Best Foot Forward: Luddenden
This week's featured walk courtesy of www.walkingbritain.co.uk explores the charming and atmospheric village of Luddenden.
Luddenden lies quietly isolated at the bottom of a steep valley and is seemingly many more than five miles from the bustle of Halifax. It remains a charming and atmospheric village, with an old pub in which Branwell Bronte is reputed to have set up the first ever lending library.
The splendid Oats Royd Mill, formerly a textile mill and gutted in a blaze in 1989, has been restored to apartments and looks down proudly on the village from on high.
The walk takes you north along the lovely Luddenden Brook, through deciduous woodland, over heather moorland, and along old drovers’ ways.
The sight and sound of water- becks, falls, rills - are constants throughout.
And the views across Luddenden Valley are lovely, especially in autumn.
Turn right from the public car park on Luddenden Lane (Grid ref. SE041257) and walk up the High Street.
It falls away to the left, the church and the Lord Nelson pub - the well maintained path is opposite the latter, and follows the Luddenden Brook for about a mile.
Above on your left, Oats Royd Mill follows your progress. When you reach Booth Hill turn right and walk uphill. Shortly take the path signed Jerusalem Farm which drops to the left.
It takes you through the small nature reserve of Wade Wood and soon, at the fork, becomes the Calderdale Way on the right.
Ignore the sign to Saltonstall and follow your nose, finally skirting the wood along what is clearly an old drovers’ way till you reach Heys Lane.
Turn right and immediately left, still on the Calderdale Way, climbing and passing behind Lower Green Edge farm.
Keep ahead, passing the left-hand gated road sign, and arrive at Castle Carr Road, following this left.
After a few yards take the waymarked stile on the left - the path descends to ruins of old farm buildings, skirts round these and then goes diagonally to the stile in the far left corner of the adjacent field.
The next few yards are steep and slippery.
Take the stile on the left at the beck, and follow the path through Upper Heys Wood to Low Lane where you turn right and follow the road past Lower Height Farm to the splendid gothic gatehouse and, apparently, former gasworks.
Pass under its arch along Catherine House Lane.
Follow this excellent track for a mile.
When you arrive at a small car park take the right hand road.
Reaching the end of Dry Carr Lane, turn right, bear left and climb quite steeply - you are back on the Calderdale Way.
After 100 yards take the stile on the right.
The path bears left along the moor’s edge; take the third stile, passing immediately under power cables and crossing Thorney Lane, dropping down a setted path.
When you reach a cross roads of tracks turn right and follow this path to Midgley. Do notice, however, the steep setted drop to the mill, as well as the walled and setted path which you will pass - little wonders of engineering and masonic skill.
At the junction of roads, with the school ahead, cross and follow the road left down Solomon Hill which becomes New Road and then keeps ahead along Luddenden Lane to the car park.
If you have a favourite walk that hasn’t featured in Best Foot Forward, we’d love you to send your descriptions and pictures to [email protected]