The Yorkshire Moors
by cm
North Yorkshire Moors
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeNorth Yorkshire Moors - Credit: Camster

The setting of Wuthering Heights is as important to the storyline as the interactions between the characters. The mood of the story often reflects the season and its effect on the moors. In the summer time, when the moors are lush and green with an abundance of purple heather, we see young Catherine excited and happy exploring the moors for the first time. In the harsh winter, when the moors are bleak and desolate and covered in snow, we witness Heathcliff's tormented cries for Catherine to return to him.

Purple heather is characteristic of the Yorkshire moors, and Emily Brontë clearly loved it. In the book its sweet smell is associated with feelings of freedom and relaxation, for example:

The pure heather scented air, and the bright sunshine, and the gentle canter of Minny relieved his despondency, after a while



Cow & Calf Rocks, Ilkley Moor
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCow & Calf Rocks, Ilkley Moor - Credit: Tom Blackwell


The Brontës moved to Haworth when Emily was just a child, and the village and surrounding countryside were an important inspiration for Wuthering Heights.



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Wuthering Heights


Top Withens
Public DomainTop Withens - Credit: Dave Dunford

The house in which Heathcliff and Cathy grew up is said to have been inspired by Top Withens, a ruined farmhouse close to Haworth. The remote location of the ruin on the moors is in keeping with the fictional building, however the layout is not a perfect match.

360º View of Top Withens

A layout of Wuthering Heights has been created by Paul Thompson on his website The Reader's Guide to Wuthering Heights:


Wuthering Heights Ground Floor Plan
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumWuthering Heights Ground Floor Plan - Credit: Paul Thompson