Marsden, Slaithwaite, Golcar and Milnsbridge, The Colne Valley

Village life

The Colne Valley's rich textile heritage is evident as soon as you arrive. But, don't be fooled, these are thoroughly modern villages, where contemporary arts and crafts sit perfectly alongside quirky events, country ales and village stores. Explore the villages Marsden, Slaithwaite, Linthwaite, Golcar and Milnsbridge.

Family

Ice cream lovers should head to Vanilla Bean, Slathwaite, and scrumptious milkshakes are available at A month of Sundaes, Marsden. Kids can watch pizza's being made in the open pizza oven at Mozzerella's Pizzeria, and The New Inn, Marsden offers a great kids menu plus a colouring book and crayons at the weekend.

Spark young imaginations at one of the Colne Valley Museum's weekend events, or take a ride on a family friendly guided boat trip into the Standedge Tunnel. Huddersfield Observatory is open to the public on clear nights between October and later march for a special view of meteor showers, planets and the moon.

For a holiday memento, The Magic Box, Marsden is crammed with traditional toys.

Walk, cycle, glide, ride, fish

Go rock climbing, paragliding, hanggliding or pull on your walking boots to explore the 5,500 acres of National Trust Marsden Moor estate's exceptional ecological paradise, part of the Peak District National Park.

Immerse yourself in our heritage and learn as you walk - follow The Standedge Trail for an insight into the region's industrial heritage, the Stanza Stones Trail to see how the landscape inspired poet Simon Armitage, the River Colne Sculpture Trail to discover contemporary artwork, or the Upper Colne Valley dry stone walling trail to discover more about this fascinating craft.

Butterley, Sparth and Hill Top Reservoirs and Cellars Clough Fishery are popular walking and fishing spots. Day visitors can play at Marsden Golf Club which has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The rugged landscape and steep climbs are the perfect challenge for keen mountain bikers – bring your own bike to explore trails and valleys, else stick to the canal towpath or Meltham Greenway for a flatter family route.

This is superb hacking country with very little roadwork - pub hacks are available from West Wyns Riding School. Contact Scammonden Water Sailing Club for a trial before signing up to learn more at the on-site training centre. Scammonden Valley has a great footpath network and is home to a beautiful range of upland habitats.

Eat, wind down and relax

Grab delicious local produce for a picnic from Bolster Moor Farm Shop or the Green Valley Grocer before a leisurely stroll, or wind down after your outdoor adventure with a pint of real ale at The Riverhead Brewery Tap or Golcar Lily. Try the Weavers restaurant or Olive Branch, for some of your evening meals – both have impressive local reputations for good food. Find an international flavour at Mongolian restaurant Temujin and at The Carriage House in Marsden which specialises in authentic Turkish food.

Indulge in fine artisan bread at The Handmade Bakery, or learn to make your own. Be inspired to grow your own food at Edibles.

For ultimate pampering luxury, head to Titanic Spa which has attracted national attention for its eco-friendly features and treatments since it opened in 2006. A magical location, and sublime treatments for your mind body and soul, makes Coach House Healing a special destination to discover.

Shopping, art & festivals

Marsden and Slaithwaite are brimming with independent shops selling unique and handcrafted pieces. Don't miss Roobarb, Cubecure and The Loft Space in Marsden, or Cobweb Antiques in Slaithwaite. Regular Craft Fairs are held at The Loft Space, Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre.

Want to develop your own creative skills? Download our guide to the arts to explore workshops and courses, and find out more about arts, music and festivals across the area.

From traditional folklore to contemporary jazz, the Colne Valley is home to an eclectic programme of events, many of which date back hundreds of years making them well worth a visit - Imbolc Fire Festival, Marsden Jazz Festival, Golcar Lilly Day, Slaithwaite Spa Rant, Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival and Marsden Cuckoo Day to mention a few.

A popular filming location, the Colne Valley has featured in Channel 4's dark Red Ridings Trilogy, ITV's Where the Heart Is, and the BBC's League of Gentleman and Last of the Summer Wine.

Heritage

The Colne Valley's rich heritage span's hundreds of years. Wander alongside the water's edge of the restored Huddersfield Narrow Canal through Slaithwaite and Marsden, retracing ancient packhorse trails to the Standedge tunnel – the longest, highest and deepest in Britain. Golcar Aqueduct is a Victorian engineering masterpiece which allows the canal to pass 40ft above.

See long-forgotten skills recreated at the Colne Valley Museum, set in 3 restored weavers cottages and dedicated to our textile history. Military history features at Bullecourt Museum in Milnsbridge, and Launds Inn Museum hosts a fascinating social history collection. The Moonraker Floating tea room serves tasty treats in a converted narrow boat, fill up here, or grab a picnic and head to Slaithwaite Spa Park which, once one of the finest Spas in the district, has been lovingly brought back to life over recent years.