Tag Archives: Yorkshire

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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The Railway Children Walk.

Back in March when Wil and I spent a particularly Ice Cold Night In Haworth , I picked up a Railway children’s Walks leaflet from the train station. We eventually returned one showery ( but much warmer) day in September and tried out the longer of the two circular walks, which is six miles long.

The Railway Children is a 1970 dramatization of E Nesbit’s Classic novel about three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is sent to prison, and their mother takes them to live in rural Yorkshire, uprooting them from their middle class London life. Their new home backs onto a railway line , which brings unexpected adventures and also new friends, when the going gets tough. The film is an endearing family favourite, and one that can still be enjoyed today. 🙂

Although Howarth is definitely more well known as the home of the literary Bronte family, it’s cobbled streets, old-fashioned railway stations, surrounding buttercup meadows and even the Bronte parsonage itself, made for inspired location casting in the film. Hopefully Author E Nesbit would have been pleased with the result!

The Railway Children ~ Peter, Bobbi & Phyllis.

The walk starts at Howarth Station ( we parked in the main car-park , not far from Haworth Centre), where we were lucky enough to see a steam train puffing into the station:)

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Steam Train Approaching Haworth Station.

Before I could so much as wave a white hanky, we set off from Haworth Station forecourt, crossing the main road and turning right , before turning left up Brow Road. After a short distance we spied a footpath sign on the right and followed a well trodden path through farmyards and passing Oxenhope water treatment works as we walked along side Bridgehouse Beck and Worth Valley Railway, almost to Oxenhope Station.

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Horses near Ives Bottom Farm.

This section of the walk wouldn’t normally take very long, but we found ourselves caught up in a Fell Race, and had to keep stopping and grabbing Hugo, making way for Fell Runner after Fell Runner. Talk about bad timing on our part! One poor runner nearly tripped over the dog! We were relieved when our paths finally divided and we crossed the railway.

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Railway Crossing.
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Perfect spot for lunch. 🙂

We had packed some lunch and after our fraught run ins with the fell runners we decided to sit a while on a bench overlooking the railway line, watching a few straggling runners appear now and again. The race did remind me of the paper chase in the film though. 🙂

After our impromptu picnic we carried on over the stile in the wall behind us and up the meadow where Bents House appears on the left. Better known as Three Chimneys, this is the Yorkshire home of The Railway Children. 🙂

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Three Chimneys. The foliage obscuring it’s actual three chimneys.

By now it had started raining heavily, so we changed into our waterproofs after passing the stone gap stile which “Perks the Station master” has difficulty squeezing through, whilst delivering a basket hamper to Three Chimneys in the film.

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Stone Gap Stile.

The walk then took us to the hamlet of Hole after passing through a farmyard and a large field full of very frisky cows, who were a bit too interested in Hugo. After much shooing we managed to negotiate ourselves around the cattle and the mud. Even though I grew up on a farm and don’t usually mind walking through livestock, these ones were a bit lively, even for me! After this adventure we got a bit lost ( which does usually happen on our walks ;0) ), so we were very glad when the Railway Children Walk signs re-appeared, and we found ourselves walking the short way from Hole into Haworth, via Haworth Churchyard and the Bronte Parsonage Museum, the Doctor’s house in the film.

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Bronte Parsonage Museum is Doctor Forrest’s House.
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The Tourist Info Office was used in the film as the butchers shop.
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Haworth Main Street. In the film the children call in at various shops and houses in Haworth, collecting birthday gifts for Perks.

Various houses and shops in Haworth doubled up as locations in the film. We had a wander down the Main street and shared a ‘ Yorkshire Scallywag’ in the Bronte Boardwalk Café, before continuing with the walk.

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A Scallywag is a Yorkshire Scone. 🙂

The next part of the walk took us to Oakworth Station, which is the railway station used in the film. We headed down Main Street , turning left opposite The Fleece Public House, crossed over the busy main road and walked down the cobblestones of Butt Lane ,before following a diagonal path over some playing fields onto Mytholmes Lane. We then ambled down hill and the route re-joined the footpath after a row of cottages on the right. The path follows the railway and in the winter when the views aren’t obscured by foilage, you can apparently get a better view of the embankment where the landslide was filmed and the children waved the girls red petticoats to warn the driver of the 11.29 train of the danger.

We then encountered some danger ourselves, when two curious ( and very mahoosive! ) horses came cantering up out of nowhere, as we were giving Hugo a drink from his portable water dish. The gigantic beasts probably thought food was on the menu, and chased us to the nearest stile. Presently we found ourselves walking down a main road toward the station , and noticed some unusual little houses painted into the wall.

Oakworth Station is an Edwardian Railway Station with a very olde worlde charm. We purchased a platform ticket for 50p and had a quick wander round. Much of the action in The Railway Children movie features on the platform and in the station rooms here.

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The platform.
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Picture postcard platform.

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The station even has a ladies waiting room, decked out as a perfect replica of the Edwardian one in the film. There are also Railway Children merchandise and mementos on display.

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Ladies Waiting Room.

Its a nice thought that you can actually sit in such a nostalgic lounge and wait for your train. I wonder if the fire is lit on cold winters days? I did spot a couple of burly British Rail workers in the station enjoying a tea break at a tea clothed table , complete with doilys and vintage China. 🙂 Both steamers and diesel trains pass through Oakworth Station on a regular basis. 🙂

We continued the walk, crossing over the level crossings and passing Station Cottage which is Mr Perks home in the film. We kept following the road past Vale Fold Cottages and crossed a stile onto the footpath which runs parallel to the railway line again.

Station Keepers Cottage.
Mytholmes Tunnel. In the paper chase scene , one of the grammar school boys gets stuck in the tunnel.
Another approaching Steamer. 🙂

It was fun to see another Steam Train puffing its way towards us as we followed the footpath over a road and watched it chug under the bridge below us. We then walked up a main road again ( Ebor Lane) and back into Haworth.

I really enjoyed our Railway Children Walk despite the rain, run-ins with fell runners, frisky cows and hungry horses. ; )

Is this a walk that you would try?

Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ September.

Time for another Scavenger Hunt with Kate & co , over at I Live, I Love, I Craft, I am Me. The words that kate chose are Brightly Coloured, Pattern, Ink, Upside Down, Bag & My Own Choice.

Brightly Coloured ~ Not my hanging basket unfortunately! Mine did not do well at all this year, so here’s one of the lovely brightly coloured ones at The Aspinall Arms in Mitton, a pub we occasionally walk to, across the fields . I love the vibrant pink fuchsia.

Bag ~ Not exactly a bag, but more of a picnic basket ! The above items are on display at a lovely olde worldy train station I visited recently. And they are from a film. Can you guess which one? Blog post to follow. 🙂

Upside Down ~ We managed to take a wrong turn on a walk near Haworth in Yorkshire a couple of weeks ago and ended up walking past this great kids Welly storage. 🙂 It was however the perfect photo opportunity for upside down.

Pattern ~ I always think Speckled Wood Butterflies wings are adorned with a very Autumnal pattern. 🙂

Ink ~ Didn’t really know what to photograph for Ink, but then I thought, well I am writing most days in my Nature Diary. I’m jotting down all the wildlife that I see when I’m out and about ,walking the dog, walking to work etc ,and I have being doing so since April. It has encouraged me to ID various insects and flowers and is a useful way of recording the changing of the seasons, and what wildlife lives where. I’m quite addicted!

My Own Choice ~ Whilst walking to nearby Mitton recently, one of the fields we walk through was full of horses, including these two little Shetlands. They were too busy munching to be bothered by us. I just thought they were so cute!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. ❤️

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. 🙂

Its just grand at Just Grand !!

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On Saturday the girls were in Leeds doing some serious shopping!  After hitting the end of Summer Sales we needed a well earned break and some of that famous Yorkshire hospitality. What better place to go than an eclectic Vintage tea room. The interior of Just Grand in the Grand Arcade is the perfect mish mash of decor from different decades and quirky touches, there are pretty teacup light fittings and menus on retro record sleeves. The  staff wear clothing from other eras. Pretty 1950s style dresses, colourful Hawaiian shirts and Rockabilly pin up frocks.:)

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When we arrived it was very busy ( Its a popular place! ) so we were seated out front in the arcade.  My friend Arwen ordered a very marshmallowy Hot Chocolate that came served in a pretty vintage teacup. She also chose a ham sandwich and a rocky road cake. As for myself and Gill, we decided that yes , everything does start with tea, Afternoon tea. 🙂

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Gill's photo of our Afternoon tea. :)
Gill’s photo of our Afternoon tea. 🙂

The Just Grand Afternoon Tea arrived on a vintage cake stand and on the bottom tier there were four delightful finger sandwiches each, on brown and white bread. The fillings were egg, cucumber and cream cheese, cheese and ham. On the middle tier was a generous slab of homemade cake each of our choice. This was instead of the usually served  fruit cake and Wensleydale cheese. Its up to you which you would prefer. And the top tier  held our scrumptious scones which came in two varieties. Gill chose a fruit scone and I went for the apricot and ginger . It was pretty darn good!  The scones came with strawberry jam and clotted cream. All were washed down with either Yorkshire tea ( of course 😉 ) or filter coffee.

Gill enjoying her coffee and walnut cake.
Gill enjoying her coffee and walnut cake.

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All in all our dining experience here was Just Grand indeed. A must if you visit Leeds. 🙂

Saltaire Saturday.

On Saturday we headed off to Saltaire near Bradford for the afternoon.I have posted about this former mill workers village before, but hey its so lovely its deserving of another mention. The wonderfully named textile factory owner ‘Sir Titus Salt’ designed and built Saltaire for his workers in the 1800s. The location was inspired.Away from the crowded and unhealthy conditions of Bradford , yet close to railway and canal links, Saltaire was built next to the river Aire and benefited from a church, a school, allotments to grow food,pleasant greens and squares, a hospital and even a large park. Many of the buildings were designed in a classical style , influenced by the italian Renaissance. For the times, Titus Salts workforce were very fortunate indeed. Today the village is a UNESCO World heritage site and Salts Mill houses several shops including Salts Book and Poster store & All terrain Cycles, as well as a huge David Hockney Art exhibition. On Victoria road there are several fab independant shops and cafes.

I was super excited to sample a sumptious slice of cake from the 1940’s & 50’s Style patisserie that is Jeanettes Cakery on Bingley rd, but unfortunately it was closed. 😦 A quick check on facebook showed that the owners are tieing the knot this weekend.So congrats to them. 🙂 I will return!!

I took a few photos of our amble round Saltaire.Enjoy….and visit soon.:)

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