Yes, I know that Hebden Bridge is not in Greater Manchester, but we are allowed to escape now and again. It’s also fair to say that Hebden Bridge is much closer to some parts of Greater Manchester (e.g. Rochdale) than some of the South Manchester parks I’ve already included here. So Hebden Bridge is in, okay? Glad we sorted that out…
My last trip to Hebden Bridge was, it has to be said, disastrous. Having finally convinced Mr Parklover (also known as Mr Lancastrian) that nothing bad would happen to him if he crossed the border for a day trip, 5 month old CJ proceeded to start screaming as soon as we’d parked the car and not stop until we decided to just get back in the car and go home. 2 years have passed and we’ve finally got over it, so we decided to give Hebden Bridge another go.
The journey only took about 45 minutes and was well worth it. We had a mooch along the river path and admired some stunning paintings by Kate Boyce at The Calder Gallery, before giving in to CJ’s requests to find the park. Calder Holmes Park can be accessed through the Memorial Gardens and is wedged between the canal and the river, making for an extremely picturesque setting. We found there to be a great range of facilities for kids of all ages. There were a couple of groups of teenagers using the large circular swing and sitting around with their guitar when we arrived.
The paddling pool has been filled in with sand and sand play equipment – good fun, but does nowhere have paddling pools anymore? There were quite a few things we’d not seen before, like a boat with steering wheel which you can rock from side to side. Also noteworthy is the roundabout, which is accessible for wheelchairs. There’s also a skatepark here, although we didn’t get anywhere near it, as there was so much fun to be had on the playground.
We enticed CJ off the playground with the promise of a walk over the “big bridge” over the canal followed by a cake stop. Mr Parklover and myself took the opportunity of leaving CJ stealing Grandad’s cake, to zip back to The Old Treehouse toyshop and get her a little something for Christmas. A lovely shop with lots of wooden toys and some funky baby clothes.
CJ was fast asleep by the time we reached Todmorden on the way home, even the sugar from Grandad’s cake was not enough to keep her awake after all the energy she’d used up on the lovelyCalder Holmes Park. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon out that left me wandering why we left it so long to give Hebden Bridge another try!