No one really takes holidays in November and we’re no exception…. Christmas is just around the corner and the weather can’t be counted on. However, a couple of weeks ago for the first time we took a few days off in November and went away to Yorkshire. As a result, I have decided I’m a bit of a fan of November down time….
Although the trip was planned around my attendance on a photography course (see www.flyingcanadianphotography.blog/a-secret-retreat/), we took advantage of the fantastic setting of the Bronte Moors to do some walking and exploring of the area.
We arrived at Hebden Bridge on a wet Tuesday afternoon. Acting as a bit of a creative hub in the area, Hebden Bridge is a nice little market town with lots of independent shops and places to eat – it’s really dog friendly too which I love. We had a bit of a wet wander across the bridges and down the cobbled streets before finding a dry and warm space in one of the pubs for lunch and a sit by the fire. The pub was called the Shoulder of Mutton and was friendly, cosy, dog friendly and the food was yummy too (www.shoulderofmuttonhebden.co.uk). Stella was spoiled by biscuits and fussing so that is two thumbs and four paws up from us! This little stop on the way to our cottage set the stage for the rest of the break, really. Yes – we got wet but we relaxed, stayed warm, enjoyed each other’s company and ate well too.
Our cottage was just outside Hebden Bridge and overlooked the River Calder. You certainly couldn’t swing a cat around the place – as the expression goes – but the location was perfect for our plans.
The day after our arrival, Paul and Stella walked while I photographed. On Thursday we all walked on the Pennine way up to the Stoodley Pike monument on Langfield Common. Large parts of the Pennine way across the moors have been flagged with paving stones making the walking much more acceptable than I was expecting considering the terrain. At the junction of the Pennine way and another path we were intending to take, we met three guys who were working on footpath maintenance. They warned us to avoid a path we were just about to set off on which apparently would have meant us crossing a boggy moor where we would have been waist deep in mud! I think he must have been referring to the height of an average human’s waist so goodness knows how Stella would have been affected – submerged dog perhaps! The route took us through Hebden Bridge on the way back to the cottage so we stopped there to ensure we had sufficient provisions for our evening meal. There was a farmers market in the market square so there was no shortage of lovely looking meat pies and other delights to choose from.
The next day we went to the hilltop village of Heptonstall. After a steep climb out of Hebden Bridge we arrived at the village with its three church buildings – one which was ruins of a former church, one was an octagonal Methodist church (the oldest in the country) and the third was the current parish church. The word quaint describes this place very effectively with its cobbled streets and restored gas lamp lighting. The views across the Calder valley were pretty spectacular too. I was glad we hadn’t driven there as it didn’t seem to take much for the road to get blocked. We stocked up on a couple of treats when we got back to Hebden Bridge before starting our journey home.
A couple of days away has not only sparked a love of November breaks but also an interest in the part of the world in Yorkshire around Hebden Bridge… It’s a lovely place with lots of footpaths to choose from.
We’ll be back!