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A Short Guide for Vacationers

A Short Guide for Vacationers

Huddersfield is located in a region characterized by hills, moorland, and river basins that date back 300 million years and were formed by glaciers and tropical river deltas. The coal-rich area to the east slopes gently away towards the sea, while the high green uplands surrounding it to the south continue farther on to become the Peak District. The hills in the Holme Valley to the south and west of Huddersfield are some of the most beautiful in all of England, and much of the territory around Huddersfield climbs to between 200 and 400 meters above mean sea level.

Huddersfield is conveniently located midway between Manchester to the west, Leeds to the north, and Sheffield to the south, and it can be reached quickly via either the M62 or the M1 motorways. The town and its environs, though, have a lot going for them and are worth spending a few days getting to know.

History

The Doomsday Book (Oderesfelt) mentions Huddersfield. Settlement in the area dates back at least 4,100 years; therefore, it was likely a small Saxon market town before the Norman conquest. The Tolson Museum on the outskirts of Huddersfield tells the complete story of the town's development from the Neolithic period to the present day.

The town's most recognizable structure, the Victoria Tower at Castle Hill, was constructed to honor the late queen's 60th year in power and is located on the same hill as the ruins of one of England's most significant Iron Age communities, Almondbury. Huddersfield's rich past revolves around the hill. During the reign of King Stephen, the Saxons built a castle on what is now known as Castle Hill (hence the name), but it was destroyed in the 14th century. The hill is a protected ancient site, and its peak offers stunning panoramas of the surrounding area.

Huddersfield is well-known for its exceptional Georgian and Victorian architecture, as well as its large number of historic landmarks. Architectural historian Nicolas Pevsner called its train station facade "the best neoclassical station fa├žade in Europe." The 18th-century Church of St. Peter and St. Leonard in Horbury, about 9 miles outside of Huddersfield, is widely considered the greatest example of a West Yorkshire Georgian church.

Some of the town's more cutting-edge and divisive structures nevertheless manage to attract admirers: The late 1960s-built Market Hall is considered by Leeds Metropolitan University architecture lecturer Adrian Evans to be at least as noteworthy as the station. However, you should know that some have criticized it for being boring, shabby, and bland.

Heritage of Industry

Huddersfield's development into a textile powerhouse began with the industrial revolution, and the town's Georgian and Victorian architecture, canals, and old workings are all still visible today. To get a feel for what early Victorian life was like in the Northern British industrial heartlands, you should check out the Colne Valley Museum in Golcar, not far from Huddersfield.

The Standedge canal tunnel, built in the 18th and 19th centuries and located about 7 miles from the center of Huddersfield, is an important part of the city's industrial past. Thomas Telford finished this canal tunnel in 1811, making it the longest (3.25 miles), deepest (638 feet below the surface), and tallest (645 feet above sea level) in the country. It took 16 years to construct, and many lives were lost during that time. From April through October, you can take a glass-topped boat through the tunnel while exploring the extensive visitor center. After being closed for half a century, the tunnel finally reopened in 2001.

The National Coal Mining Museum is a fantastic restoration of the abandoned Caphouse Colliery, which closed in 1985, and is located near Overton, some 7 miles outside of Huddersfield. There, you can explore the museum's exhibits as well as descend 450 feet into an actual mine. Visit the National Coal Mining Museum to learn about the history of coal mining in Britain and the lives of its workers.

The Valley of Holme

Holmfirth is located about 6 miles to the south of the city and is the picturesque heart of the Holme Valley, which served as the stunning backdrop for the popular TV series Last of the Summer Wine. Tour buses departing from Holmfirth will take you on a personal excursion to some of the most famous filming locations used by the BBC to create the series.

Walk out onto the Moors or explore the area's various paths from Holmfirth and the nearby communities. Huddersfield is like a paradise for hikers.

Parks in the country and mansions

Huddersfield's surrounding area is rife with country parks and spacious manors for people who seek a quieter place to unwind. Try Longley Old Hall, a 14th-century manor house with Elizabethan additions, or the 16th-century Oakwell Hall and its 100-acre country park at Birstall, some 8 miles outside of town and a favorite haunt of Charlotte Bronte.

The Red House at Gomersal, some 7 miles from Huddersfield, was another of Charlotte Bronte's favorite haunts, as was the ancient Shibden Hall and its 90-acre park near Halifax, both of which date back to the 15th century. There is also the 500-acre Yorkshire Sculpture Park and visitor center in West Bretton, which features sculptures by Henry Moore, Anthony Gormley, and others; and the Georgian Cannon Hall & Country Park in Cawthorne, which features fantastic 18th-century walled gardens, a museum, and a wonderful farm where you are free to feed the many animals.

Social Events

Huddersfield's Cragrats Theatre in Holmfirth and the contemporary Lawrence Batley Theatre on Queens Square are both great places to spend an evening. There is a movie theater and bowling alley close to the Galpharm Stadium, where the Huddersfield football and rugby teams play.

The Camel Club, Tokyo, Livingstones, and Billie Rox are just a few of the fantastic nightclubs in Huddersfield.

Going Out to Eat

In Huddersfield and its environs, you may find a wide variety of excellent dining options. You can't go wrong with the CragRats Brasserie in Holmfirth or the modern Vanilla V1 Restaurant in nearby Lindley. Make reservations in advance at the wonderful Olive Branch in Marsden or the cozy Three Acres at Roydhouse in close proximity to Shelley. The Weavers Shed in Golcar has won multiple awards; why not try it out? The Woodman Inn in Thunderbridge also serves delicious traditional Yorkshire fare. Don't limit yourself; Huddersfield town has plenty of eateries and watering holes. Some of the better examples are listed above.

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