Leisure & Outdoors

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  1. Calder & Hebble Navigation

    Sowerby Bridge

    Calder & Hebble Navigation

    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. The...
    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.
  2. North Dean Woods

    Halifax

    North Dean Woods

    North Dean Wood is an example of the type of woodland that used to cover much of the countryside in the North of England. The woods lie on the outs...
    North Dean Wood is an example of the type of woodland that used to cover much of the countryside in the North of England. The woods lie on the outskirts of Greetland and offer an extensive network of footpaths, including part of the Calderdale Way. You will also discover a wide variety of plant and birdlife. The entrance to the wood is near to Clay House and Clay House Park. Oaks are the most common trees in the wood, but in some areas Birch trees are dominant. You will also find Beech, Sycamore, Rowan, holly, Alder and ash trees. Over 60 different species of birds have been recorded in North Dean Wood. Some are resident all year, some are summer visitors arriving in spring and leaving in autumn and a few are winter visitors. A wide range of plant life can be found, from mosses, liverworts and lichens to the mighty trees and some fungi, which offer a varied and colourful display, especially in the autumn. The many flowering plants include Heather, Bilberry, Wood Sorrel and Bluebells. Wildlife in North Dean can be difficult to observe, with many of the residents being nocturnal and the remainder keeping well hidden even when active during the day. Most often seen are rabbits and squirrels. Foxes and Stoats may also be seen although both are largely nocturnal . Smaller mammals such as Shrews, Voles, Mice and hedgehogs are present, but seldom seen. Frogs, Toad and Newts can be found in the wettest areas of the Wood. The visible rocks in North Dean Wood are from the Upper Carboniferous Period (formed about 250 million years ago). The rocks belong to the Millstone Grit Series. The valley floor is covered with a thick layer of gravel and sand, deposited in the Late Glacial Period when, as the ice melted, vast quantities of water flowed into what is now Calderdale through the gaps at Waldsden and Cliviger. On top of this gravel is silt deposited by the River Calder, on which the plant cover grows. There are regular bus services from Huddersfield and Halifax bus stations to Greetland.
  3. People's Park, Halifax

    Halifax

    People's Park

    People's Park is one of the finest surviving examples of a "Joseph Paxton" Park. Created in 1857, the Park was donated to the people of Halifax by ...
    People's Park is one of the finest surviving examples of a "Joseph Paxton" Park. Created in 1857, the Park was donated to the people of Halifax by Sir Francis Crossley. It is to be maintained by Calderdale Council, then the 'Halifax Corporation', for all time. Situated at the Western edge of Halifax, the 12.5 acre site is in the heart of a conservation area. It provides a green and pleasant haven. A restoration programme that began in 1995 has revitalised the park with new facilities such as the children's play area, public toilets and the visitor's centre. The bandstand, water features (including the central fountain, serpentine pools, gargoyle fountains in the pavilion pools), statues, balustrading, pavilion and cast iron bridges have all been conserved and repaired and disabled access provided to the park via the college entrance and onto the terrace promenade. People's Park has been awarded the coveted Green Flag status.
  4. Hali-Facts Trail front page

    Halifax

    Hali-Facts Heritage Discovery Trail

    This Heritage Discovery Trail has been designed for children and families, but will be enjoyed by people of all...

    This Heritage Discovery Trail has been designed for children and families, but will be enjoyed by people of all ages. It will take you on a walking tour around Halifax town centre, asking you to use your detective skills of observation, thinking, note-taking and sketching as you go.

    You can complete the Discovery Trail in a way that suits you. It can be done in ‘bite-size’ chunks over several visits or if you are feeling brave and have a lot of energy, you can try it all in one go!

    Many of the tasks can be completed by looking at the outsides of the buildings but sometimes, you will be invited to pop indoors to have a search around. Please check the opening times for each building that allows this – details are on their websites which are listed throughout the booklet.

    As far as is reasonably practicable, each building on this Discovery Trail provides a standard of access for disabled people equal to that enjoyed by the rest of the public.

    You can download a PDF of the Hali-Facts Trail to follow on your device or to print off here.

  5. The Pennine Way

    Todmorden

    The Pennine Way

    Steeped in history, the Pennine Way National Trail chases along the mountain tops along the rugged backbone of ...

    Steeped in history, the Pennine Way National Trail chases along the mountain tops along the rugged backbone of England and offers 268 miles of the finest upland walking in England. A once in a lifetime experience.

    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 of over 20 miles is one of the best on the whole route. The Trail is very well way-marked and there are some great views from the route (especially from the iconic Stoodley Pike).

    If you want to detour into Hebden Bridge on your way, you can use the Hebden Bridge Loop developed in 2015.

    For more information about walking in Calderdale, please visit our Walking page.

  6. Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags

    Hebden Bridge

    Hardcastle Crags & Gibson Mill

    Hardcastle Crags encompasses deep rocky ravines, tumbling streams, oak, beech and pine woods and some of the best examples of upland meadows in the...
    Hardcastle Crags encompasses deep rocky ravines, tumbling streams, oak, beech and pine woods and some of the best examples of upland meadows in the country. Gibson Mill is situated within Hardcastle Crags woodland beside Hebden Water. The National Trust have put in some superb waymarked walking routes suitable for all abilities. Cross the river on stepping stones and spot birds, insects, amphibians and if you're lucky; deer! You'll find 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. Built in around 1800,Gibson Mill was one of the first mills of the Industrial Revolution. The mill was driven by a water wheel and produced cotton cloth up until 1890. In the early 1900s, Gibson Mill began to be used as an ‘entertainment emporium’ for the local people. After the Second World War, the mill slipped into disuse, and was acquired by the National Trust in 1950. 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. GETTING THERE You have three options to get to Hardcastle Crags: By car - there is parking at Midgehole (for Sat Nav use HX7 7AA) and Clough Hole (for Sat Nav use HX7 7AZ). A parking fee applies at both car parks, although parking is free for National Trust members 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. See below for details of the wildlife you can discover at Hardcastle Crags.
  7. Savile Park, Halifax

    Halifax

    Savile Park

    Savile Park is large, open park area just outside Halifax town centre, a ten minute bus ride from Halifax town centre with a very regular service. ...
    Savile Park is large, open park area just outside Halifax town centre, a ten minute bus ride from Halifax town centre with a very regular service. It is also usually easy to find parking. The park is great for fairly flat walking on good paths. There are some fine Victorian mansions around the edge and some great views of one of Britain's finest follies; Wainhouse Tower. The park is used for great family events such as when the circus comes to town and the annual Halifax Agricultural Show.
  8. The Calderdale Way

    Across Calderdale

    The Calderdale Way

    A superb way to go walking in Calderdale - The Calderdale Way is a 50 mile (80 km) walk exploring the...

    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 that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

    It is an ‘up and down’ journey with few level sections. However, the higher levels provide some exceptionally fine panoramic views. The main and link routes to the valley bottom are designed so that they can be completed in short stages.

    The Calderdale Way encircles Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, following old packhorse ways across the open gritstone hillsides with sections of traditional stone causeway, passing through hillside villages and old mill towns on the banks of the River Calder.

    There are numerous link paths which connect the Calderdale Way to the valley floor. There are medieval settlements at Lumbutts and Mankinholes, and Withens Gate, where the Pennine Way crosses. A short diversion along the Pennine Way takes in the popular walk to the 100ft monument, Stoodley Pike.

    The full length of the route is 51.39 miles, with a total climb of approx 2,600 metres (over 9,000 feet) at a climb rate of 43 metres per mile. This makes a flat equivalent distance of 57.49 miles.

    For more information about walking in Calderdale please visit our Walking page.

    Hot weather leads to an increased risk of moorland fires in Calderdale. Please take care when out and about in moorlands around Calderdale and West Yorkshire. You can find more advice here. The burning of moorland is not a victimless crime. If you see anything suspicious report it to crimestoppers 0800 555111. #moorlandfires @WestYorksPolice @West_Yorks_FRS

  9. Apple Tree Farm Alpaca Walks

    Hebden Bridge

    Apple Tree Farm Alpaca Walks

    Hello!! We (and the Alpacas) are based in the Southern Pennines in the picturesque Calder Valley outside the small market town of Hebden Bridge. We...
    Hello!! We (and the Alpacas) are based in the Southern Pennines in the picturesque Calder Valley outside the small market town of Hebden Bridge. We are a 15 minute bus ride from town. We first became interested in Alpacas in 2012 and have then since travelled South Wales to build our small award winning heard. Our boys are suited to the South Pennines given there native roots in South America and they love the long Summer days up in the hills just outside the lovely village of Blackshaw Head which is a mere 5 minutes away by car and bus from Heben Bridge. Come along and go for a walk with one of the guys, both you and they will love walking round our land in the country and you will experience the serenity and peacefulness of these beautiful Alpacas, and oh.. did I forget, the scenery ‘ain’t alf’ bad either!
  10. Calder Homes Park, Hebden Bridge

    Hebden Bridge

    Calder Holmes Park

    Calder Holmes Park is a green open space, close to Hebden Bridge town centre. The park has an outdoor gym, a skateboard park childrens’ pl...

    Calder Holmes Park is a green open space, close to Hebden Bridge town centre. The park has an outdoor gym, a skateboard park childrens’ playground and is home to Park Life Cafe.

    There are some short flat tarmac paths to walk on and you can combine this with walking on the adjacent canal towpath and watch the narrowboats slip by.

    The park hosts a variety of events throughout the year such as the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade.

  11. Ogden Water Country Park

    Halifax

    Ogden Water Country Park

    Ogden Water offers excellent opportunities to escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

    Ogden Water is a very popular desti...

    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 and was officially Yorkshire's Favourite Reservoir in 2018, having won a public vote. 

    Why not enjoy a picnic at our picnic tables whilst taking in the stunning views.

    There are hourly buses to Ogden Water from Halifax bus station.

    There is a lovely level 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, local visitor centres and the Heart of the Pennines on-line shop.

  12. Wainhouse Tower, Halifax photo by Alastair Wallace

    Halifax

    Wainhouse Tower

    The 253 ft Wainhouse Tower was originally commissioned as a chimney for the local dye works by John Edward Wainhouse in the late 19th century. The ...
    The 253 ft Wainhouse Tower was originally commissioned as a chimney for the local dye works by John Edward Wainhouse in the late 19th century. The structure was never actually used as a working chimney and as such, is regarded by many as one of Britain's finest follies. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wainhouse Tower was open to the public on the Bank Holidays, for those brave enough to tackle the 403 steps to the viewing gallery at the top, the stunning views make it well worth the climb. We hope that it will be possible to reopen the Tower to visitors in 2021 and will add any dates the Tower may be open to the public here when and if they are confirmed. A Brief History of Wainhouse Tower Born in 1817 John Edward Wainhouse inherited his Uncle’s Dyeworks on Washer Lane, Halifax in 1856. The Dyeworks were typical of the day, causing considerable pollution because of smoke emissions. Halifax was badly affected by smog. For weeks on end the smoke laden atmosphere blanketed the town, reducing sunlight and contaminating the landscape with soot and sulphur trioxide. This national problem caused the Government to introduce a Smoke Abatement Act. Wainhouse developed the idea of building a chimney 350 metres up the hillside from the Dyeworks, connected to it by an underground tunnel. Sir Henry Edwards, A wealthy neighbour of John Edward Wainhouse, made complaints about the smoke nuisance caused by the Dyeworks, leading to a feud between the two men. Mr Isaac Booth (who was also Sir Henry’s architect) was asked by Wainhouse to design and build the mill chimney. The design incorporated an internal staircase that led to four balcony features. This exacerbated the deepening feud between Wainhouse and Sir Henry. Sir Henry, an extrovert and boastful man, claimed that his private estate at Pye Nest could not be viewed from any house o the hills. Wainhouse said he would rectify this by putting an observatory at the top of his chimney. Work commenced in 1871. In 1873, as a result of the feuding; the architect Isaac Booth decided he could no longer work for either man. This led to the appointment of Richard Swarbrick Dugdale, who redesigned the upper section of the building. The new design incorporated a corbelled and balustrade balcony, surmounted by a lantern dome and finial. The building was completed on the 9th September 1875. It is estimated that over 9,000 tonnes of materials were used. The total cost is thought to be in the region of £15,000. However, by the time the building was completed, it was clear that it would never be used as a chimney. The Washer Lane Dyeworks had been sold in 1874 to the works manager Mr Henry Mossman. The sale did not include the Tower. It is thought that Mossman saw the then uncompleted building to be a liability. This point of view is difficult to understand given the fact that Mossman was then prosecuted under the Smoke Abatement Act. Mossman proved that considerable efforts were made to abate the smoke nuisance by pulling down six existing small chimneys …and erecting a large chimney in their place! John Edward Wainhouse died on 26th July 1883 at the age of 66. He as buried in the family grave at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Halifax. The gravestone is located against the boundary wall on the south side of the Church. The Tower and three acres of surrounding land was sold by auction in 1887. The Tower changed hands several times until coming under the ownership of the Halifax Corporation in 1919. During the Second World War the Tower was used by the military authorities as an observation post. As a result of the reorganisation of Local Government in 1974, Wainhouse Tower became the property of Calderdale Council. Today the Tower is used as a viewing platform; open to the public on Bank Holidays and other select days through the year
  13. The Hebden Bridge Loop on the Pennine Way

    Hebden Bridge

    The Hebden Bridge Loop

    To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Pennine Way, Hebden Bridge Walkers Action created a waymarked rout...

    To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Pennine Way, Hebden Bridge Walkers Action created a waymarked route to Hebden Bridge and back to the Pennine Way via the ancient village of Heptonstall. A superb route to enjoy walking in Calderdale.

    Please scroll down the page for several sets of directions involving the loop.

    For more information abou walking in Calderdale please visit our Walking Page.

  14. The Countryside Code

    Across Calderdale

    The Countryside Code

    The Countryside Code has been updated, to take into account the new circumstances we face as a result of the COV...

    The Countryside Code has been updated, to take into account the new circumstances we face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Please follow the code so we can all enjoy Calderdale's magnificent countryside responsibly.

    Here's a summary of the Code's key points.

    Respect other people:

    • consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
    • leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

    Protect the natural environment:

    • leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
    • keep dogs under effective control

    Enjoy the outdoors:

    • plan ahead and be prepared
    • follow advice and local signs

    Please follow the hyperlink below for the full version of the guide.

  15. Pennine Bridleway & The Mary Towneley Loop

    Across Calderdale

    Pennine Bridleway & The Mary Towneley Loop

    The Pennine Bridleway runs for 205 miles (330km) from Derbyshire to Cumbria. The Bridleway runs roughly paralle...

    The Pennine Bridleway runs for 205 miles (330km) from Derbyshire to Cumbria. The Bridleway runs roughly parallel with the Pennine Way, but offers access for Horse Riders, Cyclists and 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, Walsden where you will encounter open moorland and hidden reservoirs, ancient packhorse tracks sweeping into valleys with gritstone walls, mill chimneys and canals offering a both a glimpse of past histories.

    For more information about walking in Calderdale, please visit our Walking page.

     

  16. Shibden Hall & Estate

    Halifax

    Shibden Hall & Estate

    Welcome to the valley of the sheep - schep dene - the home of the Lister family for over 300 years. Shibden Hal...

    Welcome to the valley of the sheep - schep dene - the home of the Lister family for over 300 years. Shibden Hall was the home of the noted 19th century diarist Anne Lister (1791 - 1840). The Hall, dating originally from circa 1420, is a distinctive half-timbered building furnished in the styles of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, adapted and extended throughout the centuries by the families who lived here.

    Bankfield Museum and Shibden Hall are both ready to re-open as soon as we are allowed. We previously opened last year as COVID-safe sites and will adopt all measures needed to keep you safe and feel welcome. Both sites will require pre-booked tickets. We will share opening and booking information as soon as we can. 

    We would recommend that all visitors use the main carpark  for Shibden Park accessed via the A58 (Halifax to Leeds road), as the small car park situated at the top of the park (off Lister’s Road) soon becomes full and parking on the main road in that area is illegal. Please allow plenty of time to find parking and walk to the Hall (approx. 10 mins) to arrive during your allocated time slot. There are several routes to Shibden Hall which are well signposted at the bottom of the park.

    On arrival at the Hall there may be a queue due to staff managing visitor numbers and checking tickets, please be patient as this is for the safety of all visitors, staff and volunteers, so that safe, social distancing can be maintained for everyone. Hand sanitiser will be supplied at various points around the Hall, but it is also recommended that visitors bring their own supplies. Enhanced cleaning will be undertaken around the site, throughout the day in line with government guidance.

    Anne Lister is the focus of the BBC drama series 'Gentleman Jack' written and directed by Sally Wainwright. The series explores Anne's life and the lives of those who lived in the Hall and Estate. Suranne Jones plays the role of Anne Lister and Shibden Hall is one of the main filming locations featured in the show. 

    Shibden Hall is set in a 32 hectares of informal park and woodland, which have won the Green Heritage Award. Explore the beautifully restored historic grounds which offer cascades, pools, tunnels, terraced and fruit gardens and "Paisley Shawl" inspired Victorian bedding designs by Joshua Major.

    Hidden within the depths of Shibden Park is a small wooded area known as Cunnery Wood. This Local Nature Reserve is on the footprint of Anne Lister's kitchen garden, fish pond, top up of the cascade and rabbit warren (hence the name Cunnery from Coney-rabbit). The area is rich in wildlife from stunning displays of bluebells under English oak, elm and birch to a multitude of songs from birds, healthy butterfly and moth populations and numerous small mammals throughout.

    Click here to Watch a short video, 'Shibden: 500 Years of History.'and click here to watch a second short video about 'The Anne Lister Story', with Helena Whitbread (you can see the video in full at Shibden hall).

    You support Shibden Hall and the Museums Service by purchasing through our online shop, with a range of Shibden Hall and Anne Lister themed gifts, cards, books and merchandise

    There are frequent buses every 15 minutes or better from Monday to Saturday passing Shibden Hall, between Halifax and Bradford, Halifax and Todmorden/Burnley and Halifax and Brighouse. with other regular and less frequent services throughout the week. Up to date timetables are available from West Yorkshire METRO.

    Admission:

    Adult £8.00

    Concession £5.00 (Children 5 - 16 years / Senior Citizens /Passport to Leisure)

    Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children): £21.00.

    PLEASE NOTE: All tickets must be purchased online in advance. There will be no ticket sales on site. Full details are above.

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