8 Cracking Hebden Bridge Walks You Need To Try (2024 Guide)
Burrowed in West Yorkshire’s scenic Upper Calder Valley, Hebden Bridge is a quaint & pint-sized town that’s absolutely brimming with character.
Well-known as a hotbed for budding artists, poets, hippies, eccentrics and the like – it’s also a cracking location for countryside walkers .
With Hebden Bridge officially becoming England’s first ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town in February 2007, surrounding the town centre you’ll find a marvellous landscape that’s host to a whole concoction of trails big and small just waiting to be discovered.
Along these rambles, you’ll have the pleasure of exploring: picturesque moorlands, hidden waterfalls, historic woodlands, rugged valleys, tranquil reservoirs, a secret beach that’s been dubbed as ‘the highest beach in England’ and much more.
Growing up just a 30-minute drive away, I’ve ventured pretty every nuck and cranny around Hebden Bridge throughout the years, so I’m pretty confident you’ll enjoy any one of these highly recommended trails!
Let’s get walking…
Table Of Contents
Map of Hebden Bridge’s walks
Best walks around hebden bridge, hardcastle crags walk.
Start Point: National Trust Carpark, Hardcastle Crags, Gibson Mill, Midgehole Rd, HX7 7AW Distance from Hebden Bridge Centre: 1.4 miles
With over 15 miles of intertwining trails to choose from all varying in difficulty, walkers are able to have a fresh experience each visit and tailor their ramble to be as long or short as they like.
This makes Hardcastle Crags a fantastic day out for all ages and abilities and proves particularly popular among families; especially when some of the local events are up-and-running!
This isn’t to say Hardcastle Crags is only suitable for children however – there are several more challenging hikes which will surely satiate the appetite for all you more experienced ramblers.
The rugged valley is also teeming with history. For instance, Hebden Bridge is home to Gibson Mill – one of the first constructed mills of the industrial revolution in around 1800.
Originally used as a cotton mill, the building was later repurposed as an entertainment centre at the start of the 20 th Century and became predominantly known for its tea dances and roller skate parties.
Even today the mill continues to attract visitors and comprises of both a museum and charming café – a perfect spot to grab a brew and stretch those legs during your hike!
While there is parking at the Crag, it’s also only a 30-minute walk from Hebden Bridge. Simply make your way up Midgehole Road from the town centre and you’ll soon arrive at the entrance of the wooded valley.
Stoodley Pike Monument Walk
Start Point: Hebden Bridge, HX7 6JE Distance From Hebden Bridge Centre: 0 miles
One of the most iconic symbols of West Yorkshire’s craggy skyline, Stoodley Pike Monument continues to attract ramblers from far and wide.
The striking structure measures 37-metres tall and resides on top of the 400-metre high Stoodley Pike hill. Wherever you are in the Upper Calderdale area, you’ll likely see the structure’s imposing height dominating the countryside for miles around.
Originally built in 1857 by James Green at the end of the Crimean War, Stoodley Pike Monument is only reachable on foot by the various Right-Of-Way trails snaking up the hillside.
One of the most popular routes tends to be the Stoodley Pike Circular Hike which begins from Hebden Bridge town centre.
Coming in at around 10km (6 miles), the walk isn’t too taxing but does involve a steep ascent up Stoodley Pike hill. Nevertheless, once you reach the summit I’m sure you’ll agree the views from up top are well worth the effort!
Once you reach the monument, you’re also able to climb its spiral staircase for an even better vantage point – though be sure to watch your footing since it’ gets pretty dark inside!
For more info on this walk, make sure you click through to our Stoodley Pike walk blog post .
Lumb Hole Falls Trail
Start Point: Hebden Bridge, HX7 6JE Distance from Hebden Bridge Centre: 0 miles
Also nicknamed ‘Lumb Falls’ or even the ‘Hebden Bridge Waterfall’ , this Yorkshire gem has been enjoyed by those in the know as a hidden wild swimming location for years.
A stunning waterfall nestled in tranquil woodland and teeming with plantlife, if you visit during season you may even be greeted to an abundance of wild garlic and blue bells illuminating the surrounding landscape.
Many visitors wanting to check out the hidden Hebden Bridge Waterfall just drive to the location and park on a nearby road, although I think it’s much more rewarding to walk here and incorporate it as part of a larger trail instead.
The starting point can be from wherever you’d like, but I’d recommend starting either from Hebden Bridge centre or even perhaps Hardcastle Crags carpark.
The Lumb Hole Falls Circular is my favourite route to see the waterfall, which starts from the town centre and is around 9 miles in length.
For more info, be sure to click through to our detailed ‘Lumb Hole Falls’ step-by-step guide.
Widdop & Gorple Reservoir Walk
Start Point: Widdop Rd, Hebden Bridge HX7 7AZ Distance From Hebden Bridge Centre: 10.5 miles
Located a few miles north on the hills above Hebden Bridge, this splendid stroll takes you around the picturesque reservoirs situated within the craggy landscape of Widdop Valley .
An ideal option for those looking to get away from the crowds, the remoteness of the beautiful uplands offers a peaceful respite from the usual day-to-day.
Circling Widdop reservoir and climbing onto Shuttleworth Moor before descending towards both Gorple Upper and Gorple Lower Reservoir, this 4-mile ramble is crammed with interest and spectacular sights to see.
Unknown to many who walk here, the unusual rock formations dotted around the moors of Gorple and Widdop are actually rich in folk lore and it’s even been speculated they may share ties with the occult.
With a particular rock carving showing an eerie resemblance to the hawk-headed Egyptian god, Horus, some speculate this could actually be linked to an old occult group from Bradford named the Temple of Horus . Fascinating stuff!
Free parking is available at the car park on Widdop Road, and nearby you’ll also find the Pack Horse Inn – a quaint 17 th Century pub that’s perfect for a beer and bite to eat after your walk.
Hurstwood Reservoir Walk
Start Point: Hurstwood Reservoir, Worsthorne, BB10 3LG Distance From Hebden Bridge Centre: 11.4 miles
Located just next to the Widdop & Gorple reservoirs you can also find Hustwood .
A charming rural village that’s steeped in local history, the hamlet contains three sites which are categorised as Grade II listed buildings in the National Heritage List for England: Hurstwood Hall, The Great Barn and Spenser House.
The Spensers were one of the most prominent historical families of the area, best known for Edmund Spenser – widely regarded as one of the best poets of the English language, who lived here between 1576-1578.
Just to the east of the village is Hurstwood Reservoir, a popular walking spot for locals which is also part of the Penine Bridleway National Trail and the Burnley Way footpaths.
The Hurstwood Reservoir walk is a short scenic stroll in itself, but being conveniently connected to other well-known trails means you can improvise and extend your rambles to be as long as you’d like.
You could even encompass the Widdop & Gorple reservoirs mentioned above into your stroll!
With free parking available just outside of Hustwood reservoir entrance, this spot is always a great walking choice.
Gaddings Dam Walk – ‘Todmorden Beach’
Start Point: Lumbutts Rd, Todmorden OL14 6JJ Distance From Hebden Bridge Centre: 4.9 miles
Laying claim to the title of ‘highest beach in England’ , Gaddings Dam lies hidden up on the moors between Todmorden and Walsden; only a 15-minute drive from the centre of Hebden Bridge.
Originally built as a means to supply water to the area’s thriving cotton-mill industry in the late 1800s, today the dam is enjoyed by ramblers who make the journey to admire the gorgeous views and visit the small stretch of sand nicknamed ‘Todmorden Beach’.
Residing 355 metres above sea level and 60 miles inland, the beach is certainly one of the country’s most unusual wild swimming spots.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, you’ll also find it’s a popular picnic site during the summer months and is known for attracting quite the crowd.
With no nearby parking, a trusty pair of walking boots are required if you’d like to head up to the beach for yourself!
While there are several routes to reach the beach, the shortest and most popular is the trail from Shepherd’s Rest Inn on Lumbutts Road.
However, parking here can be notoriously hard work due to the popularity of the dam. You aren’t able to park at the pub and the roads are particularly narrow.
Our recommendation would be to park either in Walsden or Todmorden and start your walk from here. It only takes around half an hour to reach the trail starting point at Shepherd’s Rest and the extra steps make reaching the beach feel all the more rewarding!
For those interested in visiting, make sure you head over to our comprehensive Gaddings Dam post here .
Gorpley Clough Walk
Start Point: Gorpley Clough Car Park, Todmorden OL14 7HU Distance From Hebden Bridge Centre: 6.4 miles
A criminally underrated ramble just a 15 minute-drive west from Hebden Bridge, Gorpley Clough has long served as a hidden paradise for the small minority in the know.
A steep-sided ravine trail hugging the riverbed, keep your eyes peeled for the gorgeous waterfall vistas.
Even better, as you exit the woodland towards the top end of the footpath you’ll come across Gorpley Reservoir ; a marvelous spot for nature watching and picnicking.
On our last visit we must have spent a good 30-minutes here, just sat on the hillside watching the variety of bird-life frolicking in the waters!
The standard trail to the reservoir and back shouldn’t take longer than 1-2 hours for most, though hikers eager for a longer outing are also able to continue way beyond the reservoir.
With free parking available at the trail entrance along Bacup Road, the car park is admittedly rather small. Alternatively, there tends to be ample parking available along Bacup Road near Gorpley Clough, so you shouldn’t have to park too far afield!
Top tip – A fan of waterfalls? Then don’t forget to click on through to our detailed post listing 10 Of The Very Best Waterfalls In Yorkshire 👈
Burnley to Hebden Bridge Walk
Start Point: Manchester Road, Burnley, BB11 4HF Distance From Hebden Bridge Centre: 12.9 miles
If you’re struggling to decide on which walk to venture on, why not simply opt for this trail which combines several of the rambles above!
Starting from Burnley, this route has you hiking along Widdop, Gorple and Hurstwood Reservoir, followed by a scenic ramble through Harcastle Crags – all before dropping down into Hebden Bridge for some well-deserved pub grub.
Coming in at 14-miles in length, the trail is long but relatively flat throughout (except the brief incline from Hurstwood Reservoir to the Gorple Stones), making it achievable for most abilities.
For more information, be sure to check our detailed ‘ Burnley To Hebden Bridge Country Walk ’ breakdown.
More great walks?
These are but a handful of our personal favourite walks around the Hebden Bridge area.
The surrounding landscape is jam packed with so many lovely trails – they just all can’t be squeezed into one small blog post!
With a plethora of countryside routes, canal footpaths and charming towns to discover, wherever you decide to walk I’m positive you’ll have a cracking ramble.
For more hiking ideas, feel free to trawl through our ‘BEST Walks In Yorkshire’ blog post.
Happy walking 🚶🚶
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The hebden bridge loop.
We’d been running Hebden Bridge Hostel for three years before I got the time (and the courage) to take on the Pennine Way. Ten years before I’d attempted the 260+ mile path, only to drop out injured after 2 weeks. Ten years older I wasn’t surprised to find it was just as tough. During the walk many things passed through my mind, but the most important seems to have been “Why doesn’t the Pennine Way go through Hebden Bridge?”
Once back home it didn’t take too long to stumble across ears receptive to the plan and the ‘Hebden Bridge Loop on the Pennine Way’ was born. On 25 th April 2015 the 50 th Anniversary of the launch of the Pennine Way was marked (in Hebden Bridge at least) by the official opening of the ‘Loop. More than 200 walkers from the north came to help us celebrate the launch. We were overwhelmed. I even made a speech.
The Hebden Bridge Loop is a walk of two halves. For the Pennine wayfarer, the Loop serves as a picturesque, off-road, direct route to-and-from the Pennine Way directly into the heart of Hebden Bridge.
For the visitor to Hebden Bridge the Loop, including a section of the Pennine Way, is one of the better known local walks – a 6 mile, well signposted, circular route that takes in Heptonstall, Horsehold, Jack Bridge and Jumble Hole as well as some of the most stunning local moorland ‘tops’ and views.
For further information on the Loop (including map download) see www.hebdenbridgeloop.org.uk ,
A (paper) map is available from Hebden Bridge’s Tourist Office and if you are interested in budget, walker-friendly, eco acccommodation for your visit you’ll find us at www.hebdenbridgehostel.co.uk
Dave Weirdigan, co-owner, Hebden Bridge Hostel
2 thoughts on “ The Hebden Bridge Loop ”
I saw and ‘liked’ the Facebook post that hebdenbridge.org had shared about the Hebden Bridge loop walk. Australian friends who were about to arrive to visit us saw the Facebook post and loved the look of the walk so we added it to the list of things to do while they were here. The walk is so varied, a great introduction to the area – hills, cobbles, trails, fields, meadows, buttercups, woods (we saw a deer!), sheep, cows, streams, canal. We were blessed with perfect blue skies on the day and between the four of us took about 300 photos! So picturesque. Took us about 4 1/2 hours, but we stopped numerous times to enjoy the views and take photos. We all absolutely loved the walk and would highly recommend it.
Hi Tania, glad u enjoyed the ‘loop. Would you mind if I used your comment on the loop website? Also would you be happy to share your pictures of the day, again for possible inclusion on the web? Best wishes, [email protected]
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Walks in Hebden Bridge
Our selection of top walks in and around Hebden Bridge is really testimony to the things that make this town so popular – with its locals and visitors alike. Start at the historic Hebden Bridge Picture House , and wander along the high street past brewery taproom Vocation & Co , bar and bottle shop Drink and grocery shop and cooperative Valley Organics for an introduction to the winner of best Small Town in the British High Street Awards 2016. Amble around the market itself Thursday through Sunday; it won Best Small Market at The Great British Market Awards. Alternatively, you could head out into the stunning natural landscape that surrounds the town.
There’s Hardcastle Crags , a National Trust site that combines 400 acres of woodland with Gibson Mill – the trust’s flagship sustainable building, which is home to toilets and a café. Or Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden , with its naturalistic alpine garden overlooking the Yorkshire moors. There’s even a local hostel specifically geared towards walkers, with routes through the surrounding woodland starting practically from the front door; it’s close to three national trails, and only around an eight mile walk to Haworth, former home of the Brontës.
Hebden Bridge is, then, brilliantly well connected by walking routes: a hike up the Calder Valley, through the winding stone paths in Eaves Wood, leads to Heptonstall, an ancient village where the poet Sylvia Plath is buried (we recommend ending up in the The Fox and Goose pub on your return). A walk along the Rochdale Canal leads to Todmorden in one direction, or Mytholmroyd, birthplace of Plath’s husband Ted Hughes, and Sowerby Bridge in the other. Read on to discover all these routes and more.
Our top picks
Hardcastle Crags, Gibson Mill, Midgehole Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7AW - Visit now
Hardcastle Crags , just a short distance from the centre of Hebden Bridge , boasts some spectacular natural scenery – and over 15 miles of footpaths along which to explore it. Owned by the National Trust, the valley combines 400 acres of woodland with the 19th century Gibson Mill: there’s a varied network of waymarked trails to follow, as well as the Weaving Shed Café and toilets for walkers in the mill. Choose from the accessible Estate Track, which is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, the Crags Constitutional, a medium difficulty trek that passes the crags themselves, or the Railway Trail, a strenuous walk over challenging terrain in the upper valley. On the way, keep your eyes peeled for roe deer, tumbling waterfalls and hay meadows teeming with wildlife; once known as the ‘Switzerland of Yorkshire’, the valley is a stunning natural haven.
Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden
Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden, Alpine House, 22A Slack Top, Heptonstall,, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7HA - Visit now
A walk around Slack Top Alpine Nursery and Garden is to be transported into a landscape of alpines, lovingly grown by award-winning team Allison and Michael Mitchell. High above Hebden Bridge you’ll find a naturalistic alpine garden, begun in 1980 and featuring ponds, rock and scree beds and a 100ft planted wall. Spanning a quarter of an acre, Slack Top has gently sloping paths overlooking the Yorkshire moors; it’s worth noting that these are dotted with steps, and so not suitable for wheelchairs. Run by a small team, the nursery and garden also doesn’t have a café or toilet on site – but there is a fantastic selection of alpine plants to buy, suitable for both experienced growers and newcomers alike.
Hebden Bridge Market
Hebden Bridge Market, St. George's Square Car Park, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7BZ - Visit now
Another of the gentler selections in our Walks in Hebden Bridge guide, this pick is a tribute to the enjoyment to be had wandering around Hebden Bridge Market , perusing a different set of vendors depending on which day you visit. The market operates 9am to 4pm four days a week, each with its own focus: Thursdays feature fresh produce and wider retail, Fridays second hand goods, Saturdays are for arts, crafts and artisan products and Sundays are focussed around local produce and street food. Highlights include the natural yeast doughnuts from Ant & Doh, sticky toffee pudding from Earby, natural skincare handmade in Hebden, Indian dosas and specially made condiments. This is an award-winning market, after all, and perfect for a leisurely stroll between the stalls.
Hebden Bridge Hostel
Hebden Bridge Hostel, Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8DG - Visit now
Hebden Bridge Hostel’s location makes it a great starting point for one of the many walks radiating out from the town, with routes leading from the front door through the woods and up onto the moors. Hardcastle Crags , another of our top picks, is within walking distance, and the hostel is close to three national trails: The Pennine Way, Pennine Bridleway and Calderdale Way. A longer hike, approximately eight miles, will take you to Haworth, home of the Brontës. The hostel itself is geared towards walkers, too; guests are asked to wind down early, with quiet from 10pm and silence after midnight, and to be up and out before the main hostel closes at 10am each morning. If you’re serious about exploring Hebden Bridge and the surrounding countryside on foot, this is a great place to stay and start from.
The Fox and Goose
The Fox and Goose, 7 Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 6AZ - Visit now
The Fox and Goose pub is a much-loved, community owned pub (one of the few of its kind in Yorkshire) – and a good spot to end up at after a walk from Hebden Bridge to Heptonstall and back again. There are a number of routes you can take from Hebden Bridge to the hillside village, burial place of Sylvia Plath and home to a number of other excellent pubs; for a longer walk, thread your way Eaves Wood, a hidden gem with stone paths that lead up the valley. Heptonstall is worth the climb, with its cobbled streets and 500 year-old cottages, as well as breathtaking views. On your return, The Fox and Goose is the place to stop for a restorative pint; this award-winning pub has a dartboard, vegan pasties, and an open fire in the colder months.
Vocation & Co
Vocation & Co, 10 New Rd, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AD - Visit now
We’ve used Vocation & Co as the inspiration for a walk beginning in Hebden Bridge, ascending Stoodley Pike and ending up in Cragg Vale. Why? This friendly bar on Hebden’s New Road is the flagship taproom of Vocation Brewery, an independent company based in Cragg Vale that produces a fantastic selection of beers. Bookended by the taproom and brewery, this walk takes in the 121 foot monument that crowns Stoodley Pike, and the exceptional views from the top, as well as cyclist mecca Cragg Vale. Strenuous at points, this route is well worth the effort.
Hebden Bridge Picture House
Hebden Bridge Picture House, New Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8AD - Visit now
One of the last few civic owned cinemas in the country, with a 100 year history, epic legroom and tea served in proper mugs allowed into the cinema itself, Hebden Bridge Picture House is as good a starting point as any from which to get to know the town on foot. The locals are fiercely proud of this welcoming institution, and of the other independent venues to be found by walking further along their award-winning high street: brewery taproom Vocation & Co , bar and bottle shop Drink , grocery shop and cooperative Valley Organics and popular bookshop The Book Case . If you loop back and off the main drag, vintage boutique Lucy and the Caterpillar and courtyard kitchen the Grilled Cheese Booth are also well worth a visit.
The Trades Club
The Trades Club, Holme Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8EE - Visit now
The legendary Trades Club – a celebrated small music venue and socialist members cooperative club – sits close to the River Calder, and to the canalside walking routes that run through Hebden Bridge. Leading from the town to Todmorden in one direction, and to Ted Hughes’ birthplace Mytholmroyd, or Sowerby Bridge beyond this in the other, these are leafy, pleasant walks by the side of the water, passing locks and wildlife on the way. Changing beautifully with the seasons, these trails are appealing for the knowledge that, if you follow the river, you can’t go wrong. For another way of experiencing the Rochdale Canal, try one of the ever-popular Hebden Bridge Cruises .
Where to go in Hebden Bridge
Independent gallery based in Hebden Bridge.
Learn from master jewellers Robert and Jenny Dutson with their jewellery making workshops and courses at The Workshop.
The Fox and Goose is a co-operative, community run pub with local popularity that was Calderdale Pub of the Year 2019.
Grilled Cheese Booth offer an ever-changing selection of locally-sourced grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, breads, meats and cheeses.
Woody’s Pizza offer artisan NY style 12″ & 14” dough, skin on fries, killer garlic breads, locally made donuts, ice-cream and more.
Drink? is an indie bottle shop offering a wide selection of craft beer, spirits and natural wine with a new bar out-back.
Vocation & Co is a much loved independent bar and kitchen from local Hebden Bridge brewery offering a selection of cask and keg beers.
A charming, traditional cottage with two double bedrooms and a third with bunk beds.
Hebden Bridge Hostel is a well-located hotel adjoining a Grade II listed former Baptist Chapel offering easy, budget-friendly stays.
Garnett Bed and Breakfast offers two beautiful bedrooms in a Grade II listed building with easy access to local attractions and tourism.
Local, ethical and organic fruit, vegetables and wholefoods, including unpackaged products for customers to fill into their own containers.
Vintage boutique selling hand-picked items from the 1930’s onwards, as well as its own made items.
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West Yorkshire District Guides
A selection of curated spots showcasing the best local attractions, shops and tourism on offer in beautiful Hebden Bridge.
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8 best hebden bridge walks.
If you’re heading to the beautiful Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, there’s no chance you can’t not enjoy a stunning walk in the fantastic surrounds.
From reservoir strolls to riverside jaunts, full-blown Pennine Way hikes to climbs that boast amazing viewpoints, there’s so many great walks to choose from in the Calder Valley region that I’m bringing you my top 8 highlights to try and make it easier for you to choose.
Let’s get stuck in…
- Top 15 Things to Do in Hebden Bridge
- 11 Best Hebden Bridge Pubs
- 9 Amazing Places to Visit on the Yorkshire Coast
This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
#1 Hardcastle Crags
A real favourite with families, friends and dog walkers alike, the fantastic Hardcastle Crags is a National Trust trail which begins right from the edge of Hebden Bridge.
Follow the river out beyond town and stop at Gibson Mill for a lovely coffee and cake in this historic spot, before either looping back towards Mideghold car park and the Stepping Stones along the Upper Woodland Mill Walks.
Alternatively, you can continue on to Blake Head Reservoir – which adds another 3.5 miles onto this circular loop.
Up until Gibsons Mill, the trail is flat and fairly easy, although after this point it starts to climb towards to reservoir.
For those who prefer a short walk, parking is available at either Midgehole car park or Clough Hole car park, both of which are free to NT members.
For non-members, parking costs £5 and is payable via the Pay and Display machine.
#2 Stoodley Pike
One of the toughest hikes from Hebden Bridge, Stoodley Pike is a good half day walk that is, however, well worth the exertion.
The best way to take it in, in my opinion, is to enjoy the 6.5 mile hike that links Hebden Bridge with the nearby town of Todmorden via Stoodley Pike.
Taking you along a section of the Pennine Way, this challenging climb will have you ascending behind the train station up onto the ridge.
From here, you continue to climb in the direction of the Withens Clough Reservoir, before heading east to Stoodley Pike and then down to Rochdale Canal and into Todmodern.
Designed in 1854 by local architect John Green, and completed in 1856, the Stoodely Pike monument is Grade II list and replaced an earlier structure, started in 1814, which was constructed to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon and the surrender of Paris.
Once at the monument, you can actually climb it too for even better views.
Take the spiral staircase of 39 steps, accessed from the north side, and enjoy the spread of the valley infront of you, before enjoying a refreshing drink or lunch at one of the great cafes / pubs in Todmodern.
#3 Widdop Reservoir
A circular route that’s located just outside of Hebden Bridge, this top trail is also popular with cyclists.
A lovely 2.4 mile path spans out around the water’s edge and, even though you’re only a short drive from town, you’ll feel miles away here.
A flat trail, which may be a bit muddy in parts, this is nevertheless an easy route great for families, birders and runners!
Afterwards, you can head on along the road a short distance to reach the 400+ year old Packhorse Inn – the perfect place for a spot of lunch!
#4 Wadsworth Moors & Old Town
And another top walk that builds in a great food stop is Wadsworth Moors and Old Town – a small settlement that sits just above Hebden Bridge.
When I visited Hebden, I stayed in the fab Hebden Bridge Hostel and could actually walk pretty much through the woods behind the hostel, all the way up to the ridge and onto the moors.
Giving amazing views across the valley, and allowing you to walk for miles, this is a place to truly get away from the Hebden tourist crowds.
On the way back down, don’t miss coming back to Hebden through the Old Town, and stopping in at the amazing Old Town Post Office – a great coffee spot in a still operational, yes you guessed, post office – CUTE!
#5 Gaddings Dam
This fab Hebden Bridge walk is a little out of town, but is such a unique trail that it certainly deserves to be on this list.
The best option is to either drive or get the train to the town of Todmorden from Hebden and then head towards The Shepherd’s Rest Inn.
From there, you can take the walking trail up to the Dam – don’t miss spying Stoodley Pike over the left!
Also don’t miss bringing your swimwear, at least in the summer!
And that’s because you can actually swim in the water here (if it’s warm enough) and then stretch out on the sandy strip, close your eyes and pretend you’re at the beach!
What a Yorkshire treat!
#6 Lumb Hole Falls
And in at number 6 on this list of top Hebden bridge walks, it’s Lumb Hole Falls – a 10.6 mile circular that will take you up to High Brown Knoll.
You’ll then pass the Falls of course, before looping back round and past Gibson Mill – the perfect place for a coffee and cake refresh.
Decent footwear is a must for this trail as there’s some steep ascents and descents, as well as slippery patches especially nearer to the falls, but come prepared and you can even enjoy a dip in the water here during the summer.
#7 Old Chamber Circular
The walk I enjoyed after a friend’s birthday the night before, let me tell you that this Old Chamber Circular, is the perfect Hebden walk if you’re looking to shift a hangover!
A great option because it starts right from town, you then get a bit of a climb as you ascend the ridge and can then pretty much keep going as far as you like along the top, before looping back down in town.
The views from the ridge summit are amazing, especially on a clear day, and you’ll pass through farms and cute hamlets as you go.
A peaceful spot, with expansive views and plenty of fresh air, this is definitely a great Hebden Bridge hike.
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Mini Travel Guide to Hebden Bridge
Where is Hebden Bridge?
Situated in the Calder Valley in Yorkshire, Hebden Bridge is in the north of England.
The nearest large town is Halifax. The nearest cities are Manchester and Leeds.
How to Get to Hebden Bridge?
One of the great things about Hebden Bridge is how easy it is to reach from both Leeds and Manchester.
With direct and fast trains from both of these major northern cities, Hebden Bridge is amazingly simple and affordable to get to.
Both Leeds and Manchester also boast international airports, which means getting to Hebden from even further afield is also pretty easy.
As always, I use Trainline to book my rail tickets in the UK and Skyscanner to find the best flight prices.
Where to Stay in Hebden Bridge?
- Budget: Hebden Bridge Hostel
I stayed in a lovely private ensuite room here and highly recommend it
- Mid-Range: Grooms House Guesthouse
Top-rated rooms in a great location with superb staff
- Luxury: Croft Mill
Luxury apartments right in the historic town centre
Best Time to Visit Hebden Bridge?
The best time to visit Hebden Bridge is definitely during the summer months in my opinion.
The better weather from June to August will allow you to get out and explore the glorious walks and historic sights with ease.
That said, I visited Hebden Bridge in February and loved it!
Spring sunny days were perfect for taking in the highlights without the summer crowds!
How Long to Spend There?
I’d allow at least 3 days to explore Hebden Bridge and the surrounding area.
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And there you have it, my list of the top 8 Hebden Bridge walks.
Which is your favourite on the list?
Know of any I missed out?
Join the discussion and drop your top Hebden hike picks into the comments box below…
Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie adventures the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile
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Explore Hebden Bridge
Go Jauntly have a fantastic walk just for you.
You can check out this walking route on the Go Jauntly app. Your walking app for everyday outdoor adventures.
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Step 1: Begin at Hebden Bridge railway station. If you’re arriving by car, you can park here too.
Step 2: Turn left along the canal tow path towards bridge 16.
Step 3: There are lots of plants and flowers along the towpath. Look out for butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies during the summer months.
Step 4: Dragonflies hold their wings out like an airplane when resting, whereas damselflies fold their wings along the body. Spot the difference!
Step 5: You’ll soon approach the town and marina.
Step 6: The buildings are full of heritage and character - most of them are old textile mills.
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Hebden Bridge Walks
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- Hebden Bridge Canal Walk - Enjoy a waterside walk from Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge along a lovely section of the Rochdale Canal
- Withens Clough Reservoir - Enjoy an easy circular walk around this attractive reservoir in the south Pennines
- Stoodley Pike - This circular walk takes you to the Stoodley Pike monument from Todmorden
- Hardcastle Crags - Explore this beautiful wooded valley in the South Pennines on this walk around Hardcastle Crags
- Haworth-Hebden Bridge Walk - This walking path takes you through some beautiful Yorkshire countryside from Haworth to Hebden Bridge
- Calderdale Way - The Calderdale Way is a walking circuit around the beautiful district of Calderdale in West Yorkshire
- Rochdale Canal - Follow the Rochdale canal from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge on this waterside route through Greater Manchester and Yorkshire
- Lumb Hole Falls - This walk visits a series of waterfalls just to the north of Hebden Bridge
- Hebdon Bridge to Heptonstall Walk - This circular walk takes you from Hebdon Bridge to the nearby village of Heptonstall before exploring the area to the west of the settlements
- Mytholmroyd - This historic Yorkshire village is a lovely place to start a walk
There's lots of lovely pubs, restaurants and cafes to choose from in the town. One highlight is the excellent Rim Nam Thai Restaurant . It's located in a wonderful spot right on the canal side just a short distance from The Hebden Bridge Picture House. It's a great place to enjoy a fine meal with a lovely scenic view. You can find it at Butlers Wharf at postcode HX7 8AF. A little to the west of the town centre there's also the noteworthy Fox & Goose Inn . The pub is the first community-owned pub in West Yorkshire. The friendly place is well worth some investigation with its cosy interior with a roaring fire and an exhibition space for local artists to display their work. Outside there's a lovely hillside beer garden which is great on warmer days. The place is also very dog friendly and will provide water bowls and free biscuits. You can find the pub at 7 Heptonstall Road with a postcode of HX7 6AZ for your sat navs. On the walk you could stop off in Pecket Well at the noteworthy Robin Hood Inn. The historic 17th century coaching inn has carvings of 2 men in Lincoln Green and is inscribed “If Robin Hood be not at home come take a pot with little John”. They serve traditional pub food and a fine selection of ales. If the weather is good you can sit outside in the garden area and enjoy splendid views towards Stoodley Pike . In the colder months there's a cosy interior with with 2 log burning fires to keep you warm.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just to the east of Harcdcastle Crags is one of the hidden gems of the area at Lumb Hole Falls . These pretty waterfalls are located on the Crimsworth Beck and are a popular place for wild swimming and walks. There's also a plaque to Ted Hughes poem 'Six young Men' which concerns a group of men photographed at the falls shortly before they went to fight in the first World War. The circular Hebdon Bridge to Heptonstall Walk starts from the town and heads to the neighbouring village which is located just to the north west. There's some interesting old buildings in the attractive village including the 16th century Stag Cottage and the ruined church which was founded in 1260. There's also some fine old pubs to investigate here as well. For more walking ideas in the county see the Yorkshire Walks page.
The pleasantly renovated canal wharf in Hebden Bridge.
�Bridge Gate. Until recently Bridge Gate was a busy main route through the centre of Hebden Bridge for vehicles heading for Haworth and Keighley on the A6033. Today Bridge Gate is closed to all motor vehicles and is a popular pedestrian walkway through the centre of the town. Photo taken in September 2008
Looking north-west along the Rochdale Canal towards the centre of Hebden Bridge from Mayroyd Mill Lock, near the railway station.
Hebden Bridge Mill. Now an arts & crafts centre & small retail outlets.
A view over the town and countryside from an elevated position.
Red Acre Mill on The Rochdale Canal in Mytholmroyd�
Mill at Hardcastle Crags
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Happy Valley Tour
Step into the world of Happy Valley on our filming location walking tour and visit the picturesque town of Hebden Bridge and the village of Heptonstall. Nestled in the heart of the stunning Yorkshire Moors, you’ll learn about Hebden Bridge’s rich history and how it acted as the backdrop to this gritty and captivating British crime drama. This guided, 2 ½ hour walking tour will take you on a journey through all 3 seasons of Happy Valley and you’ll get an insider’s view of the places where Catherine Cawood, played by Sarah Lancashire, fought crime, cared for her community and protected her family.
The tour starts at Hebden Bridge railway station which featured in series 3 of Happy Valley when Ryan bunked off school to see Tommy in court. As you walk through Hebden Bridge you’ll pass by the famous music venue, Trades Club, before making your way to some of the town’s independent shops. During the tour, you’ll be given the chance to visit the shop where Sarah Lancashire bought Happy Valley leaving presents for all the cast and crew at the end of series 3.
As you meander through the town, you will see the house that was used as Clare and Neil’s house in series 3, when Ryan stayed with them after visiting Tommy in prison. Then you’ll step back in time to see Ryan, played by Rhys Connah, as a young lad of 8 years old, all the way back in series 1 when we see him getting told off by his granny.
Strolling on through the town you will walk along the street where Catherine admits to Joyce that she doesn’t have an alibi for the murders in series 2. Other locations that feature in the tour include the café where Clare accidentally reveals a secret to Daniel in series 1, where Catherine and Joyce see a Michael Jackson tribute act and the moment when Ann Gallagher drunkenly compares Catherine to God!
Of course, no Happy Valley tour would be complete without a stop by Catherine Cawood’s house where you’ll see the window that Tommy broke in order to sneak into her home. You’ll hear about the scenes that were filmed here including the explosive finale to the series and how it was actually filmed. While you’re by Catherine’s home you’ll get a peak around the back where you’ll see the conservatory where Catherine slept during series 2 when Llinka stayed with Catherine’s neighbour Winnie. You’ll also get a chance to visit the spot where Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton, dumped the Knezevic’s car and where Clare, played by Siobhan Finneran, comforts Catherine after her showdown with her evil nemesis Tommy over her kitchen table.
Making your way onto another of Hepden Bridge’s bustling shopping streets, you’ll uncover the locations used for Neil’s corner shop, the place where Clare and Neil met and the spot where Tommy Lee Royce introduces himself to his son for the first time.
Part of the tour includes a short bus journey (not included in the price of the tour) from Hebden Bridge to Heptonstall village where the tour will end. But even the bus journey includes more Happy Valley locations as you will go to the same stop that Tommy used when arriving in Hebden Bridge in series 1.
Upon arriving in the beautiful village of Heptonstall, you will visit the graveyard where Catherine’s daughter, Becky is buried. While you are there you’ll have the chance to take in the tranquillity of your surroundings and see the ruins of St Thomas A’ Becket church, as seen in the show.
Throughout the tour, our knowledgeable and local guide will share fascinating stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the making of Happy Valley as well as information about the actors and the production team.
Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor to the Calder Valley, our Happy Valley tour promises to be a truly unforgettable experience that is not to be missed. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing the beauty and magic of Yorkshire’s Happy Valley with you.
- See locations from all three seasons of Happy Valley
- Get a photo at a Happy Valley crime scene
- Hear about the making of the series
- Find which Hebden eateries were used as filming locations
About this tour
Select Sundays at 1pm (Mar-Oct)
Adult (17 years+): £15
Hebden Bridge Railway Station.
Village of Heptonstall
Gratuities (optional), Bus Fare (approx £3 in cash or contactless)
Other Tour Options To Consider
Heartbeat Tour of Filming Locations
Step back to the 1960s on a guided bus tour exploring Heartbeat country in Yorkshire. Explore Aidensfield, Whitby and the beautiful moorlands of Yorkshire.
Line of Duty Tour in Belfast
Enjoy a 2 ½ hour Line of Duty Tour and see the locations from the popular crime drama that has been filmed in Belfast since Series 2.
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2. Pennine Club
Walking in Calderdale
Calderdale is a special part of Yorkshire. Few locations offer this blend of beauty and history in such a small place. Our location in Pennine Yorkshire gives us the wonderful rivers, hills, valleys and moorland, but Calderdale is much more than beauty and great views. Calderdale is full of places that need to be there, that have a purpose, not just places to see. These places are part of the soul of Calderdale, places which help to tell Calderdale’s story. And what a story it is. There’s no better way to immerse yourself and discover more about this beautiful area than on foot.
Calderdale was the cradle of the industrial revolution. Mills and factories brought wealth and prosperity. The people who worked in them brought a sense of true community. Most of the shops, theatres and public buildings which those communities built are still here. Victorian and Edwardian architecture framing stories of the people, who not only strived to make a success of their lives and their communities but who helped to change the world. You can find out much more about our beautiful architecture and industrial heritage through many of the guided walks on offer that allow you to experience town and country in just a few hours; so time to don your walking boots and get ‘happily lost’ in Calderdale.
Walking Information & Guides
There are so many walking routes in Calderdale, you’re spoilt for choice!
Hebden Bridge pioneered the UK initiative ‘Walkers are Welcome’ in 2007 with the aim of encouraging and creating a network of towns and villages that are welcoming to walkers. Now over 100 towns and villages across the UK have joined this community-led scheme.
Hebden Bridge , Mytholmroyd , and Todmorden are part of the Walkers Are Welcome scheme and each of these towns and villages offers several waymarked walks so you can explore their local landscape.
Whether you are looking for short, easy walks or a more strenuous option, there are many walking guides (leaflets, booklets and books) about the Calderdale area are available at to click and collect from VisitCalderale at Halifax Central Library and from the Heart of the Pennines on-line shop .
There are plenty of options if you prefer to walk with a group or with someone who knows the area and the landscape and heritage.
A programme of guided walks exploring the heritage of Calderdale is offered all year round by Calderdale Heritage Walks . The majority of these walks are centred on towns and villages, but some have a more rural feel exploring the old lanes, paths and settlements of our extensive countryside. Almost all walks take place on Sundays and cost £3 per person.
Calderdale Council’s Safer Cleaner Greener Countryside Team offer occasional guided walks as part of their extensive events programme.
There are lots of linear walks that can be done by using local buses.
You can plan walks on your own by using the West Yorkshire Metro website.
Alternatively, to make it easier, local walking groups have produced some bus walk guides, available from local Visitor Information Centres. Bus walks make it easy to do linear walks and can get you up on to the tops without a big effort!
Todmorden Bus Walks
E-Trails give you the opportunity to download images and spoken descriptions of some of the highlights of the walk as well as having an accompanying printed guide which contains a map and walk directions.
The e-Trail Apps provide audio commentaries & historical photographs which can be downloaded to a phone or tablet. They include stories of local events & people as well as information about the awe-inspiring ecology & outstanding industrial and political heritage of the area.
The printed Route Guides allow you to still enjoy the e-Trail if you don’t have a mobile phone or tablet – with the written script available to download from the website.
There are 13 e-Trails which are available from the Heart of the Pennines on-line shop .
Easy & Family Friendly Walks
You can explore the landscape of Calderdale without needing to do a strenuous hike!
There are gentle walks on relatively flat routes (the canal towpath is an ideal gentle route with you being able to choose how far you want to go). A range of these walks are on the Easy Walks page of the Hebden Bridge Walkers Action website.
There are short walks that may be a bit more strenuous but only take an hour or so. ‘Pop Out’ walks are available from Todmorden Information Centre with an example walk available on the Todwalkers website.
Halifax has a surprising and quite amazing music history. The Halifax Music Heritage Trail celebrates this important cultural history of the town. From Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart, Iggy Pop to Joy Division, Pulp, The Cure, The Jacksons, the list of artists who have played the town is long and diverse. There is usually and annual guided tour of the Trail, if one is coming up soon the details will be on our What’s On pages.
Town and village walks that explore the heritage of the area are available from the Heart of the Pennines online shop.
The Pennine Bridleway runs for 205 miles (330km) from Derbyshire to Cumbria. The Pennine Bridleway runs roughly parallel to, but separate from the Pennine Way and offers access for Horse Riders and Cyclists in addition to Walkers.
The Mary Towneley Loop is a 47 mile section of the Pennine Bridleway with a variety of tracks, looping past Blackshaw Head, Heptonstall, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Walsden. You will encounter open moorland, hidden reservoirs, ancient packhorse tracks sweeping into valleys with gritstone walls, mill chimneys and canals, all offering a glimpse of past histories.
It is easy to plan shorter walks using the Mary Townley Loop- a leaflet and map are available to download from the National Trails website .
A superb way to go walking in Calderdale – The Calderdale Way is a 50 mile (80 km) walk exploring the hills, moors and valleys of Calderdale. It is an ‘up and down’ journey with few level sections. However, the higher levels provide some exceptionally fine panoramic views and are well worth the effort.
There are numerous link paths which connect the Calderdale Way to the valley floor which means the route can be walked in several short stages. The walk encircles Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, following old packhorse ways across the open gritstone hillsides with sections of traditional stone causeway. The route passes through medieval hillside settlements such as Heptonstall, Lumbutts and Mankinholes and old mill towns on the banks of the River Calder.
A short diversion along the Pennine Way takes in the popular walk to the 100ft monument, Stoodley Pike .
The Pennine Way is a long distance trail that starts in Derbyshire and ends on the Scottish borders, offering 268 miles of some of the finest upland walking along the rugged backbone of England.
The Pennine Way enters Calderdale at Blackstone Edge, passing Stoodley Pike, dropping down into the valley at Callis, climbing back up to Colden and over the moors to Widdop. Walkers often say this stretch is one of the best on the whole route.
The route is well serviced with local buses.
To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Pennine Way, Hebden Bridge Walkers Action created a waymarked loop to Hebden Bridge and back to the Pennine Way via the ancient village of Heptonstall. The Hebden Bridge Loop makes a wonderful and moderately challenging 6 ½ mile circuit of the fantastic landscape surrounding Hebden Bridge.
The Todmorden Centenary Way is a twenty-mile circular route that can be joined at any point and walked in any order which goes through upland pastures, woodland, open moor and steep sided valleys around the market town of Todmorden. It offers a series of day and half day walks of various lengths or a whole weekend’s walking.
The Centenary Way can be joined at any point and its sections walked in any order. Walks can be devised to suit all abilities and link paths enable circular walks to be planned with the option of using public transport.
A guide to the route is available from the Heart of the Pennines online shop .
The Rochdale Canal runs for 33 miles between Sowerby Bridge in Calderdale, all the way to Manchester. It runs through the Upper Calder Valley passing Luddendenfoot, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Walsden.
The canal is close to train stations at Sowerby Bridge, Mythomroyd, Hebden Brige, Todmorden and Walsden. There is a towpath all the way which makes it a great flat walking route, suitable for buggies.
You can walk short sections by using regular local buses to get you to the start and finish of your walk.
The Calder and Hebble Navigation runs for 21 miles from Wakefield to Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire. It has 27 locks and a number of flood locks.
There is a towpath all the way which makes it a great flat walking route. You can do short sections by using local buses to get you to the start and finish of your walk.
Cromwell Bottom is one of the richest areas in Calderdale in terms of biodiversity, boasting over 130 species of plant, 200 species of birds, large numbers of mammals, amphibians and lots of invertebrate life. Anyone, adults and chiildren interested in nature, needs to visit Cromwell Bottom.
The area is mainly woodland with a really good network of paths. There is also a wheelchair and pushchair accessible route. There is a car park at the reserve and a regular bus service from Halifax bus station.
The 121 foot (37 m) high Stoodley Pike Monument dominates the skyline above Todmorden, sitting atop Stoodley Pike, a 1,300-foot (400 m) hill on the Pennine Way. The monument was designed in 1854 by local architect James Green, and completed in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War.
The Pike can only be reached on foot and are many walking routes to it from Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.
Walking guides to all these routes available from the Heart of the Pennines on-line shop .
Sheltered from the moorland wind, this deep wooded valley is an enchanting mix of wood, water and stone.
The National Trust has put in some superb waymarked walking routes suitable for all abilities. It’s a great place for children – crossing the river on stepping stones and spotting birds, insects, amphibians and if you’re lucky, deer! Hardcastle Crags offers a completely different experience throughout the year – from the icicles of midwinter to the carpet of bluebells in the spring.
The early 19th century Gibson Mill is situated within the site. A tour of the mill tells the history of the valley and the mill over the past 200 years. The mill also has changing exhibitions throughout the year.
Gibson Mill is 100% self-sufficient in energy, water and waste treatment. It has a hydro-electric system, solar photovoltaic panels and a log-burning stove fuelled by wood from the estate.
You can also rest and recharge at the Weaving Shed Café, serving delicious ethical and locally-produced food and buy the perfect gift or memento in the shop located there.
Hardcastle Crags is open all year round from dawn until dusk, admission to Hardcastle Crags and Gibson Mill are free.
Dogs are welcome (including in the café and mill) if kept under close control.
You have three options to get to Hardcastle Crags:
By car – there is parking at Midgehole and Clough Hole (fee applies)
By bus – the 906 runs from Hebden Bridge on weekends between May and October. It will take you to both the bottom and the top of the valley.
Walking – there is a route from Hebden Bridge on good paths with a bit of road walking. It will take you about 45 minutes. Pick up a guide from Hebden Bridge Visitor Centre.
Ogden Water offers excellent opportunities to escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Ogden Water is a very popular destination for picnics, walking, family outings, and nature activities. Why not enjoy a picnic at our picnic tables whilst taking in the stunning views.
There are hourly buses to Oden Water from Halifax bus station.
There is a lovely flat footpath around Ogden Water and three longer walks from the site. Friends of Calderdale Countryside have produced a detailed guide which is available at the Ogden shop and from the Heart of the Pennines online shop .
Calderdale’s parks are great for fairly flat walking on good paths and you can combine a walk in the park with woodland walks and canal towpath walks.
Shibden Park , Halifax
Manor Heath Park , Halifax
People’s Park , Halifax
Savile Park , Halifax
Wellholme Park , Brighouse
Calder Holmes Park , Hebden Bridge
Centre Vale Park , Todmorden
When you’re enjoying Calderdale’s countryside, please follow The Countryside Code .
Town and Village walks which explore the heritage of the area are available from the heart of the Pennine online shop.
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Cycling in Calderdale
Calderdale is home to some excellent road and off road cycle routes. With free bike hire, electric bikes available to hire, great bike shops and pit stops, cyclists are spoilt by what Calderdale has to offer.
Getting to & around Calderdale
Calderdale is the southernmost of the Yorkshire Dales and is easily accessible be many modes of transportation including train, bus, car, air and ferry.
need more information?
We can provide a whole host of inspirational advice and information on where to stay, where to eat and what to do whilst staying in ‘magnificently modest’ Calderdale.