The Folding Valley is the area in which most of Howl's Moving Castle takes place. It contains both towns of Market Chipping and Upper Folding. It is a low-lying valley with Upper Folding in the north, and Market Chipping in south with small hills covered in heather between.
The story begins in Market Chipping, Sophie's home town. It is vibrant and lively and the location of the flower shop (formerly the hat shop belonging to the Hatter family) after Howl moves Calcifer. Cesari's (the pastry shop owned by Mrs. Cesari) is also located here. Other locations include Market Square.
North of Market Chipping (about 21 miles), Upper Folding is located on the opposite side of the heather hills where Howl's Castle primarily wanders. It is home to Mrs. Annabel Fairfax, a witch who uses honey in many of her spells.
Bordering the Waste
The land bordering the Waste, as with the edge of Market Chipping, mainly consists of farms and pastures.
The Folding Valley is the very first setting introduced in the books. After Mr. Hatter dies, Lettie and Martha are sent away, with Lettie working at Cesari's and Martha to be apprenticed to Mrs. Annabel Fairfax. On May Day, Sophie runs into a young man (later revealed to be Howl) on Market Square and hurries to Cesari's to find that Lettie and Martha have switched places due to Lettie's desire to learn magic and Martha's desire to get married and have ten children. After the Witch of the Waste turns Sophie into an old woman, she leaves the hat shop and goes to Howl's Castle. Later in the book, the hat shop is turned into a flower shop after Howl moves Calcifer following the duel between himself and the Witch of the Waste.
The Folding Valley is very different in the film. The mountains and hills are called the Waste, while the Waste was a wasteland in the book.