Travel UK

Travel || Hebden Bridge

Today’s post on Hebden Bridge is the latest in my exploration of Yorkshire posts. I always do a fair bit of research before we visit some place new, and one of the bits of opinion on Hebden Bridge I found that truly made me laugh was the description of it as the most “Guardian-y town to have every existed.” (A reference to the British centre-left newspaper, The Guardian.) 

One thing that was super important for me to do whilst in the area was to visit Sylvia Plath’s grave in St Thomas’ church in Heptonstall. (Heptonstall is a small village about 1/2 a mile away from Hebden Bridge, but higher up the valley). Ted Hughes was from Mytholmroyd (another small town in the area) so after her tragic death, he had her buried in West Yorkshire. Plath’s headstone is fairly constantly vandalised, with people trying to remove the Hughes name from her headstone. On my visit, the Hughes name was distinctly lighter than her name, and looked as if someone had taken a bit of steel wool to it. It took me completely by surprise, but I burst into tears when we found her grave. An unexpected wave of emotion just floored me. Plath’s writings had been so an important influence in my life that this sudden confrontation of her actual “personhood” has shocking. 

The architecture of Hebden Bridge was absolutely stunning, as was the nature. I can see how living in the valley would be oppressive during bad weather, but on a beautiful day it must be such a picturesque part of the world to live in! 

Have you ever visited Hebden Bridge or Heptonstall? 

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  • Great post! I love hebden bridge – we actually went to view a cafΓ© for sale there two years ago, but it was never going to work out! I didn’t know Plath’s grave was there!
    We stayed in a cute airbnb there once as it’s a lovely town in the evening too!

    • Oh man! It’s such a shame – I would have visited your cafe there all the time as it would only be a quick jaunty train ride πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Wow – this place is just dripping with literary import, as though I can imagine Sylvia there…. I can see how it would really have been an emotional visit, for sure! (I have had a similar experience at Pere Lachaise in Paris so I can totally understand this)

    • Was there any particular grave at Pere Lachaise that set you off? It’s such a surreal experience isn’t it? Not expected to get emotional and then – bam! x

  • This is so pretty, and definitely on my list for my next trip to Yorkshire! Have you visited Saltaire yet? You MUST! I blogged about it here if you want some tips: Saltaire day trip

    • Your pictures of it are just beautiful! Sam’s Dad and step-mom love it but I’ve never been. I’ll have to add it to my list immediately! xx

  • Never heard of the place but how I liked these photos of what looks like a lovely place

  • I’ve never heard of it before, but it looks stunning there. Even being from the UK, I’m always amazed by the cute little villages and towns everywhere – and I love that they’re all so different depending on what part of the country you visit too!
    xo April | April Everyday

    • Totally! I think it’s quite popular in Yorkshire, but rarely heard about outside the area. It was really pretty and I need to go back when the weather is a bit more cheery! x

  • How pretty! I love little villages like this, and those ruins, ruins are my weakness!

  • I completely didn’t realise I’d read and see Sylvia Plath’s tomb here. How beautiful!