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Railway walk at Hardcastle Crags


The valleys of Hardcastle Crags, west of Halifax, offer stunning riverside views while the oak, beech and pine woods are full of tumbling streams.

A beautiful wooded valley with plenty to discover

Whether you decide to climb the rocky paths to the hilltops or enjoy a picnic by old weirs, there's plenty of wildlife to see.

View with crag across the valley at Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
Hardcastle Crags, a view across the wooded valley. National Trust / Drew Marsh


Map route for railway walk at Hardcastle Crags
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Gibson Mill Courtyard, grid ref: SD973298


Leave Gibson Mill by crossing the footbridge and turn right. Pass the weir for the lower mill pond and go up steps to walk around the upper pond. Walk carefully along the side of the river, passing the weir for the upper pond. Look across the river to the crags.

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At the fork in the path, go left up the hill. Climb up the valley side, steep initially but soon eases. Where the path meets a wall, it levels - this was the old railway track. After a small cutting and a dip, leave the path to the left to view Hell Hole Quarry. Return to the path and continue.

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Shortly after going up some steps, the route turns 90 degrees to the right and by more steps. Before descending, look ahead to see the remains of the supports for the wooden trestle bridge. At the bottom of the steps is a lovely spot for a picnic. Continue back along the riverside.

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After passing a stream cascading down the opposite bank, the path turns right and uphill and then down steps. It goes up again almost immediately to meet a rough track. Go left downhill to the river.


Cross the river by the footbridge and go up the valley ahead to meet a rough road, then turn right. Follow the road along and through a gate to meet the road through the estate. Go downhill, passing Lady Royd Field on your left, (where local school children came to play) and then the top of Hardcastle Crags on your right. Continue on back to Gibson Mill.

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Gibson Mill Courtyard, grid ref: SD973298

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Railway walk at Hardcastle Crags


Allow 2 hours for the 3 mile (4.8km) Railway Saunter, waymarked by purple. This walk goes through the steep-sided river valley and is steep and uneven in places. There are stunning views along the route, but take care as even in dry weather it can be wet, muddy and slippery underfoot.

Dogs welcome under close control.

Railway walk at Hardcastle Crags

Contact us

Railway walk at Hardcastle Crags

How to get here

Hardcastle Crags, near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 7AS
By train

Hebden Bridge Station 2 miles (3.2km).

By road

A646 westbound from Halifax then A6033, 1.5 miles (2.4km) north-east of Hebden Bridge.

By foot

Access via riverside walk from Hebden Bridge. Pennine Bridleway passes property.

By bus

Service 906 runs from Widdop Reservoir to Midgehole car park via Hebden Bridge Station (summer weekends and Bank Holidays only).

By bicycle

National Cycle Network route 68 (Pennine Cycleway), 2 miles (3.2km) from Hebden Bridge.

Railway walk at Hardcastle Crags

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome under close control