Haworth, a hidden gem in West Yorkshire, England is most famous for its connection with the Bronte Sisters – three literary genius – Emily, Charlotte and Anne. They spent most of their lives in this village in the 19th century and created timeless classics like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Truly, Haworth is the home of the Bronte Country.
Even if you are not a Bronte fan, you would love this village surrounded by wild moorlands and rolling hills. There are great walking and hiking opportunities to explore the South Pennine moorland.
Not only that, Haworth has a great history with the railway. If you are a fan of vintage steam train, you will have to be here. This village is also the world’s first fair trade village and is twinned with Machu Picchu in Peru – a world wonder. There are plenty of quirky vintage shops, cosy cafes and haunted pubs at the heart of Haworth that you would really enjoy popping in to.
Plus, Haworth hosts some great events like 1940s weekend, Steampunk Weekend, Tour de Yorkshire depending upon what time of the year you are visiting. So, this picturesque village has plenty of things to explore and do for everyone. And, here is our guide to top 12 things to do in Haworth.
Getting to Haworth:
This West Yorkshire village lies 4 miles south of Keighley, 9 miles west of Bradford and 20 miles west of Leeds. There are many options how you can reach Haworth:
- From Keighley: Approx. 10 minutes via A629
- From Bradford: Approx. 20 minutes via B6144
- From Leeds: Approx. 40 minutes via B6144 and A647.There are 3 main car parks in the village with one near the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
By Public Transport:
There are regular bus services to Haworth from Keighley, Bradford and Hebden Bridge. The nearest one is of course Keighley.
Nearest main railway station is Leeds. Keighley is about 30 minutes on train from Leeds which is operated by Northern Rail Services.
Take the vintage train operated by Keighley & Worth Valley Railway from Keighley. They usually run the services daily in summer, and at weekends and bank holidays for rest of the year. So, check their website to get the latest timetable. Advance booking is recommended.
You can also combine bus and train services to reach Haworth.
Best Time to Visit Haworth:
The best time to visit Haworth would be in late summer (From mid July to August) when the moorland looks spectacular with purple heathers. However, you can visit this village anytime of the year except in winter when moorland walk won’t be a good choice unless you are a fan of roaring winds.
🇬🇧 12 Awesome Things to do in Haworth, Yorkshire
1. Enjoy a picnic at Bronte Waterfall
Bronte Waterfall, a must-visit place while you are in Haworth, was a firm favourite among the Bronte sisters. It’s about 50 minutes moderately easy walk from the village centre – the path is properly waymarked.
If you want the shorter version of the walk, take the Stanbury bound Bronte Bus, B1 that passes by the village. From where the bus terminates, head towards the Back Lane (sometimes Google doesn’t show this option, but it’s going to save you a lot of walks) and soon after, you will find a signpost to guide you to the waterfall. It’s not more than 15 minutes walk from there.
Essentially, this waterfall is like a narrow moorland stream falling through the rocky beds before it meets the Sladen Beck, a bit bigger moorland stream, near the Bronte Bridge.
Bronte sisters fondly called this place ‘the meeting of the waters’. Also, watch out for the Bronte Chair, a seat shaped stone, named after Charlotte Bronte, the eldest of the Bronte Sisters.
This is a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic listening to the soothing sound of the moorland stream.
2. Take a hike up to Top Withens
Said to be the inspiration for Emily Bronte’s timeless masterpiece, Wuthering Heights – Top Withens is a ruined farmhouse on the Pennine Way in the rugged moorland of West Yorkshire.
After exploring Bronte Waterfall, keep following the Enfield Side Road and there are wooden signposts at places to make sure you are in the right direction to Top Withens. You will love the walk along the vast stretches of unspoilt wilderness in this moorland.
At the end of summer every year, the entire moorland spruces up like a purple sheet of heather – It’s so eye-catching! You might spot some wild habitats like red grouse and merlin as well.
Sometimes, it can be a bit boggy and rough in places. Plus, the weather turns to blustery and rainy very frequently. So, make sure you have your waterproof jackets and walking boots to keep you warm and comfy.
At the Top Withens, you will find a plaque set up by Bronte Society that says the ruined farmhouse doesn’t bear any direct resemblance to the house mentioned on the Wuthering Heights.
However, it’s widely believed that Emily took the inspiration from this house set in the wild moorland.
After the hike, on your way back to Haworth, you can take a pit stop at Wuthering Heights, a really nice pub in Stanbury named after the classic novel.
3. Enjoy the view from Haworth Main Street
When we first saw a photo of this village on Instagram from this viewpoint, we were immediately sold and we knew we had to be in Haworth. At that point, we knew little about the fact that Haworth has such a strong connection with the Bronte sisters.
Don’t know whether it’s just us, the view along the Main Street against the rolling hills in the backdrop is so pleasing and so addictive! We took probably hundred pictures from here.
This village is simply great for rambling around the alleys and cobbled streets. You will find many charming gardens and plaques to tell the trivia about the Bronte family.
4. Visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum
No trip to Haworth would be complete without visiting the Bronte Parsonage. This well-preserved museum was the home of the famous literary family, the Brontes in the 19th century. They spent rest of their lives in this house after they moved from their earlier home in Thornton, a small village not too far from Haworth.
Here in this house, the Bronte Sisters – Emily, Charlotte and Anne penned most of their literary marvels like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. You will get to see their original writing desks, first edition manuscripts, letters – the museum has excellent collection and memorabilia to take you through their lives. Adjacent to this museum lies the Old School where they taught.
Pre-booking is recommended considering the museum is very popular with Bronte enthusiasts. Adult ticket price is £9.50; Child £4; family tickets and concessions are available as well.
5. Hop on the heritage train to Haworth
Possibly the perfect start of your trip to Haworth would be having a journey on a vintage train which is enjoyed by children of all ages. Hop on the Heritage train from Keighley and ride to Haworth through the Worth Valley.
You will find alternate steam and diesel services few times a day which are run by Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Just keep in mind, they usually operate the vintage trains daily in summer and at weekends and bank holidays for the rest of the year. So, check out their website to get the latest timetable before you visit.
In case your timing is cross with the their timetable, don’t worry. Just pop at the platform on Howarth Rail station or the footbridge overhead. You would catch a nice glimpse of this vintage train come and leave whistling and puffing out steams.
6. Pop into the vintage shops at Haworth
At the heart of Haworth, the village Main Street is lined up with many quirky and vintage shops. At the Cabinet of Curiosities, originally an apothecary when Bronte sisters lived, you would find botanic fragrances and soap bars (Orange & Turmeric one was our favourite), lotions and potions, skull bath bombs, exotic oils that would surely tickle your fancy. The smell is so relaxing!
If you have a sweet tooth, Mrs Beightons Sweet Shop has many tasty treats in store for you. You will be spoilt for choices to pick and mix – they have over 500 types of sweets in different forms and shapes. It’s a paradise for sweet lovers like us.
They have gifts and hampers available as well if you would like to send a dose of sweetness to your friends and family.
The Souk has a great range of vintage clothes and accessories you would love checking out. You will have many funky items and clothes in Sonia’s Smile, who played a major role in making Haworth world’s first fair trade village.
There are plenty more shops to explore with super catchy names, like Wave of Nostalgia, Pretty Penny, Oh La La that will keep you glued for hours.
7. Visit the Haworth Church
This 15th-century church, originally built as a chapel, sits next to the Bronte Parsonage and is also commonly known as the Bronte Church because of its strong connection with the Bronte Family.
Patrick Bronte, father of the Bronte Sisters, was a priest in this church. Two of the Bronte Sisters – Emily and Charlotte were buried in this church Crypt. They have free guided tours to talk about the church’s history and its association with the Bronte family.
The Church is usually open to the visitors from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm all year round except Christmas day and some special occasions.
8. Chill out at the Haworth Central Park
If you are looking for a place of respite for the weary legs, or simply want to soak up the sun or read a book alfresco, head towards the Central park at the end of Main Street.
There are plenty of inviting green space, a playground and a nice flower garden. You won’t have to fight for benches as well. The park is quite popular with both locals and visitors. Overall, this park is a really nice spot for a natter and hangout.
9. Enjoy a pint at local pubs
Haworth has great pub scene serving traditional Yorkshire ales (Timothy Taylor’s) and contemporary drinks. Some of the old pubs like the Black Bull are believed to be haunted by Branwell, the only brother of the Bronte Sisters and a family black sheep.
A very short distance from the Black Bull, there is allegedly another haunted one, Kings Arms. Nothing to be scared of as long as you don’t talk to an old stranger in the pub. You would also like the relatively new bar, Tap and Tonic. They have great décor and amazing variety of drinks at reasonable prices.
10. Canal walk in Hebden Bridge
Known as ‘Pennine Centre’, Hebden Bridge is a charming old mill town and is about 20 minutes drive from Haworth. Through the heart of the Hebden bridge passes the Rochdale Canal, which has 91 locks over its 32 mile stretch across the Pennines.
There are loads of great walking and Cycling opportunities along the Canal towpath. You will get to admire many colourful barges, gorgeous receding scenery of the countryside and old mills.
A remarkable of those is Gibson Mill at Hardcastle Crags – one of the oldest cotton mills in Britain’s Industrial revolution
Besides, change of water levels through the locks is quite an interesting watch itself. If you fancy a cruise in the canal, you can also pre-book with Bronte Boats and Hebden Bridge Cruises.
Plus, Hebden bridge has many vibrant independent shops, cafes and restaurants. You would totally enjoy that bustling vibe rambling around the town.
11. Visit the hilltop village Heptonstall
A picturesque Pennine hilltop village, Heptonstall is just 20 minutes (5 minutes by car) walk from the centre of Hebden Bridge. On your way uphill, you will get a magnificent view across the Hebden Valley.
This quaint little village of Heptonstall is laid out in cobbled alleys which makes it really charming. Once there, visit the Heptonstall Museum, a former grammar school dating back to 18th Century, which has free entry. You will get to know some fascinating stories about local history, its involvement in the English Civil War, Cragg Vale Coiners – 18th Century gang of counterfeiters who used to fake gold currencies.
The village has a unique possession of two parish churches (one ruined) on the same churchyard of the St Thomas the Apostle. On the Graveyard Extension, there is a headstone of famous American poet, Sylvia Plath, who was buried here.
This has been featured in the BBC TV drama, Happy Valley. If you are thirsty, nip in to the 14th century pub, The White Lion – they have great range of drinks to offer you.
12. Have a hearty dinner in a historic building
Haworth Old Hall is part of a 400-year-old historic Tudor manor house, which has tunnels underneath leading to Haworth Church. In the past, at the time of religious prosecution, this was used as an escape route to protect the non-conformist. Now, the well-preserved old hall of the historic building is a restaurant with two stone fireplaces.
Their food and service are spot on, the ambience is really cool and the staff are super friendly. You would really enjoy a great evening there. Price is a bit on the higher side, but totally worth it. Advance booking is definitely recommended.
Planing a Trip to England?
For further reading on other ENGLAND destinations:
Newcastle | 30 Best Things to do in Newcastle
Peak District | How to Spend 4 days in Peak District – 14 Top Things to do
Haworth, West Yorkshire | 12 Most Awesome Things To Do in Haworth
Hadrian’s Wall| How to Spend a Day in Hadrian’s Wall – 11 Top Things to Do
Where to Stay in Haworth:
There are a number of hotels and Bed & Breakfasts at the heart of Haworth, however not too many considering it’s a small village. So, book your accommodation well in advance if you would like to stay in the village centre. There is a youth hostel as well in the village, not too far from the centre.
Where to Eat in Haworth:
Haworth Old Hall is the one we talked about previously. Plus, there are plenty of nice restaurants and cafes like The Hawthorn, Cobbles & Clay, The Cookhouse on the Main Streets where you would enjoy eating.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this article about Haworth. Please let us know how was your experience visiting this lovely village.