Todmorden is located on the border of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Here you will find 3 steep sided valleys and a plethora of stunning moorland that reaches a height of 450m. During the last ice age, the valleys were gouged by glaciers and the moorlands have been constantly inhabited for at least 2500 BC since the Bronze Age. You can also find a mention of the area below Stoodley Pike in the Domesday Book! Until the Industrial Revolution, small farming and weaving settlements were developed across the hills. This resulted in expansion into the bottom of the valley.
When it was largest, Todmorden had been home to around 32000 people, more than 100 mills, and 90 pubs. In today’s time, Todmorden is home to several independent shops and businesses, community run organizations, an award‑winning market, and the world famous Incredible Edible Todmorden. It is a great place for a visit and an amazing base to explore the area including Hebden Bridge, Leeds, Manchester, Halifax, and the Yorkshire Dales!
Now we are going to highlight a few of the places in and around Todmorden that are worthwhile to visit. Some of the places mentioned below are within an hour’s drive of Todmorden and are easily reachable by public transport. It is advisable to check directly with the venue for details regarding opening times and restrictions.
- Centre Vale Park
Stretching over half a mile along the Burnley Valley, Centre Vale Park has enough space if you want to run around and enjoy your time with your friends and family. Over here, you can follow the Heritage Trail, explore the woodlands, and ride your bike. The park is the perfect place if you have children with you. Here you can also trike around the children’s roadway and enjoy your time while you slip, slide and swing your way around the playground! If you want to indulge in more activities you can go to the nearby Todmorden Sports Centre where you can enjoy swimming or hire a tennis court. You will quite a few family friendly cafés and pubs where you can enjoy a nice meal and spend quality time with your loved ones. For people who love shopping, they can make their way to the Todmorden market.
- Todmorden Canal Side
The Rochdale Canal is a wonderful place if you want to stroll or cycle with your children and family. There are a few places that you can go from Todmorden like Sowerby Bridge by heading down the Calder Valley around 9 miles or you can go further out of the valley 20 miles away to Manchester. The flat towpath is perfect for those who are finding their wheels or for pushing prams. You’ll be able to witness a wide range of wildlife, get insights into the industrial heritage of the area and also pick a few herbs and vegetables along the towpath. As the canal follows the valley bottom, it is quite easy to pick a spot for leaving the towpath and catching a bus or train back to Todmorden if required.
- Gibson Mill
If you are in search of a great place to visit with your family, then you can’t miss visiting the National Trust property at Hardcastle Crags. There are more than 15 miles of paths that you can explore along the riverside, around the crags themselves, and through the woods.
You can take a visit to the Mill to learn about its history and also enjoy your time at a café and shop. Gibson Mill was built around 1800 and was among the first few mills of the Industrial Revolution. The weaving shed added in 1840 resulted in the production of cotton cloth until 1890. Earlier it was functioning as an Entertainment Emporium with tea dances and roller skating until 1940 before falling into ruin. It was acquired by the National Trust in 1950.
- Shibden Hall
Shibden Hall is the valley of the sheep ‑ schep dene and is also home to the Lister family for more than 300 years. This is a distinctive and half‑timbered building that is furnished as per the styles of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The Shibden Hall is adapted and extended over the centuries by the families who have stayed here.
- Todmorden Town Hall
The Town Hall was designed by John Gibson and opened in 1875. It was presented by the Fielden brothers to the Town in 1891. The pediment represents the position of Todmorden as a border town. The figures on the left showcase the cotton industry of Lancashire and the right ones represent the agriculture and engineering of Yorkshire.
The Walsden Water running underneath the Town Hall was the county boundary before 1888 and divided Todmorden in two. Nowadays, the Town Hall is used for organizing several events ranging from classical concerts to weddings and art exhibitions to ballroom dancing.
- St Mary’s Todmorden
While in Todmorden, you should not miss visiting St Mary’s Todmorden, which is the oldest church here. In 1603, the first bell was installed. Over the centuries there have been many alterations to it both outside and in. In particular, the oak chancel screen is quite noteworthy as it commemorates the Todmordians who died in the First World War. The oldest gravestone goes back to 1633 and in 1857 the graveyard was closed. It was radically altered in 1875 when the road was widened.
In the End
All the places that you read above will enable you to have an amazing experience especially if you are visiting Todmorden for the first time. The best part about visiting Todmorden is that you can go to any of the places around Todmorden by taking a short drive. These places will enable you to have great memories that you can cherish for a lifetime.
Do share your experiences with us in the comments section whenever you happen to take a trip to Todmorden or any of the places around it. We look forward to hearing from you!