Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade. Photo Darren Fleming

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 Bridge Arts Festival.

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade. Photo Darren Fleming

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade (Photo: Darren Fleming)

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.

You could spend a  weekend hummin’ and strummin’ at Diggle Blues Festival or go back in time during The Yanks Are Back in Saddleworth weekend.

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.

Goat in a coat at Honley Show (Photo: Andy Leader)

Goat in a coat at Honley Show (Photo: Andy Leader)

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.

Our waterways also play a part in our festivities.  Check out the Rochdale Canal Festival or see more yellow plastic ducks take to the water at Holmfirth Duck Race.