The Calderdale Way was devised in the early 1970's by a number of local civic trusts and groups who came together under the umbrella of the Calderdale Way Association, to create a walk showing off the numerous attractions within the impending (at that time) local authority district of Calderdale. The route chosen provides a largely unblemished course through scenery of great variety and always much interest.
Calderdale's Beauty is its unique blend of town and country: here the two are inextricably linked. The larger settlements squeeze sardine-like into the cramped valley floor, which is shared with the river, canal, road and railway. On the high moors the urban sprawl seems far away, although many features of the district's industrial past provide much of interest to the observant walker. The hills are laced with a centuries old network of trading routes, used mainly by packhorses, many of which retain sections of traditional stone causeway. The route makes a circuit of Calderdale on these high moorland paths and ancient packhorse routes, passing close to Brighouse, Heptonstall, Todmorden, Ripponden and Hebden Bridge.
There are numerous link paths which connect the Calderdale Way to the valley floor. These make the route suitable for people of most ages, as it provides both a challenge to the adventurous as well as an invitation to those with less experience or time, who can make a series of day or half day walks. The Way and its link paths thus provide a network within which a variety of linear or circular walks can be devised. Bus services also add another dimension to its flexibility.
At Midgley Moor, can be seen the standing stone of Churn Milk Joan; legend has it that a milk maid lost her way here and died. There are medieval settlements at Lumbutts and Mankinholes, and Withens Gate, where the Pennine Way crosses. A short diversion along the Pennine Way takes in the popular walk to the 100ft. monument, Stoodley Pike. Near by stands the Te Deum stone where packhorses rested.
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