Halifax is the major historic industrial town in Calderdale with a significant architectural heritage, located in the heart of the Yorkshire Pennines with easy access to the Yorkshire and Derbyshire Dales.
The focal point for visitors is the beautifully colonnaded Piece Hall. With over 300 rooms arranged around a central open square, it is one of the most important Georgian buildings in Britain. It opened in 1779 as a market place for pieces of woollen cloth (hence the name!) made by local handloom weavers. Today, the square hosts markets, music events and festivals throughout the year. Browse over 40 unique shops and cafés or discover the building’s history at the Halifax Visitor Centre and Art Gallery.
Measuring over two-thirds of a mile from end to end, Dean Clough was built as a mill for world’s largest carpet maker. Now it’s a remarkable centre for enterprise and art. Eight art galleries play host to a range of exhibitions and a funky Design Shop displays work from contemporary designers. The renowned Viaduct Theatre offers orchestral music, jazz, and drama events.
Another top-class attraction in Halifax is Eureka! - The Museum for Children. The first hands-on children’s museum in the UK is designed for the under twelves. With more than 400 ‘please touch’ exhibits, the emphasis is on education and, most of all, fun. Kids (and adults) can find out how the body works, discover amazing, faraway places and explore the science behind every day life.
A few miles out of Halifax and the ribbon of industrial heritage gives way to the attractive countryside of the Calderdale Valley. The Pennine Way threads its way over the moors and passes popular beauty spots such as Hardcastle Crags, Bride Stones and Stoodley Pike above Todmorden. The ancient tradition of parading rushes from the river to the church has been revived as The Rushbearing Festival in Sowerby Bridge, and makes for a fascinating day out.
Shopping in Hebden Bridge provides a refreshingly different experience from the average characterless high street. Hebden Bridge proudly flaunts its individuality with over 150 independent shops, galleries, cafés and craft workshops.
The town, along with neighbouring Heptonstall and Mytholmroyd, the birthplace of poet Ted Hughes, has attracted artists, writers and creative people with a radical tinge giving the area a strong sense of identity and a growing ‘green’ reputation.