Many people come to London and take weekend trips to Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, and other popular destinations. I would add Haworth to that weekend list of places to visit in England, especially if you love literature and the Brontës. But even if you don’t love the Brontës, the scenery and walks are still well worth the visit. I would recommend at least watching the movie “Wuthering Heights” before going though.
I, of course, love the Brontës! so Haworth was at the TOP of my list of places to visit in England because it was not only their home, but the inspiration for Wuthering Heights, one of my favorite books. Haworth is a small village in West Yorkshire, and it is beautiful!
When I arrived, my hostel was an old Victorian mansion (cost £13 per night). Except for me and a couple with two young children, the whole place was pretty much empty at this time of year (April), so I felt like I had a whole mansion to myself, which was pretty wonderful. Surprisingly enough, a group of 28 kids with chaperones showed up shortly after, but left after one night, so my peace was *mostly* undisturbed 🙂
I spent the first day at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and browsing around Main Street, which is the main street, as its name implies. The Museum is where the Brontës lived while in Haworth. Their father preached in the church just in front of the parsonage.
Haworth is known for its “Brontë walks,” which lead you through the Yorkshire moors to places that are said to be the inspiration for the Brontës’ works. I got very clear directions for the walks in pamphlets at the tourist center on Main Street for less than a pound each. On my second day there, I walked to “Top Withins,” which is said to be the inspiration for “Wuthering Heights,” the name of Heathcliff’s home in the book. Top Withins is an old ruined farmhouse, so it’s not a lot to see, but the fun is in walking the pathways there. I walked through open moorland, and I stopped at Brontë waterfall. It is said that the chair-shaped rock at Brontë Waterfall served as a chair for the Brontës who visited the waterfall on occasion.
By the end of my walk, I was super hungry, so on my way back, I stopped in the village of Stanbury and ate a delicious roast beef with potatoes and veggies and a Yorkshire pudding (yes, a real Yorkshire pudding in Yorkshire! And of course, a Guinness pint, since Guinness really grew on me after Ireland).
On the third day, I took a ride on the Worth Valley railway, which has preserved steam and diesel trains stopping at the nearby towns.
Upon returning to Haworth, I walked to Ponden Hall (portrayed as the home of the Linton family in Wuthering Heights) and Ponden Kirk (an outcropping of rock portrayed as a “fairy cave”). Again, not a lot to see, but the fun was in following the trails.
I did take a wrong turn at some point, but it was mainly because I was in la-la land and missed one of the clearly marked signs…so it was not really any fault of the directions. At this point, it was almost dark and started raining. I scared the birds nesting in the moorland (I don’t think it could be called grass, as it certainly didn’t feel or look like it). Startling the birds meant they flew out making odd noises and startled me also. I was also a bit scared about finding my way back…so what did I do at this moment? Something I don’t usually do – I took a selfie! (I had to remember the moment).
Although I am a city girl at heart, Haworth was a great country getaway. It feels like the middle of nowhere at times, but there are enough buses and houses (and of course, the railway!) that you don’t feel stranded at any point. And if you are an introvert, the sheep are great company. I loved it 🙂