunset and sunrise and is open 24 hours a day, which is a huge plus.
During the day, in busy times, Keighley Tarn is a safe place to visit. We’d offer a warning for solo tourists outside peak times, as Keighley Tarn can attract some choice characters at quieter hours. Be wary of that and aim to visit in the busy times, when you’ll be surrounded by young families and dog walkers instead.
Keighley Tarn is easy to get to, taking less than 5 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus. It is one of the prettiest and most convenient places to visit near Keighley if you want some time in nature.
11. Day Trip to Bingley Five Rise Locks
Price: £4 for the train + spending
Bingley Five Rise Locks is one of the most famous sections of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. The Leeds to Liverpool Canal is the longest canal in the UK, and the Five Rise Locks are the steepest staircase locks on the entire canal. Five locks in total allow the canal boats to get up through this steep section, blocking the water off before filling each section to act as a natural lift. It is such an ordeal that there are lockkeepers to help the boats through. If you bring a little picnic, you can sit and watch the fascinating process. Back in the days of the Industrial Revolution, this canal was one of the most essential ways of transporting materials. So, it is insightful to see the culture in practice.
Reaching the Bingley Five Rise Locks is easy. You just catch the train to Bingley, which costs as little as £4 for a return ticket. You can grab a drink at the Five Rise Locks Café afterwards or continue on to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire and Salts Mill – just one stop further on the train.
12. Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
Price: Adult tickets cost £21 on the day or £18.90 for advance online tickets
Address: Keighley Train Station
Riding the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is one of the most exciting things to do Keighley offers, whisking you through the countryside on a hop-on, hop-off tour of the most aesthetic industrial towns and villages by steam train. The 5-mile railway leaves Keighley and takes you past Ingrow Station (which has a museum), the smallest station in the UK at Damems Station, Oakworth Station, Haworth Station, and Oxenhope Station. It is a full day out, and you can jump off at each stop to see the different attractions at each station. The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is also ideal for anyone already wanting to visit Haworth.
As a side note, Oxenhope Station is where the famous Railway Children scene was filmed with Bobby reuniting with her father. If you have yet to watch it, definitely watch it before you go.
13. Day Trip to Haworth
Price: £21 for adults via the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway or free by car
Haworth is ridiculously famous. Why? The home of the Bronte sisters, the famous authors, helped shift the female writer’s realm in the British novel scene. There was great mystery surrounding these sisters, and their writings started the ‘Bronte myth’, where people continue to wonder about these impoverished figures living in a dark, miserable moorland town.
We’ll let you make up your own mind on whether the Bronte myth is accurate. But when you visit Haworth, you can visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum, hop between the best pubs in Haworth – any of which are rumoured to be haunted, and shop at quirky independent shops. Haworth is a super walkable little town and a brilliant day trip from Keighley.
You can check out our complete guide to visiting Haworth. But as another recommendation, you should remember to visit AJB Design. This little jewellers is run by a lovely gentleman who makes all of his jewellery by hand and sells them at a modest rate. What better a souvenir?
14. Keighley Leisure Centre
Price: £5-7 per adult depending on class or activity chosen
Address: Hard Ings Road, Victoria Park View, Keighley, BD21 3JN
Keighley Leisure Centre is just light-hearted entertainment. Keighley Leisure Centre is a fantastic choice if you want some of the most fun things to do in Keighley. The centre is ideal for families with older children, with a huge curved slide that snakes around the building outside in an exhilarating ride before dumping you into a plunge pool. It is also dreamy for adults wanting a self-care day, and there’s a fitness centre, sauna and steam room complex, and a sports area. Keighley Leisure Centre is the biggest sports facility in its area and is hugely popular amongst local residents.
You don’t need to book swimming sessions in advance, but all classes and other activities can be booked online. The Leisure Centre is super easy to reach, and you can just walk from Keighley town centre. On a rainy day, or even just for a self-care or fun day, you really can’t beat Keighley Leisure Centre.
15. Day Trip to Leeds
Price: £7 per adult return
Leeds is a fantastic day trip from Keighley. Most people have heard of Leeds, and England’s major northern city is a real hub of culture. It is massively popular amongst university students and has a friendly, artistic atmosphere. We’ve already created guides on the best museums in Leeds and the best things to do in Leeds at night. The city is great fun, and you can reach it by train from Keighley for as little as £7 return for adults.
You can take a 2-hour walking tour to really immerse yourself in Leeds history – probably the most sociable and time-efficient way of getting a whistle-stop tour of this major city. Leeds also has a real brunch culture as well as some brilliant pub grub, so explore yourself or take a food tour. It is worth seeing if there’s a football match on too, or even a cricket game at Headingley if that floats your boat.
16. Park Hop
Park hopping is one of the most overlooked activities for free things to do in Keighley. Keighley might be an industrial-style town, but it has an impressive number of urban greenspaces. On a sunny day, just hopping between the parks in Keighley is one of the most relaxing things to do. Just grab a takeout coffee and pick a few of the following parks to explore.
– Cliffe Castle Park
– Church Green
– Park Wood
– Lund Park
All of these parks are accessible on foot, or you can use public transport really easily. The Keighley bus system lets you travel for just a quid a ticket.
17. Keighley Bus Museum
Address: 5, River Technology Park, Riverside, Keighley, BD21 4JP
This niche little Keighley museum showcases over 100 single and double-decker buses. It is easily one of the country’s top bus museums, and if you fancy something different, it is one of the best things to do in Keighley. The Keighley Bus Museum is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. It has a quiet feel and is entirely run by volunteers; it is best to ring ahead in case the museum is randomly shut for the day. You’ll likely snag a private guided tour.
Keighley Bus Museum is an exceptional attraction. As of 2023, the museum operates on a donation-only premise, making it one of the top free things to do in Keighley. However, we suggest donating as the museum relies entirely on these.
18. East Riddleden Hall
Price: £6.10 per adult including gift aid
Address: Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley, BD20, 5EL
East Riddlesden Hall is a real sightseeing attraction, and the restored manor house is beautifully furnished with period features and a formal garden. East Riddlesden belongs to the National Trust and is protected for its historical significance. For a step-back-in-time style of experience, East Riddlesden Hall is a really atmospheric choice. You can check out agricultural history in the Great Barn, ask the volunteers questions about the manor house’s history (it dates back over 400 years), and wander the Grass Maze.
East Riddlesden Hall is easily a full day out if you have young children or half a day if you are visiting as adults. It is an easy 10-minute ride on the K4 bus or a 35-minute walk to get there.
19. Catch a Game at Cougar Park
Price: £15 per adult
Address: Royd Ings Avenue, Keighley, BD21 3RF
Catching a game at Cougar Park is one of the top sporty things to do in Keighley. There are games most weekends, and everyone is welcome. Just book tickets online. Cougar Park is known for its friendly atmosphere, and while you can expect plenty of rugby passion, it is great fun to head down and mingle and watch the games. There’s a bar onsite, plus an indoor seating area on cold days.
Watch for the touching memorial of Captain Sir Tom Moore – the famous elderly gentleman who raised money by walking during COVID-19. He is a definite local legend.
20. Cliffe Castle
Address: 32 Ashleigh Street, Keighley, BD21 3BJ
Visiting Cliffe Castle is one of the most popular things to do in Keighley. The former millionaire’s home dates back to the Victorian era and is an absolute treasure cove of artefacts and natural history collections. For a free attraction, you really can’t beat it. It is one of the most well-visited museums in Keighley, and the beautiful gardens are even more popular again – especially thanks to the park and miniature petting zoo.
You can easily walk to Cliffe Castle from Keighley town centre. Whether you visit Cliffe Castle as an indoor attraction on a rainy day in Keighley or enjoy the gardens on a sunny day, it will provide you with half a day of fun.
Visiting Keighley: FAQs
What caught your eye the most? Perhaps the Keighley museum scene? Or the beautiful natural scenery with all of the Keighley parks and nearby hiking opportunities? There are tons of fun things to do in Keighley. However, before you enjoy these Keighley attractions, check out these common FAQs about visiting Keighley.
Where is Keighley, UK?
Keighley is located in West Yorkshire and is situated just outside of Bradford.
Is Keighley in Bradford?
Keighley has a BD postcode. This means that while the town has its own status, it is located within the Bradford Borough and Metropolitan District.
How to pronounce Keighley?
Keighley is easy to pronounce, even though it’s spelt slightly confusing. You pronounce Keighley as Keith-lee.
What’s on in Keighley
There’s always something going on in Keighley. Cliffe Castle holds regular events, and Keighley Cinema always has new screenings. Keighley also holds regular events and festivals, like the Keighley Arts and Film Festival each October.
What’s the best thing to do in Keighley?
The best thing to do in Keighley is to visit Cliffe Castle. The castle is home to one of the best museums in Keighley, and it also has a huge garden space where you can enjoy leisurely walks through greenspace.
What are the best free things to do in Keighley?
Visiting the parks and greenspaces are the best free things to do in Keighley. Holden Park and Keighley Tarn are two of the most popular. Cliffe Castle also operates a complimentary entry with an optional donations scheme.
What are the most fun things to do in Keighley?
Keighley Leisure Centre is popular because of its huge slide, while Keighley Cinema is a fun indoor activity in Keighley.
Is Keighley a nice place to live?
Keighley gets a bad reputation as being an area of high crime. However, Keighley is not a bad place to live. It has reasonably priced houses, a compact town centre, and many things to do. Plus, you have regular train connections to Bradford and Leeds for those looking to commute to work in the city.
Where to stay in Keighley?
If you are on a budget, stay at The King’s Head Hotel, where rooms are as cheap as £45 a night. If you are on a mid-range budget, snag double ensuite rooms at the Dalesgate Hotel for around £85 per night – pet-friendly for an extra £25 per pet. And if you want a luxury experience, stay at Ashmount Country House in nearby Haworth.
As well as these more traditional hotel options, you can choose Ponden Mill for a camping or glamping experience.
To Conclude: The Best Things to Do in Keighley
Feeling inspired by these top 20 best things to do in Keighley? Keighley often gets a bad rep as a dangerous place. Still, the town offers lots of fun things to do and is a brilliant place to visit. You’ll have a wonderful time if you choose attractions in the town centre or the best things to do near Keighley.
For more ideas on day trips that you can take from Keighley, take a look at our guide on the best things to do in Ilkley and our Yorkshire Dales National Park archives. Both Ilkley and the Yorkshire Dales National Park are easily accessible from Keighley – so make the most of your ability to explore the surrounding areas.