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Bronwhynn Mar 12th, 2006 07:00 AM

West Yorkshire Holiday
My husband and I are planning a trip to the West Yorkshire area and would first like to know, if it would be better to fly into Heathrow and drive to our destination, or is there a railway that can take us there and we can rent our auto in the area we plan to visit.

Also, can anyone suggest a comfortable self catering cottage in the Haworth area?

Thank You,

Guy18 Mar 12th, 2006 08:10 AM

Just a suggestion that you might want to fly into Manchester and rent a car from that airport. The Yorkshire Dales are 2 hours from there. That's what I'll be doing this summer...

Morgana Mar 12th, 2006 11:35 AM

Guy's suggestion is good - to drive from Heathrow to Haworth will take 5 hours on a good trip! Manchester is much nearer and would save you time.
Sorry, can't help with your self catering cottage (as I live in Yorkshire) but give me a shout if you want info about the area. I can advise on 'must see's, restaurants, walks etc. I live in North Yorkshire, but work in West Yorkshire, and I love Haworth!

Tracey14 Mar 12th, 2006 11:49 AM

I'm not disagreeing with either Guy or Morgana about flying into Manchester - if you have maximum choice in airports that looks that the better choice. At my closest international airport, however, BA has direct flights into Heathrow, which I find more convenient (and more trustworthy) than the variety of other bankrupt airlines that require two or three flights to get to the UK (and that often seem to require going through Philadelphia!). That being said, I have picked up a car at Heathrow and driven to Yorkshire, which I found more convenient than the train, which required the Express into Victoria and then a tube ride to King's Cross (?). When I factored in car rental in York, renting at Heathrow was much cheaper. I also was able to make the drive to York in less than four hours. Finally, for myself I prefer familiarizing myself with the different driving conditions in the UK (I live in the US) on a major highway, though as I think about it I wonder if that's either perverse or delusional.

alanRow Mar 12th, 2006 11:58 AM

Tube to Kings Cross, train to Leeds, train to Keighley & you might be lucky to get a steam train on the Keighley Worth Valley line to Haworth, otherwise just get a bus or taxi from outside the station.

Just a note - Bill Bryson once asked why it was that the British army uses beautiful countryside for munition target practice, rather than a place like Keighley.

I have to agree with him.

Also you do realise that West Yorkshire is a very large county by UK standards & that Haworth is at the extreme west of it.

alanRow Mar 12th, 2006 11:59 AM

That should read DIRECT Tube from Heathrow to Kings Cross

Bronwhynn Mar 12th, 2006 12:14 PM

Morgana, I would love any and all information/suggestions on places to see! Especially any detailed information on Haworth!!!

Tracy, I may be mistaken, but is there an International Airport in Leeds/Bradford?
We will be flying out of San Francisco International and there are direct flights to Heathrow.
My idea is as yours is; that it may be the better route to fly into Heathrow and rent an auto there.
I too like to familiarize myself with the roads, especially when I'm not the one driving...and I won't be...

Thank you,

CotswoldScouser Mar 12th, 2006 12:31 PM

If you really can't fly straight to Manchester, consider three things.

1. It's probably about 4 hours on a good day by car from LHR to Haworth, and one or two hours longer on a rainy weekday morning. It's irresponsible to drive that straight off an overnight flight unless you're sure you'll have had a decent night's sleep: the M1 is not a good road to learn to drive on. Also illegal.
2. If you're unused to driving on the proper side of the road, though, it's easier to get used to it starting off at Heathrow than by picking up a car at Leeds or Bradford, where the city centre car hire pick ups take you straight into city-centre traffic. There isn't, to the best of my knowledge,any out of town car hire pick up handy for a major railway station anywhere in West Yorkshire.
3. The least painful option, believe it or not, is the 55 min tube from LHR to Kings Cross, train to Leeds or Bradford, taxi to Leeds/Bradford airport and collect a car there. You're about 30 mins from Haworth on (as I recall) reasonably empty roads).

Stretch every sinew to fly to Manchester.

alanRow Mar 12th, 2006 01:18 PM

"There isn't, to the best of my knowledge,any out of town car hire pick up handy for a major railway station anywhere in West Yorkshire."

There's at least 4 car hire places in Keighley alone, 14 in Shipley & 13 in Skipton

rogerdodger Mar 12th, 2006 01:27 PM

I am not sure if this is practical or not, however, you could take the shuttle bus from Heathrow to Watford Junction, a train station outside of London. You might be able to pick up a car there or continue by train to either Manchester or Birmingham where you could pick up a car and continue on by driving. If I was doing it I would take the Heathrow Express train to Paddington, tube or taxi to Kings cross, then train up to York where I would get and return the car.

alya Mar 12th, 2006 03:36 PM

Have you thought of flying to LHR and then flying to Leeds/Bradford? - which is a regional airport not an international airport.

Pick up a car at the airport or use a cab to get to Haworth, It's about 15 miles - sit back and enjoy the scenery and after you have recovered from jet lag, pick up a car from Keighley.

I can't help you with accomodations since when I visit the area I stay at a wonderful private house with an amazing cook (thanks Mum) :-D

I'm assuming that you are a Bronte fan???

alya Mar 12th, 2006 03:43 PM

and while I agree with alanRow's (and Bill Bryson's) view of Keighley - I think Cliff Castle is worth a couple of hours (it's free).

Can't think of anything else in Keighley that I would bother with tho :-)

Tracey14 Mar 12th, 2006 06:55 PM

I visited East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley and very much enjoyed it, especially the collection of 17th- and 18th-century embroidery. It is located in the midst of suburban sprawl, though.

Morgana Mar 13th, 2006 02:23 AM

Hi again
Haworth is a very atmospheric place, not sure if you could ever call it pretty, but it is certainly scenic.
The big draw is of course the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Despite the large number of visitors you can still imagine what it was like in the Bronteís time. The graveyard at the front, full of tombstones leaning in all directions and cawing crows still makes me shiver!
Many of the rooms are as they were when the Brontes lived there, but there is also exhibition space at the back.
If you enjoy reading then Juliet Barkerís biography of the Brontes is superb. She used to be the curator at the Parsonage and certainly knows her subjects. Her book is simply entitled The Brontes. Well worth reading before you visit.
The main street in Haworth leading up to the Parsonage is very steep (flat shoes!) and has lots of interesting little shops to browse in. At the top is the superb Rose Apothecary.
Great for presents, and treats for yourself.
Opposite is the Black Bull inn where Branwell Bronte drank himself into a stupor.
If you look at the church tower you can see bullet marks where the Bronteís father shot at it from the Parsonage.
Weavers restaurant is recommended Ė excellent food.
In Haworth you can go on the Keighley and Worth Valley railway.
If you like walking thereís some great walks close by. My favourite is a walk to a local beauty spot known as the Bronte waterfall. The ghost of Emily is supposed to appear on the path (never spotted it but itís the sort of place where you keep looking behind you). However, the terrain can be difficult and you would need proper walking boots and instructions.
To be honest, parts of West Yorkshire can be pretty bleak, but you are also within easy reach of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
I assume you have your own reasons for wanting to stay in or near Haworth? I can understand wanting to visit it, but personally I think I might want to stay in the Dales, and visit.
Do get back to me if you need any more info.

TeddG Mar 13th, 2006 04:28 AM

Coming from West Yorkshire I would suggest it best if possible to get a flight to Manchester (about 1hr drive from West Yorkshire).

I have worked near Stanstead airport (which is a lot nearer than heathrow)and a drive north can vary between 4 and 7 hours depending on the day of the week and weather. So if it is Heathrow then the train north is probably best.

Check out for ideas on places to visit.

Hope you enjoy your stay.


SusanMargaret Mar 13th, 2006 05:21 AM

For me another huge advantage of Manchester airport is that the pickup and return of rental cars is right outside the terminal building. With Heathrow, rental cars are often some distance and you need to take a shuttle bus to get to them and back to the terminal when you return them.

rosebery44 Mar 17th, 2006 09:01 AM

If you're in the Haworth area, try to fit in a visit to Saltaire as well.

Wealthly mill owner Sir Titus Salt created a 'model' village for his mill workers in the 1850's, and named each street after a member of his family. He was ahead of his time in looking after his workers, and built a school and a hospital as well homes. Interestingly, he didn't give them a pub as he wanted his tenants to work, not drink!!

The village now has World Heritage status and the mill is still here. There's no spinning now, however, and the mill now has a fantastic selection of shops, a diner, a cafe and the only permanent David Hockney exhibition in the UK.

It'll be really easy to drive to Saltaire from the Haworth area, or you can take a train directly from Keighley. It's just a couple of stops (about 10 minutes) and will only cost a couple of pounds per person, as its within West Yorkshire's metro zone.

For more information on Saltaire, go to and for more information on Salts Mill go to

Hope this helps.

Mimar Mar 17th, 2006 10:03 AM

BA flies from Heathrow to Manchester. Bronwhynn, you need to allow for jetlag. It's a long haul from SFO to England. And then to hop into a car and drive on the other side of the road, well, it's dangerous.

alya Mar 17th, 2006 10:13 AM

rosebery - too funny,

When they raised the school leaving age in the 70's, there was a lack of schools and I spent a year in the 'technical college' in Saltaire, we ate dinner in the dining room under the library over the road.

I also spent a year in the school that became "Sooty's World" :-)

Thankfully in my last 2 years at Middle School we had a 'real' school to go to.

Thanks for the memories :-D

stevelyon Mar 17th, 2006 10:15 AM

West Yorkshire is, in my opinion, a stunning area (and that comes from the mouth of a Lancastrian). If you can, find time to visit Heptonstall (the resting place of Sylvia Plath) it is very atmospheric and not as touristed as Haworth. If you are very fit, take the walk from Hebden Bridge Village (another nice place) and walk up to Heptonstall.

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