Start and finish
The trail begins at the bus stop in Blackshawhead (HX7 7QD)
There is an hourly bus service from Hebden Bridge to Blackshawhead. The best place to park is on Badger Lane, outside the Methodist Chapel, but parking is very limited.
The trail finishes in Heptonstall (HX7 7QD) where you can either;
- Simply retrace your steps, if you left a car in Blackshawhead. When you get to point 9, you have the option of carrying on along Hudson Mill Road towards Jack Bridge and the New Delight Inn. Then it’s a steady climb from the pub along the main road back up into the village.
- Catch a bus back up to your starting point.
- Go on to Hebden Bridge by either walking down the Buttress, a continuation of the Packhorse route, or catch a bus down the hill.
- or there is also the option of now walking the Heptonstall e-Trail.
Themes and highlights
This linear walk takes you along one of the ancient packhorse routes between Blackshawhead and Heptonstall, across fields, over a packhorse bridge across Colden Water, along paths above the wooded Colden Valley, and ending near the Cloth Hall, the centre for the local woollen trade. There are long sections where the original causey stones can still be seen, with far-reaching views along the way.
This 3.4 km (2 mile) e-Trail will take you about 1½ hours (including stops), a bit longer if you have children with you.
If you want to make it longer, it is a brilliant walk to do in reverse after you’ve explored Heptonstall. You will get a totally different perspective on the way back.
There are some uphill stretches, but no hard climbs.
Ground conditions; stiles and steps
On parts of the walk there are high or narrow stiles and narrow gaps in the walls. The steps down to Hebble Hole are steep and uneven. It can be slippery underfoot if there has been recent rain, so please make sure you wear suitable footwear.
CROWS – Community Rights of Way Service, who upgraded and waymarked the route.
Blackshawhead Local History Group (SHED) who provided information for this trail.
Titus Thornber’s book ‘Seen on the Packhorse Tracks’ gave us invaluable information, also “Stoodley Pike” by Mrs E M Savage published by Todmorden Antiquarian society.