Best Foot Forward: Clay House to Clough Moor Bridge.

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This week sees the first in a 14-part series exploring every spectacular inch of the Calderdale Way in partnership with www.casualrmblers.co.uk.

The first in the series takes us from Clay House to Clough Moor Bridge.

This two mile trail covers mainly woodland and moors starting from the supposedly haunted Clay House, with pictures and route guide courtesy of Stuart Leah.

Map Co-Ordinates: SE 097215

Woodland and moorland dominate this section, Wainhouse Tower commanding attention on the skyline above Halifax, while river, road, canal and railway compete for space in the valley below.

Alternative walks along the canal towpath or on the nature trail through Copley, offer a less strenuous introduction to the area or serve as routes back to Clay House.

Clay House is a fine setting from which to embark on a long walk through varied and distinctive landscape of Calderdale.

This large house was built in 1630 (two eastern gables) and 1661 (two western gables). The Clay family died out in 1693.

From the house, follow a track through the boundary wall, where the track winds its way around North Dean Wood. 
North Dean Wood is dominated by oak and birch and was formally part of the wastes of the manor of Elland-cum-Greetland.

The Dean Wood Charity appears in records as early as 1757, applying profits from the sale of wood to help the local poor.

The Copley area of Halifax with Wainhouse Tower in the background.

The Copley area of Halifax with Wainhouse Tower in the background.

There is now a nature trail and proposed nature reserve in the wood.

Bear right, then left, following the path until you meet up with some steps. From here look over to your right, where in the valley below, you can spot Copley village to your left, and beyond Wainhouse Tower.

From the steps turn right, following the wall to a stile at the top edge of North Dean Wood.

Turn right here and follow the path until you meet a fork in the road. To the left is farm and path along a wall.

Copley, Halifax, with Wainhouse Tower in the background.

Copley, Halifax, with Wainhouse Tower in the background.

Follow this keeping to the wall as much as possible until you reach another stile. Cross this, and follow the fencing all the way to the farm at the end. Through the metal gate to the main road.

You have now reached Norland, where you can either carry on the next route or catch a bus back to Halifax.