Cottage industry

Haworth: The Bronte Parsonage, from the paddock.
Haworth: The Bronte Parsonage, from the paddock.

The call of the crows high above the Bronte Parsonage is all that breaks the silence as we take take a breather in the paddock where the world’s most famous literary sisters spent much of their childhood.

Tendrils of smoke curl from village chimneys as we admire the view out over the moors and beyond. No wonder Emily, Charlotte and Anne were so inspired by their surroundings.

You’d simply never guess there was a Friday rush-hour going on in nearby Bradford as we contemplate the paths Heathcliffe might have taken over the moors towards Wuthering Heights.

Our reverie is interrupted as a small group of Japanese tourists, sunhats on (even in February) and cameras round necks, arrives so we decide to head back to our equally peaceful cottage in the cobbled main street of Haworth.

The aptly titled Cobbles Cottage is roughly halfway up the main street (a few doors down from the Fleece, if you go by pubs) and is something of a revelation.

From the outside it looks like a traditional, double fronted cottage; inside, however, two worlds collide in the most delightful way.

Stone flagged floors and exposed beams are teamed with an ultra modern fitted kitchen and spinning bar stools; spotlights pick out the impressively huge original range.

Upstairs, the bright and airy master bedroom’s wooden floor and Victorian fireplace also has a gloriously modern en-suite bathroom complete with power shower and heated towel rail.

The cottage also has free wifi access – not sure what the Bronte sisters would have made of the worldwide web but Branwell would have been a legend on Twitter.

Cath Kidston bed linen can be found in both double bedrooms and also in the charming children’s bedroom, where bunk beds are gaily festooned with bunting and a door leads to the rear garden. It’s bijou but can still accommodate a barbie and a patio set from where you can take in the breathtaking view across the valley.

It’s almost too easy to cosy up in front of the TV and not set foot outside once darkness falls – and almost sacriledge not to put the extremely well-equipped kitchen through its paces. Chilling wine in the fridge and popping a crumpet into the Dualit toaster doesn’t even begin to flex its muscles.

But as it’s a relatively balmy evening we head down the road to Haworth Old Hall for a bite to eat.

It’s welcoming and bustling with glows from real open fires in every corner. It’s no Michelin starred restaurant, nor does it pretend to be. The menu absolutely has something to please everyone, with a meat and fish heavy specials menu (husband), salads and vegetarian dishes (yours truly) and an excellent children’s menu which actually offers more than just chicken nuggets (our six-year-old).

The atmosphere is bustling and there’s a mixed crowd of families, couples and groups of friends which makes for a laid back evening where it doesn’t matter if the little one drops a chip or two or has a sneaky play on his tablet between courses.

After a great night’s sleep (it’s just so quiet here) we nip out for breakfast at the Cobbles and Clay cafe, just further up the main street and owned by the same lady who has the cottage. Despite it still being early the cafe is busy but there’s the shortest of waits before our egg on toast, bacon butties and lattes arrive.

Although there is little danger of children becoming bored waiting for their breakfasts – as this is where the clay part of the name comes in.

Budding artists can choose a plain pottery creature, plate or pot which they take to their table and paint. The work of art is then taken away and fired in a kiln and posted back to you when it’s all dried and finished – genius.

We await the arrival of our multi-coloured bunny with baited breath, and what better present for proud grandmas and grandpas the world over.

Jill also has the shop next door to the cafe (Cath Kidston fans take note, there’s products aplenty) and we simply cannot leave without buying a pack of gorgeous little lights to go around our fireplace. They’ll look totally original and nobody will know we pinched the idea from the cottage. Hush now...