We’d been running Hebden Bridge Hostel for three years before I got the time (and the courage) to take on the Pennine Way. Ten years before I’d attempted the 260+ mile path, only to drop out injured after 2 weeks. Ten years older I wasn’t surprised to find it was just as tough. During the walk many things passed through my mind, but the most important seems to have been “Why doesn’t the Pennine Way go through Hebden Bridge?”
Once back home it didn’t take too long to stumble across ears receptive to the plan and the ‘Hebden Bridge Loop on the Pennine Way’ was born. On 25th April 2015 the 50th Anniversary of the launch of the Pennine Way was marked (in Hebden Bridge at least) by the official opening of the ‘Loop. More than 200 walkers from the north came to help us celebrate the launch. We were overwhelmed. I even made a speech.
The Hebden Bridge Loop is a walk of two halves. For the Pennine wayfarer, the Loop serves as a picturesque, off-road, direct route to-and-from the Pennine Way directly into the heart of Hebden Bridge.
For the visitor to Hebden Bridge the Loop, including a section of the Pennine Way, is one of the better known local walks – a 6 mile, well signposted, circular route that takes in Heptonstall, Horsehold, Jack Bridge and Jumble Hole as well as some of the most stunning local moorland ‘tops’ and views.
For further information on the Loop (including map download) see www.hebdenbridgeloop.org.uk,
A (paper) map is available from Hebden Bridge’s Tourist Office and if you are interested in budget, walker-friendly, eco acccommodation for your visit you’ll find us at www.hebdenbridgehostel.co.uk
Dave Weirdigan, co-owner, Hebden Bridge Hostel