Tag Archives: south pennines

Haworth ~ A Rainy December Walk and a Wander up the Cobbles.

Sunday mornings unpromising weather predictions didn’t put us off our intended trip to Haworth. Our plan was to take a walk from the town, over the surrounding moorland to Top Withens . The wild location of the ruined farmhouse is thought to be where Emily Bronte pictured ‘ Wuthering Heights ‘ in her novel.

We put Hugo in the back of the car, picked up my sister and niece and made our way to Yorkshire, wind screen wipers on the go. Amazingly the rain seemed to clear up once we arrived in Haworth. A walk over Haworth Moor was still on the cards.

Raincoats on, we set off from the Brontë Village Car Park, and would you know it within five minutes, the weather could definitely be described as wuthering! We were blown past the ‘Literary Landscape Sculptures’ two sets of five stone books peering up from the heath. The sweeping rain prevented me from getting any photos. At this point we decided to only walk as far as the Brontë waterfalls, and save Top Withens for another day.

The Brontë Waterfalls lie some 2•5 miles over the moor. A well trodden path leads all the way there and is clearly signposted too, surprisingly in Japanese as well as English. Described by Charlotte Brontë as ‘ a perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful’ the falls on Sunday were definitely more of a trickle than a torrent. However the setting is lovely, even on a dreich December day. As yet,shades of copper bracken add colour to the rugged scenery and a babbling beck gives drama to the landscape. You can see why the Brontë siblings enjoyed walking here.

Below the falls a stone footbridge known as the Brontë Bridge crosses the stream and the path continues onwards towards Top Withens. We posed in the rain for a quick selfie and were soon joined by a group of hardy ramblers who chose this glorious spot for a lunch break. It was amazing how many other walkers we had seen along the way, despite the dreary weather. Our tummy’s rumbling and feeling rather like drowned rats, we decided to retrace our steps back to Haworth, where the promise of a hot meal somewhere warm and dry beckoned.

Haworth is definitely somewhere that feels incredibly festive at this time of year. After warming up in a welcoming ( and dog friendly) cafe on Main Street called The Cook House, we went for a wander along the cobbles, listened to Christmas carols, visited some lovely independent shops and found a bustling Christmas market in Central Park.

I’m sure we will return in the Spring, for another stride over the Moors, in the footsteps of the Bronte’s.

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Ice Cold In Haworth.

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!

Bronte Parsonage Museum.

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.

Cobbled Streets.
Howarth Railway Station.
St Michael & All Angels Church. All the Brontes apart from Anne are buried in the Bronte family crypt, beneath the church.
Old fashioned sweet shop.
A nice coffee shop with a great selection of cakes. 🙂
Peppermint tea and a ginger bun in Villette. The café is named after one of Charlotte’s novels.
Icicles.
Inside the parsonage. The Dining Room. The sisters would have wrote here at the dining table.
Mr Bronte’s study. Emily and Anne both played the piano.
The kitchen.
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The children’s tiny playroom.
Landing window.
Inside Branwell Brontes bedroom. Branwell was a troubled soul and failed to live up to the high expectations his family had of him.
A small bed embroidered with words by and about the Bronte sisters. Visitors are invited to make and unmake the tiny bed ( using the white gloves provided), to reveal the prose written in the bed clothes..
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A snowy pathway.
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Inside The Cabinet of Curiosities on Main Street. The shop was an apothecary even back in the days of the Bronte’s.
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Book I bought from the gift shop in the Bronte Parsonage Museum.

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.

Which is your favourite Bronte sister novel?

Hebden Bridge and Haworth.

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’.

 

 

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Early morning in Hebden Bridge.

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!’

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A cafe that loves dogs…and their humans. 🙂

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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The Black Bull was where Branwell Bronte could often be found.

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.

 

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Text from Wuthering Heights.

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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. 😉

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The Bronte Parsonage.

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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.

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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. 🙂