Fields as far as the eye can see, cobblestone streets and quaint cottages; welcome to Haworth, Yorkshire
Friday 2 November was my birthday and I got the best present I’ve ever had from my boyfriend. No, no, it wasn’t from Ann Summers!He whisked me up to Yorkshire to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum, as I adore Victorian literature and studied Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë), Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Brontë) for my final year project at university.
So we swapped the sexy dress boutiques, modern bars and polluted air for tea shops, old pubs and crisp country breeze.
The house was incredible. Photography inside was forbidden, but seeing the rooms and artefacts in photos wouldn’t do them justice anyway. We saw clothes Charlotte wore, the very room and table the sisters sat at when they crafted their novels, letters they had written, pictures they had painted, and so much more. Charlotte’s wedding bonnet was like something out of a fairytale. It was large, mint green, covered with roses, and a short white veil draped over the front.
This was the nice half of the view from Charlotte’s bedroom window. Gorgeous isn’t it? But if you looked a little to the right, you were faced with the old and eerie cemetery.
Sam bought me new hard-back copies of the three novels I studied. I intended on buying them as the ones I used during my dissertation are unreadable, with pen filling every gap and pages falling out.
That evening we thought we’d see what a Saturday night had meant for the Victorian village. The street was silent except when you approached various pubs. We chose one of noisier ones, the Black Bull, the pub where Branwell Brontë (the brother) fed his alcohol addiction, so keeping with tradition, we had a little binge too!
The next day we walked down the cobblestone streets into town.
After checking out of our hotel we took the hour treck to Brontë Falls. I’m not one to amble in fields, I power-walk through city streets, so I was marching ahead while Sam took a more leisurely stroll. I get impatient.
Our landlady said ‘Don’t get too excited, sometimes t’falls are only a stream; it depends on how much rain we’ve ‘ad.’
I was thankful the rain held off, even if it did mean a trickling waterfall.
After I’d snapped away and Sam had had a paddle, we drove for five hours back to Essex; what an amazing weekend.
For the first time in a long time I was surrounded by people who read and cherished classic books, not Kindles. People were friendly, fresh-faced and tucked into hearty meals instead of nibbling salads. They didn’t care about the office and no one was glued to an iPad. Life is simpler, and they seem happier for it.
The idea of buying a cottage, a horse, setting up a tea room and joining a book club was tempting, but I’m a city girl. The novelty of a quaint little town with little buzz would vanish quicker than the need for high heels (fields, cobblestones and hills everywhere). The shopping centres, bars and sun would call me home, however Yorkshire’s fields will always be open for when I need another perfect escape.