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Out & About around Calderdale

Dyer's Cottage is the perfect location to explore Calderdale and The Yorkshire Dales National Park. Some of our favourite places are listed below.

Happy Christmas to all guests, past, present and future at Dyer’s Cottage Halifax West Yorkshire

Now celebrating the start of our 5th year of welcoming guests to Dyer’s Cottage Halifax, we would like to send Christmas greetings to everyone who has stayed with us, with a special mention to those guests who have returned several times to spend time in our ‘home away from home’. We look forward to meeting all the new guests who have booked already for 2020 and thank everyone for their support.

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5 Great Day Trips from Halifax

As an interesting Yorkshire town, with a lot of mainly Victorian architecture and thriving culture to entrance visitors, Halifax is forever associated with Anne Lister, popularly known as ‘Gentleman Jack’ after the BBC/HBO TV series of the same name. However, it is also a town surrounded by many other interesting locations. If you have time for a day trip or two from Halifax, where should you turn your attention? We have got some suggestions that will certainly make your holiday in Halifax and Yorkshire special.

 

1 Discover Yokshire -York 

Nearly 2000 years old, with Roman roots, York was originally called  Eboracum which probably meant the place with yew trees. Take a walk around the ancient City Walls, explore the 13th century York Minster, a Gothic cathedral, which is the second most important in the country after Canterbury. Admire the medieval stained glass windows and imposing bell towers. Stroll through The Shambles, with buildings dating back to the 14th century, climb Clifford’s Tower, the last remaining part of York Castle. Find out about the Vikings at Jorvik and if you have time, take a trip to the National Railway Museum. The easiest way to travel is by train via Leeds, just 1 hour 15 minutes. Find out more here

 

2 A day trip to Chester – Chester Zoo

Just 2 hours from Halifax by a direct train is Chester, founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century with distinctive Roman walls made of red sandstone. Walk to the Roman amphitheatre with its ongoing excavations and then take in some retail therapy in the Rows, Tudor style half-timbered buildings with 2 level covered arcades. Follow this by a visit to Chester Zoo, which at 125 acres, is one of the largest zoos in England with over 27,000 animals. 

 

3 Blackpool 

Blackpool is a lively seaside resort on the Lancashire coast with a much more recent history dating from the mid-19th century. Yorkshire and Lancashire textile workers would come here for their holidays and fun was had by all. It’s still a fun place with its world famous pleasure beach, a very lively theme park with many thrill seeking rides.  For a different experience, take a trip up the Blackpool Tower, which opened in 1894 and discover stunning views, a 4D Cinema, a Ballroom, and a Circus. More delights include the Opera House & Winter Gardens, Madame Tussauds and the famous Blackpool Illuminations which will be shining from 30 August to 3 November 2019. Six miles of the Promenade are lit up with what has become known as the greatest free lightshow on earth. See here for more information. 

 

4 How about a football match? 

Halifax does have its own team, Halifax Town, but if you are looking for premier league action, you don’t have far to go. Take a train to Manchester and watch the reds at Old Trafford or the blues at City . For a smaller more intimate experience, why not visit Turf Moor and watch Burnley FC, nicknamed The Clarets? Or for a high flying championship team, how about a trip to Elland Road and see Leeds in action

 

 

5 A trip to the Lake District 

Slightly more difficult to get to by train (although it is possible via Manchester to Kendal or Keswick), the beautiful Lake District National Park is only about 2 hours away by car. Carved by glaciers, this impressive granite landscape is dissected by many lakes such as Wastwater (below) Windermere, Coniston Water and Thirlmere. Separating them are the highest mountains in England, Scafell Pike 978m and Helvellyn 950m Explore honeypot sites such as Ambleside and Grasmere where William Wordsworth lived at Dove Cottage or take a visit to Beatrix Potter’s house near Hawkshead.

 

 

 

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A must visit event this weekend in Sowerby Bridge- Rushbearing.

So you haven’t heard of Rushbearing? Well, I don’t blame you as only a few places in the North West of England like Ambleside, Saddleworth and Sowerby Bridge still participate in this old ecclesiastical event. What about some history? It started in Medieval times when churches had earth floors. Covering them up with rushes, reeds and sweet smelling flowers helped to provide insulation as well as give a delicate perfume and stop dirt being trampled everywhere. Every year the rushes would be changed. The day varied but was often associated with the Saints day after which the church was named. Out would go the old and rush bearers would bring in the new, either in bundles or on a rushcart. To enhance the experience of laying them on the floor, the locals would be plied with ale and cake and Morris Dancers and musicians would entertain them as they worked. The church bells would ring out to announce the work in progress and no doubt it was great fun! This tradition lasted for centuries but died out when flagstones were laid. The church of  St Chad in Saddleworth, high on the Pennines, previously in Yorkshire but now in Lancashire, was very late in losing its rushes in 1826 but now holds a Rushcart Festival at the end of August each year.

Sowerby Bridge, a close neighbour of Halifax, just 3 miles further up the Calder Valley, staged a Rushbearing Festival in 1977 (black and white photo at the top) to celebrate our Queen’s Silver Jubilee and it was such a success, it has continued every year since, taking place on the first weekend of September. Here you see the Rushbearing procession crossing our beautiful countryside 

Following the Rushcart

 Rushbearing is now the largest and most prestigious event to take place in Sowerby Bridge and surrounding villages and takes place this year on Saturday September 7th and Sunday September 8th. The highlight is a procession of people accompanied by a 16ft high 2 wheeled rushcart which has been lovingly thatched and decorated over the previous 10 days or so. A team of young ladies take turns to ride on it as it is pulled by 60 strong local men dressed in white shirts and black trousers with a Panama hat on their head and wooden clogs on their feet. Accompanied by a multitude of supporters dressed in Edwardian costumes, musicians and teams of Morris Dancers, this is a sight to behold! For details of the full route to be taken and approximate timings, please see www.rushbearing.com but it starts at St John’s Church Warley at 10.15 , then into Warley Town (really a village!) processing past 3 churches in  Sowerby Bridge before ending Saturday at The Moorings next to the canal. Sunday starts at St Peter’s Church Sowerby, then visits the aptly named Rushcart Inn and St Mary’s Church down in Sowerby Bridge before heading West to Triangle, finishing at St Bartholomew’s Church in Ripponden. 

Come and join in the fun! 

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A day in the life of ‘Gentleman Jack’: must-see TV shooting locations around Halifax West Yorkshire

We have compiled a few secret and better known shooting locations of BBC/HBO’s ‘Gentleman Jack’ in Halifax and the surrounding area. We highly recommend visiting and bringing the TV series and the previously-unknown story of Anne Lister to life.

Shibden Hall features the most in the show, and the viewer sees it from all angles. Built in 1420, it was the home of the Lister family for over 300 years. This filming location was really the home of Anne Lister (1791-1840), who was both embarrassed by its shabbiness but needed income from it to pay for her passion of travelling. She, her father and her aunt were each left one third of the estate after her uncle died in 1826, but Anne took over the management of the agricultural tenancies, rental properties in Halifax, the coal mining and stone quarries. After the death of both her aunt and father in 1836, Anne was in sole ownership and keen to make improvements using Ann Walker’s money, which included a new gatehouse in 1836, a drive and bridge in 1837, the addition of a Gothic tower to the Hall in 1838 and a new waterfall and lake.

The Chaumiere features in episode 3 and is a secret hideaway in the woods for Anne and Ann to meet. Also known as the Moss House, it was specially constructed in the grounds of Shibden for filming during the summer of 2018. Located near the woodland path from the pond towards the playground, it was sadly demolished afterwards.

Lister Bridge and Lister Drive feature in several episodes as the Lister coach enters or leaves Shibden. Lister Drive is the track from Shibden Hall to the gatehouse exit onto Lister Road. Lister Bridge, with its distinctive door shaped opening, was required to cross a steep valley. Lister Drive was first used by Anne on June 27 1837 when she drove into Halifax to hear the proclamation of the new Queen Victoria. It winds through Troughabolland Wood where Anne arranged for the planting of many new species, both trees and flowering shrubs.

The Lister coach is seen several times and each time we have been looking for it set amidst a moorland background. There was just a flash of the filming which took place at Roils Head near Norton Tower to the West of Halifax, when Anne returns from her trip to Copenhagen.

 The first scenes we see in episode 1 are set on a cobbled road called Wakefield Gate close to the tallest folly in the world, Wainhouse Tower, which Anne never saw as it was completed in 1874. However, the road has changed little over the centuries and it is here that we see the action packed preliminary ascent of the hillside prior to the gig/cart collision involving the Misses Walker, the Hardcastle family and Christopher Rawson. The same location was used to film Anne and Marion taking a walk down into Halifax in episode 4 when they were in fact walking away from the town towards Sowerby Bridge.

Sowerby Bridge is a smaller town than Halifax and a road on the far side of the town features as a filming location. Here we see the distinguished 18th century house where Eliza and William Priestley live. A gentle affable man, William is a cousin of Ann Walker. By coincidence, this handsome property was actually the real home of some of the Rawson family for over 150 years, who were bankers, coal miners and industrialists. Series 1 did not portray the men very sympathetically but the matriarch had a wicked sense of humour. The house features in episodes 2 and 4 and the drive is shown as the location for the forthright conversation between Anne and the Reverend Ainsworth in episode 5.

Moving up the hillside, we come to the village of Sowerby where the parish church of St Peter was used as an internal substitute for St Martin-in-the-Fields, London which Anne attended for the wedding of Miss Vere Hobart and Captain Donald Cameron. 

Rawson’s coal mine was actually filmed in a disused stone quarry called Nabb End further along the ridge towards Cragg Vale. Public access is allowed to people but safety warnings are in place and it is now a conservation site. There is no road access so be prepared to walk from Moor Bottom Lane.

Drop down from here to the charming village of Luddenden, which clings to the hillside with its narrow streets and attractive cottages. Here you will find the Lord Nelson pub, which had a temporary name change to the Stags Head Inn. This is where the external shots of the rent collection session in episode 1 were filmed, with the internal ones shot in the Fleece at Elland, a few miles away.

Whilst in Halifax we also suggest you visit the magnificent Piece Hall, which Anne Lister used to visit. Built in 1779 for handloom weavers to sell their ‘pieces’ of cloth, it is one of Britain’s most outstanding Georgian buildings. After extensive renovation, it reopened on August 1 2017, Yorkshire Day, and hosts a wide range of open air cultural events and seasonal festivities as well as being the home of a museum, tourist information centre, Halifax Library and many independently owned shops and cafes.

Adjacent is the Square Chapel, built in 1772 on a square base with no internal supporting structures. It is now a lively arts centre.

Close by is Halifax Minster, over 900 years old, which is dedicated to St John the Baptist. Anne Lister came here to worship and it is fitting that this is also her final resting place, although the exact location of her coffin is not identified. However, there is a stone, unfortunately damaged and incomplete, underneath one of the side stained glass windows.

Dyer’s Holiday Cottage in Halifax is a charming, beautifully restored 17th century cottage, ideally situated to explore all these filming locations. Sleeping up to 3 adults and a child, it offers you a real “home away from home” rather than the impersonality of most hotel rooms. Fully equipped with a contemporary stylish bathroom, it is spacious with high ceilings and a sunny enclosed garden. For more information, including availability, please visit: https://www.dyerscottageyorkshire.co.uk

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Halifax’s 10 Best Kept Secrets and where to stay to see them

Halifax and Calderdale were rightly named as the 7th must see destination in the world to visit in 2019 by National Geographic. It is THE place to visit if you enjoy industrial architecture and canals, a thriving art and cultural scene and the beautiful Pennine countryside.

1 All Souls Church Halifax is a disused Grade 1 listed building on Haley Hill whose 72m spire is the second highest in Yorkshire. Designed by Sir Gilbert Scott in a Gothic Revival style and completed in 1859, it was the centre of the industrial model village of Akroydon.

Edward Akroyd, whose family owned the adjacent worsted mill, created the village to improve the social conditions of the workers. His own house nearby, Bankfield, is now a museum with constantly changing displays. No charge. See: https://www.visitchurches.org.uk and https://museums.calderdale.gov.uk/visit/bankfield-museum

 

2 Tuel Lane Lock on the Rochdale Canal at Sowerby Bridge is the deepest lock in the UK with a fall of 6m. No charge. For more information search for Sowerby Bridge at: https://www.canalrivertrust.org.uk  

3 The sight of a carpet of bluebells and the scent of wild garlic in the woods between Southowram and Brighouse can’t be missed in May. No charge.

4 Lister Lane Cemetery Halifax opened in 1841 and occupies 3 acres arranged around a now derelict chapel. It has Grade 11 listing status because of the variety of gravestones and monuments and here you can see the final resting places of many eminent local families such as the Crossleys of Dean Clough Mills, world famous carpet manufacturers. 

Open from 10.00 to 15.00 on Wednesdays and also on Sundays 10.00 to 12.00 weather permitting. No charge. See: htpps://www.listerlanecemetery.co.uk

5 Magna Via  Have you ever walked along a Medieval road? Prior to the 18th century, this was the road connecting Halifax and Wakefield and a section of it near Halifax is virtually unchanged. Walk the original sets as it climbs Beacon Hill and then explore the steeply banked holloway along Dark Lane.

For a free 5.5 mile circular walk called Halifax-The Magna Via and Southowram see: https://www.walkingbritain.co.uk and enter Halifax in the ‘Find walks near me’ section. No charge.

6 Perhaps combine the activity above with a trip to Dove Cottage Nursery and Garden, a terraced North facing hillside near Shibden Hall, where a mix of perennials and grasses grow. There is plenty of seating and a sales area where you can buy their plants.

No charge. Open Wednesday to Sunday 10.00 to 17.00. See: https://www.dovecottagenursery.co.uk

7  Warley Moor Reservoir, also known as Fly Flatts Reservoir, is set amidst peaceful moorland at a height of 400m. With an average depth of 14m and an area of 28ha, it is a wonderful bird spotting site as well as being home to Halifax Sailing Club (https://www.halifaxsailingclub.org.uk).

8 The vaccary wall at Norland is a 100m section of Medieval walling resembling short standing stones. It is considered to be one of the finest surviving examples of vaccary walling in England. Probably dating from the early 13th century, this cattle grazing land was owned by Fountains Abbey and the wall acted as a cattle enclosure.

9 Shaw Lodge Mills Shaw Lane Halifax have their 200th birthday in 2020 and remained in production until 2008, employing 3000 workersat their height. The main product woven was moquette, a fabric used to cover the seats of buses and trains across the world, including the Orient Express! It is now a multi-use complex which has preserved the community feel and architectural character of the original buildings. An indoor soccerhealth and fitness centre is based in the old clock tower and Loft 1850 occupies the top floor of the 1850 mill selling a range of contemporary furniture and home interior accessories. See: https://www.3gisoccer.co.uk and https://www.loft1850.co.uk

10 The Secret Cafe is hidden away in a small industrial park next to the Rochdale Canal in Luddenden Foot. Open Monday to Friday 08.00 to 14.30 and Saturday 08.00 to 15.00 with occasional Secret Bistro Nights, it serves delicious breakfasts, lunches, light snacks and sandwiches. See: http://yoursecretgourmet.co.uk

 

For an alternative to a hotel, have you considered staying in a self-catering holiday cottage? Dyer’s Holiday Cottage Halifax offers you 17th century character features but 21st century comfort and style. Sleeping up to 3 adults and a child, this spacious short-term let holiday cottage with high ceilings and a sunny garden is located in the heritage Wainhouse area of Halifax near Sowerby Bridge. For more details see https://www.dyerscottageyorkshire.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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Gods Own Country

You must visit a new exhibition at the Smith Art Gallery in Brighouse which is on till Saturday 5th October. It celebrates West Yorkshire’s artistic talents portraying the landscapes, history, people and architecture. 

For more info see https://museums.calderdale.gov.uk/whatson/exhibitions

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A view from the top

Our magnificent neighbour, Wainhouse Tower, the tallest folly in the world at 77m high, is open on Monday May 6th. Climb 403 steps to the top to get an amazing view of Calderdale.

Opens at 11.00 and closes at 16.00 but be there earlier.

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The Tour de Yorkshire can’t be missed

Halifax is covered with yellow bunting and yellow and blue bikes in preparation for the final day Stage 4 which leaves the Piece Hall tomorrow Sunday May 5th at 12.35 and passing up Free School Lane to Saville Park very close to us. 

Halifax town centre will be closed to vehicles from 06.00 to 15.00 to allow race support vehicles and team buses access and let spectators the chance to get close to the cyclists. 

For more info see https://www.visitcalderdale.com/blog/tour-de-yorkshire-2019

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Come to the Halifax International Market this weekend

It started today but it’s on all weekend from 09.00 to 18.00 Friday and Saturday and on Sunday till 16.00.
Lots of lovely international food to try and buy. Be adventurous!
For more info please take a look at www.calderdale.gov.uk/residents/community-and-living/markets

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Come and see Eva at the Piece Hall

Eva the super-sized mechanical moving baby is drawing lots of attention for the premier ZARA. With a cast of over 100, enjoy music, a tank, and 3D illuminations at this Easter spectacular in Halifax.
Get your tickets from www.thepiecehall.co.uk/events/Zara

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