On the surface, Haworth and Machu Picchu couldn’t be further apart. Separated by thousands of miles of land, sea and culture, in 2005, the two locations were officially twinned. Although this may be surprising to many, once you look into the similarities that the two destinations hold, it makes a little more sense.
A twin town (or sister town) is a form of legal or social agreement between towns to promote cultural and commercial ties. The idea came after WWII to promote friendship and understanding between different cultures.
Haworth, on the edge of Keighley, is best known for its association with the Bronte Sisters, who grew up there and based many of their most famous work in the area. Machu Picchu, on the other hand, is a Peruvian town which is most famous for the “Lost City of the Incas” which is widely considered one of the “new seven wonders of the world.”
So why are Haworth and Machu Picchu twinned?
They Have A Vibrant Textiles History
During the mid 19th Century, weaving was the main industry in Haworth and there were over 1,000 handlooms being worked before they were replaced with machinery during the Industrial Revolution. Peru’s Textile heritage dates back to 2500 BC and the traditional methods are still used today to create their unique and unmistakably Peruvian garments.
They Attract Roughly The Same Number Of Tourists Each Year
Machu Picchu welcomes approximately 1 million visitors each year. Between May and October, it sees around 5,000 tourists each day. Haworth gets a similar annual number of visitors and a whopping 85,000 of these visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
They’re Both Surrounded By Dramatic Landscapes
The rugged moorland of Yorkshire is undeniably beautiful and nearby Top Withins was supposedly the location for ‘Wuthering Heights’. Machu Picchu is set high in the Andes Mountains (yeah…pretty dramatic!). Although not quite as steep as a mountain, it’s a fair old trek up some of those cobbled streets too!
Their Populations Are Roughly The Same
Obviously, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu have no human inhabitants, the district has a population of approximately 5,200 people. Haworth, in West Yorkshire, has a population of only 1,000 more than this but their Alpaca and Llama populations are considerably lower!
Both Areas Are Served By Steam Railways
Haworth is on the 5-mile long heritage Keighley and Worth Valley Railway line. The working steam trains on this steep stretch of railway are a main tourist attraction for Haworth. Many visitors to Machu Picchu also travel via steam train. This departs from the main city of Cusco, and travels right through the scenic Sacred Valley.
Both Are Found Near a Valley
Machu Picchu is situated just above the Sacred Valley – a river valley near Cusco, formed by the Urubamba River which was the epicenter of the Inca culture. Haworth sits just above the Worth Valley at the end of the Pennine Moors.