John’s Favourite Rambles around Brighouse. Walks 1-5, to the West

We used to live in a flat part of West Yorkshire with the remains of the coal mines never far away. We look back on Normanton, our home of 40 years, with a lot of affection. But it only had one true country walk nearby. We’ve lived in Rastrick for six years now, and still can’t believe how spoiled we are. So many lovely walks on our doorstep! 

First a disclaimer. Please DO NOT rely on my map and instructions as your only guide. I’ve used OS Explorer Map 288 but have had to suppress the detail in order to display the routes. I strongly recommend you buy your own copy – I use mine all the time. And – my instructions are very basic. Starts of walks are indicated by blue dots.

  1. Reins Wood to Upper Edge (3 miles) Splendid, open views across the valley.

The walk starts at the recreation field at the top end of Foxcroft Drive. The route goes:-

  • Along the pathway leading SW past William Henry Smith school, up Boothroyd Lane
  • Cross Lower Edge Road onto Church Lane. Take the footpath to Upper Edge.
  • Emerge by the Baptist Church. Walk 100 yards West along the road.
  • Turn right into Bean Street. Follow a path leading downhill which soon becomes paved.
  • Keep to the path next to the stone wall, to a house. Take a track back to Lower Edge
  • Turn Right. Cross onto a track leading down into the woods, back to Reins Wood
  • Turn Right, back to the recreation field.

2. Cromwell Bottoms Nature Reserve (about 2 miles) Flat walk amongst trees and bushes

From the car park off the A6025, walk across the bridge. The network of well-made footpaths is displayed on information boards.

3. Town Centre (e.g. Briggate Car park), via Reins Wood to Cromwell Bottoms (3 miles). Woodland, heath, Cromwell Bottom, and the pleasant canal path.

  • Leave the town centre, crossing the river via the A643 to Rastrick.
  • Turn right immediately after the railway tunnel and walk up Lillands Lane.
  • Just as the road becomes a track, turn right into the wood. Follow the path for a mile (pref. taking the upper path), pausing to admire the views across the valley from the heather.
  • Follow downhill and take the path leading across the railway to Cromwell Bottoms.
  • Walk back to the town along the canal path.

4. North Cut (off the A6025 just past Brook Foot), via Calderdale Way almost to Southowram, canal path (2.5 miles). Charming paths through woodland, wide views of the valley

  • Cross the A6025 and take the Calderdale Way going left through woods.
  • Follow the Way down via stone slabs to a farm. Turn right. Follow a track into the woods.
  • At a crossroads in the paths turn left, leaving the Way. Follow downhill to a track.
  • Turn left towards a road (Ashday Lane). Go left, eventually reaching a house.
  • Continue on a path down the wooded hillside; keep left. The path leads onto a track.
  • On reaching the A6025, cross over to Cromwell Bottoms and return along the canal path.

5. North Cut, Southowram, Hipperholme, returning via Red Beck (6 miles). Woodland, wide views, open fields, a pleasant country lane through a steep-sided valley.

  • First 2 sections are as Walk 4. At the crossroad in the paths, leave the Way by turning right.
  • Cross Church Lane and follow the Brighouse Boundary walk via Pasture House, across fields and tracks to Ivy House, Marsh Farm, Field House (about 1.5 miles altogether).
  • Turn right into Dark Lane, which feels like a tunnel as the path is surrounded by small trees!
  • The lane becomes a road. Follow downhill (Badger Lane), over a ford.
  • Turn Right onto Sutcliffe Wood Lane, then bear right onto Wood Bottom Lane.
  • Just after Wood Bottom Farm, take a track to the right that doubles back across the beck.
  • Take a track that leads sharp left, to a road. Cross over just below the quarry entrance.
  • Take a path through the woods that leads back to where you first joined the Calderdale Way. Cross the A6025 back onto North Cut.

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