HF Book Club - Brontë Weekend in the Southern Yorkshire Dales
The HF Book Club is a great way to holiday with like-minded book lovers to discuss your favourite works or discover something new in a relaxed and informal setting. Related guided sightseeing visits to key attractions are included. These holidays are perfect for solo travellers or you could come along with your book club and take advantage of our great group discount. We're finalising our reading list and we'll publish it very soon.
- Immerse yourself in the Brontës' world
- Discuss your favourite works with fellow enthusiasts
- Explore a book by each of the 3 sisters
- Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum
- High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
- Knowledgeable HF Holidays Leaders, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
Over the weekend you'll get to discuss 3 of the Brontës' books, one penned by each sister and share your insight or just listen to others. Your discussion groups will be led by our passionate leaders and you'll be immersed in the Brontës' world for the weekend.
We'll take you on an optional trip to the Brontë Parsonage Museum and after dinner you can continue discussing the sisters and their works or you can relax in the bar over coffee or drinks.
The three books that you will be covering during the weekend are -
- Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Discussions for the texts -
Tenant of Wildfell Hall with Elizabeth Hopkinson
Published in 1848 under the name of Acton Bell, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall tells the story of the mysterious “Mrs Graham” aka Helen Huntingdon, who has fled her violent, alcoholic husband, taking her little son with her, and taken refuge in a gloomy hall on the moors.
Exploring themes of women’s rights, the education of boys, addiction and domestic abuse, it not only speaks to issues of its own time but to 21st century questions over toxic masculinity and victim shaming.
How much is this novel inspired by Branwell’s drunken and dissolute behaviour? How does Wildfell Hall as a gothic setting compare to Wuthering Heights or Thornfield Hall? What do we think about the narrative device of Helen’s diary and the novel’s two narrators? And of course, what do we think of the ending.
Come prepared for a lively discussion.
Wuthering Heights with Alison Carr
Wuthering Heights remains a controversial novel. It tells of brooding passions against the backdrop of the bleak yet beautiful moorlands of Emily Brontë‘s beloved home county. She was born in the year that Frankenstein was written and, it could be argued, she created another literary ‘monster’ in Heathcliff that we can both fear and pity. Its central characters are tortured souls whose powerful emotions and actions set off a dark sequence of events creating a tale that Emily’s sister Charlotte called ‘knotty as a root of heath’. Modern readers may see it as an exploration of mental and physical cruelty in a class ridden society...or as one of literature’s greatest ever love stories...all to be discussed!
Jane Eyre with Lizzie Enfield
Jane Eyre was a novel, which was ahead of its time but remains as relevant today as it was when it was written. The issues Bronte deals with: women’s positions in society, power struggles between the sexes, class and social mobility, equality, love, compromise and paying for past mistakes all resonate with the modern reader. Even in the issue of the ‘madwoman in the attic’ will strike a painful chord of anyone caring for an elderly partner or parent who is no longer the person they once were.
In this discussion group, Elizabeth Enfield, who is currently working on a contemporary Jane Eyre, will discuss what makes this book such an enduring classic.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
Situated close to Malham in South Yorkshire’s portion of the famous Dales, Newfield Hall offers country-pile atmosphere amid beautiful rural surroundings. A grand country house, this stately, storied property retains many of its original nineteenth century features, from the grand entrance to the sweeping staircase inside. The Hall has 48 bedrooms, as well as two cosy lounges and an elegant bar, providing guests with a laid-back and unstuffy retreat with a generous sprinkling of style. The Dales and countryside on the doorstep are a rambler’s paradise, with easy access to Malham Cove and its deeply indented limestone pavement, Gordale Scar and Pen y Ghent as well as the pretty villages of Grassington and Kettlewell.
At the house
- Excellent boot and drying rooms
- Two lounges
- Dining room
- Multi-purpose activity room
- Range of board games and books
- Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
- Heated indoor swimming pool
- Extensive gardens with views of the Yorkshire Dales
- Outside there is a walled garden and putting green
All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
- Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
- Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
- A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the tastefully converted coach house, which has been reimagined as pretty bedrooms, where pops of mustard contrast with the blue and teal furnishings. With 48 bright and well-appointed rooms, Newfield Hall is one of our largest properties and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best rooms to choose from: we love rooms 3 and 6, both of which are large corner rooms containing original features, with large bay windows overlooking the gardens and beyond the pristine farmland, hills, and yes, dales, of this picturesque pocket of Yorkshire: make use of the telescope trained through the window of Room 6 to scour the countryside for trails to explore.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, walled garden, putting green, heated indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, ballroom, library and board games to borrow
After a day exploring, return to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Once settled, stroll the large gardens and gaze out over the Yorkshire Dales, or try your hand on the putting green. Slip in to the heated indoor swimming pool to soak while still being able to look out over the gardens. Make use of the activity room or simply retreat to one of the lounges: grab a book and curl up in the stylish Ingleborough Lounge or pull up a chair and challenge someone to cards and board games in the smart Pen-y-Ghent Lounge. Stop in the Heritage Room for inspiration at our helpful Discovery Point and look out for our founder T A Leonard’s boots, long since retired and sat on the mantlepiece. Pop in to the stylish bar before dinner for a pint of excellent local ale or a favourite gin, pausing to admire the maps set into the bar itself, and retire there later to strike up conversation with other guests and swap stories of your adventures in the Dales.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Newfield Hall is varied and eclectic but has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to locally sourced river trout, served with wild garlic oil and sautéed samphire, enjoy Yorkshire lamb three ways or try the Yorkshire tea and smoked Wensleydale souffle with wild mushrooms. Cap it all with a trio of Yorkshire parkin, Yorkshire pudding and Yorvdale dairy ice cream for a feast of regional flavours.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
Bring along your copy of the books we'll be discussing.
Please be sure to bring any annual museum ticket or membership card if you have one - admissions to museums are not included in the price of your holiday. The entrance fee will be approximately £8-£10.
Born and bred in Brontë country, Elizabeth Hopkinson is the award-winning author of around 100 short stories and fairy tales. Her solo books include Silver Hands, a historical fantasy set in the Golden Age of Sail, and short story collection Asexual Fairy Tales. Elizabeth studied English Language & Literature at the University of Leeds, has tutored several courses at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, and lives in Bradford.
As a qualified and experienced English teacher, with a background firmly rooted in literature, Alison is skilled in facilitating thoughtful and enjoyable discussions. She has a passion for reading. Her broad knowledge and great enthusiasm will help you to gain new perspectives and a deeper appreciation of a text as part of a relaxing and stimulating weekend.
Lizzie Enfield is a journalist and regular contributor to national newspapers, magazines and radio, has written four novels and had short stories broadcast on Radio Four and published in various magazines. She also teaches creative writing and is regular interviewer and panelist on the literary circuit.
Her latest novel Ivy and Abe (published as Elizabeth Enfield) is out now and she is currently working on a 'contemporary Jane Eyre."
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
31 Jan - 03 Feb
|3||Book Club||£349 £175||Unavailable to Book Unavailable||Trip Notes|
3 nights from £349pp £175pp
New for 2020
...or call 020 3974 8865