Saturday 29 January 2022
There is just no beating a great day out and, this weekend, a trip to Yorkshire’s arty, free-spirited Hebden Bridge proves to be just that…
“The best way to arrive in Hebden Bridge, at the western edge of the Pennines, is by train…”
I read in Paul Barker’s Guardian article, Hebden Bridge: West Yorkshire’s cool and quirky corner. And arrive by train we certainly do. In fact, I boast a 100% commitment to public transport; making a double bus plus local rail odyssey to cross the border from Greater Manchester into the white rose county. Quite a trek on a windswept Saturday! From the station, it is a short walk, past the Arts Cinema and Victorian Town Hall into the town centre.
Now, as you might have suspected, the main reason for leaving the car at home, is to free both me and my companion up for sampling the local alcoholic beverages. But the beer has to wait…until I have finished shopping. Yes, famed for its independent retail, Hebden Bridge is home to an arts and crafts market, pottery shops, vintage stores, several antique dealerships plus quaint outlets for soaps and candles and confectionary around every corner. It is the perfect place to potter, browse, while away the hours and, in my case, spend spend spend! (I do have three birthdays to shop for.)
The town also has an abundance of cafes and eateries. We lunch on woodfired pizza, mine an incredible vegan chorizo combination, with peppermint tea and eventually, of course, do find our way to Vocation Brewery and the NightJar Bar for some well earned and much appreciated craft beer. (Though, enboldened by the Dutch courage, I do dive back into the arty stalls… to treat myself, check out my fabulous new glass coasters!)
And then all too soon, and by now a little tipsy, it is time to head home. We didn’t find time to stroll along the canal walk, nor for the walk to Heptonstall, resting place for Ted Hughes’s first wife, Sylvia Plath. Maybe next time? We certainly did have a wonderful day out and how needed it was after the grind of the working week. Escaping to somewhere new and something different has really raised my spirits, so I’m off to plan a February jaunt… this could definitely be a monthly feature for 2022…