A Guide to Visiting Calderdale for Mr. Darcy’s ‘Wet Shirt’ Exhibition

Are you a fan of Jane Austen’s beloved novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’, or perhaps swooned over Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the iconic BBC adaptation? Then why not make plans to visit the Bankfield Museum in Halifax, where the iconic ‘wet shirt worn by Colin Firth will be on display from the 25th May 2024. And if you can tear yourself away from Mr. Darcy’s Wet Shirt for long enough, we recommend that you extend your stay and discover Halifax and the Calder Valley, where you’ll discover lush landscapes and quirky market towns right on your doorstep. In this guide, we’ve come up with a list of things you have to do when you visit Calderdale for the exhibition …read on to find out more!


1. Go to Mr Darcy’s ‘Wet Shirt’ Exhibition at Bankfield Museum

This one goes without saying – see the very shirt worn by Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice, up close and personal! The classic 1995 television scene in Pride and Prejudice saw Mr. Darcy dive into a lake and emerge with his shirt wet and clinging to him, only to be unexpectedly confronted by the presence of Miss Elizabeth Bennet; the lady who had rejected his marriage proposal. The scene was a masterpiece of awkwardness and has been voted by many to be their favourite and most memorable television moment.

The shirt itself is now a piece of costume history in its own right, and will be on display at Bankfield Museum from Saturday 25th May to Tuesday 24th December 2024. Whilst you are at this well-loved local museum, you can also enjoy exhibitions covering local history, costume, art, toys, military history, jewellery and textiles from around the world, all set in the attractive surroundings of Akroyd Park. Bankfield Museum is only a short distance from the centre of Halifax, with free onsite parking and nearby public transport links. Its opening hours are from Wednesday to Saturdays, 10am – 4pm.

2. Visit Shibden Hall

The home of the iconic Anne Lister, portrayed by Suranne Jones in the popular TV drama Gentleman Jack. Set in the picturesque Shibden valley, Shibden Hall is a mile from Halifax centre. The historic Lister family home is a distinctive half-timbered building which dates back to 1420, and is surrounded by 32 hectares of park and woodland which form Shibden Estate. Learn about the lives of the people who lived and worked at the Hall, and explore the beautifully restored historic grounds which offer cascades, pools, tunnels, terraced and fruit gardens.

3. Create your own film trail around Calderdale

Discover Calderdale like never before with Film Calderdale’s Movie Map! Did you know that some of your favourite movies and TV shows were filmed right here in our beautiful borough? Use the Movie Map to build your own trail and discover hidden gems and iconic filming locations in Calderdale. Choose from well-known TV shows and films such as Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, and even The Full Monty!


4. Discover Halifax’s hidden beauty

Halifax has been described as ‘a town of hidden beauty’, but more and more people are now discovering its impressive architecture and rich industrial heritage. The town’s focal point is without a doubt The Piece Hall – an extraordinary Georgian building that was once a centre for trading woollen cloth, and now houses a multitude of shops, bars and restaurants – trust us, you won’t find anything like this elsewhere!


5. Understand what we mean by ‘Culturedale’

Halifax also has a thriving cultural scene, with a number of museums, galleries and cultural venues to explore. You could spend hours getting lost in Dean Clough – a sprawling former textile mill complex stretching half a mile in length. Once the home of the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, it’s now a thriving cultural and commercial centre which hosts 6 galleries, a subterranean theatre, 2 resident theatre companies, and a permanent art collection with over 300 original works on display.

And in case you haven’t heard – Calderdale is celebrating culture in 2024 with an exciting year-long programme of creativity and activity. For more info on events taking place, check out the ‘Culturedale’ website.


6. Explore our quirky market towns and Pennine countryside

Hop on the train and visit one of our quirky market towns along the Calder Valley line. Hebden Bridge has its own special charm, thanks to its creative and bohemian vibe that led to it being named the “fourth funkiest town in the world”. You could also travel one stop further and visit Todmorden, a pretty market town known for its local produce, its impressive Town Hall, and the beautiful Pennine hills and moors which surround it. From here you can hike up to the iconic monument Stoodley Pike, complete with its own viewing platform, where you can take a moment to enjoy the magnificent views across Yorkshire and Lancashire.


Feeling inspired? Then why not plan your trip to Calderdale today – have a look at places to stay in the Borough here.