Having watched, and been thoroughly enthralled by To Walk Invisible – the drama about the Brontes – we decided to pay another visit to Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage. New Year’s Eve proved a good day to do it – windy and freezing cold, so no hoardes of other day-trippers.
Haworth is a beautiful village in its own right. The cobbled, inclining main street is packed full of interesting indepedent shops and restaurants and cafes, interspersed with a fair few bed & breakfast options. The village feels old and unspoilt, with many of the businesses retaining original Victorian frontages. Christmas is a wonderful time to visit, especially if you hit lucky with the weather too. No snow this time, but we did have brilliant sunshine and blue skies – and the very tasteful Christmas decorations just add to the beauty.
The Bronte Parsonage sits above the village, overlooking the churchyard and St Michael and All Angels’ Church. It is such an atmospheric setting – even in bright sunshine, there is an air of bleakness, especially when the wind whips through the trees.
Entrance to The Parsonage is £7.50 – but, the ticket can be used as many times as you wish within 12 months, so excellent value if you think you might do it more than once. The house is perfectly preserved and you can access the main rooms – Patrick Branwell’s study and bedroom, the dining room where much of the writing happened, the kitchen, Charlotte’s bedroom and the servants’ room. Other rooms in the house have been given over to the museum, housing manuscipts, clothes and many other artefacts from the Brontes. If you have an interest in literature or history, you will probably really enjoy getting this close to the family and their lives.
Not too far from Haworth, and another of our favourite placs, is Heptonstall. Sitting high above Hebden Bridge, it’s probably most famous for being the final resting place of Sylvia Plath in St Thomas’ graveyard…
The original church of St Thomas a Becket is another recommended visit. It sits in ruins today, and because of its high position, is another windswept, eerie and atmospheric place, with ancient gravestones forming footpaths…
More information about The Bronte Parsonage can be found here.