ReVisit Calderdales Countryside and Open Spaces
With government guidance now allowing us all wider access to Calderdale’s magnificent outdoor spaces, like us, you’ll be keen to go outside to get some fresh Pennine air in your lungs, blow away the cobwebs and make some great new memories too.
Calderdale is blessed with stunning views, miles and miles of footpaths, bridleways and exciting on and off road cycle trails. Covering over 360 square kilometres (220+ square miles) there’s enough Calderdale for us all to enjoy. When we do, we need to observe social distancing guidelines and be considerate and respectful, so that everyone can reconnect with Calderdale’s open spaces with confidence and in a safe and responsible manner.
Protect the landscape by following the Countryside Code which explains how you can visit rural areas safely and responsibly.
Please keep your dog on a lead and stay on Public Rights of Way (footpaths and bridleways) so you don’t disturb ground nesting birds and other wildlife. Nature may have re-colonised some areas, so please tread carefully and look out for wildlife that has moved into unexpected places during the lockdown.
Please don’t picnic on private land, park outside people’s houses or in the car park of local businesses (unless you’re going to use them). If you can, try to make your journey by foot or bike. You’ll have a chance to experience the wonderful Calderdale countryside as you travel and you won’t have to worry about finding car parking space when you arrive.
PLEASE: take your litter home with you.
Protect yourself and others by always following hand washing guidance and strictly following social distancing guidelines from others who are not members of your household. Social distancing applies to any form of exercise such as walking, running or cycling but also when you’re sitting down or sunbathing too.
Here are some ideas for visiting Calderdale’s great outdoors!
Cromwell Bottom is one of the most important wildlife sites in Calderdale. Situated next to the Calder and Hebble Navigation, the River Calder runs through the reserve. The wetlands and meadows provide a variety of habitats for many insects, including butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies. The reserve is wheelchair friendly, with many of the paths being suitable for wheelchair access.
Please note that the toilet facilities at Cromwell Bottom are currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Hardcastle Crags has over 400 acres of unspoilt woodland, with deep rocky ravines, tumbling streams, oak, beech and pine woods and some of the best examples of upland meadows in the country.
Please note that the car parks are now open. Parking is £5, with payment by coin only. Limited spaces are available. If they’re full when you visit, please come back another time. In the heart of the Crags; Gibson Mill is closed but The Weaving Shed café is open for takeaway.
Jerusalem Farm and Wade Wood is a 13-hectare nature reserve with many woodland pathways and perfect spots for picnics and paddling. The kids will have great fun splashing about in the stream and there is plenty of space to play. There are also picnic tables and spots in the shade. The Calderdale Way passes close by the reserve.
Please note that toilet facilities, Jerusalem Farm campsite and Jerusalem Barn self-catering accommodation are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The car park at Jerusalem Farm is free has limited spaces and can fill early in the day. If it’s full when you visit, please come back another time. No on road parking is available due to the narrow country lanes.
Ogden Water is a large reservoir surrounded by mixed coniferous and broadleaf woodlands with numerous formal and informal paths. It’s the ideal place to explore woodlands, grasslands, streams, and ponds.
A one-way route is currently in operation around the reservoir. You are asked to walk over the dam to the far side of the reservoir and follow the path round until you get back to the visitor centre (or you can take a route through the woodland to go back to the car park).
Please note that the Visitor Centre and toilet facilities are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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
The woods lie on the outskirts of Greetland and offer an extensive network of footpaths, including part of the Calderdale Way and the chance to see a wide variety of plant and bird life.
The Walking page on VisitCalderdale.com has lots of information about easy and family-friendly walks, walking the Calderdale Way, Pennine Bridleway, Mary Towneley Loop, Hebden Bridge Loop, Local Nature Reserves, Stoodley Pike Parks and more. Guided walks such as Calderdale Heritage Walk’s summer programme are currently suspended as per COVID-19 guidance, but will hopefully be resuming later this year.
Calderdale is home to some excellent road and off road cycle routes. As a cyclist, you’ll be spoilt by what Calderdale has to offer. Please remember when cycling off road to stick to bridleways, as cycling is not allowed on our footpaths.
When you’re out and about, please enjoy taking photos of your surroundings and share them with us at VisitCalderdale's social meida channels on:
We’d love to see them and share them with others!