Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire, UK has an abundance of Victorian architecture perhaps due to the impact of the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. The most conspicuous landmark is the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill that overlooks the town. In town, the colonnaded Huddersfield railway station in St. George’s Square is considered one of the best early railway stations in England. Other notable Victorian buildings are The George Hotel, St. Peter’s Church (Huddersfield Parish Church), and the Pack Horse Centre, a covered pedestrianized shopping area constructed over a cobblestone street.
Huddersfield is known as where the first rugby game was played in 1848 at the Huddersfield Athletic Club. But more recently, Huddersfield has become a hotbed of microbreweries, which has led to an increase in micro pubs, often based in disused buildings. The Huddersfield breweries are particularly known for their ales and ciders and each year the Huddersfield Oktoberfest Beer and Cider Festival is held in the Huddersfield Town Centre. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Huddersfield!
1. Castle Hill
Rising up from plains below, is Huddersfield’s more recognizable landmark, Castle Hill. The history of the hill dates back 4,000 years when it was first thought to have been settled. Around 2,000 years ago, the site was developed as an Iron Age hill fort, surrounded by defensive ditches and ramparts. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that there was a castle built on the hill which is where the name comes from, even though a castle no longer stands. What is there now is a tower built on the summit in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The hill has been a place of recreation for hundreds of years and has been a subject of legend, speculation, and study. Today, visitors can climb or drive to the summit for a small fee. Pedestrian access is by steep paths and ‘Hillside’ byway to the summit where there is a car park. The hill is a popular place for kite flying, but in high winds it is discouraged.
Opening Hours Monday-Friday 12 to 4:30 pm, closed Saturday and Sunday
Address: Castle Hill, Hillside, Huddersfield HD4 6TA, UK
Website: Castle Hill
2. Tolson Museum
The Tolson Museum officially opened on May 27, 1922 and its exhibits tell the story of the museum and the history of the Huddersfield people from prehistoric times to the present, highlighting the industrial history of the area, especially textiles. There are 15 gallery rooms that feature displays on transport, textiles, the story of Huddersfield, World War I, and a famous bird room, which was the original nucleus of the museum. On display are pheasants and finches, crows and owls, geese and ducks, and scores of small birds such as the Golden Oriole, Yellowhammer, and Pied Flycatcher. The focal point is a large display case housing a peacock. The transport gallery has rare, vintage vehicles on display. Textile played an important part in Huddersfield’s history in creating wealth for owners and workers. The Textile Room has displays of machinery from processes including spinning, weaving, and cropping from the industrial textile era.
Opening Hours Tuesday to Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed Monday and Friday
Address: Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Road, Huddersfield HD5 8DJ, UK
Website: Tolson Museum
3. Lawrence Batley Theatre
The Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield is today a performance theatre that offers drama, music, dance, and comedy performances. The building was originally built in 1819 as a Methodist chapel and became a mission in 1906. In 1973, it was converted into an arts center and then went through a period of decline due to structural problems. In 1989, efforts began to save the building from deterioration and work began in 1992, which took four years to complete. The theatre is named after Lawrence Batley, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist. Today, the theatre (known as the LBT) aspires to offer something different and be on the cutting edge of entertainment by supporting pioneering and creative artistic companies. They also have youth and and adult theatre classes, creative sessions, and workshops.
Lawrence Batley Theatre
Address: Queen St, Huddersfield HD1 2SP, UK
Website: Lawrence Batley Theatre
4. Brewery tours
Microbreweries are booming and Huddersfield has become a real hotbed of microbreweries including Golcar, Mallinsons, Magic Rock, Empire, Briggs, Hand Drawn Monkey, Linfit, Milltown, Nook, Rat, and Riverhead. You can tour the breweries to see how their ales are made. In the greater Huddersfield area, five breweries offer tours: Black Sheep Brewery, Theakston’s Brewery, York Brewery, Great Newsome Brewery, and Saltaire Brewery. Besides touring the breweries to see how their ales are made, they offer free tasting samples, and a Yorkshire lunch or dinner after the tour.
Website: Huddersfield Breweries
5. Kirklees Light Railway
The Kirklees Light Railway is a 3 1⁄2-mile (5.6 km) long 15 in (381 mm) minimum gauge railway in West Yorkshire, Northern England. First opened on October 19, 1991, the KLR runs along the track bed of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s now closed former branch line, from the village of Clayton West to the village of Shelley Woodhouse and on the Penistone Line from Huddersfield to Sheffield. The railway ride is hugely popular with adults and children alike. They have regular special events such as the Easter Eggspress, Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine, Steam Galas, Halloween Ghost Trains, and Santa Specials. They have five steam engines: Fox, Badger, Hawk, Owl, and the newest, Katie. Trains run all year round from Wednesday to Sunday. There is a tea room, an outdoor play area for children, and picnic area at the Shelley terminus. The Clayton West Station has an outdoor play area, shop, and cafe.
Kirklees Light Railway
Address: Park Mill Way, Clayton West, Huddersfield HD8 9XJ, UK
Website: Kirklees Light Railway
6. Standedge Tunnels and Visitor Centre
Four parallel tunnels make up the Standedge Tunnels in northern England. The four tunnels are comprised of three railway tunnels and one canal tunnel. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal runs for 20 miles (32.1 km) between Huddersfield and Ashton under Lyne. The canal tunnel was built in 1811, and the railway tunnels were completed in 1848. The summit of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal is the highest navigable waterway in Britain and has a total of 74 locks and is 636 feet (193 m) underground. It was closed in 1944 and reopened in 2001. Canal boat trips start from Tunnel End Cottages at the tunnel mouth and go about 1640.42 ft (500 m) into the tunnel, a highlight of the boat ride.
The Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre is at the Marsden Railway Station end of the tunnel and can be reached via towpath of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. The centre is located in the former warehouse used for shipment of goods from canal barge to packhorse between 1798 and 1811. The centre contains exhibitions on the history of the tunnels, the canal tunnel’s recent restoration and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Admission is free.
Standedge Tunnels and Visitor Centre
Opening Hours Visitor Centre & Watersedge Café: Monday to Friday open 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am to 5 pm Boat trips: Friday & Monday 12 to 3 pm, Saturday & Sunday 11.15 am to 3.45 pm
Address: Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 6NQ
Website: Standedge Tunnels and Visitor Centre
7. Greenhead Park
Situated only half a mile (0.8 km) from Huddersfield town centre, Greenhead park is a world away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The 30 acre (12 hectare) park opened in 1884 and is the largest park in Huddersfield. It is very popular, attracting about 250,000 visitors a year. There are many attractions within the park including a skate park, bowling greens, tennis courts, miniature steam railway, rides for children, play areas, paddling pool, bandstand, horse and carriage rides, conservatory, and Italian gardens. There are five lakes in the park; the largest is Ornamental Lake, which was recently redesigned to attract wildlife. There are two eating establishments, Cafe in the Park by the tennis courts and the newer The Park located behind the conservatory where customers can dine outdoors or in the conservatory.
Opening Hours Sunday to Saturday 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, closing times are seasonal
Address: Trinity St, Huddersfield HD1 4DT, UK
Website: Greenhead Park
8. Beaumont Park
Beaumont Park is a suburb of Huddersfield. The park itself was officially opened on 13 October 1883 and was Huddersfield’s first public park and is a fine example of a Victorian park. The park combines an upper area of traditional grass lawns with flower beds and a partly landscaped lower section which descends steeply through the rocky woodland known as Dungeon Wood. A grand avenue on the north side runs from ponds and unusual water features to a part-time visitors’ centre and cafe. The south and east sides of the park are an amazing maze of steps, twisting paths, and castle style gates. The park has a permanent orienteering course, play areas for children, and a bandstand. Visitors can enjoy refreshments in the Castle Refreshment Rooms, known more commonly as “The Castle”. True to its name it was built partly in the style of a castle.
Opening Hours Open 24 hours
Address: 74 Beaumont Park Rd, Huddersfield HD4 7AY, UK
Website: Beaumont Park
Huddersfield is located in a beautiful area of West Yorkshire in the eastern foothills of the Pennines, which extend into the moorlands of the South Pennines west of the town. It has a quaint Victorian feel from its 19th century buildings and monuments to its lovely parks. The town is known for its role in the Industrial Revolution, and for being the birthplace of rugby. Today, it has become known for its many microbreweries in the area.
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