A Family Walk in Brontë Country

Yesterday was a red letter day. All children assembled, present and correct and resigned to a family walk somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales. For weeks before, everyone had been encouraged to try to keep a couple of days free over the Easter break. There were some arguments as to coast or Dales, but Dales (Haworth and Brontë country) won out with the promise and lure of a tea shop visit at the end. Food has always been a great motivator. As toddlers they would struggle for miles clutching ludicrous plastic lunch boxes with the promise of a picnic. I’m shameless.

It was also high time we introduced the youngest, now 12, to the location scenes for that classic children’s film The Railway Children, which was filmed up and down the Worth valley. Our last visit was 10 years ago, when the eldest was 10. They’re now old enough to be nostalgic.

Here’s our day, pictorially speaking.

Approaching mill.

Approaching a mill early on in the walk. A classically gritty B&W filter for this one. Everyone stomping along with a mixture of enthusiasm and resignation.

Approaching the paper chase tunnel

Approaching the Mytholmes tunnel where the schoolboy runner hurts his leg during the paper chase scene in the film. Apparently it wasn't long enough for the director's purposes, so they set up a tarpaulin and scaffolding at one end to make it look longer.

excitement at the sight of the tunnel

Excitement at the sight of the tunnel, just visible as a black speck. We love the whole paper chase bit particularly, since a friend of ours played the boy running ahead of the pack.

Running past the mill cottages like the paper chase scene in the film. The dog more interested in the spectating duck though.

Re-enacting the paper chase scene in the film, running past the mill cottages. The dog more interested in the spectating duck.

Stream, grass and wall. Very Yorkshire

Stream, grass and wall. Very Yorkshire

The station where Bobbie greets "Daddy, oh my Daddy"

The station at Oakshaw where Bobbie cries out "Daddy, oh my Daddy"

Llama spotting by the railway crossing.

Llama spotting by the railway crossing. Yes, we had to look twice too.

A fair maiden in a sprigged muslin frock appeared from nowhere carrying a spaniel. perhaps a ghost from filming 30 years ago.

A fair maiden in a sprigged muslin frock appeared from nowhere carrying a spaniel. Perhaps a ghost from filming 30 years ago.

Speeding along to try and get back to Haworth before t'tea shops shut.

Speeding along to try and get back to Haworth before t'tea shops shut.

unlawful hanging around on a railway line.

Unlawful hanging around on a railway line. R wants them to pose. I am constantly frustrated in my search for the quirky unposed shot.

scrambling up the hill to Three Chimneys.

Scrambling up the hill to Three Chimneys. I requested more of a gambolling scene like the film, but in fact they run downhill in the film which is slightly easier on a 45º hill

The Bronte parsonage, used as the Doctor's house in the film.

The Bronte parsonage, used as the Doctor's house in the film.

Haworth is a truly international tourist destination.

Haworth is a truly international tourist destination. Sadly Tuesday is not a tourist day of any sort, so the particular brilliant teashop we had our beady eyes on was shut.

Ye Olde Worlde pharmacy with enticing Bronte-inspired soap for the International Tourists

Ye Olde Worlde pharmacy with enticing Bronte-inspired soap for the International Tourists. It did not compensate for the tea shop being shut.

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3 responses to A Family Walk in Brontë Country

  1. Thanks Gillian – Lately I’ve been sad about my kids getting older but looking at your bunch all together and having fun was the first time I felt I could deal with my own becoming teenagers some day!!! Great pictures.

    • gillianholding – Author

      I do know what you mean, Amy, and especially as the years go faster and faster… I now treasure these moments so much, but I am also so happy that they still take place and that we can still enjoy them! It just takes a bit more organization, I suppose, but the nice thing is that they all want to makes these times happen as well.

      Learning to embrace and accept these inevitable changes in life is all part of my own never-ending growing up!

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