St George, Heptonstall Pace Egg. Photo: Craig Shaw

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 winterevents celebrating the season of rebirth and fertility fill the calendar. 

St George, Heptonstall Pace Egg. (Photo: Craig Shaw)

St George, Heptonstall Pace Egg. (Photo: Craig Shaw)

Communities in Heptonstall and Midgley perform the traditional Pace Egg on Good Friday.  There are performances throughout the day – either  catch an early one before the players have been to the pub (!) or spend the day  and watch them all – audience particpation is encouraged!  More information on  the Hebden Bridge Web.

On  Easter Monday, thousands of yellow plastic ducks take to the water in the annual  Hebden Bridge Duck Race, and a birdie theme continues in Marsden, when  the community celebrates the coming of spring with its Cuckoo Festival.

Spring is the season for foraging and in the Calder Valley, the hunt is on for sweet dock (also known as bistort) in order to enter the Dock Pudding Championships held in Mytholmroyd.  The dock leaves are cooked with oatmeal and onions  and the resulting  delicacy is served with bacon and eggs.  Past entrants include Robbie Coltrane!

Who do you think you are kidding? Haworth 1940s weekend. Photo: Paul Barker

Who do you think you are kidding? Haworth 1940s weekend. (Photo: Paul Barker)

Later in the spring, don’t miss the opportunity to travel back in time in  Haworth during the 1940s weekend – vintage  vehicles, Spitfire flypasts, GIs, Winston Churchill and lots of dancing.  But probably no bananas.

Haworth 1940s weekend. (Photo: Paul Barker)

Haworth 1940s weekend. Photo: Paul Barker

May is music month: first there’s Firth Fest in Holmfirth and then you can go and be calmed  by a classical programme at the Pennine Spring Music Festival  in Heptonstall.   Folk-lovers should try Holmfirth  Festival of Folk  or the Shepley Spring Festival  – there’s plenty of places to stay if you’re not quite up  for camping!  And no visit to the South Pennines would be complete without taking in the Whit Friday Brass Band Contests.  The contests take place in the open air of the  Saddleworth  villages and the standard of the brass-playing is world  class.

Another Spring event to look out for is the Holmfirth Film Festival, which presents a  series of events at the iconic Picturedrome.