The Highs of Hebden Bridge & Heptonstall (A Book Crawl in Yorkshire)

Before I take you on a virtual tour which includes beautiful countryside, several book shops, Sylvia Plath’s final resting place and an impressive book loot, I just want to say a huge thank you for all the comments, emails and texts I got yesterday after I told you of the latest with my health. It was lovely to have all your thoughts and meant a lot. Anyway before I get any mushier let me tell you about a wonderful day out I had on Tuesday which was something of a destination lottery as it turned out.

Wanting to do something to keep me occupied before ‘results day’ on Wednesday myself and the lovely Paul Magrs decided we would head to the train station and pick a random destination to head to for some kind of bookish adventure. And what a lovely station it was that we chose, you know how I love my Victoriana…

As soon as we stepped inside I had a good feeling that we would have a great day for books and adventure when I saw this wonderful old signage from the original station…

We decided we would get the next train which happened to take us into the Yorkshire Dales with Hebden Bridge as its destination. With a lovely M&S sandwich selection (which Paul rather took the mickey out of me for) and some nibbles we got onto a train that looked like it should be sat on a snowy peak and be taking us off to the top of the alps. Instead it took us as far as Todmorden where we sneakily got off (sometimes you need to stop and hop off along the way)…

Paul had raved about a wonderful bookshop that was housed there; unfortunately it seemed that like most of Todmorden on a Tuesday it was closed… which was rather unimpressive, did they not know we were coming? Oh no, they didn’t. We did pop into several charity shops though before both grabbing a corned beef pasty (I might also have had a gingerbread man) which we ate by the canal…

Soon enough though we headed off to Hebden Bridge which has one of the most wonderful train stations I have scene, its literally like going back in time…

Again, sadly the independent book shop here was also closed on a Tuesday (maybe we should have said we were coming) it looked a corker too…

We did visit a marvellous remainder book shop…

In which I found an absolute gem I could have walked away with about five books from this store but I was incredibly restrained, well ok I was restrained because we had visited every charity shop going in Hebden Bridge and had already got a corking seven books in my bag. Which meant rather than walk all the way to the peak point of Heptonstall I begged to get a bus, which was driven by the happiest bus driver I have ever had the pleasure of meeting – he drove us back down too rather like a taxi service), and came to the stunning derelict Heptonstall church which either got struck by lightening or was bombed, I need to look it up…

It honestly was incredibly haunting and rather spooky. It has stayed with me since and seems to have got my creative juices flowing, I have been scribbling away in my notebook ever since seeing this…

Before we left we went and, after rather a lot of searching, found the final resting place of Sylvia Plath, I was rather surprised by her grave to be honest I think I expected something more showy or extravagant. Instead was a rather understated grave in the middle of a simple hidden church yard…

Paul and I then had a rather interesting, if slightly sacrilegious, discussion on the way back down with the jolly bus driver as to whether ‘The Bell Jar’ (which is the only Plath that I have read, I am not so good with poetry) would have been quite so successful if Sylvia hadn’t died early? All in all it was an amazing bookish day. Oh of course… you will want to know what books I came away with. So without further ado…

  • Murder At The Laurels/Murder in Midwinter/Murder in Bloom by Lesley Cookman – you may have noticed in the last few hauls I have managed to get almost all the Libby Sarjeant series. I will be tucking into these soon.
  • Dewey by Vicky Myron – I am actually rather cross with myself for buying this but it’s become a rather’in’ joke with Paul and I and for 50p I couldn’t hold back. A book about a library cat, I have an awful feeling that like ‘Marley & Me’ I will love this and be ever so slightly disgusted with myself.
  • Eating For England by Nigel Slater – I almost squealed when I saw this after LOVING ‘Toast’ earlier in the year.
  • This Is Not A Novel by Jennifer Johnston – You don’t see Johnston’s books very often in second hand shops and I do like her style and prose a lot plus I loved the title, so in the bag it went.
  • The House of Mitford by Jonathan Guinness – This was the bargain I found in the discount store, it was the most expensive purchase of the day at a whopping 3.99 but it’s normally over a tenner, its about The Mitfords which is themost important factor and is normally quite hard to get hold of – hoorah!
  • Fear The Worst by Linwood Barclay – I can’t deny that I am having a real ‘Savidge Reads Crime’ phase and I really liked the first Linwood Barclay ‘No Time For Goodbye’ so even though I haven’t read the one between these I picked this up anyway.

What an ace bookish day it was. Books, Sylvia Plath, adventures in the dales, and stunning locations. No wonder we had to have a drink afterwards in central Manchester to calm ourselves down. Have you visited Heptonstall? Read any of the books that I picked up? When did you last go on a random book haul trawl and where?


Filed under Book Spree, Book Thoughts

19 responses to “The Highs of Hebden Bridge & Heptonstall (A Book Crawl in Yorkshire)

  1. What a lovely day out! and of course you’ll have to do it again when the bookstores are actually open/

  2. What a lovely, lovely day, Simon, combining all my favourite things: train journeys and books!! Not sure about the beef pastie though 😉

    Now I’ve got some time up my sleeve, I ought to do a few of these types of train journeys myself!

    • Oooh have you not had a corned beef pasty? You must. I am banned from red meat forever now so I will miss them terribly.

      You ought to do a train journey to Manchester soon please.

  3. shuabparvez

    A fascinating journey and, sadly, bookshops are a dying breed. Love the layout of the blog.

  4. Jo

    The sound of a lovely day. I was rather fascinated by Sylvia Plath’s gravestone.All them pens? What a rather touching tribute.

  5. I really loved this post – thanks for sharing! I had a small bookish day…went to my local Border’s store after getting an email saying it was closing. Everything was 10 – 30% off. Spent about $140 and came home with 4 blank journal books (stocking up), 2 books on fiction and 4 memoirs. Oh and a big thick book called The Last Empress by Hannah Pakula. Why? Have no idea – but it looked interesting. I have not heard of any of your books/authors so will look forward to reading your reviews.

  6. I loved this post. The names of the places are so nice and (diffferent!). Your bookish haul is really good. For once I have read something you have (the Nigel Slater) which was wonderful reading. I have been able to get two books on the Mitfords but none of the ones you keep bringing up! Loved the photographs as well.

    • Yes you were one of the many who recommended the Nigel Slater so when I saw that for cheap, well how could I say no? I am an utter Mitford addict so that was a must have book, there are so many by them and about them that I am sure I will never get them all.

  7. Sounds like a great day was had by both. I shall have to go on a northern adventure (not on a Tuesday) to track down those shops!

  8. I was given Dewey as a gift and just can’t bring myself to read it. But like you, I’m sure I will give in to its charm when/if I do pick it up!

    I love all of the pictures and am extremely jealous of your outing.

    • Well Dewey is an interesting one Kristen because I actually only bought that as Paul has been badgering me about it as a) I love cats and b) I love books. I am not the most sentimental reader though (I am quite sentimental in real life) so I am not sure if this will work for me or if I will end up feeling somewhat manipulated. We will see.

  9. Ahh, you’ve been to my part of the world! OK, I actually live in Wakefield but my brother and his family live in the hills between Hebdon Bridge and Todmorden and we are over there all the time. I recognised the photos of the shop fronts of regularly frequented book shops – makes me want to go again soon 🙂 Glad you had fun!

  10. Pingback: February’s Incomings… « Savidge Reads

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