Dyer’s Cottage is located within easy reach of all sorts of activities and attractions in Calderdale and beyond. With public transport, both bus and train, available close by and on street car parking available, it is easy to use the cottage as a base to explore all of the surrounding area.
A few ideas are listed below.
The Wainhouse family were very influential in the area as they built the dyeworks which provided employment to most of the local people, our family included. The last member of the family was J.E. Wainhouse who inherited the dyeworks and property, including this cottage, from his uncle. Initially designed as a 77m chimney for the dyeworks and built between 1871 and 1875, with balconies and an elaborate dome, the tower can be seen from miles around.
It was never used for its original purpose and is now regarded as the world’s tallest folly. Open to the public on certain days a year ( see www.calderdale.gov.uk/leisure for dates and times), you can climb the internal spiral staircase of 369 steps for an outstanding 360 degree view – blog.anti-limited.com/369-steps-halifax-atop-Wainhouse-tower.
The top is illuminated at night and provides a spectacular sight when in the cottage garden.
The Piece Hall is an amazing Grade 11 listed building based around a huge square in the centre of Halifax which reopened in 2017 after a huge renovation and is now a lively hub of activity offering a range of unusual shops, art galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Built in 1779 as a Saturday sales centre for local handloom weavers, there is an extremely interesting local history exhibition too – www.thepiecehall.co.uk.
An interactive educational museum with a focus on learning through play. Next to Halifax Railway station – www.eureka.org.uk.
A Grade 11 listed historic house museum set within an attractive park, this was originally the home of Edward Akroyd who was one Halifax’s most eminent woollen and worsted manufacturers. Less than a mile from the centre of Halifax in Boothtown, it incorporates costume and textile galleries and the regimental museum of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment who were based in the town.
Shibden Hall is a magnificent Grade 11* listed historic house situated in 90 acres of beautiful parkland. It’s architecture is a mix of styles which reflect its long and interesting history.
Home to the Lister family for over 300 years, it features in a new BBC drama series set in 1832 following the life of Anne Lister, also known as Gentleman Jack – museums.calderdale.gov.uk/visit/shibden-hall.
The Calder and Hebble Navigation and the Rochdale Canal are within walking distance of the cottage. The waterways meet at nearby Sowerby Bridge where the wharf area offers a range of pubs and restaurants – www.penninewaterways.co.uk/calder/.
HappyDaysCycles.org is a social enterprise which repairs and hires out cycles in Sowerby Bridge. Great cafe here too!
Have a look at www.routeyou.com for some of the many cycling routes around Calderdale.
The Tour de Yorkshire May 3-6 2018 passes through Halifax. www.letour.yorkshire.com.
Music, Art, & Culture
Dean Clough Halifax is a centre for the arts located in the world’s former largest carpet factory hosting shopping, dining, events and exhibitions – www.deanclough.com.
Victoria Theatre Halifax opened in 1901 and offers a variety of plays, musicals, shows and comedy events – www.victoriatheatre.co.uk.
The National Science and Media Museum Bradford is the place to explore the science and culture of image and sound technology – www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is at West Bretton near Wakefield (40 minutes by car) and is the UK’s leading open air gallery. It displays work by British and international artists including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth – www.ysp.org.uk.
Explore Local Towns & Villages
Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall are surrounded by breathtaking scenery as featured in “ Happy Valley”. Hebden is a quirky, artistic market town with markets held on Wednesday and Saturday. It offers an eclectic mix of one off shops, cafes and restaurants and a lively art and music scene.
Heptonstall is a village from the past, set high on a hillside with cobbled streets and is frequently used as a film set.
Mytholmroyd, Cragg Vale and Luddenden are traditional villages within the beautiful Calder Valley. Mytholmroyd is the birthplace of the poet Ted Hughes and has a popular antique centre and arts festival – www.mytholmroydartsfestival.org.uk.
Elland and Greetland. Elland is home to the Rex Cinema whilst Greetland is the official start of the Calderdale Way, a 50 mile footpath, and is also known for Andy Thornton’s based in Victoria Mills which houses an Aladdin’s Cave of architectural antiques – www.andythornton.com.
Ripponden and the Ryburn Valley. The conservation village of Ripponden with its lovely packhorse bridge and traditional buildings is set within the attractive Ryburn Valley which offers footpath connections from Sowerby Bridge – www.visitcalderdale.com.
Interesting Days Out
Just 30 minutes by road or longer by bus from Hebden Bridge (train or bus), Haworth is the village which was home to the Bronte family, well known for their literary and artistic abilities. The surrounding moors offered inspiration for Wuthering Heights and the Bronte Parsonage Museum tells the story of their all too short lives – www.bronte.org.uk.
The railway is a 5 mile heritage railway line running steam and diesel trains from Keighley station, up the Worth Valley to Haworth and Oxenhope. Made famous by playing a lead role in the 1970 film The Railway Children, it holds special events like beer festivals and Santa trips – www.kwrr.co.uk.
A trip to the seaside
Calderdale is nearly equidistant between the coasts of Yorkshire and Lancashire. A 2 hour drive will take you to Scarborough, Bridlington or more of the resorts on the North Sea and it is possible to take the train from Halifax or Sowerby Bridge to Scarborough usually changing at Leeds. Southport, Blackpool/Lytham St Anne’s and Morecombe can be reached by car in under 2 hours and Blackpool is on a direct train route. The famous illuminations light up the promenade from September to November – www.blackpool-illuminations.net.
The area near Colne and Pendle provides an interesting day trip. First visit Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall, then follow the route over the moors to Trawden and visit the magical village of Wycoller and its surrounding Country Park.
The beautiful village was almost abandoned in the past but now has a Visitor Information Centre open on certain days. Wycoller Hall is reputed to be Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It can also be accessed from Haworth via neighbouring Oakworth – www.beautifulbritain.co.uk/wycoller.
Pendle Hill is a distinctive landmark 557m above sea level and from the summit there are lovely views. The trials of the Pendle Witches in 1612 are well known in English history. The 12 accused all lived around the hill and were charged with the murders of 10 people by the use of witchcraft. Of the 11 who went to trial, 10 were found guilty and were executed by hanging.
North Yorkshire, about 45 minutes drive, is an extremely well preserved medieval castle built in 1090 by Robert de Romille, a Norman baron – www.skiptoncastle.co.uk.
Skipton is a very attractive market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, an area of spectacular limestone scenery – www.yorkshiredales.org.uk.
A few miles to the East is an estate in Wharfedale owned by the Duke of Devonshire which takes its name from the ruins of the 12th century Augustinian Monastery, now generally known as Bolton Priory. There are lots of scenic trails along the banks of the River Wharfe but please do not feel tempted to jump the Strid where the river narrows – www.boltonabbey.com.
A lovely walled city about an hour and a half by car or train from the cottage. It was founded by the Romans but is dominated by a huge 13th century Gothic cathedral called York Minster. Visit the Castle Museum, the National Railway Museum, Jorvik Viking Centre and York Dungeon for a great day out –www.visityork.org.
One of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. Visit Studley Royal Water Garden at the same time – www.nationaltrust.org.uk.