As part of my on going project to try and walk as many of the canals as possible in the north of England, today I set off to Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire to walk the 6 miles to Hebden Bridge.
This is my third journey having previously walked the stretch of the Calder & Hebble canal from Brighouse to Elland, and then from Elland to Sowerby Bridge.
I parked up in the town centre and made my way to the canal where I passed the deepest lock in England, my journey had begun
The walk itself is along the old towpath, very flat and incredibly scenic at times as you traverse the Calder valley bottom. This stretch of canal is known for its abundance of bridges, in fact there are sixteen in the six-mile stretch.
One of the more noticeable things was the conversion of old buildings into apartments alongside the canal as well as “newbuild” town houses and apartments. This area has obviously become quite a desirable place to live and the property prices reflect this (although no where near the prices of southern England).
After about two hours walking, and numerous stops to take photographs, I arrived in Hebden Bridge and was pleasantly surprised at the recovery the town had made from the last floods. Many businesses seemed to have reopened and the town was full of visitors with every coffee and teahouse seemingly doing very good business on such a lovely day.
I would recommend the Watergate Tea Rooms in the centre, by the side of the river. Food was excellent, cappuccino good and strong and delightful customer service. The young lady who took my order greeted me with such a warm and welcoming smile that I immediately felt positive about the place. It was also very nice to sit outside by the river on such a lovely day.
I caught the train back to Sowerby Bridge, well I didn’t feel up to a twelve mile round trip and the weather was getting very hot. Hebden Bridge station must be one of the loveliest in the country and gives the locals access to both sides of the Pennines.
So I would strongly recommend the walk from Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge, it is easy going, extremely picturesque and with remnants of old factories from the industrial revolution dotted alongside the canal. Allow two to two and a half hours for the walk and unless you are feeling extremely vigorous, hop on the train back.