Best Foot Forward: Lancashire hot­ pot - Walsden and Todmorden

St Mary's Church, Todmorden
St Mary's Church, Todmorden

Walsden Cricket Club and Todmorden Cricket Club are located just inside the western boundary of Calderdale, and this walk takes you from ground to ground – from Scott Street to Centre Vale – and much more besides.

Leave your vehicle in Riggs Garden Centre car park, Rochdale Road, Walsden. 

Walsden Cricket Club.

Walsden Cricket Club.

Have a look round the giant store and then cross over the main road to visit the gift shop and café.

Watch some play at Walsden cricket ground, just a few hundred yards up the road in the direction of Walsden itself.

The history of WCC is dominated by Frank Scott – hence Scott Street (the name of the ground) and Scott House (one of the nearby blocks of flats). When you leave the ground re­join the main road, go over the railway bridge, but locate the short private road to the right of the last house on the opposite side of the road. Go down the path, ensure you close the gate at the end; go right and then drop down left onto the towpath of the Rochdale Canal. Head towards the  church spire  you see in the distance – in the direction of the centre of Walsden. 

Sauntering down the towpath, you will encounter joggers, walkers and fishing enthusiasts (look out for the Todmorden Angling Society plaque on your left). You’ll also spot a small stream on your left that starts to run parallel to the canal.
There’s a church and school to your right, and then an excellent landmark on your left (Grandma Pollard’s chippy – famous for its homemade pies!). Through a gap in the houses on your left you’ll spot Walsden train station (could be useful later).

Walsden train station.

Walsden train station.

More locks follow.

Walsden Junior School appears on your left, a Halifax Building Society plaque (1990) on the other bank of the waterway. Now, have a guess how far you are currently away from Manchester and Sowerby Bridge. A milestone you come to on the towpath very soon should help you out here! 

Cross the main road when you come to it, and re­join the canal on the right­-hand side. There are more locks and a road bridge to go under. Then a huge iron bridge appears in the mid­distance – you can just see a church spire through the arch of the bridge and a viaduct on your right. Also, a spectacularly large wall appears on your left – just marvel at its size! 

Another church emerges on your right. When you come to the big green iron structure that spans the canal, come off the towpath and turn left into Todmorden 

A heron on the canal bank at Walsden, just behind the junior school.

A heron on the canal bank at Walsden, just behind the junior school.

town centre via the main road. Here there are lots of fine buildings to admire: an old Industrial Society building to your right, Todmorden Library on your left. St. Mary’s Church and Todmorden railway station are also on your left. When you spot a small bridge to your right look out for a small plaque: have a  guess what natural calamity struck the town in 2000.
Go under the viaduct, past the market on your right. There is what looks like an old cinema and a college on your left, and a police station and war

memorial on your right. At this point, look out for another handsome church and a street named after a city in Australia that is a regular Test match venue (how appropriate).

On your left, you then meet Centre Vale, home of Todmorden Cricket Club, and also a public park.

When  you’ve enjoyed a spot of top-­notch Lancashire League cricket, you have three options: 

Todmorden Cricket Club

Todmorden Cricket Club

1. Re­trace your steps and wend your way back to Walsden by foot.

2. Look out for a bus going to Rochdale and jump on it – you’re only a couple of minutes away from Scott Street and Riggs.

3. Visit the railway station and take any train heading for Manchester – they should all stop at Walsden (the next stop down the line).

Todmorden town centre

Todmorden town centre