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Pocket Guide: Halifax

Halifax is famous for its lovingly preserved industrial heritage, and from canals and mills to cast iron bridges and old railway arches, you get a real sense of the great industrial past here. Most of the major towns here are associated with textile manufacturing, and when you stay at a hotel in Halifax, be sure to pay a visit to the old industrial historic landmarks to discover more about its heritage.

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Textile manufacturing has had a predominating influence on Halifax since the Middle Ages. The main visual reminders of this today, however, date mostly from the earlier part of the 19th Century. It was this town that inspired William Blake to write about his famous 'dark satanic mills' in the poem 'Jerusalem'. Indeed, at the height of the Industrial Revolution the local landscape must have seemed to more sensitive souls like a vision of Hell on earth. But it is nonetheless true that the wool trade here helped make the Pennines into the industrial backbone of the UK and drove progress in the wider region, so it wasn't all bad.

Discover Historic Halifax

Cloth production in Halifax was actually on quite a modest scale until the mid-15th Century. However, it was significant enough to have inspired an 11th Century piece of Draconian legislation called the 'Gibbet Law'. This stated in no uncertain terms that anyone stealing a bit of cloth would be hanged. Visitors today like such touches of lurid local colour, and when you stay at a nearby Halifax hotel you can see a replica of the notorious gibbet at the bottom of the appropriately named Gibbet Street.

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West Yorkshire has such exciting and hugely varied landscapes that visitors come here from across the United Kingdom throughout the year to indulge in favourite outdoor pursuits. For visitors with more cultural leanings there are also a great many attractions in this fascinating and multi-faceted county, with historic cities such as Bradford and Leeds full of interest and variety.