Ponden Hall Haworth

Bronte pilgrims are going to go NUTS about this place. There's about as much history here as there is at the nearby Parsonage. Emily visited the library (reputedly 'the best in West Yorkshire') and wrote and slept here. Branwell sketched in the huge reception room (for which read, got minced) and the hall has traditionally been identified with the interior of Wuthering Heights. Will that do for starters? If you want the full story, take one of your hostess's guided tours round the place - in a previous life Julie worked at the Parsonage and there's nothing she doesn't know about the Bronte family. After the tour enjoy afternoon tea - she's a great baker as well as a great talker.

The approach is tricky (unmade road, no signs) but it's a stunning spot. The hall hunkers down on a shallow hill. Built in 1634, the mellow stone glows. From the moment the massive front door creaks open you know this place is the real deal. Huge stone flags. Burnished oak furniture. Wonky walls. But there's heating under the flags and despite the size of the rooms the entire place is toasty. 

There are three delightful bedrooms (top flight linen, immaculate bathrooms) but for our money the one to go for is Earnshaw, complete with magnificent reproduction 18th century oak box bed and Cathy Window (where's Cathy's ghost struggled to get in whilst desperately searching for Heathcliff ..) and long views over the moors. We can't guarantee a noctural visit from a dark-eyed stranger, but you never know. 

How Much?         From 85 pounds per night, including breakfast. Julie's Bronte Tour and home made afternoon tea will set you back a tenner. 

Kid's Stuff?        Children welcome - there's lots for them to do, including their very own football pitch outside! 

Well Placed?       There are any number of great walks from the door to suit all types - so bring boots and anoraks.  Haworth is a short hop - there are any number of tea rooms and some interesting shops to browse round. Gird your loins for a yomp to Top Withins - it's quite a treck but very rewarding. The Worth Valley Steam Railway starts its journey in nearby Keighley and is well worth a visit. 

Good Grub?         The Bradford curry houses await! Chuck a brick and find a good one. A bit further afield, Gimbals, the Shibden Mill Inn and The Ilkley Vaults are all worth the effort.   

Ponden Hall

Haworth, BD22 0HR 

Tel 01535 648608

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Type: B&B

Part of Stay West Yorkshire

Review by Mandy, 17 October 2014

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