Tyas Cottage is a combined cottage and barn and one of three properties within a secluded hamlet in Merrydale, near Slaithwaite and Marsden. It is less than 10km from Huddersfield and 14km from Halifax. The other two houses in Merrydale are in permanent occupation. It was here, in the early sixteen hundreds, that the first water powered mill in the Colne Valley was built.
As you can see on the aerial photograph, the hamlet is surrounded by "free-to-roam" woodland and fields. Deer live in the woods, and are occasionally seen in the early mornings. Our nearest village, Slaithwaite, is only about a twenty minutes walk away.
Secluded, within Merrydale, a sheltered valley, Tyas Cottage is adjacent to an ancient, cobbled pack horse road. The abundant natural birdlife of this local beauty spot includes kingfishers, herons and sparrow hawks.
In addition to the private patio there is a large shared, award winning garden that includes a mill pond, stream and waterfall.
The quality of the furnishings, mainly antiques, can be appreciated from the photos, but special mention must be made of the Georgian mahogany 4 poster bed with its wooden carved ceiling.
Views into Scout Wood across the waterfall and river
Our resident sparrowhawk, bird watching, alas!
Despite its secluded setting, Tyas Cottage is very close to numerous attractions, as well, of course to the moors and Pennine Way. The cottage is well suited for hiking and bird watching as there are many local walks on open moors or in sheltered valleys, some of which are described on this link.
We've seen deer in the garden and surrounding woodland with far greater frequency of late.
The above photo of Tunnel End was taken by Saskia Ashton.
There is another lovely walk along the canal that runs between Slaithwaite and Marsden. En route you could stop off at the Olive Branch restaurant and perhaps walk off your lunch by going on to Marsden where a quick pint or two at The Riverhead (brewed on the premises) could be enjoyed before taking the train back to Slawit. Slightly further, The Tunnel End Loft space accommodates a group of small craft businesses who work and exhibit at the Loft Space and offer creative educational activities to the public.
Mainly azaleas in the shared bog garden
About 32 minutes journey time away there is The National Museum of Film and Photography in Bradford.
The Victoria Market and The Royal Armouries in Leeds are about 36 minutes away.
Howarth, the home of the Brontes, is well worth a visit that could combine a visit to Hebden Bridge(allegedly'funkiest' town in Europe and the best town in Britain for independent shops). Sylvia Plath lies in the Heptonstall churchyard nearby.
The best collection of Tiffany Glass outside the USA is within a reasonable distance in Accrington.
For teenagers (or adults), Paul McCartney's house at 20 Forthlin Road and John Lennon's Mendips are surprisingly close (1hr 3 minutes according to multimap!).
Canal between Marsden and Slaithwaite - a nice leve walk with the option of returning by train.
Nearby Cupwith Reservoir is a perfect destination for a moorland walk. It cannot be seen from any roads.
You can see the location of Tyas Cottage within within the Colne Valley on the above aerial photograph. and this is Tyas Cottage on Google Maps
Slaithwaite railway station is on the Newcastle to Liverpool route and the M62 is also within 5 minutes journey time.
Slaithwaite itself is a charming village and worth getting to know, perhaps as the focus of the Merrydale walk. The nearby canal has been recently restored, and it is within walking distance of the Pennine Way. Tennis can be played on courts with spectacular views (near Marsden) and there are 11 golf courses within 5 miles.
Titanic Spa, a mere two and a half miles away offers superb facilities.
You may well be interested in gardens, as our own gardens elicit many compliments and have won awards. Less than 12 miles away is the amazing, Dove Cottage Nursery. This has been an inspiration to me (and many others). It is NOT a garden centre, but grows its own material and its owners, Kim and Stephen Rogers, are extremely knowledgeable and generous with their advice. On a high altitude, north facing slope their demonstration garden is enormously instructive in showing just what can be achieved in our relatively harsh climate. There are useful links to other gardens on the Dove Cottage website.
Slaithwaite's Moonraking Festival now takes place during every second February half term (next one in 2017). Our new Green Valley Grocer Cooperative has shot to fame recently for their delicious artisan bread and local produce. I recently attended one of their bread making courses and can't recommend them too highly. I now understand why slow fermented artisan bread making is a skill that is best taught by example. I would be happy to give interested guests some of my sourdough culture (dating from 1970). You can read about their bread making courses on this link. Also running courses nearby (including permaculture, scything, fruit tree grafting) is a new venture, www.edibles.org.uk.
Emmerdale Village, beyond Leeds, can be visited and on the 3rd Sunday every month there is the farmers' market in Holmfirth as well as numerous other attractions there that can be found on this link.
Guests stayed here in early June to attend the Oldham and Saddleworth Whit Friday Brass Band contests that are held in villages around Saddleworth, such as Delph, Denshaw, Dobcross etc.
Huddersfield, home of the famed Choral Society and internationally renowned Contemporary Music Festival, is a fine town and has some lovely buildings. The Lawrence Batley theatre is in the very elegant Georgian former Methodist Mission and John Betjeman considered the station to be the finest in the land. Halifax, too, has some wonderful buildings.
The National Coal Mining Museum is much praised by our guests (and free).
The Yorkshire Sculture Park is a must for anyone interested in fine art. In addition to world class exhibitions, you can discover more than 60 sculptures in the open air by renowned artists, including Henry Moore, James Turrell and Andy Goldsworthy.
A little further away there is also the recently built Hepworth Gallery (winner of the British Design Awards, 2011). It is about 43 minutes journey time from Tyas Cottage. You can see Hepworth's work on this link.
The bridge and waterfall that adjoin the shared garden.
In the shared garden, twice daily mother duck leads her eight ducklings from the millpond and across the lawn. In the background it is just one enormous rose (Rosa "Belvedere") that grows over 3 shrubs and extends almost to the top of the oak tree. The blot on the lawn is a duck with her brood of ducklings.
An important new attraction is the now widely acclaimed Marsden poet, Simon Armitage's walk - see this link
Other links that could be useful when planning your break are:
An "Activating the Crystalline Light Body" weekend workshop took place here last spring, mainly in the shared garden (thanks to the sunny weather). For more information go to Sarah-Jane's website