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Holmfirth

Bridge in the centre of Holmfirth

Holmfirth is a small town (population 21,706 - 2011 census) near Huddersfield, on the A6024 Woodhead Road. It is in the Holme valley, at the confluence of the river Holme and the small river Ribble. It's in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, and the county of West Yorkshire. 

Holmfirth is sometimes known as 'Little Hollywood', because of its associations with film and television. Bamforth & Co made films in Holmfirth in the early 1900s, before switching to producing saucy postcards. It was also the location for the long-running sitcom 'Last of the Summer Wine'.

Holmfirth Last of the Summer Wine exhibition billboard

History of Holmfirth

Holmfirth grew up in the 1200s, around a bridge and a corn mill. It was a rural and farming community until it expanded in the late 1700s with the cloth trade, and became a thriving mill town.

In 1850, a railway station opened in Holmfirth, on a branch line built by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Company.

Holmfirth has always been susceptible to flooding, and the worst of the floods occurred on 5th February 1852, when the Bilberry Reservoir embankment collapsed, and 81 people were killed. There was also a flood in 1944, 'the forgotten flood', because it happened just a few days before the Normandy landings. 

These days, Holmfirth is a tourist town, with visitors attracted by its association with Last of the Summer Wine. It also serves as a dormitory for commuters to Huddersfield, Leeds, and Bradford.

See more history on holmfirth.org

Arts in Holmfirth

Holmfirth has a Film Festival and a Folk Festival in May, and an Arts Festival in June. The Arts Festival is from 12th to 22nd June in 2014, and has theatre, comedy, music and storytelling. It will also have a Tour de France theme, with Eine Brise on Sunday 15th June (a performance involving 111 cyclists), and the Tour of Infinite Possibility on Sunday 22nd June 2014 (see Yorkshire Festival).

The folk song 'Pratty Flowers' is associated with the town, and is also called the 'Holmfirth Anthem'.

Tour de France in Holmfirth: where to watch the race

Holmfirth has one of the official Tour de France spectator hubs, at Holmfirth Sands Recreation Ground.

Kirklees Council has other ideas for where to watch the Tour, including The Jacob's Well Pub, Honley (between Huddersfield and Holmfirth). They are charging £20 for admission, and will be open from 9am, with a big screen to watch the race, and food from a BBQ included. Other listed venues include The Toad & Tatie; and The Wrinkled Stocking Tearoom, open from 8am to 5pm on Sunday 6th July. The Wrinkled Stocking's package includes breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, plus an open bar, for an eye-watering £275 per person.

The Wrinkled Stocking, Holmfirth

South west of Holmfirth, closer to the Holme Moss climb, is Holmbridge, where Holmbridge Cricket Club will host spectators, with food outlets on the cricket field.

The Fleece Inn, Holme, will have a special Tour de France weekend from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th July. They'll have a marquee and big screen in the car park, as well as serving food and drink inside the pub. Sunday will be ticket-only inside until 4pm. Tickets will include a champagne breakfast, a talk, lunch, and a free bar until 2pm. Rather worryingly, the price does not appear on The Fleece's website. There's a pop-up campsite next to the Fleece Inn - Holme Camping, which is one of the sites listed in the Holme Moss section of our 'where to camp during the Tour de France 2014' page.

Kirkwood Hospice is organising Tour viewing facilities at Lane Farm, near Holme. They have space for 200 people in a marquee in a private courtyard overlooking the Holme valley, and they'll be providing a big screen, a buffet on arrival, and a three-course meal after the race has passed. There's complimentary wine with the meal, but other drinks are extra. The price is £279 per person.

Tour de France in Holmfirth: where to camp

One of the most popular places to watch the race will be Holme Moss, south west of Holmfirth, and we have details of some of the places to camp on or near Holme Moss

Another campsite closer to Holmfirth itself is Cartworth Moor Cricket Club campsite, which sounds very nice - it's 500m from the race route, up on the valley side, with great views of the valley, and has 63 pitches plus access to the clubhouse facilities such as showers, catering, and bar.

Holme Valley Camping & Caravan Park is a permanent camping and caravan site, by the river Holme between Honley and Holmfirth, with a Thongsbridge address. 

Underbank Rangers Rugby League club, less than a mile from the centre of Holmfirth, is offering camping from Friday 4th to Monday 7th July. There's a big screen, and access to the clubhouse. 

Kirklees Council has a more complete list of campsites in and around Holmfirth.

Tour de France in Holmfirth: parking

Kirklees' list of places to park in and around Holmfirth for the Tour includes Holmfirth & Meltham Lions Club (5 mins walk from Holmfirth town centre, £25 a day, all proceeds to charity), and Brooklands Tour de France campsite (Totties, near Holmfirth, 30 minutes walk from the town centre; £10 per car per day).

Tour de France in Holmfirth: Arts Festival

Holmfirth Arts Festival has a Tour de France theme in 2014. 111 cyclists are needed on Sunday 15th June, for a performance of Kagel's Eine Brise. It involves cyclists cycling past the audience, whistling, whooshing, and ringing their bells. The Tour of Infinite Possibility comes to Holmfirth on Sunday 22nd June 2014.

There are a number of Yorkshire Festival events within Kirklees.

Tour de France in Holmfirth: route video

This 'flyover' video shows the route from Huddersfield to Holmfirth, then on via Holmbridge and Holme to Holme Moss: