As well as visiting the beautiful towns and villages, moors and walk-ways of Calderdale and Yorkshire, there are also some of the UK’s top attractions right on our doorstep.
Our favourite local attractions is The Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Situated above the Worth Valley amid the rugged Pennine moors, just 20 minutes stunning drive from Holdsworth House. The Parsonage was the home of literary Bronte sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne – who were born in Thornton (near Bradford), but who wrote most of their famous works while living at the Haworth Parsonage, which is now a museum owned and maintained by the Bronte Society. Their father was parson at the adjacent Haworth church. Call Holdsworth House and book a Bronte Break, which includes two adult tickets to this fantastic museum.
Halifax was well-known as a centre of England’s woollen manufacturing from the 15th Century onward, and the magnificent Piece Hall was built in the 18th Century as the place where all the cloth was bought and sold in the area. Halifax and Calderdale prospered during the Industrial Revolution as the mills’ new machinery weaved more and more cloth that was to be shipped around the world, and this success led to the construction of many spectacular public buildings including the breathtaking Piece Hall.
The Piece Hall is currently being restored and is closed until 2016. The Heritage Lottery Fund is investing £7m into the £19 million project to breathe new life into our national treasure. The building is one of only two surviving cloth halls in Europe and the revamped Piece Hall will include a visitor and heritage centre, shops, restaurants, work spaces for creative businesses and a conference venue.
There are many exciting galleries in Halifax and Yorkshire as well as the Yorkshire Sculpture park detailed above. The superb Dean Clough Art Galleries are just five minutes from Holdsworth House, which feature the Henry Moore Studio and our fantastic world-class Cooking School.
Dean Clough’s Viaduct Theatre (left) also has some quite brilliant performances by the Northern Broadsides company, whilst Halifax’s Victoria Theatre is a fine example of historic architecture. The Victoria Theatre frequently showcases outstanding productions from both local and national theatre and TV companies and presents some brilliant performances and gigs from the musicians, comedians and children’s entertainers in the UK.
If you are visiting Halifax with young children we advise you take the 10 minute trip to Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, which is the first and foremost hands-on children’s museum in the UK and is designed especially for 0-11 year olds. Visit their website for more details.
NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM, BRADFORD
The National Media Museum in Bradford is devoted to film, photography, television, radio and the web. Check out the films playing on the five-storey IMAX screen. Discover what’s on in the gallery spaces and exhibitions. Catch up with our annual film festivals. Click here for the list of what’s on.
The steep gradient up the Worth Valley from the Keighley terminus has been a challenge for locomotives ever since the line opened on 15th April 1867. Many of the woollen mills that once stood close to the line have been demolished, but the five mile journey is a powerful reminder of our industrial heritage, as well as being a unique way of enjoying the beautiful countryside made famous by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. When British Railways closed the line in 1962, local people and railway enthusiasts joined forces to save it.
Now patroned by H.R.H. The Duke of Kent, the beautiful Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is probably most famous for its role in the 1970 film version of Edith Nesbit’s story The Railway Children, but its idyllic station at Oxenhope has appeared in many TV and film productions including Sherlock Holmes and Last of the Summer Wine. The railway has many events throughout the year, ideal for a family day out including the fabulous Santa Train in December.
This museum is home to Britain’s national collection of arms and armour, the Royal Armouries Museum houses a world-renowned collection of over 75,000 objects. Check out the weapons and armour of warriors through the ages from early medieval knights to the modern-day soldier. Discover treasures from around the globe – explore the Ottoman Empire, the Wild West, Europe, Japan and India. Wonder at the fabulous arms and armour of the Japanese shoguns, the royal houses of Europe and the kinds of England including Henry VIII who reigns supreme in our newly refurbished Tournament Gallery. A fascinating FREE day out for the whole family. Open 10am – 5pm daily.
Salts Mill is set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saltaire. The Grade II Listed historic mill building was built in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt to house his workers. The whole area is of architectural and historical interest and Salts Mill is home to one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s art. On the ground floor you will find the 1853 Gallery which houses a permanent exhibition of works by David Hockney.
Shibden Hall was the home of the noted 19th Century diarist Anne Lister. The Hall, dating originally from circa 1420, is a distinctive half-timbered building furnished in the styles of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, adapted and extended throughout the centuries by the families who lived here. An important 17th century barn houses a folk museum, with a collection of horse-drawn vehicles, while in the outhouses is a collection of 19th century craft tools relating to rural industries and examples of traditional trades and crafts.
Shibden Hall is set in a 32 hectares of park and woodland. Enjoy the boating lake, ride on the miniature railway, play on the pitch and putt course or the new children’s play area -suitable for all abilities. The grounds also offer footpaths, an orienteering course and a permanent dry stone walling exhibition – a fine example of this fascinating craft.