Get happy in Halifax

Get happy in Halifax

UK city breaks are ever popular with families, couples and even adventurous singles. But why limit local getaways to actual cities? The larger towns of England have plenty of to do and see. As well as all the shops, bars and restaurants you could wish for. And often unique additional attractions of their own. That’s certainly true in the case of Halifax, the beating heart of West Yorkshire.

The historic market town is close to Leeds and Bradford, and less than an hour from Manchester of Sheffield. More scenically, it’s also nestled between the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District National Park. Handy for the M62 as well. All this means it’s easy to get to. But why make the trip?

Life is sweet

Halifax gives its name to the famous Halifax bank. And it’s still home to the bank’s headquarters, though it’s now part of the Lloyd’s Banking Group. Another important part of the local economy has always been making sweets. Halifax is known for Mackintosh's chocolate and toffee products, including the much-loved British brands, Rolo and Quality Street! Historically, though, the town was more famous for wool manufacturing. And here’s where there’s a connection with a newer source of the town’s appeal.

Back in 1799, a cloth trading market was established in the town, centred around a fine Italian-style piazza. That brought business from the surrounding area, and helped make the fortunes of many local merchants. Later, the market building was repurposed for an even more high-flying business. Believe it or not, it was used for hot air ballooning.

The new ‘gig economy'

These days, the crowds are drawn to the recently refurbished Piece Hall for a different kind of spectacle. The hall is a premium venue for concerts and other events. A record-breaking 100,000 tickets were sold for the summer programme in 2023. Big names to have played there include the Manic Street Preachers and the Killers. Not to mention Sting and the great Welsh crooner Tom Jones! With a total capacity of 5,500, the Piece Hall is big enough to bring in the top acts. But unlike in some of the big city venues, you won’t need binoculars to see the stage!

When it’s not hosting musical happenings, the Piece Hall houses an art gallery, shops and cafes. It’s well worth a visit at all times of day or night. But why not plan your visit to coincide with something you’d really like to see? You really don’t have to hit the big cities to find culture of all kinds. And towns like Halifax have a special charm of their own. It’s a growing town, but still small enough for most places to be easily walkable. It also boasts an historic minster, and plenty of other interesting buildings to reward the observant walker.

And the good news is Guestz has the perfect place to stay. Prescott Court is a handsome terraced building, recently converted into a mix of studios and apartments. All are stylishly decorated and fully equipped. And the building is in easy walking distance of the Piece Hall and all the other attractions of the town. So why not visit, and see for yourself?