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Walking in the Footsteps of the Brontë Sisters: Discovering the Best Walks in Haworth and Brontë Country

A Guide to some of the Most Breathtaking Walks in Yorkshire’s Rugged Countryside

Nestled in the heart of the stunning Yorkshire countryside lies the picturesque village of Haworth, known for its rich literary heritage and rugged moorland, immortalized in Emily Brontë’s timeless classic, ‘Wuthering Heights.’ This historic village has been inhabited since at least the 13th century and is famously associated with the Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily, and Anne – who lived and wrote their acclaimed novels here.

Brontë Country, as the area is known, is best experienced on foot, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a seasoned walker or a casual rambler, the walks in Haworth and the Brontë Country have something for everyone, from gentle strolls through wooded valleys to challenging hikes across the moors.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the 6 best walks in the area, each offering its own unique charm and stunning vistas. So, lace up your boots, pack your rucksack, and join us on a journey of discovery through the beautiful Brontë Country.

6 Best Walks in Haworth and Brontë Country

Haworth and the surrounding Brontë Country are a paradise for walkers, with a variety of landscapes and terrain to explore. Here are six of the best walks in the area, each with its own beauty and charm.

The Brontë Waterfalls (3.6 miles)

This circular walk is just under four miles and takes about an hour and a half to complete. The route starts and ends at Penistone Hill Country Park and passes through the picturesque village of Stanbury before reaching the Brontë Waterfalls. The waterfalls are a stunning sight, surrounded by ancient trees and mossy rocks, and were a favourite spot for the Brontë sisters to visit. Look for a chair-shaped rock along the way – it’s said Emily Brontë would rest here to gather her thoughts.

Haworth Moor and Top Withens (7.7 miles)

This almost eight-mile circular walk takes about three hours to complete and includes the iconic ruin of Top Withens, believed to be the inspiration for the Earnshaw family house in Wuthering Heights. The walk begins and ends in a lay-by on Cemetery Road, a short distance from Haworth Cemetery, and takes you over the wild and windswept moorland that inspired the Brontës’ writing. The view from Top Withens is breathtaking, with miles of rugged countryside stretching out before you.

The Railway Children Walk (5 miles)

This five-mile circular walk takes about two hours to complete and is a must for fans of the classic children’s film. The route starts at Haworth station and follows the tracks of the famous Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, which was used in the filming of the 1970 film adaptation of The Railway Children. The walk passes through the stunning countryside that surrounds Haworth and ends back at the historic station.

Brontë Country (9.4 miles)

This nine-mile point-to-point walk from Haworth to Hebden Bridge takes about four hours to complete and offers a comprehensive tour of the stunning countryside that inspired the Brontë sisters. The route takes you from Haworth over the moors to Penistone Hill with it’s abandoned stone quarries, before descending to the picturesque Leeshaw Reservoir. The climb up Bodkin Lane takes you over the moors and then drops down to the wooded valley of Crimsworth Dean. From here, follow the official route to Midgehole from Grain Water Bridge. You can also visit Lumb Hole waterfalls on the way. The walk ends at Hebden Bridge, just in time for a cup of tea and a well-deserved slice of cake. The walk offers a real sense of the wild and romantic landscape that inspired some of the greatest literature of the 19th century.

Denholme Clough (4.1 miles)

This four-mile circular walk takes about an hour and a half to complete and takes you through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled countryside in the area. The route begins in the village of Denholme and follows the Denholme Clough Fault, a geological feature that has created a unique landscape of craggy outcrops, deep gorges, and sweeping valleys. The walk also passes through some charming hamlets and offers stunning views over the surrounding hills and moors. Begin following Black Edge Lane, and Thornton Moor Lane, before looping around the reservoir and heading back along Hambleton Lane and Foreside Lane.

Oxenhope to Hardcastle Crags (20 miles)

This eight-mile point-to-point walk takes about nine hours to complete (it’s not for the fainthearted!) and takes you through some of the most spectacular woodland scenery in the area. The route starts in the village of Oxenhope and follows the meandering brooks and river valleys to the National Trust property of Hardcastle Crags, a deep wooded valley with cascading waterfalls and ancient woodland. The walk offers a unique and immersive experience of the natural beauty of Brontë Country.

Follow in the Footsteps of the Bronte Sisters

Brontë Country is around 15 miles from Skipton, the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, and has among the most breathtaking landscapes in the UK. From rugged moorland to cascading waterfalls, the area is a walker’s paradise. If you’re looking for a staycation that will take you through some of the most stunning countryside in England, then look no further than Haworth.

Mulberry Cottage is a family-owned and run holiday cottage located in the heart of Haworth. It’s the perfect base for exploring the Brontë Country and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales. After a long day of walking, you can relax in the cosy cottage and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

So why not book your staycation at Mulberry Cottage and follow in the footsteps of the Brontë sisters? You’ll experience the same stunning landscapes that inspired Charlotte, Emily, and Anne to create some of the most iconic works of English literature. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this beautiful part of the country. Book your stay today and experience the magic of the Brontë Country.

For more details on all the walks mentioned in this article, please see the links below:


Top Ten Places to Visit Near Haworth

  •  Haworth Main Street

Haworth became famous as a destination due it’s association with the Brontë sisters, but there are plenty of other reasons for you to visit this picturesque village surrounded by dramatic moorland.

Haworth is full of character and has a traditional cobbled main street on a steep incline.  There are some fabulous independent shops, including handmade chocolates, independent art galleries and jewellers.  There are many places to eat and drink from quaint little cafes with homemade cakes to Haworth Steam Brewing Company who make their own beer and gin.  There are also some lovely restaurants and pubs including The Black Bull said to be frequented by Branwell Brontë. 

Haworth hosts many themed events throughout the year. The 1940’s weekend in May is extremely popular and transports you back to 1940’s wartime, complete with the outfits, music and vehicles from the time.  Haworth also hosts the 1960’s weekend in June and ‘Steampunk and ‘Hawortheen’ in October.  Haworth’s Victorian Christmas really gets you into the Dickensian Christmas spirit with events including ‘Scroggling the Holly’ and the ‘Torchlight Procession’. You will find Haworth friendly and welcoming and enjoy browsing it’s shops and walking it’s nearby moors…

  • Brontë Parsonage Museum and St Michael and All Angels’ Church

Second on this list, has to of course be, the Brontë Parsonage Museum.  The Museum is maintained by the Brontë Society in honour of the Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The museum is in the former Brontë family home, the parsonage is just off Haworth Main Street, where the sisters spent most of their lives and wrote their famous novels. The Brontë Society, one of the oldest literary societies in the English-speaking world, is a registered charity. Its members support the preservation of the museum and library collections. The Parsonage is listed Grade I on the National Heritage List for England. 

St Michael and All Angels’ Church is the Church of England parish church of Haworth, West Yorkshire. The current structure, the third church building on the site, was built between 1879 and 1881 although parts of the original medieval church building, notably the tower, survive from earlier periods. The church is best known for its historic association with the Brontë sisters whose father Patrick Brontë served as minister of the parish between 1820 and 1861.

  •  Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a 5-mile-long heritage railway line in the Worth Valley, West Yorkshire and one of the country’s premier ‘heritage’ steam railways.  It runs from Keighley to Oxenhope, connecting to the national rail network at Keighley railway station.  The line opened in 1867, funded predominantly by local wealthy mill owners. The journey is a powerful reminder of our industrial heritage, as well as being a unique way of enjoying the beautiful countryside immortalised by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë.  The railway also famously featured in the film The Railway Children.

The Railway today serves a dual purpose. Whilst by far the majority of its passengers travel on it for pleasure, a significant minority, about a third, use it as a means of transport to reach Haworth, or to go walking on the moors.  You can visit the stunningly beautiful surrounding countryside by steam train or diesel train, rail services operate on more than 200 days per year.  There are themed events throughout the year including ‘The Haworth Haddock’ and ‘Strawberries and Prosecco’, the ‘Santa Special’ and many more.

  • Brontë Waterfalls

The Brontë Waterfall is a small waterfall located about a mile south west of Stanbury, near Haworth, West Yorkshire. The area surrounding the waterfall is mainly moorland and farmland but is part of Brontë Country. It is an area of outstanding beauty and famous for its association with the Brontë sisters. Below the falls can be found an old stone bridge named Brontë Bridge across South Dean Beck. The bridge was destroyed in a flash flood in May 1989 and rebuilt in 1990. 

  • Top Withens

Top Withens is a ruined farmhouse near Haworth, West Yorkshire, which is said to have been the inspiration for the location of the Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights in the 1847 novel of the same name by Emily Brontë. A plaque affixed to a wall reads: This farmhouse has been associated with “Wuthering Heights”, the Earnshaw home in Emily Brontë’s novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she described, but the situation may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights. — Brontë Society 1964. This plaque has been placed here in response to many enquiries. The ruin lies on the Pennine Way east of Withens Height below Delf Hill. It is a popular walking destination from nearby Haworth and Stanbury. 

  • National Trust, East Riddlesden Hall

East Riddlesden Hall is a 17th-century manor house in Keighley, West Yorkshire, England, now owned by the National Trust. The hall was built in 1642 by a wealthy Halifax clothier, James Murgatroyd. The hall is a Grade I listed building. There is a medieval tithe barn in the grounds. East Riddlesden Hall perches on a small plateau overlooking a bend in the River Aire on its way downstream from the town of Keighley. Interesting features include well-restored living accommodation on two floors, two Yorkshire Rose windows, walled garden, the ruined Starkie wing and several ghosts. A hiding place for Catholic priests was installed during the 16th century. 

  • Penistone Hill Country Park

Penistone Hill Country Park is an open space of breath-taking Yorkshire moorland that is located to 0.31 miles west of Haworth and 0.62 miles north-west of Oxenhope in West Yorkshire. The park’s highest point is detailed with a trig point which is 1,030 feet above sea level. Penistone Hill is only a very short walk from Haworth Village. A path heads up the south side of St Michael and All Angels’ Church, an impressive building where the father of the Brontë sisters was reverend for 41 years.

  • Skipton

Skipton is the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  People travel the length and breadth of the country to visit this charming market town. With its famous 900 year old Medieval castle, romantic ruined priory and historic cobbled High Street.

Skipton is endlessly rich both in history and outstanding natural beauty.  Take a peaceful narrowboat cruise along the Leeds Liverpool Canal and visit the colourful market, thriving shops, pubs and restaurants and cafes which all add to Skipton’s appeal.

  • Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge is known for its welcoming atmosphere, quirkiness and creativity.  The high street has a welcome array of independent shops touting everything from wool to records. The countryside is on your doorstep with endless possibilities for walking and exploring. The picturesque Rochdale Canal runs through the heart of Hebden Bridge, providing a beautiful walkway on sunny days. Walk towards Todmorden along the canal to admire the colourful barges, and have a pint outside the Stubbing Wharf pub and simply enjoy the scenery. 

Hardcastle Crags needs a mention here as it’s one of the most picturesque destinations to head to for surrounding yourself with nature, but you’ll find beautiful countryside whichever direction you set off in. One of the most beautiful of all the local nature spots is this National Trust site. Take a walk through the wooded valley, admiring the bluebells in spring, before stumbling upon Gibson Mill, where you can take a break and enjoy the café inside. There are plenty of small waterfalls, tumbling streams and unique wildlife along the way.

  • Malham

Malham is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, not far from Skipton.   Tourist attractions include Malham Tarn, Malham Cove, Gordale Scar, Janet’s Foss and the Dry Valley. This 1769 sq km of the Yorkshire Dales National Park has been described as wild, expansive, tranquil and at times awesome and bleak.

Malham Cove is a curved crag of carboniferous limestone formed after the last ice age. Meltwater, particularly from Malham Tarn, cut back the cove as it fell over the edge as a waterfall. This erosion took place more actively at the lip of the fall, hence the curved shape.  The cliffs are 80m high by 300 m across, and this amazing area is amongst the top ten geological wonders of Britain.

Sources: Wikipedia, Visit Yorkshire, Culture Trip, BBC