This scenic ride takes you from the bustling town of Hebden Bridge along National Route 66 on a mainly traffic-free waterside path following the towpaths of the Rochdale Canal and the Calder and Hebble Navigation, and along quiet country lanes, to the market town of Brighouse.
To follow the route:
- Exit Hebden Bridge Station, turn right following the cycle path towards the River Calder.
- Follow National Route 66 signs to Mytholmroyd (where Ted Hughes the poet laureate was born) and the foot of the infamous Cragg Vale (the longest continuous incline in England). Staying in the valley, head up the ramp signposted to Mytholmroyd station.
- Continue straight on through woodland (there are often herons nesting in trees on this route). You pass through a small industrial yard, some quiet roads and onto the Rochdale Canal towpath.
- Follow the towpath to Sowerby Bridge. Enjoy the town centre before joining the towpath of the Calder and Hebble Navigation.
- Turn right at the Salterhebble canal junction past the lockkeepers cottage and through the tunnel – don’t forget to ring your bell! Continue on the towpath past the Cromwell Bottom nature reserve to Elland.
- Here, the route crosses to the other side of the canal. Follow the road around and over the bridge, turn left down Gas Works Lane, follow the path and turn left between the houses to go back onto the canal bank.
Continue on the towpath to Brighouse, where there are many cafés and shops. To return by train, follow the signs for the railway station. Alternatively you can retrace the route to Hebden Bridge.
Extending the route
For a slightly longer ride you could start in Halifax and travel to Walsden which is 16 miles. In Halifax you have a short cycle through the town before joining the National Cycle Network near the Shay Stadium.
Once you're on the Calder Valley Greenway it's relatively easy cycling. When you reach Todmorden, the landscape becomes craggier and more remote, and there are a few steep climbs to Walsden, where you can catch a train back into Halifax.
Things to see and do
- Brookfoot Lake
- Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve
- River Calder
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.