There’s a dilemma when it comes to categorising Centre Vale Park in Todmorden. Yorkshire or Lancashire? The county boundary used to run through the middle of Todmorden, it is now officially in West Yorkshire, but with an Oldham postcode. I shall sit on the fence (or should that be the Pennines?) and post it under both categories so as not to cause confusion. Or maybe I’m adding to it, who knows?
Centre Vale Park in Todmorden was impressively busy for a bitter January sunday, but it’s understandable. What a fantastic place. It’s absolutely massive and bordered by woods on a steep rise, it seems to go on forever. We parked at the sports centre on the far side of the park. We won’t make that mistake again, there’s a free carpark on West Street, which is much nearer both the town centre and the children’s playground.
We nosed around the lovely aviary, reptile house and aquarium which sits pretty in a walled garden. Unusually for us, we didn’t bring CJ’s balance bike along, or she’d have had a great time on the kids bike trail. You can bring bats and ball and use the outdoor ping pong table and there’s even retro crazy golf, although the hut was closed – presumably you can hire equipment in summer.
The views here are stunning whichever direction you gaze off in – there’s a fab zip wire on the playground, with views over the cricket ground to the church behind it. CJ was not happy about taking a break from the playground so that we could have a mooch around the town. She is usually mild mannered, but if you were out and about on Bacup Road on sunday and had your ear drums shattered by a stroppy, curly headed urchin lieing on the pavement, I can only apologise. Huge thanks to the elderly gent who stopped to distract her with his cute dog. Very effective. Epic strop over, we continued past the large raised beds planted with vegetables and herbs by the enterprising folk at Incredible Edible, and checked out some market stalls before heading over the road to Costermongers to warm up with a brew. This is a lovely, cosy cafe with lots for veggies and vegans as well as you meateaters. We managed to avoid eating, despite the distraction of teetering platefuls of cakes being carried past us from the kitchen. I had to photograph my red berry tea, as it was so pretty.
Reinvigorated, we headed to Picture House Antiques, a shop choc full of gorgeous items including a section upstairs with goods from H is for Home, one of my favourite online vintage stores (and I have quite a few of those). I had to show considerable restraint. There a number of antique and second hand bookshops in Todmorden, although maost were closed as it was late on a Sunday afternoon I spotted a poster in the window of one though, advertising a vintage fair in the town in February, run by the fabulous people from Rose and Brown Vintage. I may have to have a return trip!