Howarth – Home of the Bronte family

Howarth is a place I have wanted to visit for a long time but despite being on my doorstep until yesterday I’d never had the chance. Now I wish I’d tried harder to get there. The place is absolutely beautiful. Placed in the Yorkshire’s, home of the Bronte sisters and a short walk to Penistone Crag where Wuthering Heights is based.

As neither of us drive, we got there by public transport and were surprised by the ease of it all. Train from Leeds to Keighley and then a 20 minute bus ride right to the door of the old Parsonage where the Bronte’s were raised. We found out afterwards you can get a steam train rather than the bus. We’re going to try that next time.

First stop then was a walk around the Bronte Parsonage museum, the former home of the Bronte sisters (and brother Branwell). The house looks quite big on the outside and is certainly huge compared to my own so I was surprised by the smallness inside. The museum is broken up into theme rooms for the sisters, their father, aunt and housekeepers plus another showcasing some of brother Branwell’s portrait paintings. There’s a history of the house and the residents who lived there after them. For a small museum it is packed with information and rich history and we were there nearly 2 hours in the end.

I’d been recommended to visit 2 places so we then went to try the first of these. I’d been told to visit the pub in which Branwell Bronte (who sadly seemed to never be able to live up to his sisters and turned to alcoholism) drank at and is said to be haunted. So we went to the Black Bull for lunch. The food was cheap and the portions huge! Sadly though we didn’t see Branwell’s lonely ghost wandering around 🙂 On leaving though we saw another pub with the same claims. Branwell got around!

The rest of Bronte village is a steep high street packed with cute shops; tea shops, sweet shops, books, trinkets and curios and it’s easy to get lost in these for a few hours which we did. The final bit of our day involved the other recommendation – 10 The Coffee House. Given a certificate of excellence by Trip Advisor, it’s very easy to see why. You are invited when you go in to let your cares drift away and enjoy your drink and cake. The portions again are huge but beautifully presented. Then there is a choice of blended coffee and tea to choose from. The owner Claire has set up a place where you are encouraged to just sit and savour your choices rather than the get them in, get them out again principles of other places.

We didn’t get to see the steam train or take part in the nightly ghost tours or the themed weekends (one in May was 1940’s theme which I would have loved the opportunity to dress up for) but that’s OK because Howarth is definitely somewhere you would want to go back to several times. 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ellen Spence
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 12:34:21

    Kirsty, Haworth also has a big celebration at Xmas too, as well as the May 1940s weekend. You must go on the train next time as it’s a lovingly preserved line. Keighley and Worth Valley Railway have regular services at weekends, plus in summer they run just about every day, and have special events throughout the year like fish and chip supper, or cream tea. Also have musical events on board.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Musings Meme: Current Reads #12 | Allison's Book Bag
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