Hardcastle Crags walk
A short south Pennines walk (approx 4.5m)
(Photos/words © urban75, March 2008)
Covering more than 160 hectares (400 acres) of unspoilt woodland, this wooded stretch of National Trust land offers eighteen miles of footpaths, passing tumbling streams, rocky landscapes, waterfalls and woods.
Apparently the home of the northern hairy wood ant (we kid you not), walkers can visit Gibson Mill, the National Trust's flagship sustainable building.
Because of its narrow, steep-sided wooded valley, the area is sometimes called Little Switzerland, while Hardcastle gets its name from the millstone grit sandstone stacks above the valley.
The walk starts two miles out of Hebden Bridge at the end of Midgehole Road, off the A6033 Keighley road. It's also an easy and attractive walk out of Hebden (we walked back into town).
Here's the gatehouse building.
Oops! Looks like someone's had the signs away.
Hebden Water runs along the valley all the way to Gibson Mill.
Curious log bench covered in embedded one penny pieces.
On the boulder river crossing.
Coming over the river.
Approaching Gibson Mill, now run as an educational and community centre powered entirely by sustainable energy.
The water-powered spinning mill, built around 1800, was derelict since the 1950s and now serves as the National Trust's flagship environmental project, and an international role model for sustainability.
A turn of the century postcard taken from a similar angle as the contemporary photo above.
Gibson Mill cased textile production in the 1890s and remarkably was quickly converted into an early entertainment complex, offering a tea room, dance hall and rollerskating rink.
The mill was eventually left to the National Trust by Abraham Gibson of Greenwood Lee when he died in 1956.
Bridge over the the Hebden Water.
Inside the excellent cafe at Gibson Mill.
Gibson Mill detail.
The mill and mill pond.
A look back at the mill showing its remote location.
Heading back into Hebden Bridge.
Mossy trees and rocks.
The Blue Pig pub.
Tree growth breaking through river wall.
Looking at an Archery competition - the archer on the right looks well on-target!
Home of Hebden Bridge Cricket Club demands respect!
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