Two Day Gentleman Jack Adventure for Heritage Lovers
We have a wealth of spectacular architecture and unique heritage buildings in our special corner of Yorkshire - many reflecting our rich industrial heritage. But here in the Calder Valley, we breathe new life into them, making them culturally vibrant and user-friendly for the modern day. Here are a few ideas for a heritage-themed 48 hours in Calderdale:
AM: Start the day with a visit to Dean Clough. Once the world's largest carpet factory, it’s a spectacular assembly of buildings covering 20 acres. It has been faithfully restored to become one of the leading commercial and arts hubs in the north of England. It is home to one of the largest private galleries in the country, with Hockneys and Hirsts among the treasures on the walls along with changing exhibitions. The home of renowned theatre company Northern Broadsides, which uses the 300-seat underground theatre as its home venue, and international theatre company IOU, who often have an exhibition space you can visit. There are some lovely independent cafes, restaurants and even an onsite coffee roastery at the Loom Lounge.
PM: Head from there to Shibden Hall and Estate to visit the home of Anne Lister that dates back to 1420.
Evening: Round off your day with an evening at one of Yorkshire’s leading arts centres, Square Chapel Arts Centre. The beautiful Georgian building, one of only a handful built in the square shape and originally a Wesleyan Chapel, is now a contemporary arts centre showcasing the best in film, theatre, live comedy and art. Or you could head to the Victoria Theatre – built in 1901 it still has many of its gorgeous original features, but is 21st-century-ready with its state-of-the-art sound system.
Morning: Meander around the historic Piece Hall. Dating from 1779, it is the spectacular sole survivor of the UK’s great Northern eighteenth-century cloth halls. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a wealth of independent shops and cafes, learn more about the global wool trade, and impress your friends with photos from the Instagram-ready 66,000 sq ft open air courtyard. Stroll from there to the 900-year-old Halifax Minster, where Anne Lister worshipped and is buried, and experience a friendly welcome and atmospheric architecture.
Afternoon: Head a short way along the Calder Valley and blow away any cobwebs with a walk to see the exceptional Gibson Mill. The Mill lies in the heart of one of Calderdale’s most beautiful spots, the wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags, with its deep rocky ravines, tumbling streams, oak, beech and pine woods and some of the best examples of upland meadows in the country. The Crags have been used as a location in several films, including Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Gemma Factor (2009) and Death Comes to Pemberley (2013). Once at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution as one of the first mills built, Gibson Mill is the National Trust’s flagship sustainable building and is 100 percent off-grid; being self-sufficient in electricity generation, spring water and waste treatment. The mill itself is a great place to take a break, with a dog-friendly café serving locally sourced and ethically produced food.