5 Reasons to Visit Haworth, Home of the Brontë Sisters
Growing up, my family lived 30 minutes away from Haworth, home to the Brontë Parsonage. We visited many times and I must have gone on several school trips there too. Even now it is still one of my favourite places. Visiting Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage is one of my favourite days out. I now live on the other side of the Pennines in Manchester, but the drive is just as beautiful.
Pay Once and Visit Free for a Year
One of the great things about visiting the Brontë Parsonage is your ticket lasts a whole year. Keep your receipt and you can return for free. The Parsonage is open all year except over the Christmas period and most of January. You can full information about visiting the museum here.
Emily Brontë Bicentennial
The Brontë Parsonage Museum is in the middle of celebrating Brontë200. This is a five-year festival of the birth bicentenaries of Charlotte (2016), Bramwell (2017), Emily (2018) and Anne (2020). Currently, the museum is celebrating Emily birth with special exhibits. First, is the film Balls co-written by the Brontë Society’s 2018 creative partner, Lily Cole. Balls re-imagines the story of Heathcliff’s mother. It explores the connection between Wuthering Heights and the Foundling Hospital. Being unable to support the baby she visits the Foundling Hospital. She reaches into a bag of coloured balls, deciding the fate of her child. The film is on display at both the Brontë Museum and the Foundling Museum in Liverpool.
- Brontë Parsonage: Emily 2018
- The Guardian: Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Height in charts
- BBC: Emily Bronte: How she inspired Kate Bush, Sylvia Plath, Lily Cole and more
- BBC: Lily Cole speaks out over ‘prejudice’ in Emily Bronte row
- The History Press: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Emily Brontë
Portrait of Charlotte, Emily and Anne back home in Yorkshire
The only portrait of the three Brontë sisters is back on display in their home. On loan from the National Portrait Gallery, it is the first time it has hung in the Brontë Parsonage since 1984. A reproduction has hung in the staircase ever since I can remember, but it is wonderful to see the original. Known as the ‘pillar portrait’ because Branwell Brontë, the artist painted himself out of the picture. After the death of Mr Nicholls, Charlotte’s husband, the painting was discovered folded up in his wardrobe.
- National Portrait Gallery: The Brontë Sisters portrait
- The Brontë Sisters: A True Likeness?
- Brontë Parsonage: Portrait of the Brontë Sisters Returns to Haworth
- The Independent: Branwell Bronte: The mad, bad and dangerous brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne
- The Telegraph: National Portrait Gallery to reveal mysteries of shadowy Bronte brother
Local Shops and Cafes
Haworth village has lovely shops on either side of a steep cobbled street. At the top of the hill, you will found a tourist information centre. You can experience traditional British and local food at the established cafes and pubs. You will find specialist and quirky shops selling art, pottery, sweets and Brontë inspiration souvenirs. Almost 30 years ago my father brought me my birth chart Spooks. It is still in the same location after all these years!
Visit the local countryside to see the inspiration for the books. The views are stunning and the walks are great. The weather is variable so make sure you are prepared either with extra layers or sun tan lotion – you just never know with the UK weather, especially up on the moors! Take a ride on the Worth Valley steam train for a wonderful view of the countryside. You will also see the filming locations for the 1970s version of The Railway Children
- Visit Bradford: Discover Haworth and Brontë Country
- Trip Advisor: Things to Do in Haworth
- Yorkshire: Discover Haworth
Bonus: Meeting the Poet John Agard
My friend, an English teacher, was delighted to see the poet John Agard and his partner Grace Nichols, also a poet. His poem Half Caste is on the GSCE syllabus. You can find out more about this inspiring poet at the British Council. The CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) has videos of his poems and a teaching sequence of The Rainmaker Danced.
If you can’t make it to Haworth the Brontë Society and Brontë Parsonage website has a lot of information. There is a section of children’s crafts and activities you can do at home. You can also browse their Library and Museum catalogue. I have add other useful information below.
- Penguin: Reading guide – Where to start with the Brontës
- BBC: Historical information of the Brontë Sisters
- The Atlantic: The Brontës’ Secret
Buy the Books
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