Haworth (pronounced "How-worth") is a small English village in the county of West Yorkshire, some 3 miles south-west of Keighley and 10 miles west of Bradford. Lying at the heart of Brontë Country, Haworth is the village in which the Brontë sisters grew up to womanhood and composed much of their world-renowned literature. As a result, Haworth and its surroundings draw in millions of travellers each year.
Haworth is 5 miles south of the town of Keighley. The private Keighley and Worth Valley railway run serves to Haworth Station (at the bottom of the hill) from Keighley on weekends thorughout the year and weekdays through summer. Regular buses also run from Keighley bus station.
If travelling by car, be wary of the carpark at the top of the hill (the one with the rough ground): Notorious for wheel clampers if just one minute overdue. a lesser known council car park is up the hill from the station and turn left into Sun Street as the road bears right. Pass Haworth Old Hall pub and the road up to the car park is approx 50 yards on the right. Get your pay and display ticket before parking unless you like climbing!
Haworth is small enough to get about on foot, however there are a number of steep bits and lots of cobbles. If you're coming from the Steam Railway, there is a hill up into the Bronte Village which is fairly steep and cobbled in places.
There are plenty of signposts to aid pedestrians in navigating around the village, with some being accompanied by a Japanese translation due to the relatively high numbers of tourists from the country.
- Haworth Parsonage and Brontë Parsonage Museum, ☎ +44 1535 642323, fax: +44 1535 647131, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Church Street, open daily 10am-5.30pm (April to September) and 11am-5pm (October to March), except 24-27 December and 2-31 January, admission adults £4.90, seniors and students £3.60, children 5-16 years £1.60, children under 5 free, families £10.50 - maintained by the Brontë Society, the Parsonage is the house in which the three Brontë sisters (and their brother Branwell) grew up and went on to compose their famous novels, while their father served as vicar in the nearby Haworth church
- Haworth Church and Graveyard.
Haworth has a great deal of shops selling a whole variety of books, souvenirs and collectables. While the inevitable tourist tack shops exist, there are also some shops of really good quality artefacts.
Haworth has a number of events throughout the year, in particular
- Haworth 1940s Weekend (normally in May)
- Haworth Arts Festival
- Yorkshire Day Celebration (at the start of August)
A huge variety of Christmas events are put on from late November onwards inclduing
- Scroggling the Holly
- Torchlight (flaming torch) Procession
Those more adventurous may want to tackle a walk over one of the many nearby moors. The Bronte Way and Pennine Way are nearby and a pleasant 6 mile walk from The Bronte Parsonage to Top Withens (the apparent setting for Wuthering Heights) is a fairly easy walk. A map of this, and other walks, is available for a small charge from the Tourist Information Centre
A large number of eateries, cafes and bars are open during the day across Haworth, serving most tastes and requirements. More open in peak season, however a number open throughout the year. Tourists wanting a sit down evening meal should expect to pay for it, as most of the pubs only serve snacks or serve food at lunchtime and early afternoon, especially out of season. A number of very good restaurants exist in the town but they are open at differing times and, especially out of season, it can be hard to get a good meal after 6pm. It is always advisable to plan your evening meal and book earlier. Notably Haworth Old Hall and The Old Sun Inn (at the bottom and top of the Bronte Village respectively) serve meals most of the day and have a variety of choice, including vegetarian.
The main village of Haworth, as opposed to the Bronte Village (the cobbled tourist part of the village) has a large variety of takeways, including a Chinese, several Indian restaurants, a chip shop and Pizza/Kebab shop. There is also a small supermarket and off license. The main village is found on the Mill Hey road, directly opposite the railway station.
Nearby Keighley has a number of eateries, pubs and clubs and busses run every 20 minutes until just after 11pm.
Haworth has a number of fine pubs, popular with travellers and tourists. Pubs also serve basic meals as well as local ales:
- Black Bull, 119 Main Street, ☎ +44 1535 642249. easily the most famous pub in the village, the Black Bull was the tavern where Branwell Brontë drank excessively in his well-documented slide into alcohol and opium addiction before his death from tuberculosis in 1848, aged 31. His favourite drinking chair is preserved inside the pub.
- Haworth Old Hall, at the bottom of Main Street, serves a variety of meals and real Ales
- The Fleece, halfway down Main Street serves local Timothy Taylor real ales.
Almost all the pubs in Haworth serve real ale and most serve warm mulled wine in the Christmas season.
A large number of Bed & Breakfasts exist throughout Haworth and in the surrounding countryside with a variety of qualities and prices. There are also some hotels nearby and a Youth Hostel for budget travellers. A caravan park is situated just outside the village on the road to Keighley and above the village overlooking the Worth Valley.
Haworth is a great stop on the way too or from:
- Hebden Bridge. This popular tourist village is accessible by bus several times a day or a fair walk over the moors. Trains run regularly from Hebden to Manchester. Literary tourists with their own transport may also want to visit Heptonstall where poet Sylvia Plath is buried.
- Keighley is a small town, accessible by bus roughly every 20 minutes. Trains run from Keighley to Leeds, Bradford, Skipton and, occasionally, Carlisle.
- The Yorkshire Dales. About 45 minutes drive up the road. You will need a car to get here, or will need to plan your route on public transport carefully.
- Those with a car may want to drive north to Bolton Abbey an impressive ruin that inspired many painters and poets.
- Other local places worthy of a visit include Halifax, Huddersfield, the World Heritage Site at Saltaire and the church at Guiseley, where the Bronte's were married.
Lancashire and East Yorkshire are also accessible by train and car.