Barn to Rest, about 2 minutes drive away from Haworth, highly recommended) we drove what turned out to be the shortest distance ever into Haworth. Considering how incredible GORGEOUS the moors are (at least in August) I do completely regret not walking there, so if ever you're staying not too far away from Haworth, go for the walk.
Haworth is so pretty. I can't overstate that. It's kind of nestled in the moors and has cobbled streets (which always trip me up, by the way) and old-fashioned shops, and is essentially what I guess the popular imagination thinks that all of England is actually like. Trust me- basically nothing in the South of England is as picturesque as Haworth, and that's kind of a good thing because I'm not sure my eyes could cope with this amount of constant beauty, and, alternatively, I'm not sure I could cope with my brain no longer processing the constant beauty. Sample conversation with the B&B owner:
Me: It's so gorgeous here!
Her: (offhand) Oh yeah, I suppose it is. Sometimes, anyway.
IT'S GORGEOUS AND EVEN IN THE WINTER IT WOULD BE ALL MOODY AND GORGEOUS.
Anyway. Before I go into how great the Parsonage was (and I thought it was excellent, both atmospherically and information-giving-ly) a note on the weather. The further north we drove and the further we got into Yorkshire, the gloomier and rainier it seemed to get. This prompted me to make an observation on the differences between the writing of the Brontes and that of Jane Austen, which I now believe can be boiled down to this: Austen lived in the fairly temperate weather of the South of England, so rather than feeling gloomy all the time she could just observe social behaviour and roll her eyes at everything. The Brontes? Totally had to cope with near constant cloud and gloom which, admittedly, tends to put on in kind of a less positive frame of mind.
I'm telling you all this because, by the time we got to Haworth? It was gorgeous. Sunny the whole time we were there. The moors were beautiful rather than dark, barren and imposing. It made me happy, sure, but I'm not sure I'll ever forgive the weather for depriving me of some Bronte gloom.
Anyway... moving on from complaining about the nice weather like a crazy person, our first destination in Haworth was, of course, the Parsonage where Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte lived for the majority of their lives. It was pretty intense just standing outside it, to be honest- there's a sign on this wall that explains where a gate used to be that the Brontes went through to church, and I had a moment where I could imagine them running through it so they wouldn't be late... like I said, intense!
Also there's this creepy-ass statue that I really don't think we need to talk about.
I learnt a lot of new things about the Brontes at the Parsonage, most of which I've now, predictably, forgotten, but one thing that sticks out is this: While all the Bronte siblings are buried in the church, (which we weren't allowed to go in because they were doing building work on it- hmph!) Anne is not because she died in Scarborough, and Charlotte had her buried there because she wanted to save her father the heartbreak of having to bury another child. Which is all very well and good, and I know it doesn't actually make much of a difference, but... It sort of makes me want to cry because I think of Anne being all alone where she's buried, and... *sniff*.
Quick tourist's guide to Haworth- it's lovely and the shops are all set on this MASSIVE HILL which is fine to walk down, but a lot more effort to get back up (as is the way with hills...) but since it's Yorkshire (and please ignore anyone in basically any Bronte novel, Joseph in Wuthering Heights I'm looking at YOU) the people are so lovely and friendly that you don't even care that you can't breathe as you peruse the shops. A word to the wise: if you go to Haworth on a Monday (as we did) everywhere closes at six and some places don't even bother to open. THIS INCLUDES RESTAURANTS. So good LUCK getting fed- we went to this pub that has allegedly stopped serving food (at 6pm! On a Monday!) and where everyone kind of looked like they wanted to kill us, thus making themselves the exception to the 'friendly Yorkshire people' rule! We did eventually get fed in a hotel and it was fine, but my advice to you is this- make your trip to Haworth a day trip, and clear off out of there by about 5pm. So you can get fed somewhere.
So that's what happened in Haworth. Hopefully this will be useful to someone out there planning to go on a Bronte pilgrimage, but if not then... This is what I did in my summer holidays! It was aces! And I'll say about the only thing I've said for the last few months: I LOVE Yorkshire!
Ok, first cobbled streets are the worst. I mean, I love them and they're always very pretty but I am guaranteed to trip and fall every time too!ReplyDelete
Second, that statue is one of the most terrifying things I've ever seen. Can you imagine creeping through there at night and backing into it in the dark? I'm pretty sure you'd die.
Finally, that little street at the end is so damn sweet that I'm going to look at flights now because it is killing me not to be in the English countryside right now.
I tripped SO many times. But I am clumsier than the average person, so there's that.Delete
OMG don't even. About the only good thing is that it seems you can't really go outside to stand near it, which I was slightly miffed about at the time cause I wanted a picture of me being scared of it, but now I feel... safer that I didn't!
COME TO ENGLAND! I will frolic on the moors with you! And by now they'll be all gloomy and scary haha!
I'm going to enter the lottery tonight and see if I win the 70 million draw next week. I think my chances are pretty high....Delete
Ohhhh, see, I had the chance to go to Haworth for a wintry morning walk and an afternoon of shopping (the bookshop), sightseeing (the parsonage) and tea-drinking (at Villette - AWESOME CAFE NAME)... but it was raining. And I was feeling very lazy. So I didn't. And I really wish I had. PEOPLE OF YORK UNIVERSITY, LET THIS BE A LESSON FOR YOU.ReplyDelete
On the plus side, I didn't have to look at that statue. I may never have slept ever again. In that picture they look like a cross between the Ghosts of Brontes Past and... well, the Weeping Angels. Sorry to completely freak out everyone who might ever go to Haworth again, but seriously. DO NOT BLINK.
Soooo, hey hey hey hey! When are we totally organising a Book Blogger's Bronte Pilgrimage With Tea And Books, huh?
I am sad for you that you didn't go, cause it is AWESOME. I didn't go in Villette, although I vaguely remember it being there... What a FOOL I am! And btw York (where I nearly went, just so you know!) is clearly a way better uni than Southampton, which offered NO trips to Chawton which meant I had to get a train and a bus to it BOO.Delete
YES that statue completely reminds me of the weeping angels! Just NO, whoever sculpted it. NO.
And ALL THE YES to the Haworth trip! I mean, it'll take me a fucking year to get up there, but no worries! :)
I must must go here! Especially since you said it's the England people imagine. Because I went to London, and though it was lovely, it was NOT the England I imagined.ReplyDelete
Plus, Jane Eyre is my favorite book.
Hahahaha, yeah London is very much like CITY which is, lets face it, awesome, but also not very ye olde England-y. Which yeah, Haworth is. But it's not representative of the country as a whole, SADLY.Delete
YAY Jane Eyre too :)
"Austen lived in the fairly temperate weather of the South of England, so rather than feeling gloomy all the time she could just observe social behaviour and roll her eyes at everything" - this. I love this.ReplyDelete
Anne being alone is so sad. Why couldn't they have maybe just sneaked her in to be buried with everyone else. Which now that I've typed that, that seems creepy but also like it could be made into a wacky "Literary Weekend at Bernie's" type thing.
:) why thank you!Delete
It is sort of creepy, BUT its a good point as to why they didn't move Anne's remains to the church, since the Brontes have remained pretty popular constantly since they died, so... You'd think someone would have done it.
Ps I don't understand your weekend at Bernie's reference for I have never seen it!
Weekend at Bernie's = two guys drag around the dead body of their boss pretending he's alive. Wacky hijinks ensue. They even made a sequel to it.Delete
... Good to know! It does sort of sound hilarious. And also disturbing. Hmm...Delete
NOOOO I MUST GO THEEEEEREReplyDelete
Poor Anne. I love her more than the other two. I think she was way less into her feelings than they were.
Good sum-up, man. Also, no, we don't need to talk about the statue.
You can, you can! You know, someday. I'll go with you, cause you know, it's awesome.Delete
Anne may have had less feelings, but also she couldn't write as well, maybe. But I live them alllllll equally (except I think Charlotte was maybe a bitch. A bit.)
Thank you! I try. Damn creepy statue.
So timely. It's my birthday today and about an hour ago I just opened a gift box with a printout of information for Haworth. I'm not sure when we'll go, but in the next couple of months I will be there. I will stay away from that statue, though, because seriously, what the crap is that? So creepy. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
Happy birthday!! Good week to send you a book, huh? Also, I got your book today, thank you so so so much!!! :DDelete
Anyway, Haworth, yes! It is MAGNIFICENT, and I love it, but please keep in mind the Monday thing hahaha! The statue is kind of when you come to the end of the museum on the way to the gift shop, so just avert your eyes, yeah?
And here begins yet another series of Ways Laura Intends to Make Tika Jealous. Being your friend and an Anglophile is SO HARD. My boss actually uttered these words yesterday: I may need to move to Johannesburg so I can be in Nigeria, but JoBurg is 7 hours away, and for that we may as well be in London.ReplyDelete
Wherein I promptly clapped headphones over my ears to keep from jumping out of my chair and shouting that most of my shit is still in boxes and I can just buy new books, so now's as good a time as any!
This is how I show I'm an adult. By being patient.
ANYWAY. That statue is disturbing. They look like harpies! Agh. Who made that?!?
I am still SO serious about a citizenship swap. You can totally have England, of which you will be bored in, like, a month. And I shall have the USA, aka land of ALL THE SCENERIES OF EVERYWHERE ELSE. Daaaaaamn, America.Delete
Anyway! Haworth is extraordinarily beautiful, so yeah. I can't blame you for your English feelings being all excited right now. But *stern face* it's not all like that! Hardly any of it is! Really!
And the statue! I don't know who made it, but really they should be put down. It's HORRIFYING!
I'm going this autumn! I loved your post, I was excited to start with, now I'm hopping! (metaphorically, I'm actually lying on my bed, but my mind is hopping!)ReplyDelete
Yaaaaaay! Oh maaaaan, I bet it'll be awesome in the autumn! Make sure you pick a really gloomy day, so you can gloom with the Brontes!Delete
THAT'S THE ROAD WE ACCIDENTALLY DROVE DOWN! IT WAS TERRIFYING!ReplyDelete
I agree, Haworth is the awesomest. And it is sad that Anne is all buried by herself and things but we went to Scarborough as well and saw her grave and it is in a really pretty place, so that's good :-)
THAT IS SO NOT GOOD, THAT HILL IS SO STEEP!Delete
Aw, I'm so happy that you went to see Anne's grave, and that she's ok! You've actually set my mind at rest on that, so nice work!
Also I like the weather comment, and entirely agree with it. I think the weather has a lot to do with people in general, especially British people. And the Scottish. Apparently it always rains in Scotland, so.ReplyDelete
Hahaha, 'it always rains in Scotland, so' that's why all Scottish people are so grumpy?! But also, yeaaaah! Haha. All I knows is that cloud makes me totally gloomy, and sun makes me feel GREAT. So I'm moving to California, k bye!Delete
I'm very jealous. I can't believe I spent two years less than 25 miles away and never went to visit. There are so many things I should've done but didn't. I'm going to have to come back and do a literary tour of England and hopefully make it coincide with the Hay Festival.ReplyDelete
You should definitely do that! Also I NEED to go to the Hay Festival sometime too. And just to Hay on Wye, cause BOOKSHOPS. But yeah, Haworth? SO pretty. And learny. And just awesome.Delete
Ohhh wow, I'd forgotten about that statue. I really like it but in a thank-god-it's-not-near-me-while-I-sleep kind of way.ReplyDelete
I read Daphne du Maurier's biography of Branwell Bronte and she talks a lot about Anne dying in Scarborough. It's such a shame you couldn't go in the church!
I love Haworth, although isn't a tiny. I've been a few times because I live reasonably close. You've made me want to go again now!
You LIKE it? As in, you like what you see with your eyes? WHUT?!Delete
I did not know that such a book existed, but now I really want to read it! I'm SO fascinated by Branwell (fascinated=I think I fancy him. Cause he's all rogueish and all). And yeah, I was pretty miffed about the church. It'll have to be next time, I guess!
Go go go to Haworth again! Take pictures! Report back! :)