Most people tend to head to Hebden Bridge nowadays but I didn't really enjoy myself when I went there so I took a trip to Haworth instead.
It’s somewhere that has been made famous by the Brontë sisters but also packs some proper good pubs, restaurants and weird little shops.
The main ‘strip’ of Haworth is going to be of most interest to the casual visitor and if you’re lazy or struggle to walk then this might be pretty difficult. It’s located on a rather steep hill, so walking up and down can be a bit of a strenuous activity – especially after a few bevvies. To make everything easier I’m going to start at the bottom and work our way up to the top…
Howarth Old Hall Inn
Right at the bottom of the hill opposite the park you’ll find the Haworth Old Hall Inn, a pub and hotel combo housed within a 16th century manor house. It’s undoubtedly haunted but don’t let that put you off nipping in and grabbing your first pint, wine or goblet of gin. The pub is quite possibly one of the most impressive you could ever go in, resembling somewhere Henry VIII would have got pissed up and shagged a bar wench. They’ve kept loads of original features and it’s perfect for a cozy winter afternoon while it snows outside. When it’s sunny though – they also have one of the best beer gardens you’ll ever experience – massive, clean and always sunny – perfect.
Haworth Old Hall, Sun Street, Haworth BD22 8BP
From here head up Main Street and start up the hill. You’ll quickly notice a massive shining beacon about a third of the way up, the Fleece…
The Fleece Inn
What you could consider to be Haworth’s premium ‘trendy’ Gastropub, the Fleece has everything you could ever desire, including some impressive signage and font usage. It’s a class act all round with some of Timothy Taylor’s best ales and beers, more gin than Audrey Roberts and an extensive menu featuring all of your pub classics. When we popped in we shared a Fish Finger butty which was massive and very tasty indeed. They get included in loads of Good Pub Guide type things here – you’d be a silly sod not to show your face and have a chat.
The Fleece Inn, 67 Main St, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DA
Leaving the Fleece, you start to get into the more touristy bit of Haworth, a fact that is easy to distinguish with the introduction of shops selling loads of shite. There’s everything you could never want including gnomes, wood carvings, dog accessories and tarot cards.
Hatchard & Daughters
One place which is pretty decent though, although I suppose it does depend on what they’ve got in, is the used book shop – Hatchard & Daughters who also sell other bits and pieces. It’s a great place to have a little potter around, with a dazzling array of old and used books that might even be worth a bob or two in a few years. As you’d expect you’ll also find a fair few Bronte numbers knocking about, as well as a ton of books about the local area.
Hatchard & Daughters, 91 Main St, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DA
Tea Rooms (& Chocolate)
As you walk up the hill you’ll probably notice a fair few tea rooms with old dears sitting outside chatting about how much they hate the youth of today. As someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy tea or coffee I’ve never really ventured into any of them, but if this is your thing then you’re in luck because most of them are excellent and can sort you out with a cuppa, butties and cakes of the highest order. There’s the The Apothecary Tea Rooms and The Cookhouse which I have been informed to mention but you can’t go wrong with any of them really. If you’ve got a sweet tooth you’ll also enjoy And Chocolate who bang out some brilliant chocolates and truffles including one of the hottest chilli chocolates in the world.
The Black Bull
As you reach the apex of the hill you’ll notice a massive boozer – The Black Bull. Get yourself in there, mind your head, and get involved in this ancient drinking den that Brontë brother Patrick liked to get pissed up in. Located less than 50 meters away from the Brontë house, this place was their local and would have been perfectly placed for when the snow was so thick that it was up to your chin (people were smaller in those days). It’s a proper traditional boozer nowadays and they serve up exactly everything you’d expect from a local pub. They also have an excellent terrace outside which overlooks the main strip of Haworth and is perfect for watching the world go by.
The Black Bull Haworth, 119 Main St, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DP
Haworth Steam Brewery
Directly opposite the church at the tip of the hill, the Haworth Steam Brewery is one of the smallest independent microbreweries in the country and they serve up their own beers, gin, tonics and there’s even a little bistro bit that serves some food. I’ve not eaten here but I have it on good authority that it is excellent and their menu features plenty of locally sourced ingredients and hearty mains. If you just do one thing here though it should be to drink some of their Haworth Gin which comes in a range of flavours including a brilliant Parma Violet Gin which takes you back to being a kid.
Haworth Steam Brewing Co, 98 Main St, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DP
The Kings Arms
Perfectly placed right next to the Tourist Information bit, The Kings Arms is an imposing pub which looks like it’s had a bit of a spruce up since last I was there. You can still expect a nice, friendly pub though with a rather impressive food menu and plenty of craft ales and ciders on offer. I had a Sunday Lunch in here a few years ago and it was really good, so give that a try if you’re doing this on a Sunday. Beer wise they have a range of locally produced cask ales which have a bit of a Brontë theme to them. Well, they’re named after the Brontë family, that’s all. They’re good though.
The Kings Arms, 2 Church St, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DR
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Definitely the most visited attraction in Haworth is the Brontë Parsonage Museum, a window into the live, times and works of the Brontë sisters who lived in this house and wrote their most famous works. Everyone in the English-speaking world knows of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, even if they’ve not slogged through reading them. Visit the museum here and you can have a look around their house, check out some art and generally get a feel as to what it was like to be in Haworth in them dark times. The staff here are really nice and will answer any questions – no matter how stupid they are.
Brontë Parsonage Museum, Church Street, Haworth, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DR
The Old White Lion
Okay so we’re at the final stop of this route and although there are a few more pubs knocking about elsewhere in Haworth, you should probably stop and either head home or get your head down in your hotel room. Don’t miss the Old White Lion though, it’s a proper slice of Haworth history and has been here for about 300 years. In all that time they’ve been bashing out cold beer and hot food to the travellers and tourists that pass through the village and not much has changed to be fair. They do some brilliant craft ales, which change all the time and it’s the kind of quaint country pub that you came to Haworth for in the first place. It can get proper busy in here and you can always be guaranteed a top atmosphere.
The Old White Lion Hotel & Restaurant, 6-10 W Lane, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DU