Hebden Bridge is an old mill town in West Yorkshire. It is set in the deep cleft of a heavily wooded steep-sided valley, with a river, Hebden Water, running through it, crossed by the packhorse bridge that gives the town its name.
Hebden Bridge has evolved down a wobbly little path all of its own in these parts, and is often likened to Glastonbury – but it is actually a lot grittier and probably much more deeply alternative and counter-cultural than its southern cousin. Socially, it is home and meeting place for a diverse population, many of them creative and new age minded people, with a high proportion of lesbians (and some gay men).
Numerous UFO sightings have been reported in the vicinity: space aliens obviously don't need directions to find us. Humans with large well-functioning brains will arrive by train, at Hebden Bridge station, restored to its former glory; the town centre is a 5-minute stroll down the canal or through Calder Holmes park. Trains link directly to Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, York and Blackpool.
People coming from the M62 West will be best coming off at Junction 21 and driving through Littleborough before making a right to drive through the moors, until picking up a sign to Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale, longer but lovelier than arriving through Todmorden but be careful in poor weather (it is the Pennines after all).
Walking is easy: the town is largely pedestrianised now. The walks down the canal are easy for most people and are OK for tougher wheelchair users too.
- Hardcastle Crags, ☎ +44 1422 844518, e-mail: email@example.com. Beautiful wooded valley with 19th-century Gibson Mill at its heart. Free.
- Stoodley Pike. Prominent hill-top monument with wide views. Free.
- Old road to Haworth - great walk
- A changing roster of different street markets
- Cool, converted mills turned into homes and shops (Innovation; Pecket Well Mill)
- The Picture House
- Trades Club
- Tod Disco (Women only)
- Treesponsibility - local charity that plants trees everywhere they can; free days out with them planting are a great way to see the hills
Organic and fair trade stuff, designer baby stuff, original art, jewellery, clothes, crystals and hippy tat aplenty. Good mountain bike shop (Blazing Saddles). Heart Gallery great addition to the High Street. Fabulously named Ruby Shoesday on Market Street.
Massages and other therapies
- The Book Case, 29 Market Street, Hebden Bridge, ☎ +44 1422 845353. For local maps, guides and history.
- Ken's Cabin, Hope Street. Best bacon butty in the world.
- Fox and Goose, 9 Heptonstall Rd, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 6AZ, ☎ +44-871-951-1000, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Beards and dogs and CAMRA favourite pub.
- Hole in the Wall. Currently closed.
- Lots of B and B's
- Kazillions of Couch Surfers live here so try them for a free night's sleep
- Hebden Bridge Hostel, The Birchcliffe Centre, Birchcliffe Rd, ☎ +44 1422 843183. £17.
|Routes through Hebden Bridge|
|Edale ← Marsden (17 miles) ←||S N||→ Gargrave → Kirk Yetholm|