Croft Mill Aparthotel is located in the centre of the attractive small town of Hebden Bridge which lies 8 miles west of Halifax and is perfectly placed mid way between Leeds and Manchester, both less than an hour away. The apartments have a car park which is a huge bonus in such a popular small town where parking is at a premium. For those arriving by train the apartments are just a few minutes level walk from Hebden Bridge station which is on the Calder Valley line with regular trains between Leeds and Manchester.
The former saw mill has been tastefully converted into 4 star contemporary self-catering apartments whilst retaining original features and the character of its industrial heritage.
The town lies in the South Pennines of West Yorkshire where, at one time there were over 30 mills in and around Calderdale all carrying out one or more of the 17 processes that went into making cloth. After the Second World War the town’s fortunes declined but a bohemian vibe helped repopulate it. Artistic people working from home bought properties in the town and added to the eclectic mix of people already there, making Hebden Bridge a great place to live.
Today Hebden Bridge is known as the ‘Town of Little Shops’ and has been named as the best town in Britain and Ireland at the Urbanism Awards for its vibrant, independent economy, welcoming streets and stunning valley setting. Other accolades awarded to the town include Walkers are Welcome and Fairtrade.
The area is frequently used for the filming of television programmes and recent guests to Croft Mill have included some of the cast and crew of Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley, The Brontés, Ackley Bridge and the new Gentleman Jack series which is currently being broadcast on BBC.
Arrival and Check-in
Check-in is from 3.00 p.m. and on arrival we were warmly welcomed by the owner Josephine who showed us to our apartment on the upper floor. After quickly checking us in, Josephine pointed out some key features and suggested we ring her if we needed anything else. Assorted leaflets on nearby attractions were to be found on the hall table along with a welcoming vase of fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit.
Apartments are available to suit all needs from studio through to standard, superior and penthouse. My friend and I stayed in one of the spacious duplex penthouse apartments arranged over two floors, which can accommodate up to four people.
Entrance to the apartments is from the balcony which is accessed either by the lift or external staircase. The penthouse has feature sloping glass walls taking advantage of the breathtaking valley views as well as flooding the apartment with natural light.
The lower floor features a spacious, open plan lounge with leather sofas, oak furniture, large television and DVD player. Views are onto a quiet courtyard with a backdrop of the wooded hillside beyond. Everything has been thought of for a pleasant stay including a selection of books, DVD’s, jigsaws and games.
The kitchen / dining area comes fully equipped with hob, oven, microwave, fridge-freezer and dishwasher and on opening the cupboards and drawers it felt like home with its high quality pots, pans, crockery and utensils.
Double doors leading from the dining area open out onto the decked balcony which is furnished with wooden tables, sun loungers and benches. Cushions for the garden furniture are to be found in a storage cupboard and, being fortunate with the weather, we were able to make good use of them. Also on this floor is a WC cloakroom complete with washer / dryer supplied with Ecover detergents.
A staircase leads to the upper level with two bedrooms, one with a super king size bed and the other with twin beds. Both rooms are en-suite, one with a bath with shower over and the other with a walk-in shower cubicle. This extra space provided us with plenty of room to spread out and to be able to pamper ourselves with the complimentary environmentally friendly toiletries.
In addition to crisp white bedlinen and a generous supply of fluffy towels the rooms come equipped with dressing gowns, slippers, hairdryer, alarm clock and wall mounted television.
An extremely generous breakfast hamper and welcome tray is included in the room rate. On the welcome tray there was a cute red ‘Yorkshire tea’ teapot and milk jug, large Yorkshire parkin cookies, a cafetière with a goodly supply of fresh coffee and next to the tray a wooden tea box containing a wide selection of black, green and herbal teas. Two traditional glass pint milk bottles were waiting for us in the fridge as were two bottles of locally brewed beer, one blond and the other a porter.
Our breakfast hamper included free range eggs from a local farm, two different types of cheese, muesli, cornflakes, a large bowl of fresh fruit, an avocado, oatcakes, apple juice, beans, butter, jam, marmalade and locally baked bread. As you can appreciate from this lengthy list, we were totally spoilt and began each morning in style with our healthy, organic breakfasts. Each apartment even has a copy of the Croft Mill cook book written by the owner containing lots of ideas on how to use the ingredients supplied.
The apartment contains a wealth of local history books, maps and DVD’s that explore the local area. As can be expected the wi-fi connection is fast and reliable and for those who prefer traditional media, a local newspaper and a pile of magazines are ready for browsing on the coffee table. For anyone planning to cycle in the surrounding countryside secure cycle storage is available on site. Don’t be put off by the steep Pennine location as a cycle ride or walk along the canal towpath is very scenic and less strenuous.
It is important that these old mills get a second life and with the conversion of Croft Mill into accommodation it keeps the spark going. Croft Mill is proud to be a member of Green Tourism and is committed to sustainability. Speaking with the owner, she explained that the business does its best to minimise waste, buys locally as much as possible and uses environmentally friendly products.
The town was the first in the country to be plastic bag free and guests are able to make use of Croft Mill’s own attractive shopping bags made from natural materials whilst shopping in the town.
The owners support ‘Get Calderdale Buzzing’ and with their own beehives, they can say this quite literally as we peered over our balcony one afternoon to watch as the beehives were being inspected. Honey produced from the Croft Mill hives is available to buy in the apartments. Another initiative offered is Green Travel with rewards for those using public transport.
We very much enjoyed our stay at Croft Mill, it’s high-end apartments having everything we needed for an enjoyable stay and with the bonus of the generously sized food hamper there was no need to go out food shopping for our breakfast necessities.
It’s not easy to find parking in the town centre so it felt like a luxury to have our own allocated space in the apartment’s own car park. Overall, our stay exceeded expectations and Croft Mill comes highly recommended.
We were guests of Croft Mill and although our accommodation was provided on a complimentary basis all views and opinions are entirely our own.