Cromwell Reserve – 2 miles circuit

From the Brookfoot Lock of the Calder and Hebble Canal just West of Avocet, outside Brighouse.

About 150-200 metres along the canal path is the starting point. There is a clump of about 4/5 trees properly higher than those around them. It is before that. There is a short climb up a path to your left. You will see a path going ahead through the trees. It is not made up, but is clear. About 250 meters ahead you come to a steep drop into the river. Follow the path instead to your right, with the river below you on your left. Again most of the way it is clear, but a little muddy. There are at least two points where you have to dip under branches, and one where you have to jump over a tree. About half way along the path you meet a much better, proper path, laid with stones. At this pont there is another path to your right through the woods, across the ponds and back onto the canal – do not take it – save it for another day.

You come out onto the full path with the large old metal bridge (badger bridge) to your left. Cross it, then take the path up and to your left about 20 metres beyond the bridge. This path climbs gently out through the trees, and then in a big semi-circle clockwise, coming to a gate on the edge of the reserve. Out and turn right.

The reserve is on your right, and the Rivr Calder to our right. Go on and sraight past the gate leading back into the Reserve, and turn left over the first bridge, then right, back toward the canal. Go through another gate and back right onto the canal towpath and toward Brighouse. A couple of hundred metres on, on your right is another gated entrance to the reserve. Go in. After a hundred metres or so, you join another path. Turn left, This path is parallel to the towpath, coming back onto the towpath; through the gate and right back toward the starting point.

That is a two mile circuit.

NB On the odd occasion when it it is muddy (ahem) the first part alongside the river can be more difficult. An easy alternative is to continue first on the canal bank to the next lock (Cromwell), taking the left through the gate by the lock into the reserve and then left again after a few yards. This is then all a prepared footpath meeting the other route by the river (turn right).