It is impossible to really appreciate the work of the Brontes without understanding the landscape they lived and wrote in.
Darkly dramatic and sweepingly beautiful, the Moors that surround Haworth play a key role in the books we have come to know and love by the Bronte sisters.
What better way to understand the landscape than to get out in it; walk where they walked and see the stunning views they too enjoyed.
This walk takes in almost everything the area has to offer; the village, the Bronte Parsonage Museum along with the breathtakingly beautiful Penistone Hill which leads up to what is believed to be Wuthering Heights.
What three words for starting point:
Start at the bottom of Haworth Main Street outside the Old Hall Pub and take a gentle stroll up the cobbles – it really does feel like going back in time.
There is a fantastic selection of cafes, quirky independent shops and pubs as you wind your way up the steep hill.
Sights of Haworth
There is plenty of Bronte-related history dotted along the Main Street. Be sure to check out Oh La La, formerly a stationery shop thought to be the place the Brontes bought their paper.
The Hawthorn was home to a clock makers in the time of the Brontes and as you reach the top of the hill you will see the Black Bull, often frequented by Branwell Bronte.
The Cabinet of Curiosities was formerly the dispensary where Branwell purchased laudanum – an opium-derived drug.
History in the Stones
On the left, you will see stairs at the side of St Michael and All Angels Church. Walk up here and along the right-hand side of the church where you will come to another cobbled road.
This road leads past the church and the graveyard which in itself is a fascinating place that tells the story of the terrible conditions at the time of the Brontes.
Home of the Brontes
Further up the cobbled road, you will find the Bronte Parsonage Museum on the left which is well worth a visit.
Go past the Museum with the Museum shop on your left and you will see a small footpath that leads across a field and will eventually drop down onto West Lane.
Following in the footsteps…
Walk along West Lane away from Haworth and pick up Cemetery Road on the left taking a sharp left onto Dimples Lane.
Make your way up Dimples Lane, it is steep at times but believe me, the views when you get to the top are well worth it.
As Dimples Lane flattens out, on your right you will be able to see across the stunning landscape of Penistone Hill and far off into the distance is Top Withens.
Look out on your left for a sloping footpath, walk down and take a left. Walk along here past allotments and chickens and you will be back in the Church Yard.
It is a short walk distance-wise, only about 2.5k, but don’t let that fool you. There is plenty of climbing lots to see and many changes to the terrain.
If you want to add a bit of distance a loop of Penistone Moors will allow you to see the views better – there are plenty of benches which excellent vantage points.
A treat at the end
Once back at the top of Main Street in Haworth you can make your way back down possibly stopping off for refreshments or a browse.
Get the South Pennines OS Map
Get the South Pennines OS Map covering Hebden Bridge, Haworth & Todmorden for detailed information on public footpaths, topography and tracks across the Bronte landscape.