From Lee Poulis (Heathcliff) to his manager prior to arriving in Minnesota for Wuthering Heights:
I had such a wonderful trip to the moors a la Wuthering Heights. I flew over from Cologne into the Leeds/Bradford airport, rented a car and drove out to Brontë Country, as they call it. It was really a great trip and I absorbed so much information that keeps my brain buzzing with ideas about how it really could have been to live a life there and to be Heathcliff.
I arrived in the evening, checked into my hotel and went to bed early to get an early start the next day. I spent the morning in Haworth, the small town where the Brontë sisters spent most of their lives. I walked through the historical town, had tea and scones for breakfast, toured the Brontë house where the sisters lived, and the church where their father was a minister.
Then I embarked on the Wuthering Heights walk through the moors. I started around 1pm, a bit too late and I’ll tell you why later. It was a 3.5 hour walk through paths, farms, climbing over farm fences, hiking through ravines, over streams, sometimes with a bridge, sometimes jumping across rocks in the stream. There was a rock naturally shaped somewhat like a chair where Emily Brontë often sat to write. I sat there myself a while and enjoyed the falling water, the running stream, the deep colors of the moist foliage, the swampy soil and the humid chilly air.
I continued on, taking tons of pictures all the while, until I became quite isolated and came upon Top Withens, a ruin of a house that most evokes the house of Wuthering Heights. By that time it was around 3:30pm and let me tell you, I arrived a bit too late in the day! I was all alone in the middle of nowhere!
First of all, the house totally brought about an understanding about what it could have been like to be living in such a naturally isolated setting. All I could see were the rolling hills of the moors and not a single other house, light, or any other sign of civilization.
I began taking a lot of photos, for as long as a half hour, and all the while the fog began rolling in. It quickly became more and more aggressive and soon my visibility was cut down to under 50 yards. Now, it had taken me 2.5 hours to arrive there, and while I was returning by another way according to my pamphlet, I had no idea how long it would take and if I would even be able to see where to go. It was quickly getting dark as well. I could see how someone could get lost on the moors!
Well, I became a bit nervous and began taking video of myself. (Perhaps because I had just seen 127 Hours the week before!) I didn’t know if and when I would get out of there. It began raining, I had no umbrella and quite a way to walk. I knew nobody would be walking that way again that day or the next if the rain continued. I sang a bit to pass the time and calm my nerves. I’m sure that not a living soul could hear me. I even sang some snippets from the opera at full voice!
Luckily I did not take any wrong turns and arrived at a main road after about 75 minutes. I entered a pub in the small village wet and weary like a lonely Lockwood. I asked them to call a cab for me to return to my car because by this time it was raining hard and the car was too far away.
The next morning I woke up earlier and started my walk by around 9:30am. The weather had improved. This time my walk included Thrushcross Grange and Ponden Kirk (the probably inspiration for Penistone Crags). Thrushcross Grange was on the side of a reservoir and really looked more well off then Top Withens, though it was certainly not a mansion.
This walk took me up much higher then the previous day’s walk, up to the cliff where Emily Brontë often went. The views from there were simply incredible. Miles and miles of beautiful moorlands, farms, and houses here and there. Simply gorgeous. One thing about this area is that even near the top of a hill, you will find a stream. You then begin to wonder if the area is so saturated with water that somehow water is forced out of the land even upward against gravity.
I encountered some roaming sheep up there and at some point it seemed as if one was showing me the way. I was walking so close to the edge of the cliffs that at some point I lost my balance a bit and saw my life pass before my eyes and the terrain rocking like a ship. I regained my bearing and began walking with my weight balanced away from the cliff.