Immerse yourself in a blog written by Megan…
Hidden riverside gems
Not everyone has a riverside gem. But along the River Holme, we have an abundance. With Bottoms Mill, Spa Wood and all in between – there are plenty of beauty spots to experience, which we have the privilege of having at our doorsteps. The sad thing is that most of these spots go unnoticed or under-appreciated in favour of beauty spots that take a whole car journey to reach. As a result— our hidden riverside gems remain just that, hidden.
If you were to take a moment away from the roads to sit aside the river in Holmfirth, to watch and listen to the water flow – you’d feel a sense of calmness wash over you. Watching the ducks have a natter as nearby, people are packing away their shopping, oblivious to how close to the peacefulness they could be.
To walk further, to Sands Recreation Ground or even to Thongsbridge Wildspace, would be to walk deeper into the aura that the river gives. Further into the surrounding wildlife. Further into the riverside gem. Both areas have plenty of unique scenery to take in: growing saplings and meadows, a bog garden and of course, benches to sit close to the riverside and take it all in.
Magdale is another beautiful area along the river. To walk along the paths is to walk straight into a picturesque landscape. With not only a waterfall but a dam, Magdale’s contrasting spaces make it an ideal space for anyone. Settling and observing the various trees and their reflections across the water, especially in the sunshine, is a magical experience that has to be witnessed.
Other areas along the river highlighted on the RHC website have a similar atmosphere – easily accessible and feel like another world. It’s as simple as finding a bench or a rock to perch on – the meditative state finds you. Whether you want to nosey at the local wildlife, listen to the different bird chirps and rushing or feel the cool breeze it gives – your senses will be indulged.
On a personal level, before beginning this piece, I was only aware of the duck feeding area and sands recreational grounds (not that I ever really visited them often or on purpose). The others I was virtually oblivious to the existence of.
Even my parents, who have lived in Huddersfield their entire lives, had no clue about the beautiful scenery they’d been living so close to. My mum wasn’t aware that Spa Wood existed despite having lived in Newsome for decades. We had a wander as I watched her walk around in shock, describing it as a cute area where she probably would’ve spent time in her youth with her friends had she known about it.
My dad and I decided that Meltham Pleasure Grounds is not only a hidden gem, but a hidden sanctuary in its own right; if you blink, you really might miss it (we nearly did)! If you do manage to spot it, however, you may never want to leave. With its serene waterfalls, there is plenty to love. This space particularly feels like a retreat from the busier world around it – somewhere you could sit or wander around for hours on end and never be bored of what you see or feel when there.
A common theme is found with these spaces: beautiful and yet overlooked. They’re often quiet with few visitors. Whilst the feeling of being in a secret spot can seem appealing, it’s much more fulfilling to share the knowledge with others. They have been worked on for years, for our leisure. They are there, they are accessible and they are stunning. To miss out on these spaces would be to miss out on some true riverside gems.