Leisure & Outdoors

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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 ages. It will take you on a walking...
    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.
  4. Walking in Calderdale

    Across Calderdale

    Walking in Calderdale

    The stunning landscapes of Calderdale offer walks that are suitable for all ages and abilities. There’s n...

    The stunning landscapes of Calderdale offer walks that are suitable for all ages and abilities. There’s no better way to immerse yourself and discover more about this beautiful area than on foot.

    Visit our Walking page for information about guided walks, E Trails, walking guides, easy & family walking and ideas for great walking routes to follow, such as The Calderdale Way, the Pennine Way & Hebden Bridge Loop, Todmorden Centenary Way and great walks at Hardcastle Crags, Ogden Water and more!

  5. 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.
  6. 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.

     

  7. 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
  8. Manor Heath Park Jungle Experience

    Halifax

    The Jungle Experience at Manor Heath Park

    The Jungle Experience is located in the Green Flag Award and Yorkshire in Bloom Gold award-winning Manor Heath Park; 

    ...

    The Jungle Experience is located in the Green Flag Award and Yorkshire in Bloom Gold award-winning Manor Heath Park; 

    When you visit the Jungle Experience you will discover a tropical greenhouse filled with a wide range of plants from all over the world, including Bird of Paradise, Tropical Water Lillies, Orchids, Banana Plants and many more.

    Wooden walkways in the greenhouse take you over streams and past ponds containing fish and terrapin, with information boards explaining the different varieties of plants.

    The Time Zone takes you back 400 million years with specimens of plants dating back to the days of the dinosaurs and then bringing visitors back to the 21st century.

    Butterfly zone with tropical butterflies flying freely around you as they gather nectar from the tropical flowers. Insect eating plants in our Savage Garden.

    When visiting  the Jungle Experience, you can also visit Manor Heath Park's Walled Garden and rechrage with  a sandwich, cuppa and cake the Flutterbites Cafe.

    Entrance to the Manor Heath Park and the Walled Garden is FREE. Entrance to the Jungle Experience is £1 per person, for everyone 3 years old and over.

    All year round opening times for The Jungle Experience and Walled Garden are:

    Opening time:10 am every day.

    Closing times: last entry 3.30pm, closed 3.45pm every day except Friday.

    Friday closing: last entry 3pm and closed 3.15pm.

    Educational visits to Manor Heath for schools covering the national curriculum can be arranged by Phoning 01422 365631 or emailing parks@calderdale.gov.uk. Booking is essential.

  9. Hebden Bridge Cruises

    Hebden Bridge

    Hebden Bridge Cruises

    Relax and watch the world go by with a canal cruise, in the heart of the Yorkshire Pennine hills.
    Relax and watch the world go by with a canal cruise, in the heart of the Yorkshire Pennine hills.
  10. Rochdale Canal at Hebden Bridge

    Across Calderdale

    Rochdale Canal

    The Rochdale Canal runs for 33 miles between Sowerby Bridge in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, all the way to Manchester. It runs through the Upper Cal...
    The Rochdale Canal runs for 33 miles between Sowerby Bridge in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, 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.
  11. The Summit Tunnel

    Walsden

    The Summit Tunnel

    The Summit Tunnel at Walsden is one of the oldest railway tunnels in the world. Just over 1.6 miles (2.6 km) long, the Tunnel was built between 18...
    The Summit Tunnel at Walsden is one of the oldest railway tunnels in the world. Just over 1.6 miles (2.6 km) long, the Tunnel was built between 1838 and 1841 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway. The Tunnel was the longest in the world when it opened. Until the Tunnel was completed, trains ran to both ends and coaches took passengers the two miles or so before they could resume their journey by rail.
  12. 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.

  13. Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve, Brighouse

    Brighouse

    Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve

    Cromwell Bottom is one of the most important wildlife sites in Calderdale. Situated next to the Calder and Hebble Navigation, the River Calder runs...
    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. A bird feeding area attracts many birds to the site, including bullfinch, dunnock, woodpeckers, robins and redpoll. Other birds that can be seen or heard around the site include kingfishers, oystercatchers and curlew. Many mammals and amphibians have also made Cromwell Bottom their home. The reserve is wheelchair friendly, with many of the paths being suitable for wheelchair access. The paths are generally smooth, and there are no steep gradients. A RADAR key is required to open the gate fully to allow easier access. The reserve is accessed from the A6025 (Elland Road). Turn along a road by the side of Cromwell House (a large red brick building), then left under a height barrier into the small car park. The reserve is signposted from the far end of the car park. There are also buses that travel along the A6025.
  14. 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.
  15. Stoodley Pike Monument

    Todmorden

    Stoodley Pike Monument

    The 121 foot (37 m) high Stoodley Pike Monument dominates the skyline above Todmorden, sitting atop Stoodley Pi...

    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 The monument was designed in 1854 by local architect James Green, and completed in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War.

    The monument replaced an earlier structure, commemorating the defeat of Napoleon and the surrender of Paris. It was completed in 1815, after the Battle of Waterloo, but collapsed in 1854 after decades of weathering and a lightning strike.

    You can only reach the Pike on foot, as there is no vehicular or bicycle access to the monument. Stoodley Pike is accessible by well-defined Right of Way footpaths. The Pennine Way also passes Stoodley Pike. There are many walking routes to the Pike from Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd. Walking guides to all these routes available from local Visitor Centres and the Heart of the Pennines online shop.

    Stoodley Pike Monument contains a spiral staircase of 39 steps, accessed from its north side. If you visit, please be aware that several of the internal steps are in darkness, so it’s useful to have a torch to light your way, as there are no windows. The entrance to the balcony is on the Monument’s west face, some 40 feet above ground level. The views are well worth the walk and the climb!

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

  16. The Walled Garden at Manor Heath Park

    Halifax

    The Walled Garden at Manor Heath Park

    Open all year round, Manor Heath Park's Walled garden is part of this nineteen acre Green Flag Award and Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award winning p...

    Open all year round, Manor Heath Park's Walled garden is part of this nineteen acre Green Flag Award and Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award winning park.

    The Walled Garden was once used to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables for the former Manor Heath Mansion (you can read about the history of Manor Heath Park and the Mansion here) and is today used to demonstrate different types of gardening techniques of topical interest and bedding plant trials for Calderdale's parks.

    There are several sections in the walled garden:

    The Container Garden demonstrates the different ways of displaying plants in pots and hanging baskets.

    The Alpine Mint Walk. Enjoy the fragrance of the Corsican Mint planted between the paving stones. Bees and insects love the small blue flowers during the summer.

    The Rock Garden is made from local sandstone and planted with specialist alpines and bulbs.

    Herbaceous Borders using traditional plants for a magnificent summer flowering display.

    Prairie Planting. A bed specially designed and planted with grasses and some herbaceous perennials for very low maintenance i.e. no staking and only trimming back in spring. The coloured grasses and seed heads last right through the autumn and into winter.

    The Necklace Garden boasts tradtional plants and old-fashioned roses growing in a formal setting.

    The Winter Garden features plants of winter interest including flowers, stems, foliage and berries; to illustrate how gardens can still be attractive in winter.

    The Mediterranean Garden shows how plants normally found in the Med can be grown in Calderdale, with plenty of ideas for plants to grow in domestic gardens for the water conscious gardener. The gravel garden shows plants that will survive in hot, dry  places.

    Exhibition English Garden This professional design gives colour and texture throughout the growing season with many unusual plants and bulbs.

    Demonstration Beds. Watch out in summer for trials of new varieties of bedding plants and bedding schemes. If successful, some will be put into practice in flower beds across Calderdale. The Dahlias and Chrysanthemums are grown in the summer by volunteer growers who grow to show standards. We are very fortunate to have them helping us out and we thank them for the time they spend here.

    Rose Walk and Plummery. Enjoy the shade of the willow tunnel and rose walk; see the craftsmanship in the curved dry stone walls built from recycled stone. The Victoria Plum Trees were donated by members of the public. 

    Educational and school visits covering all stages of the national curriculaum can be arranged. Prior booking is essential, please phone Manor Heath on 01422 365631 or email parks@calderdale.gov.uk for more details. 

    When visiting the Walled Garden, you can also visit  The Jungle Experience and refresh with a cuppa and cake at The Flutterbites Cafe.

    Entrance to the Walled Garden and Mnaor Heath Park is FREE. 

    All year round opening times for the Walled Garden are:

    Opening time:10 am every day.

    Closing times: last entry 3.30pm, closed 3.45pm every day except Friday.

    Friday closing: last entry 3pm and closed 3.15pm.

    Educational visits to Manor Heath for schools covering the national curriculum can be arranged by Phoning 01422 365631 or emailing parks@calderdale.gov.uk. Booking is essential.

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