24-Hour Room Service: Ashmount Guest House, Haworth, West Yorkshire

Hens clucked and scratched behind the chicken wire as Ray Copeland stooped to fill a basket with freshly laid eggs. Sunlight poured into the garden in front of a forbidding stone façade. A pair of doves rubbed shoulders on top of a white dovecot. In the distance, the valley rose up to moorlands etched with dry-stone walls. But for the wind turbine spinning futuristically on a hill, there was no doubt we had arrived in Brontë country.

"Welcome to Haworth," said Ray, the proprietor of Ashmount and the keeper of this quintessentially English view. Placing the eggs on a table in the lobby, he hauled our bags up the stairs to a room with a brass plaque bearing the name of Dr Amos Ingham. A character from a lesser-known novel by one of the Brontë sisters? "Not quite," said Ray. "He was their physician."

Dr Ingham, Ray informed us, built Ashmount House in 1870. He tended to Charlotte Brontë when she died in 1855 and her father, Patrick Brontë, six years later. The history of Ashmount is intertwined with that of the Brontës. But whether or not you're a fan of the novels of Charlotte, Emily and Anne, Ashmount is an ideal base for exploring the brooding moors and picturesque villages that inspired their writings. Ray and his partner, Gill, have kept the period feel of the property, with antique furniture and four-poster beds in the sumptuously decorated rooms. Adorning the walls are 19th- and early-20th-century art and political cartoons.

Like Ashmount, Haworth has retained its historic charms: the steep high street is paved with thick Yorkshire setts, along which you'll find the antiquated livery of Rose & Co Apothecary, formerly home to the druggist who kept Branwell (the errant Brontë brother) in supply of laudanum. The stocks beside the church are a reminder of the public humiliations that were once endured. Behind the church, the parsonage is the focal point of the tourist trail, as it houses the excellent Brontë museum (01535 642 323; www.bronte.org.uk; open 10am-5.30pm April to September, 11am-5pm October to March, £6). From here you can set out on the many trails to beauty spots such as Brontë Falls (1.5 miles) and Top Withins (2.5 miles).



LOCATION

Ashmount Country House, Mytholmes Lane, Haworth, West Yorkshire, BD22 8EZ (01535 645 726; www.ashmounthaworth.co.uk). Off-street parking is available. The hotel is around half an hour's drive west from Bradford.

Time from railway station: 15 minutes by bus to Keighley, the nearest mainline station (Haworth is served by buses 663, 664, 665 and 720). For a suitably Victorian arrival, stop at Haworth on the Keighley and Worth Valley steam railway (01535 645 214; www.kwvr.co.uk).

Time from international airport: Around 40 minutes' drive from Leeds Bradford.



COMFORTABLE?

Ray and Gill's reverence for the past is matched only by a healthy predilection for mod cons: the rooms have flat-screen televisions, some feature iPod docking stations, and two have outdoor, wood-panelled hot tubs in their own secluded yards. Our room had a large sofa and armchair with gorgeous views over the colourful gardens and moors beyond. Although we longed to simmer under the stars in a hot-tub room, our power shower with adjustable body-jets was enough to soothe limbs sore from hiking on the moors. The large Yorkshire breakfasts (complete with freshly laid eggs) are the perfect fuel for a hike. Ashmount does not serve evening meals, but arrangements can be made at local restaurants within a few minutes' walk.

Freebies: A bowl of apples, a small decanter of sherry, bottled water, a pocket-sized box of chocolates, Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, tea, coffee and shortbread.

Keeping in touch: No phones in the rooms, but complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.



THE BOTTOM LINE

Double rooms range from £70 to £150 per night, including breakfast.

I'm not paying that: The comfortable and contemporary Thyme House (01535 211 860; www.thethymehouse.co.uk) has stunning views and offers doubles with breakfast from £80 a night.

Suggested Topics
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor