Things to Do in Howden: Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring This Charming Town

3 months ago   •   9 min read

By More Yorkshire
Table of contents

Things to Do in Howden

Nestled in the heart of East Yorkshire, Howden is a captivating market town brimming with historic charm.

Its cobbled streets and well-preserved Georgian architecture serve as echoes of its rich history, leading visitors on a journey through time.

Howden is not just a visual treat; it is a hive of activity, providing a plethora of things to do that cater to a diverse range of interests.

At the centre of this community is the majestic Howden Minster, a Grade I listed building that stands as a testament to the town's historical significance.

Wander through the narrow streets, and you'll discover a variety of independent shops, each offering a unique piece of Howden's character.

On Fridays, the tradition of market trading comes alive at the Shire Hall, where an assortment of local produce and artisan products awaits.

Beyond the market, Howden’s vibrant community calendar is replete with events that reflect the town's ethos of celebration and inclusivity.

From live music events and agricultural shows to seasonal markets, there is something to pique everyone's interest throughout the year.

Whether visitors are soaking up local culture or exploring the scenic beauty that surrounds this East Yorkshire gem, Howden offers an enriching experience steeped in tradition.


Exploring Howden Minster

Howden Minster stands as a beacon of history and architecture, inviting visitors to discover its towering presence and rich past.

Architectural Significance

Howden Minster, a Grade I listed building, is renowned for its commanding architecture that has stood the test of time.

It features a 135ft tower which is a prominent feature in the East Yorkshire landscape.

Originating from Saxon times, the structure embodies a spectrum of architectural styles from different eras, contributing to its historic value.

  • Gothic Design: The Minster showcases classic Gothic architecture, evident in its arched windows and intricate stonework.
  • Preserved Ruins: Parts of the Minster are in ruin, which adds a poignant sense of history and allows visitors to visualise the passage of time.

Guided Tours

Guided tours of Howden Minster provide a deeper insight into the landmark's storied past.

These tours offer a personalised experience, giving visitors an opportunity to engage with the Minster's history.

  • Availability: Tours are subject to the Minster's opening times and may require prior arrangement.
  • Expert Guides: Knowledgeable guides share anecdotes about the Minster's historical significance and the notable figures associated with it.

Visitors keen on historic architecture and those looking to explore key landmarks near Howden will find the Minster to be an enriching experience.

Tours reveal the narratives embedded within the walls, making Howden Minster not just a sight to admire, but a story to step into.


Howden Market Town Charm

Howden is distinguished by its charming market town essence, featuring Georgian architecture and a network of cobbled streets. The town offers a quintessential British experience with its blend of traditional market atmosphere and engaging local events.

Local Shops and Market Place

Howden's Market Place is the heart of this market town, bustling with activity and local commerce.

Independent shops line the streets, inviting visitors to discover unique crafts and goods.

On Fridays, and one Saturday each month, the market comes alive beneath the impressive Grade I listed Minster, as traders and merchants offer a variety of products:

  • Fresh bakery items
  • Handcrafted furniture
  • Artisanal crafts
  • Locally sourced produce
  • Fresh fish

This traditional English market provides a welcoming platform for both locals and tourists to mingle, shop, and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Shire Hall and Events

Shire Hall stands prominently as the cultural hub of Howden, consistently hosting a range of events that cater to all tastes and ages.

The hall's schedule is dynamic, often including:

  • Live music performances
  • Theatre productions
  • Themed dances
  • Tribute acts
  • Community-based activities

Events at the Shire Hall showcase Howden's vibrant community spirit and contribute to the town's appealing character as a destination that harmoniously blends history with lively modern entertainment.


Ale and Pub Culture in Howden

In Howden, pub culture is integral to its community life, featuring a delightful array of traditional pubs and a growing reputation for local brews.

Patrons can expect warm hospitality and the chance to sample regional ales.

Traditional Pubs

Howden is home to a number of traditional pubs, places where the charm of old architecture meets the warmth of community gather spots.

Howdendyke Club is renowned in the area for its friendly atmosphere, appealing to a broad demographic with its low prices and good selection of beers.

Howden WMC offers a classic sports bar environment, complete with a pool table, full-sized snooker table, dart board, and televised sports or music for entertainment.

Another local favourite, The Hop Cavern, is renowned for its personal touch, providing residents and visitors alike with a cosy place to enjoy a drink.

Tailors Chalk boasts a reputation as one of the nicest pubs in Howden; despite its smaller size, it delivers a perfect pub experience.

Local Brews and Stewards

Howden’s ale culture is cultivated by experienced stewards who take pride in their craft.

Local brews are a notable part of Howden’s attractiveness, with pubs often featuring a rotating selection of regional beers.

Patrons can relish in the tastes of well-crafted ales, with each pub offering a distinct experience ranging from modern craft beers to classic bitter ales.

Pubs in Howden also contribute to the stewardship of British ale culture, with knowledgeable staff often ready to guide newcomers through the array of choices available.

Regulars and visitors will find that the stewardship in Howden's pubs is characterized by an enthusiasm for ale that is as genuine as it is informative.


Top Attractions in Howden

Howden is a town rich in historical significance and family-friendly activities, featuring a blend of both that caters to a wide range of interests.

Historic Landmarks

  • Howden Minster: A focal point in the town, this partially ruined yet majestic Minster dates back to Medieval times, showcasing intricate stone details and awe-inspiring architecture.
  • Howden Sculpture Sequence: Alongside historic architecture, visitors can also marvel at the contemporary art of the John Maine sculpture sequence, adding a modern contrast to Howden's traditional landscape.

Family-Friendly Places

  • Howden Shire Hall: As a hub for community events, the Hall provides entertainment for all ages, from children’s festivals and tea dances to live music and roller discos, reflecting the vibrant spirit of Howden.
  • Children's Festival: Specifically designed to engage the younger visitors, this festival is one of the many events at Howden Shire Hall that parents and children can enjoy together, creating lasting memories.

Outdoor Adventures

Howden offers an abundance of outdoor activities that cater to nature enthusiasts and leisure seekers alike.

From serene nature trails to the energetic sport of foot golf, visitors are assured a refreshing experience amidst the picturesque landscapes of East Yorkshire.

Nature Trails and Walks

Howden is a haven for walkers, boasting an array of nature trails that weave through its historic market town and beyond.

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the cobbled streets or embark on a more adventurous excursion in the surrounding countryside.

The town’s close proximity to natural reserves ensures that nature lovers can fully immerse themselves in the tranquillity of the outdoors.

  • Favourite spots include:
    • Cobbled streets of Howden
    • Nearby nature reserves

Howden Reservoir

Howden Reservoir, in the Upper Derwent Valley of Derbyshire, exemplifies early 20th-century engineering prowess alongside the serene beauty of the English countryside.

Opened in 1912 and working in conjunction with Derwent and Ladybower Reservoirs, it was constructed to satisfy the increasing water demands of Sheffield and its surrounding locales. The area, enveloped by lush woodlands and moorlands, is not only a critical source of water supply but also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

The tranquil waters and the majestic Howden Dam, a paragon of early-twentieth-century architectural design, draw visitors far and wide. With its rich wildlife and picturesque landscapes, the reservoir offers abundant opportunities for walking, cycling, and bird-watching, presenting an idyllic retreat into nature.


Arts and Performance

In Howden, arts and entertainment are woven into the fabric of the town. Visitors can expect to engage with a variety of live shows, vibrant exhibitions, and striking public artworks that capture the essence of the region.

Local Shows and Exhibitions

Howden Shire Hall serves as a cultural hub for Howden, hosting an assortment of events and live performances suitable for a wide audience.

Regularly scheduled are theatre productions and live music acts that cater to diverse tastes. For instance:

  • Children's Festival: An event that provides entertainment for younger visitors.
  • Tribute acts celebrating the music of iconic bands such as Blondie and Abba.
  • Contemporary theatre performances like the touring of "Steptoe and Son".

Local talent also finds a platform in occasional exhibitions, which may feature local artists and artisans in settings throughout the town.

Public Art and Sculptures

Howden is not just about events and indoor performances; it takes pride in its public art and sculptures, reflecting its rich heritage and community spirit.

Meandering through the cobbled streets, visitors can discover artworks that range from traditional to contemporary.

Important public spaces and corners often become an unannounced gallery where these pieces reside, each telling a story or marking a historical significance to Howden.


Planning Your Visit

When visitors plan a trip to Howden, they should consider the ease of accessing the town and the ideal times for travel to experience its unique offerings.

Accessibility and Transport

Howden is well-connected, making it accessible for travellers.

The town is situated near the M62 motorway, which links to major cities such as Hull and York, and is a straightforward drive for those coming by car.

For individuals relying on public transport, the town's proximity to these cities ensures that there are reliable train and bus services.

Travellers looking for specific transport reviews may consult platforms like TripAdvisor for recommendations on the best travel options based on user experiences.

  • By Car: M62, exits provide direct access to Howden.
  • By Train: Howden railway station with services connecting to regional hubs.
  • By Bus: Regular bus services from surrounding cities and towns.

Best Times for Travel

The best times to visit Howden are typically during the spring and summer months when the town hosts a variety of events.

From live music at the Howden Shire Hall to markets and agricultural shows, these seasons offer the most vibrant atmosphere.

Visitors should check event schedules on TripAdvisor or local tourism websites for the latest information before planning their travel.

The coastal beauty of the Yorkshire Coast is also within reach during these months, offering an additional attraction for visitors.

  • Spring/Summer: For events and warm weather.
  • Autumn/Winter: Quieter visits, suitable for exploring historic sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, readers will find concise answers to common inquiries about the attractions and activities available in Howden.

What are the top attractions to visit in Howden?

The Minster is Howden's crowning jewel, a Grade I listed building with a history that captivates visitors.

Exploring its vast interior and appreciating the architecture is considered a must-do when visiting Howden.

Can you recommend some family-friendly activities in Howden?

The Shire Hall frequently hosts events such as children's festivals and live music acts suitable for all ages, making it a family-friendly venue.

Additionally, the 1940s tea dance and an 80s roller disco offer engaging experiences that the whole family can enjoy.

Where are the best places to shop in Howden?

Howden's cobbled streets are home to a variety of independent shops.

From quaint boutiques to traditional markets, shopping enthusiasts will appreciate the unique finds and local produce available in this historic market town.

What historic sites are there to explore in Howden?

Apart from the magnificent Howden Minster, the town's historic architecture can be observed throughout its cobbled streets.

Visitors will find a rich tapestry of history enveloping the town, which once served as the capital of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Are there any walking tours available in Howden?

Walking tours are not explicitly mentioned, but the compact nature of the town makes it perfect for self-guided walks.

Visitors can comfortably explore the cobbled streets and historic sites on foot, with everything within easy walking distance.

What cultural events should one attend in Howden?

Howden showcases a variety of cultural events throughout the year. These include theatre productions, such as Steptoe and Son, and live music from diverse acts. You can also find tribute nights featuring artists like Blondie and Abba.

Checking local event listings prior to visiting can provide up-to-date cultural offerings.

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