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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Liv Clarke

The town in a valley surrounded by woodland with cosy pubs and walks - half an hour from Greater Manchester

Nestled in the Upper Calder Valley, Hebden Bridge is an historic market town with winding streets, a scenic canal and rows of stone cottages which line the steep sides of the valley. Surrounded by beautiful woodland, this market town really comes into its own at this time of year as the trees display rich autumn colours.

It takes a little over half an hour to reach Hebden Bridge from Manchester by train, or an hour by driving, making it the perfect destination for a day out. Take a wander around the town itself and you’ll discover dozens of independent shops and cafes, as well as charming bridges and mill buildings.

You can easily spend hours exploring Hebden Bridge, but it’s worth venturing north of the town to Hardcastle Crags, around a 45 minute walk away. It’s a magical wooded valley with 15 miles of paths to explore, owned by the National Trust and completely free to visit.


There’s routes you can follow which will take you up steep rocky ravines, along meandering streams and through atmospheric woods. You can choose to climb up high where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the valley and take in all the rich autumnal foliage, or you can weave your way through the trees and feel the leaves crunching underfoot.

Explore the woodland of Hardcastle Crags (cattan2011 /

Tucked away in Hardcastle Crags is Gibson Mill, a 19th century cotton mill and one of the first built during the Industrial Revolution. Today it houses various exhibitions and it also generates its own energy, making it completely sustainable.

It’s a picturesque spot with the mill beautifully reflected in the water - it's definitely worth stopping for a few photos. There's also a small café here, The Weaving Shed, so you can factor it in as pitstop along your walk.

Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags (Chris Combe /

After exploring Hardcastle Crags you can head back to Hebden Bridge for a hearty pub meal. There are plenty to choose from, yet if you’re after a slice of the town’s history then The White Lion Hotel is the place to go.

Dating back to 1657, it’s reputedly the oldest building in the town and it’s full of character. Think exposed timber beams and masonry, as well as cosy snug corners to enjoy a pint after a long walk.

The pub uses locally sourced ingredients with seasonal menus, and everything is homemade. The menu includes modern twists on classics, such as smoked nduja scotch egg, a range of small plates and traditional pub fare.

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