Last weekend we went for what is called a ‘mini-break’ or as I prefer to call it ‘a break from the noise’. I had been to Howarth when I was a child, and I decided to return mainly through nostalgia and to do the Bronte thing! We rented a cottage right by the gorgeous railway station (steam trains!!). It was also at the bottom of the steepest hill which took you to the centre of Haworth town. I was embarrassed at being overtook by pensioners who positively ran up it leaving me panting against walls and vowing to ‘get fit’.
And so, I was inspired to walk to Top Withins. This is the building that is the alleged inspiration for Wuthering Heights, and I had a hankering to see it. The guide books say it is about three miles from Haworth,so we set out with a tin of sweets ( for energy), chocolate biscuits and a flask of tea, for our provisions. We wrapped up warm ,sort of, and set off.
The Yorkshire fells are silent and inspirational. Just what I needed to sooth my overworking brain BUT whoever writes the guide books, get the sums right!! The trip ended up being a ten mile hike! Me! Ten miles! (9 and a half actually).
There were times when I wanted to pack it in but I had to keep going. Seeing The Bronte Falls and for a few brief minutes having them to ourselves, avoiding the sheep shit and not falling over sheer drops all added to the joy of reaching Top Withins, although the miseries who sat in the ruins of the building to eat their sandwiches did spoil it a bit.
I ached in everyway possible the next day, but I have a new found respect for The Bronte Sisters. They would go walking on the Pennine fells for inspiration, how they did it in those long dresses is beyond me, but I’m glad they did.