I’ve wanted to spend a weekend in Hebden Bridge for absolute ages. Actually, I can remember the first time I heard about this gorgeous Yorkshire village. I was talking to someone at a Manchester networking event in 2013 who had just visited Hebden Bridge. And she was telling me all about how beautiful it was and this amazing Nut Roast she ate there. Oh, and she mentioned it’s the Lesbian Capital of the UK.
Pardon?! I didn’t know such a thing existed but apparently, yes, this is one of Hebden Bridge’s several accolades. Luckily, it has so much more going for it than that. And when the first annual Hebden Bridge Film Festival was announced, I knew that would be the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. What’s better than watching lots of films and exploring a beautiful village at the same time?
This is my weekend in Hebden Bridge guide based on what I got up to in 48 hours! Enjoy!
My Guide to a Weekend in Hebden Bridge
Travel to Hebden Bridge
One of the main reasons people choose Hebden Bridge for a weekend away is because it’s so well connected. You honestly do not need a car to get here, or to travel around for that matter. Hebden Bridge is such a walkable place. It is a village with a population of only 4,500 people, after all.
Travelling to Hebden Bridge by Train
Trains to Hebden Bridge are direct from Leeds and Manchester, so travelling to Hebden Bridge via rail is incredibly easy and can be quite cheap. I’ve just checked, and if I wanted to travel to Hebden Bridge from Manchester Victoria today, it costs £10.50 for a return. And if I booked in advance, it would be cheaper. So, even if you’re coming from further afield, travelling to Hebden Bridge is very easy and straightforward.
Travelling to Hebden Bridge by Car
If you do insist on driving to Hebden Bridge, it will be straightforward if you don’t have far to travel as Hebden Bridge is just off the main A road, the A646. But if you’re more than a couple of hours drive away, you’ll have to avoid the Peak District to the south and the Yorkshire Dales to the north. Unless, of course, you like driving through miles of windy country roads in which case you’re in luck!
There are a number of free and paid car parks in Hebden Bridge. You can check out more information about the availability and costs of those car parks here.
Accommodation in Hebden Bridge
Full disclosure, I didn’t stay in Hebden Bridge during my weekend trip there. Since it’s so close to Manchester and my base, it was cheaper and still convenient to take the train to Hebden Bridge for all three days. However, if you are looking for Hebden Bridge accommodation you have tonnes of options, albeit not tonnes of cheap choices.
Airbnb would be a good option for a weekend in Hebden Bridge staycation, and you can check out these cottages on Airbnb in Hebden Bridge from £42 per night. Alternatively, you can find great hotels in Hebden Bridge on Booking.com and even a few houseboats which sound pretty awesome!
Let’s say you’re arriving for your weekend in Hebden Bridge after spending all day Friday at work. You don’t have to take any time off for this itinerary! All the best things to do in Hebden Bridge fit nice and snug into one weekend.
Dinner: Vocation & Co.
After checking in at your hotel in Hebden Bridge, head to Vocation & Co. for a few beverages and a laid back dinner. As a craft beer lover, I absolutely adored visiting Vocation & Co. craft brewery and bar. They’re one of the most successful craft breweries in the UK but they still have their headquarters in this cosy bar and restaurant in Hebden Bridge.
Definitely try their Winter Stout if it’s on tap (I still catch myself thinking about it sometimes), and tuck into some delicious Mexican food with a Yorkshire twist. Stay for a pint (or sample their huge gin range!) and get an early night for a whole day walking and exploring tomorrow.
Saturday: Heptonstall, Shopping & Music/Cinema
Breakfast: Squeeze Food & Smoothie Bar
Unless you’re enjoying a self-catered breakfast in your Airbnb, check out Squeeze Food & Smoothie Bar. You’ll find a range of big and small, hearty and healthy breakfasts. Open from 8:30-16:00 on Saturdays.
- Put on your walking boots and head to Heptonstall – Yep, on the first morning of your weekend in Hebden Bridge, I’m making you leave! One of the best things about Hebden Bridge is the surrounding hills and countryside, and also the 500-year-old cobbled town to the north of Hebden Bridge. Heptonstall is even more quaint than Hebden Bridge if you can believe it! It’s a big hill to walk up but there’s a designated footpath that takes you most of the way. There’s a crackin’ view over the valley from this path, too.
- Check out St Thomas ‘a Becket Church – Aside from its general loveliness, Heptonstall is home to two old churches, one a lot older than the other. St Thomas the Apostle is the newer, working church if you wanted to check that out. But St Thomas a Becket Church (which is literally right next to the newer church, they share a graveyard) is about 800 years old and you can just wander around at your leisure any time of day.
- Buy Souvenirs and local goods from The Workshop -This shop and knitting studio on Heptonstall’s main street called The Workshop is the best place in the area to pick up local gifts and handmade goods if you wanted to take anything home. It’s open between 11:00-17:00 on the weekends and probably open all week during the peak holiday seasons.
Top tip: I know it’s a bit of a walk but, if you can, don’t drive to Heptonstall from Hebden Bridge. It’s a really small village, much smaller than Hebden Bridge, and attracts a lot of tourists on the weekend and during the holidays. There aren’t many car parks and you can’t park on residential estates. Avoid the headache of parking and just walk.
Lunch: The White Lion or Towngate Tearoom & Bistro
After you’ve explored Heptonstall, depending on how much you ate for breakfast, you’ll be ready for lunch! If you’re feeling peckish, head to The White Lion pub. If you’re just fancying a sandwich or maybe a scone, head to the Towngate Tearoom & Bistro. Both are in Heptonstall.
- Walk back to Hebden Bridge – Walk back to Hebden Bridge the way you came! Don’t worry, the rest of your weekend in Hebden Bridge is going to remain in the centre of the village.
- Stroll through Hebden Bridge -Walk over the Old Packhorse Bridge and have a wander through the streets. Pass by the Bridge Mill, the Antiques Centre and anywhere that looks nice and takes your fancy. The beauty of Hebden Bridge is that everywhere is gorgeous so there’s no such thing as going in the wrong direction.
Dinner: Greens Vegetarian Café
If you’re a veggie (or even if you’re not), head to Greens Vegetarian Café for dinner. They open from 11:00-15:00 and then 18:30-22:00 on Saturdays so make sure to catch them when they’re open. Their menus and specials change with the seasons and they serve healthy local produce.
- The Trades Club – If you like music, dancing and/or clubs then fingers crossed there’s a band playing for you at legendary venue The Trades Club. Tonnes of hardcore music fans love the intimate nature and history of The Trades Club and it’s been named one of the best small venues in the UK. So, if you’re at all interested in music, you’ll want to buy a ticket to whoever is playing during your weekend in Hebden Bridge.
- OR Hebden Bridge Picture House – Or if you’re not too fussed about music, head to another legendary arts venue in the village. The Hebden Bridge Picture House is one of the few one-screen cinemas left in the UK and it’s a fantastic place to catch the latest independent film. It was all but destroyed by floods a few years ago but thanks to the amazing community spirit in Hebden Bridge, it was restored and looks better than ever.
Sunday: Canals & Northern Bloc Ice Cream
Brunch: Café Solo
Head to Café Solo in the centre of the village for breakfast/brunch. It’s one of the best places in Hebden Bridge for breakfast because if you’re not hungry, you can order toast or porridge for a few quid or get all the usual big brunches you would expect in cafés.
- Walk along the Hebden Bridge Canal – Hebden Bridge is on the Rochdale Canal network and you’ve got to walk along the canals at some point over your weekend in Hebden Bridge. Walking around the village, anywhere in the village, has to be the number one thing to do in Hebden Bridge. So simple but the village itself is such a treat.
- Eat Ice Cream in Calder Holmes Park – Finish your weekend in Hebden Bridge by strolling through Calder Holmes Park, which is right next to the canal and not far away from Hebden Bridge train station if that’s how you’re getting home! Head to Park Life Café (open from 10:30-17:00 on Sundays) to sample some Northern Bloc ice cream. Northern Bloc has a bit of a cult/local following in West Yorkshire and it’s the best ice cream in the county by far.
I hope you’re just as surprised as I was that there are a plethora of cafés, activities, open spaces and other great things to do in Hebden Bridge. It may be a small village but it’s the heart of the Calder Valley region and locals from the area rely on Hebden Bridge to provide them with a fantastic quality of life.
A weekend in Hebden Bridge, a mere 48 hours, is enough for you have a fantastic staycation in this beautiful village in Yorkshire and have experienced all the best bits!
That’s my perfect guide to 48 hours or a weekend in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Have you visited Hebden Bridge? Let me know in the comments below!