Things to do in Hebden Bridge
Image courtesy of Andrew Smith via Hebden Bridge web.

Things to do in Hebden Bridge

Polly Checkland Harding

Hebden Bridge has a near-embarrassing number of accolades to its name. Winner of best Small Market Town at the Great British High Street Awards in 2016 by a record-breaking number of votes, Hebden Bridge is home to a proud and tightly-knit community of people, who champion their garlanded market, celebrated Trades Club, independent jewellery studio The Workshop and historic Picture House cinema – but also come to the aid of the town’s fiercely independent businesses in a crisis. This is a place that has seen off infiltration from major corporations and chains, and has bounced back from devastating flooding on Boxing Day, 2015. Name-checked in the National Geographic’s ‘Cool List 2019’, Hebden Bridge is home to the Hebden Bridge Arts festival and the annual Handmade Parade, a mecca for walkers and cyclists with an impressive roster of good cafés, restaurants, bars and pubs.

The town takes its name from an ancient packhorse bridge, built in 1510, which still bears old inscriptions recording repairs over the years. Some of Hebden Bridge’s houses and shops are built onto the steep, wooded hillsides of the Calder Valley – occasionally opening out onto a different street at the bottom than they do on the opposite side at the top – with the Rochdale Canal and River Calder coursing through the centre of town. A great jumping off point for exploring the surrounding countryside with Hebden Bridge Cruises, the town is also within striking distance of National Trust site Hardcastle Crags, Stoodley Pike and the moors, the birthplace of Ted Hughes at Mytholmroyd and Sylvia Plath’s grave at Heptonstall.

Now known for its creative spirit, independent shops and excellent bars and restaurants, Hebden Bridge’s fortunes were first forged by the textiles industry – the Fustian Knife sculpture in St George’s Square a nod to the hard-wearing cloth made locally. The decline of this industry led to the influx of young people, environmentalists and hippies looking for a closer connection with nature in the 1970s – a shift that came to shape the town Hebden Bridge is today, with its idealism, activism, organic shops and workers’ cooperatives. Read on for our guide to the very best cultural attractions, places to eat and drink, shop and stay here.

Discover our top picks

  • 1. Hebden Bridge Market

    Hebden Bridge Market
    Hebden Bridge Market - Facebook page

    Hebden Bridge Market, St. George's Square Car Park, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7BZ - Visit now

    Open four days a week in St. George’s Square car park selling a medley of new goods, second-hand antiques, arts and crafts and local produce.

  • 2. The Trades Club

    The Trades Club
    Image courtesy of Hebden Bridge Trades Club

    The Trades Club, Holme Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8EE - Visit now

    The Trades Club is a celebrated small music venue and socialist members cooperative combining standout gigs with support for political cause.

  • 3. The Workshop, Jewellery Studio

    The Workshop
    Jack Downing

    The Workshop, Jewellery Studio, 9 Hollins Place, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8EU - Visit now

    Learn from master jewellers Robert and Jenny Dutson with their jewellery-making workshops and courses at The Workshop.

  • 4. Hebden Bridge Picture House

    Image courtesy Credit: Sarah Mason Photography.

    Hebden Bridge Picture House, New Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AD - Visit now

    A thriving, independent, not-for-profit cinema operated by Hebden Royd Town Council, celebrating its 100th year in 2021.

  • 5. Hebden Bridge Arts

    Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
    Hebden Bridge Arts Festival

    Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, 13–16 July 2023, free entry - Find Out More

    One of Yorkshire’s longest-running arts festivals with a reputation for delivering big names in a local setting.

  • 6. Hebden Bridge Cruises

    Hebden Bridge Cruises
    Hebden Bridge Cruises

    Hebden Bridge Cruises, Behind The Stubbing Wharf Pub King Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 6LU - Visit now

    Jump on a traditional narrowboat to explore the beautiful waterway that runs through the Calder Valley, forging the town’s heritage and history.

  • 7. Hardcastle Crags

    Hardcastle Crags

    Hardcastle Crags, Gibson Mill, Midgehole Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7AW - Visit now

    Hardcastle Crags, a wooded valley and 19th century mill, owned by the National Trust, is just a ten minute cycle from the centre of Hebden Bridge.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
Festivals 13–16 July 2023, FREE

Hebden Bridge Arts

One of Yorkshire’s longest running arts festivals with a reputation for delivering big names in a local setting.

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