Pennine town Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire is the perfect destination for a weekend or midweek break. A few days away here promises relaxation in a beautiful rural setting alongside the Rochdale Canal. Get active and head off into the Calderdale countryside or Hardcastle Crags wooded valley, or relax in one of Hebden’s fine real ale inns and organic cafes. A real Yorkshire arts festival town and a centre for independent, locally sourced and vintage shopping in Yorkshire, Hebden Bridge offers a fantastic package of things to do with a cultural edge. The town is easily reached via fast rail links from Leeds and offers an excellent selection of central stone built B&Bs and surrounding Pennine cottages.
1. Canal Cruises & Dining on the Rochdale Canal
Treat yourself to a fantastic canal cruise on the Rochdale Canal. The canalside Stubbing Wharf inn at Hebden Bridge offers scheduled canal cruises on beautiful beamed craft ‘Gracie’. Options range from 40 minute scenic cruises and Sunday Roast Cruises to Pirate Parties for kids and Afternoon Tea Cruises. Or you can charter your very own cruise for a group – perfect for that special family celebration. All catering is supplied by the superb Stubbing’s kitchen.
2. Take a Walk to Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags
Take a scenic walk in Hardcastle Crags (National Trust), a beautiful 400 acre wooded valley with 19th century Gibson Mill in the centre featuring a family friendly visitor centre and Weaving Shed Cafe. Within walking distance (or a quick bus ride) from Hebden centre, the Crags are a magical place, carpeted with bluebells in season, and featuring family friendly walking paths and ample parking onsite.
3. Vintage Fair & Shopping Delights
Head into Bridge Mill in the heart of Hebden Bridge and discover the bespoke vintage boutique collection of Lucy and the Caterpillar with clothing items dating from the 1920s to the 1980s. Musician owner Lucy Conroy sources and handpicks all her vintage treasures. Lucy also organises the popular Hebden Bridge Vintage Fair taking place twice a year in the town hall. Another great vintage shop with a quirky edge in the town is Hotcakes on Hilton Street just off the main Market Street. Discover great vintage pieces and accessories in here plus handmade clothing all at affordable prices.
4. Craft Heaven in the Heart Gallery
Hebden Bridge’s Heart Gallery in The Arts Centre on Market Street is pure browsing and buying craft heaven featuring unique pieces of bespoke upcycled and designer jewellery, textiles, glass, ceramics, prints and more, handcrafted by mostly local designers.
5. Catch a Gig at The Trades Club
A local venue with a global reach, The Trades Club on Holme Street in Hebden Bridge is a legendary music venue with an impressive gig line up that often sells out fast. Famous performances here have included Patti Smith and a long list of best bands, award-winning Blues singers and guitarists. These mingle with a line-up that also features cutting edge drama, film and Big screen TV sessions, themed music nights and more. Pre-book early and online via the website.
6. The Picture House Cinema
Love cinema – love The Picture House Cinema in Hebden Bridge, a 400 seat cinema and hub venue in the Pennine town for a mix of mainstream, independent, and foreign language film. Always a big part of the the annual arts festival, the cinema also hosts live events and shows. Catch a film here on a weekend break or holiday, screening in the evenings and offering afternoon matinees.
7. The Organic House Cafe
Looking to sample some of Yorkshire’s best local and organic produce? The Organic House on Market Street is where to head. This legendary Hebden Bridge cafe was one of the very first cafes to open in the Fairtrade and ‘walkers are welcome’ Pennine town. It’s now famous for its all day locally sourced and hearty breakfasts, its mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian snacks and meals and delectable choice of cakes. A children’s menu is available and the outstanding coffees here are made from 100% Arabica beans from Central America, Indonesia and East Africa.
8. Visit West Yorkshire’s Only Co-operative Pub
Visit West Yorkshire’s only co-operative pub – The Fox and Goose on Heptonstall Road in Hebden Bridge. Much loved and recently reopened, the Fox and Goose sells a wide range of quality real ales, many sourced from local independent microbreweries. Real ciders and best bottled beers and lagers also feature in this warm, welcoming inn which hosts annual beer festivals. Find it at the far end of Market Street at the beginning of the steep climb up to Heptonstall.
9. Vinyl Revival at Muse Music & Love Cafe
The ultimate alternative to High Street record shops, Muse Music in Hebden has built up a huge following since owner Sid Jones first opened the store in 1997. This independent music shop stocks a range of music genres on CD and LP, from Rock and Blues to Folk and Jazz…… and if ‘music be the food of love …. play on’, and relax in recent addition the Love Cafe with fantastic coffees and a choice of snacks.
10. Fairtrade Clothing & Crafts at Spirals
Fairtrade clothing, gifts and world crafts all in a beautiful shop with two huge shopfront windows on Market Street – this is Spirals Fairtrade Eco Store on Market Street. What started as a little Fairtrade craft and locally made goodies store in 2005 has grown into two floors of earth friendly delights. Find a superb range of natural skincare products and locally designed products and gifts made with recycled materials. There’s also a fantastic textiles and clothing corner inside with ethical fashion clothing and accessories, plus an extensive selection of craft and silver jewellery. Checkout the children’s toy area and move upstairs to interiors and homewares.