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Out & About : History

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

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!

Dean Clough

Dean Clough Halifax is a centre for the arts located in the world’s former largest carpet factory hosting shopping, dining, events and exhibitions –

Shibden Hall

Shibden Hall is a magnificent Grade 11* listed historic house situated in 90 acres of beautiful parkland. It’s architecture is a mix of styles which reflect its long and interesting history.

Home to the Lister family for over 300 years, it features in a new BBC drama series set in 1832 following the life of Anne Lister, also known as Gentleman Jack –

Bankfield Museum

A Grade 11 listed historic house museum set within an attractive park, this was originally the home of Edward Akroyd who was one Halifax’s most eminent woollen and worsted manufacturers. Less than a mile from the centre of Halifax in Boothtown, it incorporates costume and textile galleries and the regimental museum of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment who were based in the town.

The Piece Hall

The Piece Hall is an amazing Grade 11 listed building based around a huge square in the centre of Halifax which reopened in 2017 after a huge renovation and is now a lively hub of activity offering a range of unusual shops, art galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Built in 1779 as a Saturday sales centre for local handloom weavers, there is an extremely interesting local history exhibition too –

Wainhouse Tower

The Wainhouse family were very influential in the area as they built the dyeworks which provided employment to most of the local people, our family included. The last member of the family was J.E. Wainhouse who inherited the dyeworks and property, including this cottage, from his uncle. Initially designed as a 77m chimney for the dyeworks and built between 1871 and 1875, with balconies and an elaborate dome, the tower can be seen from miles around.

It was never used for its original purpose and is now regarded as the world’s tallest folly. Open to the public on certain days a year ( see for dates and times), you can climb the internal spiral staircase of 369 steps for an outstanding 360 degree view –

The top is illuminated at night and provides a spectacular sight when in the cottage garden.

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