I was delighted to get back on my UK travels on Friday night with an overdue return to a town that ought to be twinned with Florence at the very least.

Gateway to the ‘ Fax

Stunning as the Grand Canyon is, it’s no match to the view of Calderdale to your right as escape Leeds on the M62 to Manchester.

Brighouse itself is a bit workaday, but it’s a fully formed town with a market place, pound shops, black pudding (top) and giant mills overlooking the Calder and Hebble Navigation.


I worked with a nice lady from Brighouse called Zoe a decade ago who sang the praises of her hometown so much I stayed up there, being thrilled to run across the Brass Band rehearsing Christmas Carols in a hut (in September).

As part of my commitment to educate you musically, here’s an extract from a No.2 hit featuring the town’s most famous musical export*

You’ll see from the OS map above that the town is ringed by hills, and the walk through Southowram into Halifax FC is one of the great approaches to a football match, getting rid of at least 300 of the calories in a meat pie at The Shay.

I used to stay at the Waterfront Lodge for £20.  Sadly such bargains are a thing of the past; it cost me £31 to stay in Halifax (though you don’t get woken up by ducks in the morning there).

Calder & Hebble

There’s some robust shops, but I’d call Brighouse “Down-to-earth with a flourish” ; a continental feel means you get high quality delis and top Italian food at the Waterfront.

Nothing appears to have changed since my last visit at the turn of the decade (apart from the roads being dug up for gas works), the shops still sell essentials,

Northern shops

the recent GBG Ship still looks appealing despite the Erdinger sign,


and the Richard Oastler is still one of the most beautiful Wetherspoons in the country,

Spoons, Brighouse

But Brighouse central is down to one Guide entry and (drum roll)..

It’s a new micropub.  By the Market.  Called the Market Tavern.

Market Town,Mills

Actually, it’s a pub. Just a small one. With proper bench seating and beer mats

I’ll let the cushions go

OK, a bit chintzy in places, but the locals like it, and Mrs RM would do too.

A paler shade of green

I received a great welcome from the young barman.  Not in that “Welcome to our micropub !!!! Is this your first visit !!!” way. Just in a “Morning” and “Thanks Pal” sort of way.

Everyone was “Pal“.  Perhaps the folk here were slightly older than your typical micro, more a village pub crowd, and the talk was all of funerals.  Always a good sign (if you get my point).

The beer was your typical West Riding selection (See: Wakefield), presented in the typical West Riding fashion, cool and with a proper head.  Elland Ebenezer at £3 a pint a good NBSS 3.5.


Top loos, and excellent reading material too.

But no 1975 edition, sadly

As I left, the locals were watching cat videos on their phones.  As Mudgie will know, that’s the mark of a true pub.

As Danny would say, The Good Will Out.

*Oh sorry, wrong clip.





  1. But don’t you know that shops full of pies are a sign of a ” dull,small,grey island ” ?
    ” Says who, ” I hear you splutter.
    Well,the house bible of the Continuity Remain campaign The New European and their Sneer Correspondent Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
    Mind you,it’s a bit rich accusing the Brexiteers of ignorance and then saying the Vikings settled here in AD273.
    The first viking raid was 420 years later so only half a millenium out.
    Did you not come across the racetrack in Brighouse ?

    PS: What a fabulous organ in that ‘Spoons.I presume they serve beer in mugs with Handels.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You could make a town up and no one would be any the wiser. We’d all just assume it existed and you’d been there and had a pint and ate a pie. Some random photos and bingo, we’d all believe in the existence of an obscure town on the outskirts of somewhere. In fact Brighouse sounds slightly made up. You might already be doing that.


    1. “In fact Brighouse sounds slightly made up. You might already be doing that.”

      I usually fact check RM by looking them up on Google Maps, but that’s only because I don’t live there. 😉


      Liked by 1 person

      1. “I fact check these English blokes who write about pubs to make sure they’re not making it all up”

        … whilst drinking a beer of course. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Apart from the bar it looks like a proper pub. I’ve never understood those hooks under the bar top. If they’re for a coat or a dog either is likely to get hit by beer spillage. And they encourage folks to sit at the bar. That’s my rant for the day.

    BTW..GBG 2020 early warning, Armitts Beer Shop in Matlock is opening a bar in the shop in March. I’ll ask him to restrict opening hours.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh,I’d love a bag like that.
        I’m one of those fellers who just can’t get enough zipped compartments.
        Not sure where his washboard is though.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s almost a decade ago since my last (only) visit to Brighouse. I’d driven up with two work colleagues in order to audit a local print works/carton manufacturer. We stayed overnight in the town, and after a meal in a nearby Italian restaurant, we crossed the road for a few, “end of evening” pints in the local Spoons.

    I’d forgotten its name, so thanks for reminding me, but as to the hotel we stayed in, all I can say it was quiet, comfortable and provided a good breakfast, (what more could a weary traveller ask for?). Our audit was successful and we are still using that printer for the bulk of our carton requirements, so good memories of Brighouse.

    Liked by 1 person

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