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Out & About : Explore Halifax

Last Minute Special Offer May 25 to June 19

Just £500 for a weeks stay at Dyer’s self catering holiday cottage in the beautiful Calderdale West Yorkshire between Halifax and Sowerby Bridge. Located in the shadow of Wainhouse Tower, the tallest folly in the world, this is a truly heritage area and our cottage is part of is one of the oldest buildings in the area.

Price includes a breakfast pack too.

Shorter stays available too.

Enjoy relaxing in our unique cottage garden after a day out exploring the natural beauty and historic sights.

The Magna Via also known as The Wakefield Gate Halifax: a great walk from Hipperholme to Halifax

This ancient road, connecting Halifax to Wakefield is a fascinating reminder of the illustrious past and until the 18th century was the only route East. Carrying animals, wool and textiles by packhorse, this footpath enables walkers to really experience how difficult life must have been in times gone by.

The walk from Hipperholme to Halifax, which we took by bus from Dyer’s Holiday Cottage into Halifax and bus to Hipperholme, is provided in the walks section of our guest information folder at Dyer’s Holiday Cottage Halifax but briefly consists of a downhill section from Station Road, then an upward path following Dark Lane, which is one of the best preserved Medieval holloways, up to 12 metres deep in parts, carved out by many centuries of traffic. At the summit, above Shibden Hall, home of Anne Lister aka ‘Gentleman Jack’ from the television series written by Sally Wainwright, the track levels out offering splendid views across the Shibden Valley to Queensbury on the opposite ridge. Look out for the old mineshaft before descending into the remnants of the woods of Beacon Hill. Here the track becomes setted again. The cobbles were laid in the 1720’s to provide an all weather surface but the gradient was too steep for wheeled vehicles. Excavated and restored by Halifax Civic Trust in 1984. we can now see the beauty of their workmanship.

The 1741 Turnpike Trust meant that gradually the Magna Via was used less to carry goods as the toll paying Halifax Old Road was built following a lower but longer more Northerly route between Halifax and Hipperholme.

It remains a great memorial of past times for walkers to enjoy and took us 1.5 hours, approximately 3 miles.

For more information have a look at www.milestonesociety.co.uk

www.visitcalderdale.com

www.calderdale.gov.uk

Information Board near Dark Lane Hipperholme
Dark Lane
Choose your route
Shibden Valley
The track descends into the woods on Beacon Hill Halifax
A work of art!

Nearly there!

Out and about at Ogden Water Country Park

Just a 15 minute drive from Dyer’s Holiday Cottage near Halifax is the beautiful nature reserve called Ogden Water. Accessed from the A629 Keighley Road, near the Moorlands Inn, it offers a variety of paths and trails to explore, some of which are suitable for a wheelchair or buggy. Dogs are allowed, there’s parking, picnic tables and a public toilet. Pay for parking at the Visitor Centre (opening hours vary). Owned by Yorkshire Water, and managed by Calderdale Countryside Service, the reservoir can hold over 220 million gallons of water but this is seasonal. Ogden Water covers over 34 acres and is reputed to be the first clay lined dam to be built in Europe when it opened in 1857. It has a maximum depth of 20 metres and this water is supplied from several streams and waterfalls tumbling down the hillside from the moorland above. However swimming, paddling etc is strictly forbidden.

For more about the history take a look at www.ogdenwater.org.uk

The Promenade Ogden Water
Wind Turbines near Ogden Water
Beautiful rhododendrons in May/June
Ogden Water is surrounded by many walking trails to explore
Read all about Ogden Water

A visit to The People’s Park Halifax

As its name suggests, this is a park specially designed for all the people of Halifax to enjoy at a time when only the largest houses had gardens. Situated about a mile from the town centre on the A58 towards Burnley, this 12.5 acre park, opened in 1857, is a very special one. Designed by Joseph Paxton, originally a gardener at Chatsworth House, The People’s Park is one of several public parks and burial grounds he created. However, he is best known for his design of the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition in 1851.

The People’s Park was laid out in an area of open fields but is now surrounded by later 19th century housing. Sir Francis Crossley, a local carpet manufacturer of great fame, donated the park for the enjoyment of the people. It was designed to combine art and nature so that it could provide relaxation and pleasure after a hard days work. It was an area of quiet enjoyment where locals could stroll, meet, chat and enjoy music performed on the bandstand. His own home Belle Vue was just across the road.

 

 

 

It has several impressive entrances with stone gate piers and cast iron gates with curving paths leading from each, through impressive deciduous trees, many of which are now over 150 years old, to the more formal centre of the park. Here the main building is the Grade 11 listed Crossley Pavilion with an arcaded seating area and statue of Sir Francis Crossley made by Joseph Durham 1814-1877. His most famous commission is the Memorial to the Great Exhibition 1851 consisting of a fountain surmounted by a bronze statue of Prince Albert and four figures representing the corners of the world which stands in front of the Royal Albert Hall in London. The water feature within the pavilion walls has bowls shaped like scallop shells above which are heads of sea gods. Water was designed to flow from the heads into the shells and from there into pools.

 

 

On the adjoining terrace are 7 (formerly 8) marble statues of classical figures. Unfortunately Apollo arrived broken after his journey from Carrara, Italy and sadly a few of the others have sustained later minor injuries too.

 

 

 

Dominating the lawns is the bandstand constructed in 1882 of cast iron and timber with a zinc roof. It has hosted many bands and entertainers over the years. Close by is a 2om diameter pond. Originally blessed with a fountain designed by Paxton called ‘a nest of jets’, it now features a central statue which was moved from the winter garden of Somerleyton Hall in Suffolk in 1914 by the descendants of Frank Crossley.

 

 

Nearby is a most impressive sundial which was donated to the park in 1873. Originally created by John Smith 1807-1895 of Bielby near Pocklington East Yorkshire for a school in North Yorkshire in 1858, it is a splendid example of its type. Another piece of his work is the vertical sundial at Castle Howard near York.

 

 

 

The Serpentine Pools, 180m long with an island and crossed by 2 cast iron bridges, are very popular with the local bird life too. 3 marble urns feature at the entrance to one of the bridges and originally the water here was drinking water supplied from a reservoir nearby.

 

 

The Drinking Fountain, donated in 1859, is similar to another in nearby Savile Park but a clean water supply could not be restored to it in 1995 although the stonework has been repaired. 

 

 

Close by, on the North side of the park and screened by trees is the childrens playground whilst on the South side are examples of exotic trees and shrubs. The South West corner originally had glasshouses but now horse chestnut, beech and ash trees have colonised the area although some conifers were planted as part of the 1995 restoration.

 

 

 

Just a mile from Dyer’s Holiday Cottage, take a walk up Wakefield Gate and across Savile Park for a very interesting discovery and exploration of The People’s Park. The map is provided by Calderdale Council.

 

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