A Hebden Bridge walk

PUBLISHED: 16:01 24 July 2020

Striking views from Stoodley Pike

Striking views from Stoodley Pike

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Rochdale Canal at Hebden BridgeRochdale Canal at Hebden Bridge

This is a wonderful walk with so much to see it’s difficult to decide what is the best bit. The walk starts at Hebden Bridge Station which feels like a step back in time. The route follows the canal towpath out of the town to Mytholm where it begins its climb to Heptonstall and one of the most amazing churches you will ever visit. The graveyard is the resting place of ‘King’ David Hartley, one of the Cragg Vale Coiners. The coiners clipped the edges off gold coins to make slightly smaller ones, using the clippings to make new coins; their activities are said to have almost brought down the economy in the 18th century. The coiners were eventually caught and hanged at York. The graveyard is also the resting place of poet Sylvia Plath, who was married to the Poet Laureate Ted Hughes who was born in nearby Mytholmroyd. The walk then works its way across a hill via two wonderful cloughs – steep narrow valleys encased in woodland. The sound of water tumbling over the gritstone floor is very atmospheric. Dean Delph is a surprise as is the high waterfall that cascades off the hill and into the ruins of the old mill. From there the walk crosses the Calder Valley and rises up to the imposing monument of Stoodley Pike. You can climb to the viewing balcony for impressive views. From the monument the route descends into Cragg Vale and a very nice pub. Leaving Cragg Vale the route crosses the moors, passing the home of ‘King’ David Hartley at Bell House Moor, before descending again to Hebden Bridge

The route

1 From Hebden Bridge Station walk down Station Road and cross the bridge then immediately turn left on to the footpath into Calder Holmes Park. Keep to the righthand path and follow the Rochdale Canal towpath west to cross over canal bridge number 17 at Black Pit Lock. Continue west along the towpath. Shortly after passing a mile post turn right onto a footpath to the A646. Cross the road diagonally right and take the footpath between the rear of a house and a road sign.

2 Walk for 50m then turn right up a steep wooded slope. At a junction of four paths turn left continuing uphill with views over Mytholm. At the next path junction turn right and on reaching a wall follow it to the left past allotments. Keep left at the recreation ground and follow the track across a minor road to the church and ruins at Heptonstall.

3 Retrace your steps to the minor road and follow the concrete track south-west to Eaves Wood. Turn right on the footpath along the top of the woods to exit onto a minor road. Turn left along the road; the road becomes a track. Descend Lumb Bank arriving at cobblestones leading to a stone bridge at the bottom of Colden Clough.

4 Go over the bridge and turn left along a wide track. After 150m, turn sharp right uphill; walk for 1,500m to reach Shaw Bottom. Turn left at the junction and walk up the short road, carrying straight on into a walled lane. Take the first footpath on the right through a gate heading south-west over a series of stiles to a road at Blackshaw Head. Turn right, then immediately left, following the public footpath between houses and across fields to Lower Blackshaw Farm. Keep to the left of the buildings and continue directly south to reach Hippins.

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5 Turn left through a gate and follow the wall line to a signpost. Take the unmarked footpath south-east down to a footbridge and cross the stream. Turn left and follow the path downstream, taking the left-hand branch where it forks eventually to exit on to a concrete farm track. Follow the track down across the stream then head north-east to Higher Underbank Farm, keeping right where the track splits. Follow the public footpath right, through the farm and down the hillside to arrive at houses and workshops by the stream. Turn left along the lane under the railway bridge to reach the A646. Turn left along the road then cross over to take the next junction on the right.

6 Cross the canal bridge and turn right along the footpath (Callis Wood Bottom). Walk in front of the houses and enter woodland via a wooden stile secreted in the hedge at the very end. Ascend to Oaks Farm. Bear left to maintain an upward course past the derelict farm building at Thorps, finally reaching a defined grassy track contouring Lodge Hill above the hamlet of Higham. As the landscape flattens out go over the stile and follow the Pennine Way uphill crossing the Pennine Bridleway. At the top go through the gate and turn right to arrive at Stoodley Pike.

7 Head directly south from the monument along the permissive path and cross a stone wall via the ladder stile. Continue following the footpath down Higher Moor to meet the track by Withens Clough Reservoir. Turn left and proceed along the Calderdale Way to Cragg Vale.

8 Take the footpath to the immediate right of The Hinchliffe Arms in Cragg Vale going through woodland; keep to the public footpath where it passes through private property. Where the path becomes a tarmac lane keep left at the forks and zigzag up the hillside to Upper Lumb. Follow the stone track between buildings to a hollow way that rises to open pasture. Go through the field gate and continue following thehollow way up to a wide vehicle track at High Green.

9 Turn right along the track initially heading north east then north west across Bell House Moor, passing above Bell House. At the head of Broadhead Clough take the path heading north east across Erringden Moor to a wall corner at Broad Head.

10 Follow the fingerpost east along the wall line into a walled lane. Where lanes cross turn left then turn right along the next footpath heading down through fields to the hamlet of Park. Turn left along Park Lane, which becomes Wood Hey Lane until you reach Spencer Lane. Turn right and follow the concrete lane through Wood Top back to Hebden Bridge Station.

Start/finish: OS grid reference SD 995268

Distance: 22.1KM/13.7MILES

Ascent: 877M/2,877FT

Terrain: Fair

Time: Allow 7.5 hours

Parking: Station Road Car Park, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AU

Refreshment: Shoulder of Mutton, Hebden Bridge or The Hinchliffe Arms, Cragg Vale.

Map: OS EXPLORER OL21

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