On returning from a countryside break in West Yorkshire with my family, I just had to compile my list of things to do in Todmorden! It was almost like being in a totally different country, despite it only taking an hour in the car from my parents home in Lancashire.
Things to do in Todmorden
We stayed for the week in the beautiful Stables Cottage, Todmorden, which my parents found via Sykes Cottages. The owners also have an equestrian school and it’s in the middle of some amazing, inspiring fields. The cottage sleeps 5 and each room has it’s own bathroom! How cool is that? We had some awesome family nights, thanks to the games cupboard and selection of DVDs. (Meet the Fockers never gets old)
The town of Todmorden was a nice hike downhill from the cottage and we popped out just by the canal.
There are lots of little shops and cafes to check out, plus Todmorden Library (free wifi), the Todmorden Tourist Information Centre (the lady working there was ever so helpful and even told us about the nearby beach! More on that later) There is a rather grand Town Hall, apparently half of which is in Yorkshire, the other half in Lancashire.
We were quite amused at some of the pub names, ‘The Polished Knob‘ had live music on one afternoon which my Dad was particularly looking forward to but when we arrived it was full!
Charity shops are scattered down the main street so if you love having a mooch for a bargain (like my Mum and Auntie) then you will be pleased. The entrance to Todmorden has a Morrisons supermarket, where we stocked up on goodies for the cottage, not forgetting Aldi on the way out of the town where we picked up some fresh avocados and carrot cake!
Todmorden Toy and Model Museum was on my list of places to visit in Todmorden, but I was quite disappointed. On entering the shop, it looked more like an episode of hoarders than a museum. Heading toward the ‘Start Here’ sign we entered a room which had a mattress on the floor surrounded by stacks of old toys and there was a musty smell of cigars in the air. It had a really uneasy feel to it so we walked backwards out of the shop before the owner of the mattress appeared!
It was quite the hike back up to the cottage but we made it. A taxi probably would have cost a couple of pound and there seemed to be buses running that way also.
Back up at the cottage, which was watched over by 2 feisty but friendly Yorkshire Terriers Molly and George, (my new BFF’s) we had a think about what we heard about the nearby beach. How could there be a beach in the middle of the countryside?
Thinking it was a joke but half curious we planned our ascent for the sunniest day of the week when my brother paid a visit. Selfie stick in hand we headed to the gate by the Shepherd’s Rest Inn. I’m glad we asked a local which path to take as our hiking skills are beginner level! We veered right onto the longer but easier climb. I only managed to fall once (grass stains galore) but as we arrived closer to the top and had a rest near the ‘Indiana Jones’ steps, little did we know what we would see at the top!
Yes, a beach! In fact at 780ft above sea level, Gaddings Dam is the highest beach in Britain! We made it, finally. A short walk took us to the small but impressive sandy shore, which even had a few sunbathers. It was perfect for a paddle after that climb.
The way back down was much shorter, because A we were famished and B we took the billy goat path down. I wouldn’t even attempt this on a rainy or muddy day for fear of falling, but luckily the earth was dry and with the help of my extended selfie stick, I made it down in one piece. The Shepherd’s Rest Inn was where we headed next to refuel and meet with my Auntie and Uncle.
The Shepherd’s Rest Inn
Because I didn’t realise that there was a wifi connection in the cottage until midweek, the Shepherd’s Rest was my link to the outside world where I could connect to their free wifi. It might seem a bit sad but I am a blogger after all and I am usually online most of the day. It’s a lovely dog friendly pub, everyone just sort of chats to each other and the food was pretty good too. The day of the hike I ordered their tune mayo sandwich although I don’t really do mayonnaise and it was huge!
I’d say Top Brink was my favourite place to eat in Todmorden. We visited there on the first night and sampled the beer battered fish and chips. Delicious! Another evening we went and I ordered 2 side dishes and made my own as I really fancied rice and pepper sauce! Top Brink also has free wifi. 😉
I’ll admit, I was a bit unsure about horse riding because of past experience, but seeing as Longfield Equestrian School was a hop skip and jump from the cottage, (same owners) My Dad, Auntie and I all booked a private half hour lesson with Beth who was very patient with us and so lovely.
The lesson started as we found our riding hats, which was very comical! Then we headed to our horse’s stables and were taught how to untie them and walk them to the arena. My horse was called RAMBO! I couldn’t believe it, as this is the same name as my dog! I then felt so comfortable as I knew it was meant to be.
My Mum was spectating and took so many photos and videos, which are so nice to look back on. The lesson went by so fast, but I would definitely go back again, even if we just went for the day to have lessons. My Dad was a natural and I can see him trying it out again too.
Grandma Pollard’s Fish and Chips
Although not technically in Todmorden, Grandma Pollard’s deserves a mention as it’s only down the road is Walsden. This place has THE BEST fish and chips I’ve ever tasted. The staff are very friendly and the guy who runs it Tony came to say hello and made sure we were all looked after. They have an old bus at the back which you can even eat on. We did this, it’s such a novelty, made me feel like I was on a school trip! If you feel like dining al fresco they have a lovely picnic area right next to the canal.
Phew, as you can see there are plenty of things to do in Todmorden! I’m planning another post for things to do nearby, such as Hebden Bridge, Haworth and Skipton Castle.