“For my part I am free to walk on the moors - but when I go out there alone - everything reminds me of the times when others were with me and then the moors seem a wilderness, featureless, solitary, saddening - My sister Emily had a particular love for them, and there is not a knoll of heather, not a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf not a fluttering lark or linnet but reminds me of her.”
- Charlotte Brontë, 22nd May 1850 in a letter quoted by Elizabeth Gaskell
Walking up the steep cobbled main street through Haworth, it’s easy to feel that little has changed since The Brontë Sisters
lived there in the mid-nineteenth century. The shops are different, of course - at least in terms of what they’re selling, if not necessarily their shopfronts. It’s hardly surprising that the village should have an old fashioned feel, given that it is the centre of Brontë country, with a museum dedicated to the family in the old parsonage where they once lived and the moors they loved to wander all around.
For information about Haworth, the best place to start is the Haworth Village
site, and you can take a virtual Museum Tour
of the Brontë Parsonage Museum on their website.
Walks around Haworth
The Haworth village website has a number of Brontë Country Walks
; there’s a 7 mile Haworth Moor and Top Withens
starting from Penistone Country Park on the Walking Englishman website; and an 8 mile Top Withens and Brontë Bridge
walk starting from Howarth on the Walking Britain Website.
Times Online has a walk in Brontë Territory
There are a number of walks around Haworth that cover the main locations that inspired Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
, a good start being the 4.5 mile Brontë Connection Walk (PDF)
on the Visit Bradford Walking in Yorkshire
page, which takes in Top Withens (Wuthering Heights), Ponden Kirk (Penistone Craggs), and Ponden Hall (Thrushcross Grange).
The Walk to Wycoller
from Haworth (Wycoller Hall inspired Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre
) is also part of the 40 mile long Brontë Way