Introducing our day trip guide to Hebden Bridge and Haworth, a literary getaway with a difference.
Two literary destinations, both alike in dignity: Hebden Bridge and Haworth have hosted to poets and writers for centuries. Now, they attract visitors who wear their love of books on their sleeves – and walking boots on their feet. The village of Heptonstall (which overlooks Hebden Bridge, further down the hill) is, for some, a site of pilgrimage; Sylvia Plath’s grave lies here, chosen by her ex-husband Ted Hughes. It’s a site of controversy, partly because Plath – unlike Hughes who was born in nearby Mytholmroyd – had no personal connections to the area, and partly because the headstone also bears Hughes’ surname, despite their divorce. Unhappy disputes aside, Hebden Bridge has a thriving writerly scene, boasting the annual Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, alongside attractive pubs, craft and bookshops.
They attract visitors who wear their love of books on their sleeves – and walking boots on their feet
Haworth, on the other hand, was once home to the Brontë family. Its streets and surrounds will prompt historical memories both good and bad: you can stand in the room where Jane Eyre was drafted, or visit the pub were Branwell Brontë descended into addiction and debt. If you’re after more savoury fare, there are tearooms a plenty to nourish a tramp across on the moors. These wild, heather-spread hills are really the best place to get closest to the area’s past: walk beyond sight of civilisation and you’ll find yourself transported to the wind-harried setting of Wuthering Heights. There’s a lot in both places to pack into a day, so we’ve launched our very own day trip guide to the area, curating the best walks and retreats, pubs, shops and places to stay for a weekend away. Have a read, book a train, and pack your bag full of books.