These routes take 35-50 minutes, and are excellent for lunch-hour or after-work walking, although they can be muddy in places. Available to buy, follow on your phone or download to print off.
An easy walk of about 2½ miles (approx 4 kms), taking an hour. An ideal short route avoiding steep climbs, with excellent views across to Heptonstall and Old Town.
Wood Top was an old upland handloom weaving hamlet. Among its fascinating mullion-windowed houses is one with a 1657 date-stone. A century ago, Wood Top producedfustian: hard-wearing cotton material. Its inhabitants included the Saltonstall family; John was a fustian dyer; and one of his daughters, Lavena, a fustian clothing machinist, later became best known of the local suffragettes.
A moderate walk of about 2½ miles (approx 4 kms), taking 1½ hours.
Climbing steeply above the Methodist Church, this route then sweeps eastwards above Scout Rock. It soon gives wonderful views across the Calder Valley to Heptonstall and Old Town. From his childhood home in Mytholmroyd, Ted Hughes looked straight across to the grim cliffface of Scout Rock: it provided ‘both the curtain and back-drop to existence’. The return route drops down through Brearley, squashed between railway and canal, the remains of whose rural industrial past are still clearly visible.
Churn Milk Joan
A more strenuous walk of about 5 miles (approx 8 kms), lasting about 3 hours, and including some steep paths, taking in both moorland and woodland scenery. Take care: the weather on the ‘tops’ can be much colder and wilder than in the valley.
On the moor, the tall lone stone known as Churn Milk Joan is both a local landmark and the subject of a Ted Hughes poem. The stone itself dates from about 1600 and was probably erected to settle a boundary dispute. Hughes commemorated this stone in one of his many poems reflcting on childhood folk tale