Hebden Bridge - Blackshaw Head - Heptonstall - Hebden Bridge

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This route is a good old West Yorkshire mixture of town and country and much more besides. It combines a canal walk with some upland sections, passing many traces of old industries no longer in existence. Having gained quite a bit of height without any great effort, the walk offers good views and good pubs along the way before heading back to the valley.

The walk starts in the delightful town of Hebden Bridge, once described as the fourth quirkiest place in the world (see the Additional Information section for more details). The initial section of the walk starts with a canal walk and the first of several pubs. The route then briefly combines with sections of the Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway before following a gradual climb to the Calderdale Way, passing through Blackshaw Head and on to the New Delight Inn at Jack Bridge.

Coming about halfway round, the New Delight is a good place to take a break. From there it is steady walking on to Heptonstall, with views of the Calder Valley getting ever more dramatic. Many of these higher paths have connections with the pack-horse trade. In earlier centuries the valley bottom was mainly impassable and these old 'high ways' were the easiest routes to follow; also Heptonstall was of much greater importance than the bridge below crossing the River Hebden.

On the return section of the walk there is an opportunity to explore Heptonstall, with its two pubs and fascinating history (see Additional Information for some attractions). Arrive here on Good Friday and you are in for an extra treat – the annual performance of the traditional Pace Egg play, revived in 1979 and performed in Weaver's Square every year since. Check the internet for more details.

After Heptonstall there is a final descent back to Hebden Bridge. There is much of interest in the town, both day and night and like many others, you may find reasons to keep coming back.

Many thanks to my wife Chris for finding, researching and suggesting this route and then walking it with me twice.

England - North England - Yorkshire - Calderdale

Features

Good for Kids, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Moor, Pub, Public Transport, River, Tea Shop, Wildlife, Woodland
22/07/2016 - Graham Barthorpe

A really enjoyable walk with lots of contrasts. We completed this on July 17th and as it was nice and warm wore shorts!! Didnt count on the nettles. Don't let this put you off though, it really is worth the effort. I measured this walk at approx 8 miles WITHOUT any of the deviations. The comment about 'good for kids' was a bit misleading as it was a bit harder than that, or you breed them tough in Yorkshire.

28/04/2014 - Janet Pickard

Did this walk March 23rd in literally every type of weather going! The climb up was a little hair raising for me as I don't like heights at all but fantastic photos. We considered turning back when we reached the open moorland as it had started to snow but thought that even more dangerous. I wasn't too keen on the rock climbing bit heading towards Hell Hole Quarry either. The old church was lovely and it would have been different if it hadn't chucked it down. Heading back down towards Hebden Bridge don't be fooled by the squeeze stile. That is a muddy way down. Walk another 500 yards down the road and there are some easier steps with a railing. If anyone wants to see photos then these can be found on 3 Walking Ladies & An Unwilling Accomplice on Facebook.

02/01/2014 - Trevor Williams

This is a lovely walk, really enjoyed it, but it's no longer dog friendly due to a number of the stiles between waypoints 9-13 being made impassable/dangerous for dogs, especially larger breeds. The crawl holes have been blocked off completely and they have used very narrow boards for the steps, they are also dangerous to jump over so you have to resort to picking up your dog and passing them over the stile, which is a tricky task with a big dog!

22/10/2012 - David Peach

Took the walk on damp October day. Magnificent, thanks Paul for contributing. A small point, when looking for waypoint 6 a small iron bridge comes up first to the left which is a tad confusing. Otherwise great directions.

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