Our latest Bewildered Family Guide to Yorkshire sees us hit the streets of Huddersfield. Unfortunately, the Kirklees town isn’t on everyone’s tourist radar, but it really should be. We have had some great Huddersfield days out with the family, and I took the camera along to document them:
The first thing you notice is how grand Huddersfield is. The railway station is a bonafide treasure that poet John Betjeman used to wax lyrical about. And if he deemed it worthy of waxing lyrical, then it must have been. There are so many beautiful examples of neoclassical Victorian architecture in the town centre, all helping to make it particularly photogenic.
By the way, thanks to Wikipedia for the heads up on what the style of building was. My best guess was ‘dead fancy’, but the font of all internet knowledge put me right on the official term.
Anyway, here are some suggestions for Huddersfield days out with the family:
Kirklees Light Railway
Okay, so you need to head out of Huddersfield to find the Kirklees Light Railway, but it’s worth the short trip. Especially if you have a train obsessed toddler.
We booked it especially because it was a Thomas and Friends special event and the idea of seeing and riding on Thomas the Tank Engine made Seth’s head almost explode. He LOVES Thomas. The Kirklees Light Railway Thomas events happen occasionally through the year and are hugely popular. As you would imagine.
You get a decent-length journey each way between Clayton West and Shelley, through some of the most stunning Yorkshire countryside. In addition, many of the events and activities at both ends were included in the ticket price, which was a bonus. Usually, when you go to an event including licensed characters, you pay a premium on all aspects of additional fun.
The kids had their faces painted, jumped on the bouncy castle, rode on the narrow gauge railway, enjoyed a magic show and more. For free. How Yorkshire is that? A big thumbs up for the Kirklees Light Railway Thomas day.
Castle Hill, Huddersfield
There’s no missing Castle Hill on your Huddersfield days out. It rises majestically above the town, topped by the Victoria Tower. If it looks good from the ground, it is even better when you are standing at the top, at 900 feet above sea level.
It was home to an Iron Age fort 4,000 years ago and a castle stood there in the Middle Ages. I’m not sure what the difference is between a fort and a castle, but I imagine Wikipedia has the answer to that too.
Nowadays it is home to the Victoria Tower, which they built in 1899 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 60th year on the throne. Although, ironically as we found out, there is no ‘throne’ up at the top. Of course, Elsa decided to wait until we reached the summit to tell me she needed a wee.
Arguably, Castle Hill is Huddersfield’s most recognisable attraction, something that a recent Crap Towns survey mocked. Yet, if they had actually visited, they would have noted how flipping amazing it is up there. You can drive right up to the top and park, walk up from the bottom or even stop halfway and clamber to the top. However you choose to visit Castle Hill, it is an unbelievable experience.
Here’s a video I made about that survey and its attack on Yorkshire, by the way:
Huddersfield Town Centre
I’ve also got a lot of time for Huddersfield town centre. There are some beautiful streets and arcades, including the Byram Arcade on Westgate.
We ate in Arcade Coffee and Food, which was great and with plenty on the menu to keep my kids happy. The only issue I had was that it was just me with the children and, as Seth had just started potty training, we had to go to the loo en masse a number of times throughout the meal. Unfortunately, on one occasion, the keen server took away our food and cleared our table halfway through our meal, nearly causing a meltdown of epic proportions from the kids. Not me. The kids. Honest.
Still, they sorted it with no fuss, and they made us some more so we were all happy. Especially me. I consumed a meal and a half. Of course I was happy.
We also tore around the railway station to find the famous Felix , the feline pest controller, and hung out with the statue of Huddersfield lad Harold Wilson.
Tell Me About Your Huddersfield Days Out With the Family
Have you enjoyed Huddersfield days out with the family? What did you get up to and which attraction did you like the best? Leave a Comment and any tips that you have for future visitors to this family friendly West Yorkshire town.
Don’t forget to check out the other Bewildered Family Guide to Yorkshire videos.