Hebden Bridge Caravan Club site is the closest to home and one of our favourite get away sites. On this occasion our planned long August Bank Holiday weekend turned into a 21 night stay as my wife received notification that awaited surgery had been scheduled just prior to the weekend so we decided to make the most of the caravan and the site.
What we love about the site is that although it is only 40 minutes from home you are in “different world” were life can be taken at a much slower pace with the sounds of the country – the babbling stream and birdsong – adding a sense of calm relaxation. So a perfect spot to enjoy our caravanning.
The site itself is a non facility site with approximately 50 pitches which even when full – which it is most weekends now – never feels oppressive retaining its charm and relaxed feel. The wardens have been an integral part of the recent success of the site and it is maintained to the highest standards with an easy going charm that makes you feel so at home!
It’s an area we know well but of which we never tire. It offers you the opportunity to leave thecar/motorhome on site with walks into varied countryside on the doorstep. The local bus stops at the site entrance and has you in the centre of Hebden Bridge in minutes whilst those in need of more serious retail therapy can catch direct trains into either Leeds of Manchester at the local Mytholmroyd station a 10 minute walk from the site.
On this occasion taking things easy for Mrs R was the most important factor so lazy mornings were the order of the day. Afternoons though we planned a series of trips to some of our favourite local spots.
One of the most well known tourist destinations in the area is Haworth and its connection to the Bronte’s. It is well worth a day trip to walk through the village and climb the main street made famous a few years ago in the Hovis TV advert. Unfortunately as with a lot of popular places it has a large percentage of tea shops and for us not enough variety of shops any longer. For the Bronte fans the Parsonage where the girls lived is now a Museum overlooking the church that was their father’s parish. Many still walk onto the moors to Top Withens to soak up the views and isolation of the moors.
For us a trip to Haworth is not complete without a visit to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway which operates daily steam trains as part of a timetable that transports commuters as well tourist and rail enthusiasts. The railway is of course famous for its staring roll in the film the Railway Children starring Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbens. You can’t help but stand on the platform without hearing the cry of “Oakworth, Oakworth Station” from Bernard Cribbens. It is so well maintained capturing a bygone era not only with trains but also other events including vintage cars/buses, 40’s war time weekends etc.
Hardcastle Crags about 2 miles from the centre of Hebden Bridge is National Trust property whichprovides walks through a wooded valley including Gibsons Mill which is now used as an information centre and Tea Room for walkers. On a warm sunny day it is lovely to walk through the wooded glades as the stream runs through the valley. For the more energetic you can climb to the top of the Crags or walk to the conservation village of Heptonstall with its two churches in the same church grounds! When the new one was built the old one was left standing!
On one of the few wet days we had we journeyed over the moors to UNESCO world heritage site Saltaire Village and Salts Mill. The mill and village were built by Sir Titus Salts and reformed the working and living conditions for hundreds of Bradford mill workers who had been living in squalor. The mill is now used in part as retail units and is home to an exhibition of David Hockney paintings. It’s a great place to soak up a little history, enjoy a drink, take a canal boat ride, and enjoy the art exhibition.
Hebden Bridge itself is a lovely town with an atmosphere that makes you feel welcome. It has a great selection of shops, cafes, pubs, theatre and picture house. In the main we always walk from the caravan site down into Mytholmroyd and then along the canal into the centre of town. It is around a 40 minute walk and the canal is usually busy with boats going through the series of locks along the short route. Throughout the summer months there is always something going on from Festivals, Duck Races, Street Performers to name a few. Our favourite eatery in the town is the White Lion although we would recommend booking at busy weekend evenings.
From the site the local pub is the Robin Hood. These is a real locals pub and is busy every evening with the residents of Cragg Vale. Food is available but you will need cash as no cards are taken. Its about around 15 minutes uphill from the site but you can roll back down afterwards!! The Hinchliffe Arms is more refined and offers a wider menu though it is a 30 minute walk from the site. We went on the August Bank holiday Monday and the local Cragg Vale market was on at the side of the pub.
The area has much to offer in the main away from the daily hustle & bustle. If you have never been we can heartily recommend it and we are sure you will not be disappointed. We can’t wait to go back at the start of November before the site closes for the season.