|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
In the heart of the Pennines, Lee Royd lies in Hebden Bridge, a Yorkshire town famed for its artistic identity and as a centre for outdoor pursuits. Hebden Bridge is the unconventional centre of a distinctly non-metropolitan arts scene, and annual events include no less than eight festivals, covering music, arts and poetry. Hebden Bridge is also perfect as a centre for walking and cycling.Home to artists, actors, musicians and writers, and inspired by the surrounding rolling countryside, the pretty cobbled streets of Hebden Bridge are overflowing with pop-up galleries and independent book and craft shops. The local picture house, an attraction in itself, shows not only films, but broadcasts live events from major stand-up comedians to international music acts. Real ale and music lovers alike are catered for with some of the pubs playing host to local musicians. The esteemed Trades Club hosts international artists ranging from Patti Smith and Laura Marling to Fairport Convention.Ted Hughes, the poet laureate, was born nearby, and his first wife, the American poet Sylvia Plath (as well as Hughes’ parents) are buried locally in historic Heptonstall, a scenic twenty minute walk up the wooded and heathered hill behind the house, where roe deer may wander. The view over the valley below and towards Studeley Pike is quite spectacular. An extensive library of their history and work is available within this property together with a selection of walking books and maps.As Britain’s first official ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town, unsurprisingly, there is excellent walking nearby with the Calderdale Way and also the Pennine Way, and its latest extension, the Hebden Bridge Loop, going straight past the property. Hardcastle Crags, owned by the National Trust, is a must see with its beautiful wooded valley, streams, kingfishers and carpet of bluebells in the spring. The Rochdale canal winds its way through Hebden Bridge, with a tow path that offers level walking and cycling and is ideal for picnics, as well as being a water-colourist’s and photographer’s dream (as is the south-facing view over the Calder Valley from the property’s veranda).More challenging cycling, as featured on the 2014 Tour de France, and 2015’s Tour de Yorkshire can also be enjoyed from the doorstep. Ideally positioned between two national parks, a fine walk or scenic drive can take you to Haworth’s Brontë Country, with its steam railway of ‘Railway Children’ fame. The walk takes you past ’Top Withins’, Emily Brontë’s inspiration for ‘Wuthering Heights’. A pleasant drive further north takes you to the Yorkshire Dales, or south to the TV series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ country. Hebden Bridge and the surrounding area lend themselves to filming and have featured in the Ray Winstone film ‘Fanny and Elvis’ and the TV series ‘Happy Valley’ and ‘Last Tango in Halifax’.The property itself is a cosy Yorkshire stone house full of traditional character and charm. There are many original Victorian features including an impressive stone fireplace which was re-discovered beneath the 1970s plaster work when renovated in 2000. Shop, pub and restaurant 200 yards.
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