UK

Things to do in Halifax UK – The home of Gentleman Jack

We never really thought about visiting Halifax, UK, until we watched the BBC Drama Gentleman Jack (available on HBO in USA). After watching that last episode of the first series, we wanted to learn more about Anne Lister. And what better way, than packing the bags and taking a weekend trip, to Shibden Hall and all the other things to do in Halifax, UK. 

The show has put Halifax on the map, with more tourists flocking to Shibden Hall, just to wander around the former home and gardens of Anne Lister. But there are other things to do.  

Take a wander around some beautiful parks during the summer, admire architectural buildings, or just relax back and enjoy a good meal in a pub. Halifax is a laid-back town, so there is no need to rush on your holidays. 

An industrial town producing wool, carpets, machine tools and beer. Halifax PLC started operations as a building society in the town in about 1853, but in more recent years, it forms part of the Lloyds banking group.  

Quality Street, Rolo and Toffee Crisp (Chocolate bars) are produced in Halifax by John Mackintosh.  

Things to do in Halifax, UK 

Whether you are just taking a day trip to Halifax, or looking for a quaint towns and villages to visit in the UK, then you’ll want to visit these awesome things to do in Halifax: 

The Piece Hall 

Cost: Free 

Opened in 1779 as a cloth and textile manufacturer, but now it’s a complex of restaurants, cafes, gift shops and bars.  

Enjoy a delicious meal while you take in the Georgian architecture, take a wonder around the various gift shops and take in the atmosphere, this lovely place offers.  

The building arranged in a square shape, with a grand courtyard in the middle. This is where you’ll find different events throughout the year. 

A music event was held, at The Piece Hall, on the weekend we stayed. And it was great to see families and friends, enjoy the event as much as we did.

Check out The Piece Hall website for the latest events, join other families on a day out in Halifax. 

Some extracts from Anne Lister's diary
Some extracts from Anne Lister’s Diary

Shibden Hall 

Cost: £8.00 per adult, infants free (but will require a ticket), Children under 16/over 65s/students – £5.00, Family (2 adults and 2 children) – £21.00 

Located on the outskirts of Halifax, is this Grade II listed building.

The residence over the year have modernised the house. The most notable resident at Shibden Hall was Anne Lister.  

Anne inherited the house when her uncle passed away.  

Sadly, the last remaining Lister who owned Shibden Hall, passed the house onto Halifax Corporation back in 1933 and they opened it as a museum, sharing its history with us. 

Step back in time as you explore the house, providing an insight to what times were like during the 19th century. The original kitchen with a fire place, where most of the cooking would have been done. It seems quite small in comparison to modern kitchens we have today.  

We could not imagine how cold it must have been during the winter with no central heating or double-glazed windows, the only warmth would have come from the fireplace’s downstairs. 

If you’re a fan of Gentleman Jack, you’ll enjoy spotting the filming locations at Shibden Hall. All of the rooms on the ground floor were used, with some of the stair case also feature in some of the scenes.  

But any bedroom scenes were sadly studio shots because Anne Listers bedroom was too small to fit actors/actresses and film crew. And you’ll see how small it really is, as you enter her room. 

One thing to look out for at Shibden Hall is Anne Listers will. In her will, she left her life partner Ann Walker a lifelong interest and residence at Shibden Hall. This is something that wouldn’t normally have been acceptable back in the 19th century, which makes it so interesting to look out for. 

This was definitely our highlight and spent most of the morning, just taking our time and taking in the knowledgeable information from the friendly staff. 

We just can’t wait for series 2 of Gentleman Jack to come back on our screens. 

Shibden Hall in all its glory. This was the residence of Anne Lister.
Shibden Hall in Halifax, UK
This is Shibden Hall and its grounds in Halifax
Shibden Hall and its grounds in Halifax

Shibden Park 

Cost: Free 

Shibden Park is a great family day out, with a boating lake ideal, for hiring a boat and paddling around on the lake, or take a short trip on the miniature railway. The children will be entertained for hours.  

Romantic couples will enjoy taking a stroll around the beautiful park, don’t forget to pack a romantic picnic. 

Parking is available, at a rate of 50p for 1 hour, £1.00 for 2 hours and £1.50 for over two hours of parking. Now that is a bargain, as you’ll be spending more than a couple hours exploring the park and Shibden Hall.  

At the bottom of the park, you’ll find a café and toilet facilities. The café offers a wide range of dishes, from hot and cold. We ordered the Yorkshire Pudding Wrap filled with pulled pork.  

Traditionally, a Yorkshire pudding will be served with a roast dinner on a Sunday, so this Yorkshire Pudding Wrap was definitely different and one we would recommend. 

The Village 

The only LGBTQ+ club in Halifax, with bright colours, good drinks and a dance floor to make some shapes to the latest music. 

After exploring all the great things to do in Halifax, let your hair down, with a cooling drink in hand.  

We enjoyed the atmosphere, while the staff are friendly and welcoming.  

The venue has various shows and events on a regular basis, from drags, DJs and karaoke to entertain their visitors. 

Only open from Thursday to Saturday from 6pm to 2am and on Sundays from 6pm to 11pm.  

The interior of The Village in Halifax. This is the only LGBT bar in Halifax
The Village, the only LGBT bar in Halifax
The Village in Halifax
The Village in Halifax

Conclusion 

This small town in the north of England, has some great things to see and do. What we love about this little town, is that it is packed with so much history and a great day to spend with the family. 

Shibden Hall, is a great way to learn about LGBTQ+ times back in 19th century and how times have changed. 

Do something a little different, get off the beaten path and visit somewhere less trodden. You won’t be disappointed. 

Have you visited Halifax? Where did you go? Is there somewhere you visited that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know, by leaving a comment below. 

Continue your United Kingdom travel planning, with these useful posts:

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Things to do in Halifax England
Things to do in Halifax England
Things to do in Halifax UK
Things to do in Halifax UK
Things to do in Halifax England
Things to do in Halifax England

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