Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards 2016

Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant has been shortlisted in the 2016 Luxury Hotel awards, an international, independent awards program for the tourism industry.

Nominations are cast online over a 12 month period with over two million hotel guests, travel agencies and industry experts invited to vote for the best experiences they have had and to acknowledge who is the most deserving.

The Luxury Travel Awards recognise and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the affluent travel and tourism industry. A team of experts have scoured the globe and travelled extensively in order to identify everything from the very best hotels, airlines and tour operators through to highlighting the most reputable transfer service companies. Celebrating and rewarding excellence in many areas, these awards recognise hotels no matter of size or location. 

Delighted to be nominated, Holdsworth House's General Manager Mr Joseph Farrar said, "The nomination comes fast off the back of the prestigious Yorkshire White Rose tourism awards, where the hotel was also a finalist in the Large Hotel of the Year category.

"As an historic property it is important to preserve the manor's character but also offer discerning guests everything they need for a comfortable and luxurious stay. My team works hard to recognise the little things that make a guest's stay better and to offer a smile and a friendly demeanour at every turn. We are thrilled with this new nomination and to be associated alongside the world's finest luxury hotels and tourism service providers."

The judging process now involves a team of researchers looking at the hotel as a case study. Winners are announced in January.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Audrey's Guide to Hebden Bridge

One team member that gets many mentions in our guest book is Audrey Peacock - undoubtedly one person that makes Holdsworth House totally unique.

Audrey plays an important part in the hotel's breakfast team, ensuring everyone starts their day with a smile and a giggle. But it's not just Audrey's fantastic sense of humour and friendliness that makes her shine, her local knowledge of her home town Hebden Bridge means it gets more that it's fair share of tourists sent from the hotel.

Hebden Bridge is around eight miles from Holdsworth House; take the scenic route by car and you'll see some of Calderdale's most stunning views, countryside and cottages. Audrey is a true ambassador for Hebden Bridge and we've asked her to put together her guide of the best bits to visit during your stay at Holdsworth House:

1) Audrey, how do you get to Hebden Bridge from Holdsworth House on public transport?
"Take the 504 bus from outside the hotel into Halifax, leaving every five to the hour. Then take the 593 or the 594 bus from the bus station, which leave every ten minutes to Hebden Bridge."

2) What's the best cafe to call in for a tea or coffee?
"I love the Lampost Cafe, which is dog friendly like Holdsworth House, or try Sauce which is in the square."

3) What is there to see and do in Hebden Bridge?
"Hebden Bridge is a pretty laid back place. Walking the canal side, seeing the boats and feeding the ducks is a lovely nostalgic way to spend your time there, or even a river boat cruise - made famous in the BBC's Last Tango in Halifax. There's a lively market on a Thursday and second hand market on a Wednesday if you fancy picking up something unusual and vintage."

4) Where's a nice spot for lunch?
"Try The Old Gate restaurant, especially if you have your pet dog or children in tow! Or I also like the Blitz Cafe which is a 1940's wartime theme cafe"

5) What's a must see?
"There are lots of small independent shops in Hebden Bridge to browse around and there is a great sense of community so there are lots of events held throughout the year too, including the famous duck race, arts festival and music festivals. It's worth also making the short trip to Hardcastle Craggs, about 2 miles out of the town. It's a place of incredible beauty owned by the National Trust for walking and taking the dog with loads of streams, ravines and woodland, plus there is Gibson Mill to explore."

Our special thanks go to Audrey for her time. If you visit any of the places on her list be sure to say Audrey sent you!

Thursday, 15 October 2015


Are you looking for things to do in December or just excited that Christmas is approaching?

Here's our recommended list of what you should see and do in December, all near Holdsworth House.


Holdsworth House offers you a relaxing haven but if you’re looking for things to do in the area during your visit, here are our top 3 recommendations:

1. “A Christmas Carol” at Square Chapel, 19th December. Enter the world of Charles Dickens in this ghostly tale for the festive season. Performing 26 different characters, Gerald Dickens brings his great, great grandfather’s most famous book to vivid and exciting life. This is truly a not-to-be missed performance, just three miles from the hotel.

2. Leeds German Christmas Market, Millennium Square, 13 November 2015 – 20 December 2015. One of the North’s most impressive festive markets. 35 minutes drive.

3. Cinderella at the Victoria Theatre. Bring the family to enjoy the comedy and slapstick of Halifax’s professional pantomime at the beautiful theatre in the town centre (3 miles away), throughout December, see their website for details.

Make a break of it. with an overnight stay at Holdsworth House:
Available 6th – 23rd December, £129 per room per night (based on two adults sharing) including our special four-course festive lunch or dinner and full Yorkshire breakfast. See here for more >>

To book call 01422 240024 and quote 'Christmassy Break'

Friday, 9 October 2015


There can be no doubting the success of The Great British Bake Off and the upsurge in popularity of home baking, steered by the popular BBC show. Now Halifax’s premier four-star hotel, Holdsworth House, is getting a slice of the action as they search for their own star baker.

As part of new restaurant and bar menu changes being implemented by Head Chef Martin Henley, Holdsworth House Hotel and Restaurant is searching for an enthusiastic part time baker to bring a new twist to its unique and very successful patisserie selection.

General manager Joseph Farrar, who returned to Holdsworth House in the summer of 2015 after spending three years at The Met Hotel, Leeds, said, “Desserts, pastries and delicious fresh bread play an important part of any menu and there’s clearly huge talent out there in the home baking world. We’re looking for somebody local with star quality that wishes to extend their range and show a larger audience just what they can do. Holdsworth House is incredibly popular for afternoon teas, but we’re now looking to deliver an even greater tantalising edge, with new home baked breads, pastries, ice creams, wedding desserts… whatever our star baker wants to create! The sky is the limit in our professional kitchens.

“We’re keeping our 2 AA Rosettes – we’ve worked hard for those for over 15 years, but we’re also responding to customer feedback by developing the new seasonal menu so that it has something to suit every palate and every pocket for every night of the week. Holdsworth House has long been considered the special place to eat and celebrate in Calderdale. Now, alongside exciting contemporary dishes, diners will find cosy comfort food and local specialities, which we hope will appeal to local and leisure guests. People shouldn’t save Holdsworth House just for special occasions; we want people to think of us as the house next door and pop in for lunch and supper too!”

Serving over 1500 afternoon teas and more than 3000 home baked bread rolls a year Holdsworth House runs a busy restaurant kitchen and fresh banqueting operation for weddings. Over £20,000 has already been invested in 2015 in the pro kitchens, which will offer the new star baker a friendly environment that will feel a step away from a home workspace. Head Chef Martin Henley heads up the award-winning kitchen brigade and believes he can offer a lot of support and advice for any amateur looking to turn professional and serve their creations to a bigger audience.

Henley (pictured left) says, “The role can be flexible; with around four hours per day, five days a week. Our busy kitchen is an exciting place to work and I’m really looking for someone who is a well-accomplished home baker who wants to show off his or her talents. Holdsworth House is one of a kind so we’re looking for one-of-a kind star quality!”

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be Halifax’s star baker at Holdsworth House get in touch with the hotel’s General Manager Joseph Farrar on 01422 240024 or email a resume of your skills to Successful applicants will be invited to the hotel kitchen to showcase some of their home baking skills.

Holdsworth House Hotel, Halifax, HX2 9TG, Tel: 01422 240024
Twitter: @HoldsworthHotel

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

20th anniversary celebration for first couple married at Holdsworth House

20 years after the first couple were married at Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant in Halifax, Mrs and Mrs Hall returned to celebrate their anniversary in style.  Here’s the lovely note they sent to the hotel after their 20th anniversary stay.

"Dear All at Holdsworth House, I'm writing to thank you so much for a wonderful stay last Sunday. My wife, Trish and I have held a lot of affection for Holdsworth House since we were married there 20 years ago. 

We are quite proud of being the first couple to be married there and we've even had a watercolour of the house on our wall since that day. 

After many years abroad we thought it would be lovely to stay there again but we didn't expect such great personal service and the champagne and the engraved bottle stopper were truly a wonderful surprise. Please thank all the staff and those responsible for making us feel very special  and leaving with more special memories of Holdsworth House. 
Kind Regards, Steve & Trish Hall”

Holdsworth House hosts around 125 weddings per year and is popular in all seasons. Despite bedrooms and services being refurbished and upgraded not much else has changed at the Jacobean manor, which prides itself on exemplary service, fresh banqueting and attention to detail.  

The four star hotel was recently shortlisted as Yorkshire’s Large Hotel of the Year in the prestigious White Rose Awards and is attending the glittering awards ceremony at the Leeds Arena in November.

Couples wishing to view the hotel for weddings should attend the free Open Day on Sunday 27th September 2015, 12noon - 4.00pm.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015



There's so much to see and do this August and September in Yorkshire so we've picked our top five experiences that will give you a taste of the county's culture, heritage and landscapes, all within easy reach of Holdsworth House.

Every Tuesday throughout August
At 11am and 2pm every Tuesday throughout August the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth (about 15-20 minutes drive away ) are offering free talks or guided walks covering a variety of topics connected to the Brontes and their works. The museum is open everyday and whenever you stay at Holdsworth House on our Bronte Break you'll get two tickets to the brilliant, eerie museum - the Brontes' home.

Or visit for the Bronte Festival of Women's Writing, 4th - 6th September with plenty of famous names, events and activities on offer.

Across rolling hills, along miles of countryside paths and meandering rivers and beneath architecturally sublime galleries you'll discover majestic, world-renowned art. Just a stone's throw from the M1 (40 minutes drive from Holdsworth House) is the Yorkshire Scultpure Park. Outdoor displays of contemporary and moden art include those by Yorkshire born Henry Moore, whilst current indoor artists include Robert Ryan's Listen to the World papercut and prints, Laura de Santillana & Alessandro Diaz de Santillana's glassware and Sir Anthony Caro's sculptures. Free entry to the exhibitions and displays, just pay for car parking. It's a full day out.

Sundays in August and September just got exciting. Every Sunday you can stay 'Chez Nous' enjoying all our home from home comforts that make a relaxing break perfect: two course home cooked dinner, a wonderfully comfortable sleep, full breakfast in bed and a lazy late Monday check out... It's time to put your feet up and rest.

On Sunday 13th September we're running another Knit and Natter event. So if knitting, crocheting or sewing is your thing then bring your project and join other like minded people for a full afternoon tea (and a cocktail!)

11 - 20 September 2015
This annual celebration of the heritage and arts of Saltaire, Bradford offers a plethora of arts and craft activities, food and drink stalls, musicians and bands, comedy and dance, film and theatre. The Saltaire Festival is a great event to experience and you'll discover the history and unique story of Salts Mill in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, built by Sir Titus Salt and now housing plenty of original David Hockney canvases - another brilliant gallery with FREE admission!

12th - 27th September
The South Peninnes is an area where Yorkshire and Lancashire collide. It has steep-sided valleys, heather-covered moorland, canals, rivers and packhorse trails and covers some of the most interesting towns nearby including Hebden Bridge, Haworth and Todmorden. You can come and take part in scores of events from Chi Walking or Guided Walks of Roman Forts to Night Navigation. Or bring your bike (safe storage available at Holdsworth House) and join a cycling event - like the Tour de France climb famously named Up the Buttress! There are tons of outdoor activities planned - so stay for a few nights to experience the best Yorkshire has to offer. Remember dogs are welcome at Holdsworth House too! Download the Walk & Ride Festival brochure

You can book a room at Holdsworth House on 01422 240024 for any of the events listed above, subject to availability.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

From Spinning Wool to Spinning Tales – Calderdale reinvents itself as a hotbed for film and TV production

Calderdale in Yorkshire has been well known as the centre of wool manufacture and spinning mills, since the 15th century with high numbers of water-powered mills meandering along the valleys of the Calder River. In the 19th century the area took a central role in the Industrial Revolution with steam powered mills expanding rapidly into its easily accessible villages. So it comes as no surprise that the entrepreneurial textile towns in West Yorkshire have been able to reinvent themselves in recent years as a pretty gritty backdrop for some of TV’s most attention grabbing fictional shows.

Much of this new found fame is thanks to Yorkshire-born writer Sally Wainwright whose affiliation with Halifax and the Calderdale towns she grew up amongst has seen their meteoric rise in popularity. Wainwright epitomises the creative, straight-talking, fun and inventive nature of Yorkshire folk, which comes through in spades in her work.

Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley are two shows by Sally Wainwright that have been realised by Manchester-based Red Production Company.  It has been well documented that much of series one of romantic comedy drama Last Tango in Halifax was actually filmed in Lancashire and that Wainwright requested more scenes of series two to be filmed in Halifax town, to improve its authenticity.

As well as filming in Halifax’s precinct areas and local cafes, the production team chose Jacobean manor Holdsworth House, three miles from Halifax town centre, as the setting for several Last Tango escapades, including the finale scene when lead characters Alan and Celia tied the knot.

Wainwright’s powerful storytelling went on to astound viewers in Happy Valley. Set in Hebden Bridge in Calderdale, the increasingly dramatic twists and turns of the spine-tingling plot were nail biting and the script undoubtedly helped bag another BAFTA and the 2015 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards and a British Screenwriter’s Award.

With some of Wainwright’s feats - including Scott and Bailey and Coronation Street - surely confirming her as one of Britain’s best screenwriters, her work, along with the efforts of regional agency Screen Yorkshire and Creative England, has placed Calderdale as one of the most popular places for film companies to use in the North.  Kindle Entertainment recently chose Halifax as the production base for creating Henry ‘The Fonz’ Winkler’s children’s TV show Hank Zipzer. Interestingly, production firms cite the availability of excellent local crew, good motorway and airport networks and quality hotel accessibility as several reasons for them choosing Calderdale.

Creating series two of Happy Valley has brought Sally Wainwright back to Calderdale recently and you can see her in ‘Conversation with British actors George Costigan and Judy Holt’ at the Square Chapel in Halifax on Wednesday 30th September 2015. The event is sold out but you can win two tickets and overnight stay with breakfast and pre-theatre dinner for two courtesy of four star hotel Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant in Halifax (shortlisted for Large Hotel of the Year at the Welcome to Yorkshire awards). Plus you’ll get a box set of Last Tango in Halifax courtesy of Square Chapel.

For full terms and conditions see

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Shortlisted for Large Hotel of the Year

It's not every day that the postman delivers a letter you're nervous to open. Today we received one stamped 'Welcome to Yorkshire' so we opened it with trepidation. Inside we read that Holdsworth House has been shortlisted as Large Hotel of the Year in the 2015 regional awards, run by Welcome to Yorkshire.

Perhaps we should have basked in our confidence. Perhaps we should never have doubted that we'd make the final. But these are the thoughts of complacent fools. As soon as we think we're that good, we stop trying as hard. The truth is that being recognised as one of God's Own Country's best hotels is just rewards for the efforts that the team delivers every day. So we'll tuck the commendation under our belts with thanks and continue to care for every guest the best we can.

(Well done team.)

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Tripadvisor Hall of Fame

Being British we don't like to blow our own trumpet too often, but we're reluctant to sweep our recent win under the carpet too; it's cost us.

For five consecutive years Holdsworth House in Halifax has won the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence, which puts the Jacobean manor made famous recently for its role in Last Tango in Halifax, into the Tripadvisor Hall of Fame.

So what? We hear you cry. Well it's more than a little badge to wear proudly on the hotel's lapel. It represents five years of saying yes to guests when the easy option is to say no. It's five years of beaming our way through (the occasional) day when we're feeling low. It's five years of toil and hard graft - and for anyone working in hospitality, you know it to be a tough job: lugging around furniture, cooking in a busy banqueting kitchen, and we reckon that's 49,300 beds housekeeping has changed in the time!

So this time we'll blow our little trumpet as loud as we can for our big team effort. It has been absolutely worth it to gain a loyal following of guests; the badge makes it all the more sweeter.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Try the Tour De Yorkshire Cycle Route

Calling all keen cyclists! You cannot have failed to miss 2014's Grand Depart coverage of Yorkshire: the crowds were incredible - perhaps you were in them!

Not happy with hosting the world's greatest cycling race, Yorkshire has gone one wheel revolution further in 2015 and is soon to host its own cycling event, the Tour de Yorkshire. The great news? It's coming to Calderdale, which means that Holdsworth House is best placed for trying your legs on the infamous hills and valleys of the nearby Tour de Yorkshire route.

Sir Bradley Wiggins is already signed up to take part in the event, helping to further raise the profile of what is rumoured to become the flagship cycling event in the UK cycling calendar.

Well set up for accomodating groups of cyclists Holdsworth House makes a popular leisure destination for weekend or midweek cyclists. We can offer safe lock up of bikes overnight, washdown facilities for off-roaders, single, twin and double rooms and of course some fabulous (calorie packed if you'd like) food to provide you with the best send off, we'll even do packed lunches for you.

Calderdale is a fantastic destination for cycling and mountain biking or family bike rides. See some brilliant routes here and check out the events taking place this year:

To book accommodation or to find out more about cycling breaks at Holdsworth House visit here or call 01422 240024.

Pictures courtesy of Cycle Calderdale

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Winter Wedding - Is it right for you?

Every bride wants her wedding to be special and memorable. The 'wedding season' has traditionally run from May to September in the UK when there's more chance of warm weather. For a wedding venue like Holdsworth House, the benefit of a summer wedding is that the gardens also come into their own from spring. Blue Johnson geraniums, marigolds and clemetis are frequently see packing the borders or climbing the walls.

In the 90s however more and more couples began exploring the option of getting married overseas. The British weather can't always be relied upon to deliver glorious wall to wall sunshine so the appeal of a beach wedding on warmer shores is understandable. But often the expense, the beurocracy of ensuring the marriage is legal and the fact that many guests won't be able to join the special occasion are largely inhibiting factors that put couples off.

Most will agree that when the sun does shine, there's no better place to be than in glorious England. Beautiful architecture, dramatic landscapes and great food, particularly in God's Own County, mean that bagging a Yorkshire venue for your wedding offers plenty to look forward to.

Why do so many couples pin so much of their hopes on the weather? After all it's the one thing about a wedding you can't control. Summertime will be warmer but whether you're graced with sunshine, rain, showers, rainbows, wind or an overcast day is another thing. What's pretty certain about a winter wedding is being blessed with a cooler climate! We say once you choose your date, forget about the weather - it will do its own thing and us Brits are well versed in preparing for any eventuality.

The benefit of a winter wedding is that it's different. Think back 30 years, no-one got married in winter. Today some brides or grooms find a winter wedding gives guests a real, exciting break from the norm: summer holidays are over and people are back to work, fake tanning creams are back in the cupboard and there's a bit of a lull either side of Christmas. Holding your wedding in winter usually offers you a price benefit too as there are fewer couples vying for a handful of key dates.

Then there's the venue dressing to consider. In summer you dress your room but might spend much of the time outdoors in the beautiful grounds. Close to Christmas is different though and at Holdsworth House we take venue dressing seriously. From November we bring in designer Susy Stirrup to weave her magic touch into the house to make it all festive, providing a pretty, twinkly background for any wedding photographer.

There are some fabulous seasonal foods out in winter too that you just can't get in summer, or that simply don't work on a warm wedding day - like mulled wine or delicious homemade root soups.

As an historical building like Holdsworth house (which was built before the likes of central heating and loft insulation, which we now have of course!) features were made of the large stone fireplaces so there's nothing better than coming in to seeing these roaring and crackling away; it's a cosy yet opulent feel and smell that takes you back to a bygone era.

As for blue skies, we've seen our most stunning photographs captured with the low winter sun filtering through the mullioned windows. Robins, hedgehogs all live in the grounds in winter and in recent history there's never been a day the hotel has had to close due to adverse weather. But whilst we can't promise a sprinkling of frost or snow, when it comes it's the stuff of picture postcards. Bliss!

Winer wedding gallery
Winter wedding package