Wonderful at Hardcastle Crags
This wooded valley was once known as “the Switzerland of Yorkshire”, and with its rugged woodland, trickling waterfalls and tumbling streams its easy to see why.
Walking at Hardcastle Crags
The valley is criss-crossed with over 15 miles of footpaths, just waiting to be discovered.
Choose one of our popular way marked trails and head out for an adventure in the woods. Take a look at the routes below or pick up a walking leaflet from the car park to help plan your visit.
This challenging walk takes you up into the upper valley, boasting spectacular views over the moorland. Start at Gibson Mill and climb through the woodland to reach the open moorland.
It's hard to imagine that this peaceful valley once had a railway built to transport workers from their temporary homes at 'Dawson City' up to the reservoirs at Gorple, Widdop and Walshaw Dean.
Stop off at Blakedean for a picnic, before following the route back into the trees.
This walk has multiple options for you to choose from. You can either take the more strenuous high level route, follow the low level riverside path or combine it into a circular route that links Midgehole car park with Gibson Mill.
Whether you decide to climb the paths to the high level, or take a gentler stroll along the river, there’s spectacular scenery to enjoy and lots of wildlife to see.
On this walk, follow the green waymarkers to explore the valley upstream from Gibson Mill. Pass alongside mill ponds and weirs before taking a detour to explore “The Crags” themselves.
These stacks of milestone grit give the valley its name and make a great stopping off point along the route. Take the path to the top of The Crags to enjoy long reaching views across the valley, before doubling back down to follow the rest of the trail.