Journey to Yorkshire 2017 – Part 1: Haworth

January 21, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Yorkshire is a very large area north of the midlands of England, and split 4 districts.  The East Riding, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.  Why isn’t the other East Yorkshire?  No idea!  But I know West and North also used to be called the West and North Ridings!   

The whole of Yorkshire covers a large area, some 12,000 km3.  It’s a wonderful region.  Many wonderful cities and towns, hundreds of villages, (some among the most picturesque in the UK), and the whole area has a rich tapestry of history; castles and battlefields of the medieval wars, ruins of so many monasteries and abbeys torn down at the behest of Henry VIIIth.   The history goes back even further to Roman ruins, Iron Age forts, Bronze Age stone circles and…well, it goes on. 

The landscape of Yorkshire is also fascinating.  The Pennines are the most dominant hills running through, together with many rivers and waterfalls and a picturesque craggy eastern sea coast.  Woods and forest abound and, as in most of England, every land feature, (literally every hill, copse, crag, brook, rock etc) has a local name showing the landscape’s rich connection with rural life over the millennia. 

The Yorkshire Dales roll up and down with the moors and the villages nestle in between.  Each village has its own church spire standing proud.  On the moors and on the hillsides the stonewalling tradition is prevalent, and dotted up and down are the old and now rarely used crofters huts for the shepherds of old.  As with many other counties; once in the countryside, Yorkshire feels like the real England of old.  Blake’s green and pleasant land.  Well, when the sun shines that is...

This particular visit to Yorkshire was in August 2017.  August.  That’s UK summertime, right?  Well, sadly it can never be guaranteed and the time of my visit, it was wet.  Very wet! 

The focus of this visit, as well as spending time with family, wasn’t the picturesque abbeys of Whitby, Fountains, Rievaulx etc, but the waterfalls around the Settle area and the landscape around the village of Malham.  We had booked a hotel in Settle itself, close to perhaps the most majestic of Yorkshire falls, but two weeks before the trip…email:  “The premises has now closed.  Please re-book.”  Short.  To the point.  Deposit???  But more importantly, it was summertime and only 2 weeks to find an alternative…

We did, but much further away than intended. 

Haworth and the Old White Lion hotel.  Well worth a stay with gorgeous food, not to mention wonderful draught beer!  It’s located in an old part of the small town on top of the hill with gorgeous views.  It’s a beautiful old building with a typical period bar area, but with modern, comfortable rooms.

As we travelled further north towards Haworth, the weather had become increasingly showery, the scene of a gorgeous double rainbow in front of the Pennines presented itself from our hotel rooms.  What do you do with this kind of light? Take it from the hotel window? Or run and try and find a location hoping it doesn't fade?

Evening Light from the hotel window in Haworth (taken through glass)

Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were written around Haworth and on this hill is the Brontë Parsonage. It’s also one of the most eerie churchyards I have ever been in, the church of Saint Michael and All Angels. 

I visited the church the evening we arrived, it was 9pm, still not dark in that part of the world, only dusk.  It was also dry, and not forecast to stay that way for long.  The crows in the trees that enclosed the churchyard were cawing madly at one another and periodically all shifting their perch en masse.  The headstones and graves are huddled so closely together, it is definitely the most tightly packed graveyard I have seen. 

Heavy drops of water were falling through the leaves of the trees from the fresh afternoon rain.  This place was spooky.  It had to be walked through and photographed, as it had such a unique presence.  Indeed I went back every night!  Sadly it was very hard to capture everything about this churchyard in one photograph, you needed all six (yes six) senses to experience it.  The normal five were not enough as there was definitely an atmosphere that was beyond the corporeal.  Definitely haunted!

The churchyard of St Michael and All Angels, Haworth

Looking across at the western edge of the Pennines from the hotel room, the disused mills in every crease of the hills, it’s easy to imagine the landscape of Heathcliffe and Catherine...and Jane (of course).  A gorgeous sky now lit up after the sun had disappeared, the colours lingered long into the evening.  The forecast tomorrow didn’t promise this kind of light!

If only these clouds remained for tomorrow??? (taken on LG G4)

So endeth the first evening of the trip.  Day 1 begins in the next part which should be on here in the next few days!

Please post comments, ideas, suggestions and I promise to reply asap.

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.


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