This Calderdale walk takes you into an area that was once a dense hive of mills and industry: spinning, carding and weaving. Today much of the industry has long since departed and you can enjoy the scenic highlights of this area.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D)From the west end of the Station Road bridge over the Rochdale Canal (SE 0363 2504), climb your first test, the setted Blackwood Hall Lane. Shortly, where the Calderdale Way continues left you keep ahead up Milnergate, the Old School House on your right. At the entrance to the dwelling at the top turn left along a narrow and typically Calderdale path, with undergrowth obscuring its steps - take care. At its top go right, climb to the T-junction (Sowerby Lane).
(1)Go through the unmarked gate opposite and cross the field. By the adjacent cricket pavilion you leave this field, briefly cross the corner of a second and enter a third, following a vague path which brings you to a clear track. Left along this and round to the farm. Here climb right, keeping this side of the fence, to reach the cottages, before which you pass via a little wooden gate. Follow the lane and take the (wrongly signed) Calderdale Way stile on the first corner. Ahead to the field corner; ignore its stile, instead climbing right, through three stiles, to reach New Lane.
(2)Go right, cross and take the stile. Follow the wall up to Moor Bottom Lane which you follow right before going left along the setted track of two, soon crossing a bridleway at right angles; then shortly, at the cairn where the path splits in three, take the left hand fork. This takes you to Weather Hill Lane - left here; then after around 150 yards go through the insignificant right hand gap in the wall guarded by an old, half rotten post. Follow the wall to reach lane; turn right, passing Pitts Farm.
(3)Stoodley Pike with Withens Clough Reservoir are distantly clear on your right. Soon after, take the rising asphalted track on the left and keep along it (Water Stalls Road - for the first time the walk levels; you have climbed 850 feet in 2.25 miles). This clear track becomes first earthen (at a power pole and farm), then later is joined by the Calderdale Way - follow it over 1.3 miles of heather moorland. Arriving at a meeting-place of paths and gates you take that on the left which seems to double back the way you've come.
(4)Soon another path joins from the right. After passing a cottage and gate you soon descend quite sharply to Kennel Lane. Turn right, and follow the lane for 200m, then take the bridle path signposted on the right. After another 200m, cross the lane, and take the bridleway on the left (Clough Bank Lane). Somewhere in the ensuing climb, pretty overgrown and much narrower at the top end, this becomes a footpath! Either way, mind your ankles. At the top go right, pass the kennels on the right along Parkin Hall Lane. Very soon, at the triangle of roads, go right then cross to follow the track between wall and fence. Arriving at Shaw's Lane go right, then left up past the cottages.
(5)The views across to Hebden and Sowerby Bridges are stunningl. Take the first stile on the right almost at once, descend close to the power pole to pass through the former gateway, then follow the wall hard round left until you reach a steep gulley, the road wall and the barely visible stile at the stables. Go through their gates, follow the overgrown path ahead along the fence, then the field edge to Mirey Lane. The path across the road here takes you over three fields to the delightfully named Higham and Dob Lane.
(6)Turn right, then turn left on to the beautifully setted bridleway about 50 yards down. From its end follow the equally attractively "sidewalked" field edge by Glen View cottages (1898), with its centuries old slabs still doing a fine job of keeping boots mud-free. At Shield Hall Lane turn right, and after quarter mile take (with care) the overgrown stepped path down to the cottages. Turn left, then drop down the setted track to where the beck runs noisily. Turn right going with it along the final setts and, with the path now an asphalted lane, descend to the railway bridge (Stoney Lane); right at the cottages over the Calder; gain the Rochdale Canal towpath, do a final left and the last half a mile home.(A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 91m - Station Road bridge
1 : km 0.62 - alt. 201m - T-junction with Sowerby Lane
2 : km 1.61 - alt. 274m - Go right, cross lane and take stile
3 : km 2.97 - alt. 333m - Turn right past Pitts Farm
4 : km 5.5 - alt. 364m - Take lefthand path at junction
5 : km 8.55 - alt. 312m - Turn right on Shaw's Lane
6 : km 9.62 - alt. 236m - Turn right along Higham and Dob Lane
D/A : km 12.33 - alt. 90m - Station Road bridge
As always Calderdale offers you here a multitude of small, stone-walled enclosures and secretive tracks, its unmistakable architectural vernacular, its slight sense of being "unfinished" (as neat Wharfedale or Upper Airedale are "finished") the constant reminder that this was once a dense hive of mills and industry: spinning, carding and weaving. Like the millworkers of old, you have to work hard to gain reward here; but the views from the tops, above all on the return leg, are spectacular.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Global average : 4/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 4/5
Routemap quality : 3.5/5
Walk interest : 4.5/5
I am sure this walk would be very good. However, my experience will hopefully prove useful to anyone who decides to follow this route in future, as I didn't get very far before I had to turn back & abandon the walk for the day. Note - we followed the route in mid August.
Point 1 takes you up the hill & into a narrow path - this was the first obstacle. The path was indeed narrow & also very overgrown with nettles & brambles at head height. I was OK as I had long trousers & long sleeved shirt, but my wife had a short sleeved shirt & calf length trousers. When we emerged at the top of the path after a slippy climb, she was covered in nettle stings & bramble scratches. However, we continued to follow the route through the unmarked gate into the field & around the cricket pavilion. Upon reaching the track we followed towards the farm as per directions. The track took us through a wide gap in the wall where the mud was ankle deep. After picking our way through the mud I proceeded to step onto what appeared to be dry land but soon found myself up to my thighs in deep in slurry which the farmer had presumably dumped across a wide area adjacent to the muddy track.
At this point we had no alternative but to abandon our planned walk & head back. Fortunately we were able to follow the country lanes & get back down to the start without the need to follow the path through the brambles & nettles.
Many thanks for your feedback on this walk. We have changed the description around waypoint 4 to make it clearer for future walkers. If you have any suggestions of improvements to the wording please let us know!
Global average : 4.33 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good
I travelled by train to Sowerby Bridge where there is a pleasant canal path walk to the start at Luddenden Foot. This adds 3 or 4 miles to the walk. It was a warm, clear day and the views were excellent. You ascend quite steeply at the beginning up cobbled lanes, steps, farm fields, tracks, then heather moors before arriving at the Calderdale Way. It's worth looking back a lot during this section to take in the beautiful Calder Valley.
The instructions are good but it is definitely worth having the gps file as it can get confusing at times, there are points where the gps and instructions differ though. I also had to double back a little at the same point (Section 4) as the previous poster. The bridle path is actually just before Shaws Clough (it's signposted, don't bother trying to find the church steeple) and there are three bridlepaths with lanes in between, not one, to reach the kennels. I saw a fawn on the middle one! At the kennels you go left and walk round them, don't turn right at the end of the bridlepath like I did and walk down the hill, only to trudge wearily back up again.
I enjoyed this walk a lot and it's convinced me to walk some more of the Calderdale Way.
Global average : 3.67 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good
Some of the instructions were difficult to follow and if we hadn't got the gpx file as well then we would almost certainly have got lost.
Taking the path immediately after the kennels was also difficult as we looked out for Stoodley Pike we missed the left turning.
After the hairpin bend of the lane that goes over the beck with the steeple in front of you was misleading as we couldn't see the steeple from that location and when you take the bridleway you don't see the beck for a while down the path.
However despite the doubling back on a couple of occasions we did the walk in the right amount of time allocated but did end up walking 15km instead of the 12.3 advised.
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