Road trip to Bamford Edge and Holmfirth:
When i wake up on a Saturday morning the first thing on my mind is where to next?
So on the 22nd September 2018 we decided to cross the border into Derbyshire and venture into the picturesque Peak District to the desired location of Bamford Edge.
Bamford Edge is located in the Hope Valley, 12 miles West of Sheffield. The view from the edge overlooks the Ladybower Resevoir which was built between 1935 and 1943 and took a further 2 years to fill.
The design of the Ladybower is somewhat infamous as it resulted in the villages of Derwent and Ashopton being submerged in order for the reservoir to be built.
This resulted in the demolition of village treasures such as Derwent Hall and Derwent Church and the destruction of all the buildings in Ashopton too.
The narrow stone Packhorse Bridge over the Derwent was removed and rebuilt at the head of the Howden reservoir and the clock tower of the church was visible above the water level until 1947, when it was seen as a hazard and demolished with explosives.
The village ruins have reappeared in 1976, 1989, 1996 and 2003 when the waters were abnormally low.
If you want to know more about the history of Ashopton and Derwent i would recommend the Silent Valley book by Vic Hallam. This book was passed down from my Grandad to my Dad and is a fascinating read detailing the detrimental effects that the build had on the locals and the history of both the villages prior to them being submerged.
Photo of Derwent Hall- Daily Mail & Hansons BNPS
Anyway back to the road trip.
When we arrived we were in awe of the landscape surrounding us, however there was one problem… we didn’t actually know whereabouts the edge was!
We pulled over where the satnav told us the destination was but there was no parking in site. We got out of the car and started walking but thought it was actually further up the road, so we got back in the car, typed the location into google maps and followed the directions… low and behold it actually took us in a circle and we ended up back at square one. So we started walking again and half an hour later we somehow arrived at the correct destination (who needs a map eh?).
It was clear that the effects of the long, dry Summer that we experienced hasn’t boded too well with the plant life; barely a flower in sight and the heather was more of a brown colour, however in the end i did manage to find a normal looking heather plant!
Bamford edge stands at 227 feet which doesn’t sound that high considering it’s in the Peak District, however after looking down while standing on the rock edge i did feel rather dizzy.
This brings me onto one of my biggest fears… heights.
I have been scared of heights since i can remember, so for me to actually sit (not stand because that is too much of an ask) on the rock edge is a massive achievement for me. I may look calm in the photos but i can assure you that i was shaking like a leaf as i knew that any sort of stumble could result in a trip down into the reservoir.
This is definitely one of the best views in Derbyshire- i would highly recommend this place to any keen landscape photographer! The reservoir, the heather and the rocks all come together to make a stunning picture postcard scene.
So overall i was very impressed by Bamford Edge; the scenery was superb, the distance from where i parked my car to the actual edge wasn’t too far (if you fancied a longer walk then there are routes that start in the village of Bamford), the route wasn’t too challenging and it is only a stones-throw away from Sheffield so ideal for people who would like to relax in the city after a day of walking in the countryside.
We then set off to go to Holmfirth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 6 miles South of Huddersfield. Holmfirth is famous for being the filming location of the longest ever running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine.
The journey from Bamford Edge to Holmfirth took around 40 minutes, we continued along Snake Pass before heading North into the Holme Valley.
By the time we had arrived in Holmfirth it was nearly 2 o’clock so i’m sure you can imagine that we were getting quite hungry. What better place is there to have a bite to eat than Sid’s cafe in the centre of the town!
The cafe, like in the programme, is relatively small inside with around 7 tables sitting 4 people on each table. However, we were lucky enough to get one of those tables!
The cafe serves a range of different food and cakes such as toasties, sandwiches, hot cross buns and scones with jam and cream. Both my friend and I decided to go for the cheese and onion toastie with a classic cup of tea (i went for the scone with jam and cream as a dessert which was delicious but very filling!).
Inside the cafe is a collection of photos of the cast hung up on the walls with memorabilia for sale all around. Items that can be purchased include: postcards, mugs, pens, t shirts, teddy bears and calendars (more memorabilia can be purchased in the official Last of the Summer Wine shop).
There are other places where you can eat in the town, i would also recommend Hollowgate Fisheries which serves fantastic chippy dishes at very reasonable prices and The Nook real ale bar where they serve their own real ale and home cooked food.
When i first visited Holmfirth in 2016 my parents and I went for a meal in the Nook. We were all interested in having the burger, the waitress informed us that one each was probably too much but we ignored her advice and went for one each… i think it was fair to say that we should’ve listened to her!
It was honestly the biggest burger i had ever seen, i only managed half of it but the quality was fantastic. So yes i would definitely recommend the burger but remember to take the waitresses advice!
There are plenty of places to park in Holmfirth; i tend to always park on the co-op car park as i find that the prices are very reasonable such as 40p for 1 hour and 60p for 2 hours. This car park is also only a 2 minute walk away from the cafe.
If you are a book worm and like to shop in book shops then i would highly recommend Daisy Lane Book shop located behind the church.
I have been in this book shop on several occasions and it never fails to amaze me how many books they can fit in such a small space; it really is an Alladins cave! However, don’t be put off by this as if you are looking for a certain topic e.g sports, politics, then you will be able to find what you are looking for as the layout of the entire shop is pretty clear. Once you have visited this little gem then you will realise why this was Peter Sallis’ favourite book shop.
We then walked towards Compo’s and Nora Batty’s houses. Nora Batty’s house is now the site of the aptly named wrinkled stocking tea room and the Last of the Summer Wine exhibition and Compo’s house is now the official Last of the Summer Wine store.
Admission into the exhibition is £2.50 for adults and £1.00 for children and opening times are 10.30- 15.30 on weekdays and 10.00-16.00 on weekends and bank holiday Mondays. I haven’t actually been to look at the exhibition, however if you are a massive Last of the Summer wine fan then i am sure that this is a must visit place!
Before the 1 hour and 15 minute drive home, we decided to visit the resting places of Bill Owen (Compo) and Peter Sallis (Cleggy) at Upperthong Church, just a 2 minute drive away from Holmfirth. The moment we arrived there it was clear how loved these two actors were, with wellies laid on the grave of Bill Owen and a flat cap attached to Peter Sallis’ grave. It can also be said that the views from the church are stunning, looking down into the Holme Valley with Holmfirth in the distance.
The surrounding village of Marsden also comes highly recommended with Marsden Moor in particular showcasing the hidden treasure of the stunning Packhorse Bridge. If you fancy a long walk then i would definitely look no further than Marsden Moor!
To round off, you don’t have to be a Last of the Summer Wine fan to visit Holmfirth; it’s beauty can be told by the thousands of tourists that visit each year and I think it’s quite clear to see why Holmfirth is my favourite place in Yorkshire!
That’s all for today then, hope you enjoyed the read!
Until next time,