"One of the World's Funkiest Towns-" Top 5 Page for this destination Hebden Bridge by suvanki
Hebden Bridge Travel Guide: 49 reviews and 262 photos
Ricky 52 had arranged for us to eat our Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas at a restaurant in Hebden Bridge. I'm afraid that I didn't get to see too much of this town, but the bit that I did see made me want to return.
Hebden Bridge is located in the South Pennines, in the Upper Calder Valley. It gets its name from the 16th Century Packhorse Bridge.
It was once central to the cotton and woolen industries, where mills produced corduroy and moleskin fabric, along with garments produced from these materials.
Before the Industrial Revolution, cottage industries such as handloom weaving and spinning brought in an income for the families residing in the area.
With the Industrial Revolution, these crafts were replaced by mechanised looms, powered by water, from the river and canal running through the valley bottom.
Some mills remain - many having been converted into accommodation, shops, restaurants etc. ruined chimney stacks, mellowed with age, blend into the towns architecture.
Many residents now commute to nearby cities such as Leeds and Manchester - Both can be reached by train from here.
Many work from home, or have set up 'cottage industries'.
Nowadays, Hebden Bridge has an alternative, liberal, arty, creative feel to it. It has a history of attracting those who prefer an alternative lifestyle - during the 60's/70's the hippies moved here, later 'New Age'settlers.
There is a high percentage of Creative artists from various fields.
At the start of the new century, Hebden Bridge was to receive recognition for "being the town with the highest proportion of lesbians living there". Apparently the towns tolerence and reasonably priced housing were the main factors that enabled same sex couples to bring up families and create businesses here with little or no prejudice. Lesbians the toast of the 2 ferrets
As well as the titles 'Pennine Centre', and 'One of the Worlds Funkiest Towns', it is also known as The Town for Little Shops, as it has many independent/ specialist shops.
It is apparent that these 'titles' aren't apreciated by the locals whether born n' bred or "offcumdens" (those who've moved here from elsewhere)
One of the most recent issues to ruffle the feathers, has been the erection of 2 signs at the edges of the town to celebrate the towns 500 year anniversary, with the slogan 'That was So Hebden Bridge' They were created by Mike Barrett (a local designer) and were inspired by plaques on the stone packhorse bridge, which gave the town its name.
The hebdenbridge Web is the UK's first community web site, and this offers an insight into the town and its 'goings ons' - especially on the 'discussion forums'!
Another website Hebdenbridge.com offers useful information for visitors.
During our 'Carry on Camping' weekend at nearby Triangle, we visited Hebden Bridge for a few hours. Our visit co-incided with the annual Hebden Bridge Arts Festival(June 24th-July 10th 2011).
We had the chance to explore a bit of the town and its independent shops, as well as some of the street entertainment.
Gillybob, alyf1961, davesut and myself headed for 'Fish Chips and Mushy Peas' at the same restaurant that we'd eaten at in 2008.
Sadly, the rain persisted, so, it was into the pub to join Balam, Myfanwe and Evinith666. A traditional English pub with Real Ales, home cooked food and original stone flagstones.
- Pros:Attractive old regenerated mill town, with a quirky feel
- Cons:Expensive shops, The rain makes regular appearances!
- In a nutshell:A Great base for visiting the Calder Valley and beyond
Well if you're looking for the usual shops that you'd see in a typical town, such as Starbucks, Mc Donalds, Marks and... more travel advice
St Georges Square was one venue for street entertainment, during the Arts Festival (and at other times of the year). The... more travel advice
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