We never tire of walking in Colden Clough. Due to the seasonal changes, it is impossible to have the same experience twice.
Spring walks are rewarded by a riot of bluebells and garlic, which we can smell before we see it (we pick young leaves away from the path for ace soups and pesto). Summer brings the trees out in full bloom – beech and birch, oak and rowan are the most common. This is also usually (but not always!) the time when the lower paths are driest allowing navigation of routes otherwise too muddy and wet.
Autumn brings out the true majesty of the trees in their golds, oranges, reds and browns. We may forage for beech nuts if the squirrels haven’t beaten us to it!
And in winter, the Clough becomes a wonderland, when blanketed with snow or hoar frost.
Despite the interest of organisations such as the AA i and the BBC ii, it is not unusual if you choose the less-trodden paths, to barely see another soul all day. Start by walking west out of town along the main road to the Fox and Goose pub. Then either turn right up the next path you come to or up Church Lane passed the parish church and keep going up.
From here, there are numerous paths to choose, some of which take you very quickly to Lumb Bank. Others will lead you on a series of adventures via woods, rocky outcrops, up and down steps, and numerous examples of industrial archaeology.
These latter two are Victorian creations: many of the small paths were built as a part of a job creation scheme in the early 1900’s.
If you keep to the route of the river, you will eventually come to Hebble Bridge. In good weather, the river and clearing on the other side is busy with people picnicking, children paddling and dogs optimistically waiting for someone to play with them.
Many of these may be staying at the campsite, just a little further up in the New Delight pub (known affectionately by locals as ‘The Newdy’).
This can be reached by climbing either of the steep sets of steps in front of you as you come over the bridge. Turn right at the top and go along the lane.
You then have choices to make: follow the packhorse trailii or the modern road to Heptonstall, go back into the Clough and keep heading down, or just get the bus back to town.
Loads more photos at: