Besides its dramatic moorland and valley scenery, crossed by numerous footpaths, and traditional stone buildings, there is a wealth of exploring to do in town, village and country. Walks and cycle routes are straight from the door of the barn and on Marsden Moor National Trust area 5 minutes drive away, birdwatchers can find curlews, twites, lapwings and golden plover. Deer and spotted woodpeckers are seen from the barn itself. We are 5 miles from the very north of the Peak District.
Just 10 minutes drive away to the North, Ripponden hosts a May Day bank holiday food festival centred round the oldest inn in Yorkshire (the Old Bridge Inn). The first weekend of September sees the local Rushbearing festival, one of only a handful left remaining in the country, and the quirky Norland scarecrow festival is outstanding in its field too each.
Ripponden and Barkisland are villages with lots of great pubs and restaurants. The Fleece was recently voted Yorkshire’s best pub and its views of the Ryburn Valley are magnificent in the spring and summer. The Moorcock at Norland is fast becoming a foodie haven and we have plenty more really good pub grub, Thai, Indian and Itialian restaurants nearby.
Although rural, we also have no less than 3 well stocked farm shops within 10 minutes drive, one which even opens 7 days a week and has an award-winning coffee shop and café so you can get all your necessary provisions.
To the South into Kirklees, also just 10 minutes drive away, is the small town of Slaithwaite (pronounced Sla’wit) with artisan ‘Hand Made Bakery’ and plenty of cafés and pubs. We are also just 2 miles from the Marsden Moor National Trust park. Recently our area was heavily featured in the series “Last Tango in Halifax”, ‘Happy Valley’ and is currently featured in the drama series ‘Gentleman Jack’ which is a true story centred around Shibden Hall just 8 miles away. All these series written were by award winning local author Sally Wainwright who loves Calderdale.
The town of Marsden, the base for TV programme “Where the Heart is” has plenty of cafes and also is the home to the nearby Standedge Canal Tunnel, the longest, highest canal tunnel in the country which has a local visitor centre with indoor children’s play area. Here you can learn how to “leg”it all the way to Lancashire. Just a few miles further on, and you will reach Holmfirth, famous as the filming place for “Last of the Summer Wine” and a little further on the Holme Moss road – well known in the local cycling fraternity.
There are several spas we can recommend just a few minutes drive away if you’re wanting to unwind and really relax.
The Piece Hall is the iconic landmark in Halifax, a Georgian ‘piece’ market for selling textiles 7 miles away and has been fabulously renovated and reopened in 2017 with a lottery grant.
Hebden Bridge is an attractive small town around 25 minutes drive built into steep valley sides, offering narrow boat rides along the Rochdale Canal; it has a wealth of independent shops, bars and restaurants. Mytholmroyd, just next door was the birthplace of Ted Hughes.
Easily reachable but a little further…
Haworth – via Hebden Bridge is a nice day out over the moors. Visit the Bronte Museum and walk to Wuthering Heights and release with inner Cathy (or Heathcliff)! A leisurely hour’s drive through Ripponden, Hebden Bridge for lunch and then across the moors – lovely views. Steam trains – Keighley and Worth Valley railway runs from just outside Haworth.
York – if you haven’t visited before this is a must. Avoid rush hour and the journey is just over an hour, parking is always difficult so the ‘Park and Ride’ is recommended. Medieval streets, York Minster, Ghost walks and oodles of history.
National Museum of Media and Photography is in Bradford and is a good rainy day activity. Combine with Salts Mill, Saltaire around 5 miles away, a UNESCO Heritage site, a huge textile mill converted with interesting art gallery – often with David Hockney originals as Bradford is his birthplace, exhibition centre and info about Sir Titus Salt and his utopian workers vision! Plus shops and restaurants too…
Harrogate – lovely spa town, famous Betty’s tea rooms. Large park right near centre of town. Lots of independent and upmarket shops.
Leeds and Manchester and both under an hour’s drive (avoid rush hour) or take the train. Good shopping, eating etc..
Yorkshire Dales – Skipton is around 90 mins drive away. Visiting Grassington and villages such as Kettlewell is a pleasant day trip.