This is the South Pennines

The South Pennines - a wild, wonderful and occasionally wuthering landscape at the place where Yorkshire and Lancashire collide. A land of steep-sided valleys, heather-covered moorland, canals, reservoirs and packhorse trails. The people who live here describe it as 'spectacular', 'inspiring', 'breathtaking' and 'dramatic.' It's a place where you'll find intense local pride - people who are passionate about the area and want to share what they know. And so we’ve obliged. We’ve gathered their recommendations of South Pennines places, people and pastimes and created this website.

You may have already heard about some parts of the South Pennines. ‘The Times’ recently declared Hebden Bridge as "the coolest place to live"; Holmfirth is known worldwide thanks to Nora Batty and ‘Last of the Summer Wine’; the former spa town of Ilkley still draws visitors for its gentle elegance and visitors flock to Haworth to connect with the Brontes.

But the South Pennines are also the dramatic setting for other hidden gems including Todmorden, the Saddleworth villages, Marsden, Slaithwaite, Littleborough and Ripponden. Many people come here for the beer, others to seek inspiration from the area's creativity, take part in a festival or walk, cycle and ride across our rugged landscape.

The South Pennines is full of surprises. But don’t just take our word for it. Come and discover it for yourself. And if you find something you think we’ve missed - tell us!


Rossendale - the Adrenaline Gateway

Rossendale is a dramatic, undulating landscape peppered with characterful towns and villages. Reservoirs, old stone quarries, textile mills and chimneys are all iconic features of this valley on the Lancashire side of the South Pennines. […]

Framing the Landscape

Photo: Sandie Nicholson

The South Pennines landscape has long inspired and influenced artists, makers and photographers of all genres.  Internationally-renowned painter Ashley Jackson has been painting the moors of Yorkshire and Saddleworth for over […]

Autumn Festivals & Events

South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival (Photo: Steve Morgan)

Season of mellow myths, music and fruitfulness Children returning to school means it’s time for the Norland Scarecrow Festival. The Festival began as a Millenium celebration and is now a popular […]

Inspired by Landscape – millstone grit, glass and clay

Potter Edyn Culverwell of Old Stables Studio.(Photo: Steve Morgan)

The South Pennines is home and inspiration to a wealth of writers, artists, crafters, designer-makers and photographers.  There are simply too many to list, but to whet your appetite, here’s […]

Creative South Pennines


The South Pennines is bursting with creativity. Why wouldn’t it be? Our industrial heritage of spinning and weaving lives on in the work of textile artists and designer-makers.  The uplands with […]

Spring festivals & events

St George, Heptonstall Pace Egg. Photo: Craig Shaw

The South Pennines in spring is a magical place to be. As the landscape starts to stir after the winter,  events celebrating the season of rebirth and fertility fill the […]

Summer festivals & events

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade. Photo Darren Fleming

Summertime is a busy time in the South Pennines.  In June the colourful Handmade Parade takes to the streets of Hebden Bridge, followed a week or two later by the well-established Hebden […]

South Pennines creativity – where to buy it!

Meet the Maker Market, Hebden Bridge(Photo:Steve Morgan)

Many towns and villages in the South Pennines host events and opportunities to meet artists and buy their work.  These include Hebden Bridge Open Studios held each July, the Art Markets and […]

The Grandest of Grand Départs!

get on yer bike in the South Pennines. (Photo: Joolz Diamond)

Stage 2 of the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France came to the South Pennines on Sunday 6 July. Millions of people stood in the glorious sunshine to watch the […]

The South Pennines: A Textile Tale

The South Pennines: A Textile Tale. Photo by Steve Morgan

We may have mentioned that we love the South Pennines.  That we are passionate about this landscape and its industrial past.  We have also been known to mention the wealth of creativity we […]