This Christmas Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright is transporting viewers to Haworth, the Yorkshire town where the Brontë sisters grew up.
Her dramatisation of what life was like for Charlotte, Emily and Anne isn’t very festive, but it will make you wonder anew at how they wrote such wonderful books in such depressing circumstances.
The parsonage where they lived and wrote them is now a museum (to film the drama, the BBC rebuilt it). But that’s not the only must-see for Brontë devotees.
When we asked the very helpful staff at the Brontë Parsonage Museum what else devotees should see, they recommended visiting the sisters’ favourite waterfall and the ruin that may have inspired Wuthering Heights…
1. Brontë Parsonage Museum
This is the former home of the Brontë family and the place where Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were written. Now housing the world’s largest collection of Bronte papers, furniture and personal possessions, the museum also presents a varied programme of events and exhibition. During 2017, the museum will be marking the bicentenary of Branwell Brontë with an exhibition curated by poet Simon Armitage.
For more information: bronte.org.uk
2. Haworth Parish Church
With the exception of Anne, all the members of the Brontë family were interred in a tomb beneath the church which adjacent to the Parsonage. Guided tours are available.
For more information: haworthchurch.co.uk
3. Brontë Waterfall and Top Withens
Charlotte, Emily and Anne often visited the falls situated on the moors just over 2 miles from Haworth. It is a popular walk for those not wanting to go the extra distance to get to Top Withens (pictured above), the remote ruin which many believe is the setting of Wuthering Heights. Haworth Visitor Information Centre can provide details of these walks.
4. Ponden Hall
This luxurious B&B in Stanbury, a village near Haworth, offers cream tea and tours of the hall once owned by the Heaton family, who were acquaintances of the Brontës. Charlotte, Emily and their brother Branwell used the library, and Emily based parts of Wuthering Heights here.
For more information: ponden-hall.co.uk
Patrick was parson at Old Bell Chapel in the village of Thornton before moving to Haworth, and Charlotte, Emily, Branwell and Anne were born in nearby Market Street. The house where the family lived is now Emily’s, a coffee house and delicatessen.
For more information: delucaboutique.co.uk
To Walk Invisible is on Thursday 29 December BBC1 9pm
Radio Times Travel holidays:
On this wonderful, great-value weekend break you’ll visit Whitby, step back in time at Beamish Open Air Museum, and ride the steam-hauled North Yorkshire Moors Railway.