The isolated village of Luddenden in the West Yorkshire district of Calderdale is a world away from busy Halifax nearby, while being home to Lord Nelson Inn – a Grade II listed building where poet and painter Branwell Bronte lived
A ‘higgledy piggledy’ village never built with cars in mind is full of ‘super friendly’ locals.
The village of Luddenden is a sight to behold, such is the way its roads wind up and down the undulating Yorkshire hills and its dark brick homes run either side of narrow cobbled streets. It may be just a stone’s throw from bustling Halifax, but it feels like a different world entirely. On a recent visit, Yorkshire Live’s Andrew Robinson met a local woman who was more than happy to show him around her beloved village.
She pointed out the central part of Luddenden, home to The Lord Nelson Inn, a Grade II listed building where poet and painter Branwell Bronte once enjoyed a drink or two. Known locally as the ‘Nelly’, this pub has been at the heart of the community since the 18th century when it was known as the White Swan.
Those fortunate enough to stumble upon Luddenden will discover the riverside walk, a labyrinth of routes up and down the valley and beyond, as well as the Grade II listed St Mary’s church and cemetery, home to Commonwealth War Graves.
Andrew’s guide explained that “the pub is our hub”. They added: “Any national events – Jubilees, Easter, Christmas – are taken seriously with a proper party. We also have a Mayor; they don’t have power but they organise everything. I have forgotten the Mayor’s name but they have a Facebook page.”
The happy local described the villagers as ‘super friendly’, although perhaps a bit ‘too nosey’. “This place is nothing like anywhere else. Everyone knows each other. When I was in a city no-one knew each other. Here, people can be a little nosey,” she grinned.
Luddenden’s secluded valley location means it doesn’t attract many casual visitors. It’s a place for those ‘in the know’, serious hikers, cyclists and history buffs.
“I love it (Luddenden) so much but I do sometimes miss being in a city and the hustle and bustle,” the guide admitted.
She shared that Luddenden, like known Lesbian hub Hebden Bridge, is a place where folks can be themselves. “There are some gay couples who are part of the community. People are friendly towards minorities such as LGBT people,” she said.
Tourists often seem puzzled in this area, according to locals. They’re attracted by Airbnb holiday rentals, but once they arrive, they’re not sure what to do next.
Andrew’s guide suggests visiting in spring when the village is bursting with tulips and daffodils. Tony, an 80-year old resident originally from London, has made Pennine West Yorkshire his home. He shared: “I have lived here eight years. It is pretty. Most people are very friendly, but you get the occasional….”
Wendy, who lives on the outskirts of the village, adores everything about Luddenden. She explained: “There are so many beautiful walks, you are straight into the countryside. I love it here. It can be tricky (in winter) as there’s now only one bus per hour. “It’s a higgledy-piggledy place – that’s what I thought when I saw the village. When I saw it I thought ‘wow’ and absolutely loved it.”
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