Tucked tightly into a fold of a steep-sided valley, Yorkshire’s funkiest little village is a former mill town that refused to go gently with the dying of industry’s light. Instead, it raged a bit and then morphed into an attractive little tourist trap with a distinctly bohemian atmosphere. The town is home to university academics, artists, die-hard hippies and a substantial gay community. All of this explains the abundance of craft shops, organic cafes and secondhand bookstores.
Top Things to See in Hebden Bridge
Alternative Technology Centre
From the town centre, a short stroll along the attractive waterfront of the Rochdale Canal leads to the Alternative Technology Centre, which promotes renewable energy, recycling and sustainable lifestyles through a series of intriguing exhibits and workshops.
Above Hebden Bridge is the much older village of Heptonstall, its narrow cobbled street lined with 500-yearold cottages and the ruins of a beautiful 13th-century church. But it’s the churchyard of the newer St Thomas’ Church that draws literary pilgrims, for here is buried the poet Sylvia Plath (1932−63), wife of another famous poet, Ted Hughes (1930−98), who was born in nearby Mytholmroyd.
This renovated 19th-century cotton mill houses a visitor centre with exhibitions covering the industrial and social history of the mill and its former workers.