Insider's guide to Halifax: what to do and where to stay

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In the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, the historic town of Halifax sits nestled between the hills and moorland that make up this part of the country.

The charming market town was the centre of woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, and now offers visitors myriad opportunities for exploring the countryside, getting hands-on at family friend exhibitions and delving back into a past with history and colour.

With close associations to the Brontë sisters and a starring role in the recent BBC drama series ‘Gentleman Jack’, which focuses on life at Shibden Hall in the middle of Halifax, a visit to this vibrant area of the UK is definitely one to add to your list.

Here’s an insider’s guide into where to stay and what to do in the quaint market town, whether you’re on a budget or in search of a more sumptuous getaway.

What to do in Halifax

Shibden Hall

Shibden Hall is the focus of the Gentleman Jack BBC series (Getty Images)

Shibden Hall is a Grade II listed historic house sitting in the middle of one of Halifax’s many parks.

You might recognise it as the backdrop of the BBC drama series written by Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack exploring the life of Anne Lister and those who lived in the Hall and Estate. 

At just £8 per adult and £5 per child, you’ll have enough spare to treat yourself to a cake and a drink at the cafe afterwards.

Eureka!

Children and grown-ups alike will love this interactive, educational museum, with a focus on learning through play. Eureka! boasts a child-sized town square (complete with shops and fountain), a full theatre and even a giant nose to climb up into - how many museums can claim that?

Entry, which includes all activities, costs £13.95 per adult and from £5.95 per child.

The Piece Hall

The Piece Hall is a must-visit in Halifax (Getty Images)

No visit to Halifax is complete without a visit to The Piece Hall. The Grade I listed Georgian masterpiece and the oldest remaining cloth hall in Britain has recently reopened following a multi-million-pound refurbishment project.

The central courtyard plays host to a year-round events programme of music, dance and film for up to 7,500 people at a time and during the festive season you can find a charming Christmas market stretched out across it.

Dean Clough

Once the largest carpet manufacturing factory in the world, these converted mills now house a myriad of galleries, bars, theatres and shops - making it the ultimate cultural venue to add to your list.

Don't forget to see the (ever-growing) Lego model of Dean Clough.

Brontë Waterfalls

Take a break from bustling urban life with a visit to these waterfalls (Getty Images)

This small waterfall sits - or rather runs - in an area of outstanding beauty amidst of moorland and farmland that form part of Brontë Country - known as such due to its association with the Brontë sisters.

Where to stay in Halifax

Holdsworth House Hotel and Restaurant | Book here

Holdsworth House Hotel is one of West Yorkshire's top hotels. (Booking.com)

Holdsworth House is a 17th Century Jacobean manor house located three miles North of Halifax, with an award-winning restaurant overlooking the garden and 39 bedrooms housed in the award-winning extension adjoining the house.

Shibden Mill Inn | Book here

Shibden Mill is a family-run 17th-century inn. (Booking.com)

Situated in West Yorkshire's picturesque Shibden Valley, Shibden Mill Inn has been at the heart of local life for over 300 years. It remains so today, though its reputation for fantastic food, drink and sumptuous 5 Star guest accommodation now extends far beyond the Yorkshire borders.

The Loft Apartment | Book here

This quirky loft apartment is available on Airbnb. (Airbnb)

Sleeping up to four, this quirky loft apartment in a converted barn is perfect for families looking for space and privacy. Expect chunky beams, wide planked floors, original art on subtle walls and bags of thoughtful charm.

Manor House Lindley | Book here

Manor House Lindley provides luxury accommodation. (Booking.com)

Just outside Halifax in the quaint village of Lindley, this converted manor house won ‘best restaurant with rooms’ at the 2019 White Rose Awards. Expect sumptuous individually designed bedrooms, relaxed dining and lots of space to relax.

The Old Post Office | Book here

The Old Post Office is on the edge of the Historic textile town (Booking.com)

The Old Post Office is a public house and hotel located on the edge of the Historic textile town of Halifax and was the original Post Office serving the town dating back to 1790. Grab a traditional Cask ale after a long day of pounding the pavements and enjoy the understated comfort of your guest room.

How to get to Halifax

The easiest way to get to Halifax is by train that winds its way through enchanting West Yorkshire woodland before arriving at the charming countryside station.

There are frequent high-speed trains from London Kings Cross - all of which take 3 hours and include a short change at Leeds.

Alternatively, it is a 1-hour flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Leeds Bradford Airport, where you can catch a 40-minute train into the town.