Summertime is a busy time in the South Pennines.
Holmfirth Arts Festival and Halifax Festival are other seasonal highlights, but the the smaller festivals held in Heptonstall, Haworth and Littleborough also offer a great way to spend a day or two. And traditional galas (pronounced ‘gayler’, not ‘garler’) with Gala Queens and marching bands are still held in many towns including Mytholmroyd, Marsden and Silsden.
Art-lovers and shoppers should check out The Art Market, Holmfirth Open Studios Trail or Hebden Bridge Open Studios weekend – the number of participating artists increases each year and there are lots of opportunities to meet the artist and buy one-off pieces and limited editions to enjoy at home.
Agricultural shows are important fixtures on the summer calendar and there are renowned and well-respected events across the South Pennines. Todmorden Agricultural Show has been running for over 80 years, almost as long as the prestigious Honley Show at Farnley Tyas. Halifax hosts a show each August.
Also steeped in agricultural tradition are the Saddleworth Rushcart Festival, where rushes are laid on the church floor to ‘insulate’ the congregation during the cooler months and the Oxenhope Straw Race – a fundraising event which involves straw bales and pubs.