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Hebden Bridge & Heptonstall – Ted Hughes Country (Manchester Literature Festival tours)

Hebden BridgeNext tour – Ted Hughes country – during the Manchester Literature Festival: Sat 21 October 2017.

Meet: Mytholmroyd station, 12 noon.
Booking: through eventbrite here.

We recall the poetry of the controversial 1980s/1990s poet laureate with this guided tour of his West Yorkshire haunts.

The tour starts at Mytholmroyd station so that we can visit Ted’s birthplace, and the sights and sites of his childhood. We then walk to Hebden Bridge for a quick saunter around what used to be known as “Trouser Town” and off to the Stubbing Wharf pub, commemorated (and condemned!) in verse. After a quick break for liquid reinforcement we’re off into the hills to find Lumb Bank, home of the Arvon Centre, an 18th Century mill-owner’s property where Ted lived.

At that stage we’ll be in the absolute middle of nowhere but we need to get to Heptonstall to see Sylvia Plath’s grave. There are two routes. One is mundane by narrow road. The other is a precarious cliff-top trek from which we can see at the bottom the skeletons of previous fellow walkers who didn’t make it.

Only joking!

Heptonstall is an extraordinary adjacent hilltop village trapped in time. About 1718. Ruined by getting electricity yesterday. Here are the graves of the notorious coin clippers and the feted Sylvia Plath who Hughes drove to suicide.

Heptonstall• We also run a “Yorkshire of Yore” coach tour, during which we visit Haworth, Homfirth, Halifax (the glorious Piece Hall), Heptonstall and of course Hebden Bridge.