Calderdale Way Day 4 – Unexpected Delight

This is a part of the Calderdale Way. Link to the Calderdale Way Page


Calderdale way Stone Chair to West Vale GPX

I was reluctant to walk this section. I looked at the map and saw very little to excite me, it is even on a different OS map to the rest of the Calderdale Way (288 The first 3 days were on OL21)

I was wrong, this is a very special section…

I took a bus from Halifax bus station to Stone Chair (near the village of Shelf). Expecting that the day would be mostly walking through urban areas, I packed light. The weather was set to be fine too, so I was only carrying a few pounds.

As I started down the first path, I was captivated by the daffodils, and the masses of blossom on the trees.

Within a few minutes of setting off, the Calderdale way led me away from the buildings and roads, I walked down a leafy lane to quiet fields, only an occasional sheep sharing the space.

This section has really good signs. As always I had my map and compass with me, but if I had not used them, I don’t think I would have got lost.

The hill is a gentle slope down into the woods by Dean House, and if you stray a little, you will discover waterfalls and gurgling streams. You really can’t go too far wrong though, and all the paths rejoin as you leave the trees.

The Calderdale way now heads up a short steep stairway and onward to Norwood Green.

When I passed, early in the morning, the Old White Beare wasn’t open, but I fancy popping back at some point to try it out

At the far end of the village, the road forks. Choose neither left nor right, the way is straight on at the memorial. In the sunshine it feels like walking into paradise.

Keep walking, and the pathway traverses a railway line, then a gentle slope down to the A58. If you see the nursery, you are in the right place, take the pathway to the right of it, through the field. This short link takes you into the heart of Bailiff Bridge, a brush with civilisation you are most likely to want to be brief. Cross the road and go up the hill. The second turn on your right is the Calderdale Way’s return to rural bliss.

I have to confess, I drifted off in a world of my own for a while, and took no photos. It is such a pleasant bit of countryside, you will have to walk here yourself and experience it.

The Calderdale Way now drops down into Brighouse. I altered the route very slightly. The prescribed route takes you along the back road by the new Lidl, I went straight on. The reason? Straight on you will find a subway sandwich shop, tea and a loo. Refreshed, I rejoined the pathway at the canal, and followed the tow path for a while.

Much as I love walking the fells, there is definitely something to be said for walking on the level.

At Brookfoot, the Calderdale Way leaves the leisurely pace of the canal bank and heads into the heady scent of Bluebells, with a long slow rise through Cromwell Woods.

The Walk now is nearly done. A last short walk through the fields, down into Exley then the footpath follows the Elland bypass to a pedestrian crossing. You almost double back on yourself, this time following the B6112 back to West Vale. The 50ish miles of the Calderdale Way complete, as expected there was a crowd of people waiting to cheer me in. In reality, the cafe was shut, and I had to walk up to Elland for a bus, but even that couldn’t detract from the shock of realising I had had a really wonderful time on this section.

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