Here I am snug as a bug in a rug. The radiators are piping hot , I have numerous throws to wrap round myself and two fur babies to snuggle up with. Bliss !
Friday night though was spent ( mostly shivering!) In a little B&B in the Yorkshire town of Haworth. I won’t say it was our accomodations fault. I couldn’t properly get warm anywhere at all. I think Yorkshire folk must be alot hardier than us Lancashire lot. The heating was on everywhere but didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I layered myself up and was tempted to keep my coat and hat on….even in bed. I have turned into a right softy!
Wil and I ( minus the pets) stopped over in Haworth as we were attending a talk in nearby Keighley by the Arctic adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It certainly seemed touch and go whether the event would take place. But of course ‘ the world’s greatest living explorer’ was easily up to the challenge of travelling from Exmoor to bleakest Yorkshire, whatever the conditions. 🙂
Despite my whinging, we did have a lovely time. The snow gave the cobbled streets of Haworth a wintery charm. The town is of course, famed for being the home of an extraordinary literary family, the Bronte’s. Writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived in the parsonage with their father the Reverend Bronte and brother Branwell. We had the Bronte Parsonage Museum all to ourselves on Saturday morning. Photography is no longer prohibited inside the museum,so I took a few pictures and imagined the Bronte siblings sitting at the dining room table, scribbling away. How frozen must their fingers have felt in the perishing south pennine winters.
We ended our visit to Haworth with a winter warming lunch in The Hawthorn on Main Street, whilst browsing our purchases. I bought ‘The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef ( Can’t wait to start it! ) and Wil had purchased a signed copy of Ranulph Fiennes appropriately titled ‘Cold’, the evening before.
In the past when Wil and I have driven to the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, we have arrived there completely frazzled, because our old sat nav loves magical mystery tours. Or we just couldn’t find the place at all! Happily on Saturday the Gods did not conspire against us, and we pulled up in a sunshiney Hebden before ten in the morning.
Hebden Bridge is a market town in Calderdale. , famed for its independent stores and creative community . Artisan shops and pavement cafes adorn the cobbles and Victorian terraces cling to the steep hillsides. On a bright September morning, it really did look like we had arrived in the ‘Happy Valley’.
As we were accompanied by a certain ‘ hungry black labrador’ , I suggested we stop by at The Lamppost Cafe for coffee and flapjacks for us…and a pup cake for him. On the Lampposts facebook page it says ‘Because every dog deserves to feel special and be treated so! Don’t tie your best friend to a lamppost, bring them in The Lamppost!’
Hugo and new friend ‘Lucky’.
Waiting for a Pup Cake.
Help yourself to water for your doog.
We loved the rustic decor in this very dog friendly cafe, and it was fun choosing Hugo a mouthwatering muffin from their impressive pup cake collection. It’s a pity he wolfed it down before I could get a picture ! His new friend Lucky was most happy to pose though. Isn’t she adorable. 🙂 Lucky is sat on a hessian coffee sack , which you can help yourself to, if your dog doesn’t want to lie on the wooden floor. I really enjoyed my fruity flapjack and the coffee was good too.
After a wander round the shops and the market ( I found a lady who makes felt fairy lamps ~ Christmas present sorted for one goddaughter! ), we had lunch at Green’s ( a veggie cafe) and then went for a walk by the canal.
We headed in the direction of Hebden Bridge’s neighbor Mytholmroyd, where poet Ted Hughes was born. Along the way there were were many barge businesses and floating homes.
On the outskirts of Hebden Bridge a rust coloured sculpture of a hawk, roosts in memorial to the Yorkshire born poet. I’m not sure it looks hawk-like enough. What do you think? Hughes first wife writer ‘ Sylvia Plath’ is buried in the churchyard at nearby Heptonstall.
Mid afternoon and Hebden Bridge was crazy busy , so we left the town and headed for nearby Haworth, another Yorkshire parish with famed literary connections. But first we stopped off for a walk on the rolling moorland above Oxenhope. Hugo decided to leap onto this wall and nearly ended up in the steep ravine below, tangled with the purple heather and brambles. Luckily he decided that running amongst the rushes was just as much fun!
Beautiful Haworth is still so evocative of its famous residents, the Brontes. Surrounded by wild moor land , Haworth’s cobbled streets are brimming with old fashioned shops and is little changed from the days when Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell lived with their father in the parsonage , now a museum.
I love the cute shops in Haworth and make no apologies for buying a couple more Christmas gifts. I just couldn’t resist and ‘ Wave of Nostalgia ‘ especially, really drew me in.
There are lots of Tea shops on the cobbled main street, but Wil can certainly recommend the Jamaican Peaberry Coffee from 10 the coffee house, where all coffees are freshly ground to order. As you can see the African Lime cake we shared is tiny! But I’m kind of glad, as it has been my only cheat in a fortnight of abstaining from cake, pastry, crisps , bread and chocolate …..so far. 😉
It’s been a few years since I have wandered round the wonderful Bronte Museum, and on this visit I contented myself with a stroll in the garden and a quick glance in the museum shop.
I’ve already decided that I would like to return soon and follow in the footsteps of the Bronte’s ,up onto the South Pennine Moors, via the path that passes the parsonage. Watch this space. 🙂
Today we spent a couple of hours walking round the cobbled streets of Haworth. I love visiting though its been a couple of years. On previous occasions it has usually been very bleak and windy up there but today the sun was shining. I actually managed to persuade the other half to take a tour of the parsonage with me. 🙂 The parsonage was of course the home of the Bronte family for many years. As children Charlotte, Emily, Anne and their brother Branwell lived, played, drew,wrote and wandered the moors here.
Before the tour we had a wander round. There are some deliciously old’e world’y shops along the cobbled main street. Lotions and potions galore ( and beautiful vintage inspired tea dresses too ) in Rose & Co Apothecary and old fashioned toffees in Mrs Beightons Sweet Shop. 🙂 There are even a couple of vintage shops but unfortunately they were shut today. I pressed my nose to the glass with longing when I spied some beautiful teacups in the window of Kate’s Curiosities. sigh….
We also stopped for some lunch at Gascoigne’s Steam Brewing Company Cafe, Bar and Bistro. This is a micro brewery with its own bar and serves yummy grub too. I tried their speciality Pork Pie in mushy peas with mint sauce. Winter warming nosh !
Before we went into the museum we had a little walk round the grave yard. The Bronte family themselves are all buried in the crypt ( except Anne who is buried in Scarbrough, where she died ) so there were no Bronte headstones. A rather large furry cat was prowling the cemetery and he was quite a character. Sorry i couldn’t resist taking photo’s. I decided to call him Heathcliffe !
It costs £7 to look round the Bronte museum in the Parsonage which I thought was well worth it as the ticket is actually valid for twelve months. You can reuse it within that time span as much as you like. Until 12th January there is actually a rather quirky exhibition on ( see photo above ) at the Museum. ‘Capturing The Brontes’ by Charlotte Cory is a fun and what she calls ‘Vistorian ‘ way of looking at the literary families lives in Haworth. Charlotte combines the use of vintage victorian calling cards and portraits of stuffed animals. Crazily kooky oil paintings of various ladies and gents superimposed with duck and fox heads are dotted round the various rooms and a giant stuffed giraffe graces the study. Apparently the Queen owns a Cory image of a Queen Corgi ! The exhibition continues at the Long and Ryle Gallery in London through February. Here is a very sneaky peek in Mr Brontes room. Feel a bit naughty as your not supposed to take photographs.
Getting away from the Vistoriana exhibition ,the museum is set out with lots of information about all the Bronte family and plenty of exhibits including a dress worn by Charlotte Bronte and water colours they painted and manuscripts they wrote. I loved reading about their pets. Emily’s beloved dog ‘Keeper’ pined for her years after her death.He was quite famous himself long before Greyfriar’s Bobby.
Here are a few more pictures taken in the grounds of the Parsonage. It was really such an honor to walk round the home of the authors of such masterpieces as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. 🙂
Before we left Haworth I had a hankering for baked goods so we indulged in spicy apple cake at the Cobble and Clay tearooms. :0)
There’s all sorts going on in Haworth on the weekends running up to Christmas I noticed including a Victorian Christmas market ( 16th & 17th Nov), Steampunk Weekend ( 23rd &24th Nov) and Victorian weekend ( 7th & 8th Dec ) and lots more. Makes me want to visit all over again. 🙂