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Best Breaks for Bookworms: a wild weekend in the Bronte Country

Haworth expresses the Brontës; the Brontës express Haworth; they fit like a snail to its shell. Virginia Woolf, 1904.

Self-catering breaks around Haworth, Yorkshire
Haworth's charming high street.

Visit the charming town of Haworth and the surrounding moors for the ultimate literary and historical experience on a cottage holiday. Situated in Yorkshire’s beautiful Worth Valley, Haworth is a town with bags of charm. The steep high street features a number of antiquarian bookshops and beautiful unique gift shops as well as the enchanting Rose & Co apothecary where you will find a huge range of Victorian-inspired beauty products, gifts and even clothing.

Sounds lovely, right? The best thing about Haworth, though, is that it was the home of the Bronte family. Emily, Charlotte and Anne lived at the Haworth Parsonage with their parson father Patrick and legendary reckless brother, Branwell. You can explore the house the sisters lived in whilst they wrote their finest works, including the masterpieces Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Once you’ve had your fill at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, there are plenty of other Bronte sights to see too!

The village is home to the Black Bull pub, believed to be the setting for Branwell Bronte’s famous descent into alcoholism and opium addiction; it’s truly a remarkable experience to enjoy a pint of well-kept ale, dreaming of a time when the Bronte sisters’ raucous brother would have been starting fights at the very same bar.

This area is fantastic for walkers; the Bronte Way is a 43 mile long walkway which takes you past the Brontë Waterfalls, Brontë Bridge and the Brontë Stone Chair, believed to be the location where, as young girls, the Brontë sisters would take it in turns to write their earliest stories. You then walk out of the valley and up to Ponden Hall on the moors. Ponden Hall is believed to be the inspiration for Thrushcross Grange, where Cathy Earnshaw lived with her husband Edgar in Wuthering Heights. The path then takes you even further onto the moors, where you will find the wild and desolate ruin of Top Withens. This house is widely thought to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights itself, and you can certainly see how this lonely and windy location could have inspired such dark and gothic writings as Emily was known for; these moorlands do evoke a certain dark and possessing spirit (many revellers have been known to run the moors full pelt, belting out a certain Kate Bush classic!)

If you stay for a long weekend or even a full week, there are plenty of other Brontë spots to visit in the surrounding area. The town of Thornton is a short drive away, where you can see the house in which the famous sisters were born, and Wycoller Hall is a ruined house which was dismantled in 1818 and believed to be the inspiration behind Jane and Rochester’s home Ferndean Manor.

If you do decide to walk the whole Brontë Way, you will find that the views are absolutely spectacular, even if you have somehow managed to let the novels pass you by. There are plenty of traditional country pubs to stop at for refreshment, as well as the fascinating Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, a heritage steam train line which runs from Keighley to Oxenhope and offers unbeatable views across the moorland.

This area of the country is truly and beautiful and inspiring place to enjoy a self-catering cottage holiday. Take a look at our self-catering cottage holidays in Yorkshire, where you will find a number of charming, traditional and historical properties to rent in this area.