The town is situated in the Holme Valley, the word "firth" was the Old English name for wood and woodland. The town grew up around a corn mill and bridge in the 13th century but the present church dates from the 1470s.

Three hundred years later Holmfirth expanded rapidly with the growing cloth trade grew and the production of stone and slates from the surrounding quarries increased. It was a prosperous town and in 1850 the very first steam train pulled into Holmfirth thanks to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. (Unfortunately Holmfirth no longer has a rail link - it was demolished in the mid-1960s).

A major tragedy struck the town in 1852: the famous Holmfirth Flood. Although there had been other floods, the 1852 flood was caused much more extensive loss of life and damage than any before or since. Eighty-one people died as heavy rain caused the Bilberry Reservoir, near Holme Village, to burst its banks sending a torrent of waves crashing through Holmfirth.

In the 19th Century a "new" industry came to Holmfirth, silent movie films and postcards.

James Bamforth was a keen photographer and a talented artist from Holmfirth and became one of the most well known and biggest producer of Life Model slides in Britain.

James used the long summer days to paint backdrops and photograph his actors and the dark winter months to produce the thousands of sets of Magic Lantern slides, creating 600 different new slide sets each year.

Bamforths also produced early comic postcards and sentimental cards that were sent to loved ones in the First World War. They became well-known for their saucy seaside postcards featuring over-large ladies and hen-pecked husbands.

The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 brought an end to this new movie industry. But the production of postcards, continued right up until recent years. At its height, sales of the mother-in-law put downs and the seaside double entendres topped 16 million a year. Production has recently been transferred outside the Valley.

Holmfirth is now best known for production of Last of the Summer Wine which started with a pilot season in 1973. Thirty years on, the show is more popular than ever, and is now the longest-running British television sitcom. Holmfirth sees many visitors walking its roads looking for Sid and Ivy's cafe, Nora Batty's House and Clegg's home.

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This business was partly financed by the New Environmental Economy Programme, a grant scheme funded by the Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership and managed by the Peak District National Park Authority.


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This is a truly superb tour. a four day coast to coast passing through some amazing scenery and without the crowds. Photo's from the September 2013 tour can be viewed hereSeptember 2013 Way of the Roses

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Well done to all of those that completed the Coast to coast in 2013. Dates are now available for 2014.

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Well done to everyone that completed the September 2013 LEJOG

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Photos from Germany

Photo's from the September 2014 Moselle to Mozart tour.

Photos from Germany

What our customers say

Thoroughly enjoyable and physically challenging! We liked the fact that much of the route had very limited traffic. Would be happy to stay at any of the accommodation again.

Tim Towler, August 2014

Overall, excellent.fantastic routes, very good value.

Caroline Turk & Simon Brooks, August 2014

Great couple of days walking. Easy to follow directions. Would highly recommend and will use Peak Tours again.

JP & Kate Michaelski, August 2014

Thank you for a lovely holiday. Very well organised. very friendly service - would book another tour.

Julie Molyneux, August 2014