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How to spend a weekend in Calderdale | What to see and do with kids

*This post has been written as part of a Press trip. See my disclosure for details.

I will be honest with you when I say that before Visit Calderdale got in touch with us, I'd never heard of them! North Yorkshire is somewhere I'm very familiar with but for some reason, we'd never ventured West. I'm so pleased that we made the trip though as this part of the country is beautiful and it's a lovely destination for a relaxing weekend break.



Where is Calderdale? 


Calderdale is a borough of West Yorkshire and takes it's name from the River Calder which flows through the borough. It feels pretty rural and is made up of picture-perfect market towns and villages (with Halifax being the largest). As we drove around the area we couldn't help but compare the area to Greendale from Postman Pat. Calderdale is an easy 2 hour drive from Newcastle and Halifax is just over 2 hours on the train from Newcastle Station with a quick change at Leeds. It's an area that's surprisingly easy to get to. Calderdale is the area marked in red on this map below: 


I've put together a perfect itinerary for spending the weekend in Calderdale. There are plenty of options for walking, outdoor fun and culture. For more information and ideas, check out the Visit Calderdale website. 

Saturday Morning | Explore the villages and market towns


Calderdale is home to some of the best market towns and villages in the UK. If independent shops are your thing, you'll love it here and even if shopping is not your thing, there's beautiful scenery and architecture to admire around almost every corner. During our stay, we visited Todmorden, a busy market town with streets lined with gorgeous buildings. Don't forget to pop into the Todmorden Toy Museum which is FREE to visit and like you're stepping back in time. We also spent some time in Hebden Bridge which has been voted as the 'fourth funkiest town in the world' and 'best small market town in the UK'. The people of Hebden Bridge really take pride in their neighbourhood and I loved how the streets were lined with flowers and bunting. The shop windows are also beautiful and I could spend a good few hours here just browsing and taking everything in.



Saturday lunch | Visit a country pub


One of the best things about the Yorkshire countryside is definitely the country pubs! You just can't beat that warm Yorkshire welcome. We popped into the Stubbing Wharf Pub in Hebden Bridge and were really pleased to see it packed with locals and visitors alike. We didn't stop for food but it all looked delicious and they had a decent selection of ales on offer too. 


Saturday afternoon | Cruise along the canal 


I think this has to be one of my new favourite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon! Cruising along the Calder Valley with Hebden Bridge Cruises was just so relaxing. You can pre-book a place online and spend an hour drinking Yorkshire tea, eating the most scrumptious of scones and taking in the beautiful canal views and you sail past ancient woodland and beautiful architecture. Your captain will provide an informative commentary throughout and it's a lovely way to learn a little about the area. Find out more here. 









Saturday evening | Relax


There are lots of different accommodation options in and around Calderdale but we opted for Stephenson House - a stunning detached house that can sleep up to 12. Stephenson House was so well equipped that we didn't ever want to leave! From the welcoming homemade apple cake on arrival to the pool table, chess set and reading nook. There was everything we needed for a cosy family night in. My highlight was definitely lighting the fire and warming my toes with a glass of wine whilst watching X Factor and taking in those gorgeous countryside views. You can find out more about Stephenson House here. 








Sunday morning | Take in the countryside views & walks


Calderdale is the perfect base to enjoy lots of walking and cycling throughout the South Pennines. From family-friendly options such as Calder Homes Park, Alpaca Tree Farm Alpaca Walks and Ogden Water Country Park that are perfect for a leisurely stroll to something more taxing such as the 11 mile Crompton Circuit, there's a walk for all ages and abilities and you'll be rewarded with glorious countryside views. We stopped off at Ogden Water Country Park but unfortunately, it was such a beautiful day that all of the parking spots had been taken - we did enjoy the views across the water and driving through the countryside and pretending we were Postman Pat.



Sunday afternoon | Halifax, Eureka Museum and Piece Hall

Eureka! The National Children's Museum is somewhere I've wanted to visit forever and I am so pleased we finally had the chance. First of all, Eureka! is super easy to find - it is practically joined onto Halifax train station so very easy to get to if you don't have a car. We decided to park in Halifax Town Centre and it was super reasonable. You are allowed to take your own packed lunch into Eureka! so we enjoyed this first before exploring the museum. I will be honest when I say I think the ground floor is more suited to children aged 2-6 years. There's a lot of pretend play with a mock M&S, bank and garage. We did enjoy the digital art space though and had fun creating our own animations and art using different techniques.






We much preferred the first floor which is based around learning 'All About Me'. This exhibition is packed with inventive and hands-on ways for children to learn all about their own bodies. We visited an antenatal clinic, checked our teeth, scanned our body, measured our height, used a machine to age our face, discovered how the ear and our digestive system works and loads more. It was actually pretty cool for grown-ups too. You can find out more about Eureka! The National Museum for Children here. 







A lot of people recommended a visit to The Piece Hall to us and it's just across the road from Eureka! This Grade I listed Georgian masterpiece is filled with independent shops, galleries, boutiques and restaurants and sounds right up our street!  Unfortunately, we ran out of time during this trip but it's a good excuse for us to return I think. And we definitely will return to Calderdale. I honestly spent the whole time kicking myself that it had taken us so long to visit the area. With it's quaint and charming towns, canal routes, glorious countryside views, stunning walks, fantastic Yorkshire hospitality, range of family activities and gorgeous places to stay, Calderdale ticks all the boxes for a relaxing weekend with the family. It's hard to believe this area is just a 2.5 hour drive or train journey from Newcastle.

If you'd like to read more about Calderdale, check out the Visit Calderdale website and use it to start planning your next weekend break. 
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3 comments

  1. Enjoyed reading your blog on Calderdale, next time you come may I suggest you start your journey in Brighouse which is the second largest town in Calderdale. Independent shops, few good eating places, UK's biggest outdoor climbing structure, on the outside of old flour silos, higher than Nelsons Column and the Angel Of The North, You can also climb inside, children welcome. Try and come when there is something special happening,ie Forties weekend, Summer Festival, canal and beer festival, weekend markets. If you visit the Piece Hall again go next door to the Square Chapel, really smart and the relaunched Industrial Museum.
    Enjoy your traveling.
    Kenneth.

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  2. I have never thought of visiting Calderdale but after reading this I'm now dying to! The photos look so picturesque and it's a good distance for a weekend break from Newcastle.

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  3. Oh I had never heard of Calderdale either, we love Yorkshire but have never ventured here. I had no idea it was so close to the North East. It looks like you had a great weekend, the canal boat looks like fun - I remember going on a similar one in Norfolk when I was a child. xx

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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