Posted 21st Apr 2016
The wild Yorkshire moorland greatly inspired the writing of the Brontë siblings and to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë this year, we've rounded up the best things to see and do around the quaint West Yorkshire village of Haworth, also known as Brontë Country
The Brontë family lived in Haworth from 1820 to 1861 and the sisters wrote their most famous novels including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall during their time living at the village parsonage. Well-known for its literary connection, Haworth is the ideal base for exploring the beautiful countryside and local attractions of Brontë Country.
Surrounded by unspoilt moorland and the hills of the South Pennines, the historic cobbled village is full of old-world character and charm. It's easy to spend a morning wandering along Main Street, which hosts an interesting variety of boutiques including old-fashioned sweet shops, handmade chocolate shops and even a traditional apothecary where the Brontë brother, Branwell, supposedly purchased his opium.
Main Street also offers many places to eat and drink and whether you're looking for a full Yorkshire breakfast, light lunch, sumptuous afternoon tea, evening meal, or just a leisurely coffee, you will be sure to find a café, pub or restaurant for whatever takes your fancy. For a comforting meal made from fresh local ingredients be sure to pay a visit to The Cookhouse, or for a hearty pub lunch venture over to The Fleece Inn, while an extra special evening meal awaits at The Stirrup.
While in Haworth, a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum is essential. The former home of the Brontë family is open to visitors and remains largely unchanged, still housing many personal treasures belonging to the Brontë's. Here you can see the family table where the sisters would write and recite their stories to one another, the tiny clothes of the petite family and, perhaps most special of all, the diaries, drawings and letters of the talented siblings. Highly recommended for Brontë fans is a private tour of the museum, which allows visitors access into the museum library, with the opportunity to see extraordinary possessions of the Brontë's that are not usually on display. As 21st April marks Charlotte Brontë's 200th birthday, now is the ideal time to visit her former home. The special year is being marked at the parsonage with new installations and works that have been made especially for Charlotte's bicentenary and are on display throughout the house.
After a day exploring the delights of Haworth, retreat to Ponden Hall B&B. Owners Steve and Julie will warmly welcome you into their historic home which was often visited by the Brontë's and is said to be the inspiration for Thrushcross Grange in the novel Wuthering Heights. For the full Brontë experience, book a stay in the Earnshaw room. The room features a replica box bed which is designed around the descriptions of Cathy's bed in Wuthering Heights, constructed around the window that supposedly inspired the appearance of Catherine Earnshaw's ghost in the novel. After spending the night in the famous bed, be sure to start the day with a delicious home-cooked full Yorkshire breakfast served in the main hall. From £85 a night, there's no better place to stay in the heart of Brontë Country.
Before leaving Haworth, take a walk on the desolate moorland landscape that inspired the Brontë's. Venture to locations that were popular with the Brontë family including Ponden Kirk, thought to be Penistone Crag in Wuthering Heights, Top Withens, a ruined farmhouse suggested to be the setting for Wuthering Heights, and Brontë Falls, a pretty spot where the sisters enjoyed many picnics. Walking on the wild moors can be challenging and unpredictable, however Haworth isn't too far away if you want to find a café or pub to recover in.
Images courtesy of Visit England and Andy Pickard