Introduction

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Start and Finish

The walk starts and finishes at the Birchcliffe Centre on Birchcliffe Road.

The postcode is HX7 8DG and the OS grid reference is SD 995 274.

Themes and Highlights

The Upper Calder Valley is very well wooded. Hebden Bridge itself has a woodland name – ‘Hebden’ is from the Old English for ‘Valley where rose-hips or brambles grow’. Another common place name in the area is ‘Royd’ – and you will find out what that means on the trail. 

You will also find out why there are so many holly bushes in Calderdale woods; which tree was planted to shelter isolated farmhouses; which woods were most suitable for bobbin manufacture; what type of tree was used to make baskets for the textile mills; which wood made the best clog soles for the dye works; and what very important role oak played in the textile industry.

Note: not all trees on the route are mentioned/identified; trees change over time and some of the trees featured in this trail might even have been blown down or felled by the time you take the walk.

Length

The longest route option is about 5km (3 miles) and should take about 2.5 hours with stops. The shortest route option is about 4km (2.5 miles) and should take about 2 hours with stops.

How strenuous?

The first, urban section of the route is mainly steep downhill or on the level. The shorter, easier option then goes along the level riverside path and returns the same way; while the longer, harder route goes up a very steep hill and returns along the riverside path. An intermediate route follows the riverside path at first and then returns along a dam path. After this choice, all routes converge and there is a short, moderately steep uphill section towards the end.

Ground conditions, Stiles and Steps

After the urban section, all route options may be muddy and slippery in places – especially after wet weather. Also look out for tree roots in the woodland sections! On the long route option, the path is very uneven in places and there is a narrow stream crossing without a footbridge. There are no stiles on any of the route options, but there are steps and steep cobbles.

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