Hebden Bridge has a reputation for being hippie-central. The little West Yorkshire market town sits between Halifax and Burnley, and chances are, if you aren’t a local, you won’t know where either of these are anyway. Unlike major West Yorkshire towns like Skipton, Hebden Bridge doesn’t even have the draw of proximity to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Considering all these things, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Hebden Bridge was going through an ugly suburban identity crisis. But this couldn’t be further from the truth – as you are about to see from our top Hebden Bridge walks.
Hebden Bridge shouldn’t be as fascinating and cultural as it is. But with its Hebden Bridge Market, beautiful canal, immediate moor access, and imposing industrial townscape, Hebden Bridge is rammed with interest. And the best way to immerse yourself in this bizarre town is on foot. These 10 best walks around Hebden Bridge will cover all the must-visit destinations and attractions. Ready? Grab your boots, and let’s get started.
Short Walks Around Hebden Bridge
Some of the best walks in Hebden Bridge are short walks. These tend to be waterfall walks or incorporate rambles into country pubs. You can amble on The sort of walks with young children or family members with limited mobility. If you are in a rush, these short walks around Hebden Bridge should also be at the top of your list.
1. Stubbing Wharf Pub
Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 20 minutes one way
The Stubbing Wharf Pub is a short section of the classic Hebden Bridge canal walk. Hopping down from the town centre at Hebble End Road, you join a sedate little gravelled track alongside the Rochdale Canal. It is a leisurely stroll along the canal to reach Stubbing Wharf pub. And you have the odd moored canal to spot on the way for a bit of culture. During daylight hours, this Hebden Bridge walk gets a lot of foot traffic – so it is safe for solo female walkers looking for walks near Hebden Bridge. It is also a nice, flat section for families with push chairs to tackle.
Once you reach Stubbing Wharf pub, you can grab a wooden picnic table outside overlooking the deep-green waters of the canal. Alternatively, head indoors for a classic country pub interior and a wooden bar brightly splattered with beer mats and brand names. Stubbing Wharf is one of the most scenically located Hebden Bridge pubs, so keep it in mind when wondering what to do in Hebden Bridge for food or a quick drink.
2. Lumb Hole Falls
Distance: < 1 mile
Time: 20 minutes
Get brave and take a dip in the Lumb Hole Falls plunge pool. Out of all our favourite Hebden Bridge walks Lumb Hole Falls has the most rewarding endpoint. The waterfall cascades over a rocky drop from multiple heights, perfectly framed by an old bridge as a backdrop. The falls are surrounded by bracken and moorland plant life – scenery that gives it somewhat of a magical stroke Jurassic vibe. It is the perfect spot for an adventurous Hebden Bridge hike and a tiny hike in distance. The hike takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the falls, but only because the cobbled path can get slippery in wet weather, meaning it requires careful descent. It is ideal for young children and adults alike.
Lumb Hole Falls is often nicknamed the ‘Hebden Bridge waterfall walk’ and has quite the name for itself. Because of its popularity, be aware that parking spaces can be limited. Try to visit outside peak times when possible. This is one of the best walks around Hebden Bridge. However, its trailhead is located approximately 3 miles north of the town centre, so it is an ambitious hike if you end up parking in Hebden and hiking to the trailhead. Give Lumb Hole Falls a bit of forward planning.
3. Gibson Mill Waterfall Walk
Distance: < 1 mile
Time: 20 minutes one way
Ready for another Hebden Bridge waterfall walk? Gibson Mill Waterfall Walk has a totally different atmosphere from Lumb Hole Falls. This is one of the most flexible walks Hebden Bridge has to offer and essentially comprises independent exploration of an entire valley of waterfall walks and hidden falls. Hardcastle Crags is a beautiful woodland valley just north of Hebden Bridge with a huge 19th-century mill-turned-museum. Gibson Mill hosts regular exhibitions about its previous life as a cotton mill. It is also home to the Weaving Shed Café, which makes a convenient refreshment stop. And dotted around Gibson Mill are dozens of little waterfalls. The easiest to find is Gibson Mill Waterfall, located just behind it.
The Gibson Mill Waterfall Walk is a short, 40 minutes out and back walk near Hebden Bridge. You can park at Clough Hole Car Park and walk along to the museum and café before heading to Gibson Mill Waterfall – the icon itself. It’s a great way to combine history, culture, and a beautiful Hebden Bridge waterfall walk.
4. Withins Clough Reservoir
Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 30 minutes circular
Withins Clough Reservoir is one of the most sedate, flat walks near Hebden Bridge. Just 6 miles south of the town, it is easily accessed by car and has a free car park, which is a definite bonus. Once you complete the stretch between the car park and trailhead, it is all level walking – ideal for those wanting a more leisurely Hebden Walk. The circular route takes you around the perimeter of Withins Clough Reservoir, with stunning moorland views as a backdrop.
The reservoir is a picture of raw wilderness, and from many angles, you’d never guess it is manmade. That is unless you visit during drought periods where you can see the remains of a flooded village peaking out from the water’s surface. Interestingly, it is common in Yorkshire to find old buildings in reservoirs, as constructors chose not to demolish existing structures on the land before creating dams. Withins Clough Reservoir is a classic example of reservoir architecture in Yorkshire. It is a beautiful spot and an excellent option for a short Hebden Bridge circular walk.
Mid-Length Hebden Bridge Walks
With a little bit longer on your hands, you can explore more of Hebden Bridge and its surrounding areas. These mid-length Hebden Bridge walks are ideal for 2-3 hours. These walks near Hebden Bridge incorporate more of the moorland and surrounding forest areas – so wrap up warm and be prepared for the weather.
5. Stoodley Pike
Distance: 6.5 miles
Time: 3.5 hours
Stoodley Pike is a 37-metre-high monument atop a 400-metre hill. It is an unmistakable landmark and great if you want to achieve that ‘summit feeling’ on mid-length Hebden Bridge walks. You also start from the centre of Hebden Bridge, which is super convenient as you won’t need extra driving or hiking to reach a trailhead outside town. For those reliant on visiting Hebden Bridge by train (or just super tired of driving), this is one of the most feasible walks from Hebden Bridge.
You start by passing the Hebden Bridge Train Station, heading up to Kingshaw Lane before turning right at a – very obvious – wooden trail sign. This final stretch is the most scenic, leading you up to the hill’s summit via a grassy section of the Pennine Way. At the top, you have panoramic views of Hebden Bridge below and can even peek inside Stoodley Pike. The whole out-and-back trail should take around 3.5 hours but allow longer for a picnic at the Stoodley Pike summit.
6. Bridestones Moor Circular Walk
Distance: 7.5 miles
Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Bridgestone Moor circular walk is a scenic loop passing through ancient moorland and past unusual rock formations. The rocks are cut into mushroom-like shapes with multiple layers – said to be cut by the movement of glaciers in the UK’s last Ice Age over 150 million years ago. The rocks are a beautiful phenomenon and have a magical, novel appeal.
The hike is relatively straightforward and one of the easiest of Hebden Bridge’s circular walks. The loop is easy to follow from a navigational perspective, although moderately challenging fitness-wise and slippery underfoot after spells of heavy rain. Keep the Bridgestone Moor circular walk your sunny day option, as the trail can sometimes be closed off if conditions get too bad. And if that is the case, just park up along the roadside near Eastwood Road or Windy Harbour Lane and walk directly to the rock formations in 10-15 minutes.
7. Eaves Wood Circular Route
Distance: 2.2 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
While technically quite a short addition to our mid-length Hebden Bridge walks, Eaves Wood is a beautiful area to explore, and this circular route is particularly stunning. The woodland sits between Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall, full of ancient natural beauty.
You start at the trailhead in the middle of Hebden Bridge and walk along central Market Street – perhaps stopping by at Hebden Bridge Market if you visit between Thursday and Sunday. Before you cross Colden Water, you take a right turn to enter Eaves Wood. The wood is your classic English scenery, with damp, moss-covered rocks and trees cloaked in lichen. As far as walks from Hebden Bridge go, the Eaves Wood circular route is beautiful and provides a peaceful woodland experience.
Allow around 1.5 hours to complete Eaves Wood’s circular walk as a frog march, but if you want to take your time, set aside 2-3 hours instead. This timeframe will leave you enough time to enjoy Hebden Bridge Market and some of the Hebden Bridge shops.
Longs Walks From Hebden Bridge
If you have over 5 hours to spend on Hebden Bridge walks, then well done – you’ve hit the jackpot. Hebden Bridge has some of the most stunning long-distance walks in Yorkshire. You can go for miles if you have the fitness and time. These are some of our top picks for long walks from Hebden Bridge.
8. Hebden Bridge ‘Round’ Walk
Distance: 7.5 miles
Time: 4 hours
The Hebden Bridge ‘Round’ Walk is a brilliant route put together by Natural England. It is one of the longest walks around Hebden Bridge, skirting the surrounding area in a moderately challenging 7.5-mile loop. It requires a bit of careful navigation, as you’ll be tackling a mix of canal towpaths, stone tracks, and sheep-track-style moorland paths. So bring plenty of supplies and choose the Hebden Bridge ‘Round’ Walk only if you have a clear head and are ready for a fun challenge.
A massive bonus of this Hebden Bridge walk is that it starts from the town centre – making it easy to hike without using a car to reach the trailhead. You can see a route guide here. But know for now that you’ll pass several highlights that most people visit on short walks from Hebden Bridge (like Gibson Mill Waterfall and Hardcastle Crags).
9. Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge Canal Walk
Distance: 11.2 miles
Time: 4-5 hours
The Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge canal walk is one of the prettiest Hebden Bridge walks. The route hugs the towpath of the Rochdale Canal the entire way. It is full of entertainment, with traditional canal boats and tons of birdlife. And occasionally, the odd otter. Despite its substantial distance, the Sowerby Bridge to Hebden Bridge canal walk is a definite ‘ambler’ and is best enjoyed slowly. You’ll pass multiple stone bridges and the village of Mytholmroyd – where you can stop for a refresher at the vegetarian restaurant The Blue Teapot. The Secret Café is another good find for a caffeine stop, located ¾ of the way into the walk-in Luddenden Foot.
In Sowerby Bridge, definitely check out Tuel Lane Lock and grab some food before starting the return hike back to Hebden Bridge. This Hebden Bridge walk is ideal for giving you an extended insight into Rochdale’s canal life. It has some beautiful eateries and coffee spots en route and is one of the best walks from Hebden Bridge since its trailhead is the town centre. It is easily tackled as a car-free hike while visiting the town.
10. Pennine Way
Distance: 268 miles
Time: Approx 16-19 days
Ready for an ultimate challenge? The Pennine Way is no minor walk to be scoffed at, and if you are truly serious about your long walks, it is one of the best walks near Hebden Bridge to complete. You’ll need at least 16 days to tackle this long-distance trail. And the actual trailhead starts at Edale, a town just south of Hebden Bridge. The trail cuts through Hebden Bridge on day 3, continuing all the way up through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and ending at the Scottish borders. It is the Hebden Bridge walk to rival all Hebden Bridge walks. If you are after a walking holiday, it would be a crime not to take advantage of how close Hebden Bridge is to the trailhead.
You can stay at many hotels along the way or choose to camp if you want to ‘rough it’ more or stick to a budget. The Pennine Way is our longest and final Hebden Bridge walk in this guide, and we can confidently say that with this route, we’ve gone out with a bang.
To Conclude: Hebden Bridge Walks
Hebden Bridge is easily one of the most intriguing destinations in West Yorkshire. It has curated such a strong identity for itself that it is impossible not to fall for, and with these Hebden Bridge walks, you can get a taste of what this small town’s all about.
If you can, stay overnight. IOU Hebden Bridge Hostel is brilliant for those on a budget, as is Hebble End View B&B. Calderside Cottage is an entire 2-bedroom holiday home, while Croft Mill has beautiful contemporary apartments in a converted mill – better suited to couples wanting a self-catered stay. Hebden Bridge is fantastic for a short break. And with an extra day or two, you can tackle a few of these Hebden Bridge walks.