Hardcastle Crags

Polly Checkland Harding
Hardcastle Crags

Hardcastle Crags, a wooded valley and 19th century mill, owned by the National Trust, is just a ten minute cycle from the centre of Hebden Bridge. Once known as the ‘Switzerland of Yorkshire’, the site combines over 400 acres of unspoilt woodland with Gibson Mill, where there’s the Weaving Shed Café and toilets. There are 15 miles of footpaths through the valley, around which visitors can encounter tumbling streams and waterfalls and hay meadows rich with wildlife high on the valley’s sides, roe deer in the early morning and bats at dusk – as well as listening out for Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Head to the ‘Visit now’ button below to download the map of waymarked trails and choose a route from the challenging Railway Trail with spectacular views from the upper valley, to the Estate Track, which is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Much of the woodland here was planted in the 1870s, beautifying the approach to Lord Savile’s shooting lodge, though there are some areas of semi-natural and ancient woodland too. It’s all managed by the National Trust, with the aspiration of demonstrating best practice for Natural Flood Management; a huge group of volunteers has been working hard to build leaky dams across the site, which help rainwater to pool, giving it time to soak into the ground. Over 500 have been constructed, helping to increase protection to the land downstream and decrease the flood risk in the Calder Valley.

Gibson Mill is also part of an ambitious drive towards energy conservation and working in harmony with the natural environment. First built to power the industrial revolution, with a water wheel enabling the production of cotton cloth, restoration began at the mill in 2005, including the reinstatement of the original 1926 Francis hydro turbine. Now, the mill is the National Trust’s flagship sustainable building, unique in the UK for having no links to the national grid. This means that there’s no mains power, water or sewerage connections; solar panels and water turbines supply almost all of the energy needed by the café and mill itself, food waste is composted on site and resident tiger worms are used to process waste from the toilets. Visit for a stunning wild natural habitat, and a pioneering approach to the environment.

Read our full guide to Hebden Bridge here.

Gibson Mill, Midgehole RoadHebden BridgeHX7 7AW View map
Telephone: 01422844518 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • MondayOpen 24 hours
  • TuesdayOpen 24 hours
  • WednesdayOpen 24 hours
  • ThursdayOpen 24 hours
  • FridayOpen 24 hours
  • SaturdayOpen 24 hours
  • SundayOpen 24 hours

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Hardcastle Crags

Ian Humphreys
LiteratureWest Yorkshire
Poetry at the Dusty Miller

Poetry at the Dusty Miller is a brand-new night with invited readers, organised by Carcanet-published Carola Luther and Judith Willson in the Coiners’ Room in the Mytholmroyd pub.

free entry
Pixies at The Piece Hall

Legendary American rock band Pixies are bringing their unmistakable and era-defining sound to The Piece Hall.

from £47.50
Sarah Brooks
Sarah Brooks at Truman Books in Farsley

Truman Books in Farsley welcomes Leeds-based author Sarah Brooks to talk about, and read from, her “stunning” debut novel The Cautious Traveller’s Guide to the Wastelands. ‘A woman on the platform with a borrowed name.

from £8.00
Manchester Festival of Nature
Manchester Festival of Nature

Manchester’s Festival of Nature returns to Heaton Park for a day of celebrating the varied flora and fauna to be found in this bee themed city.

free entry
A still from Now, Voyager featuring Charlotte Vale played by Bette Davis.
Now, Voyager at Cottage Road Cinema

Bette Davis stars as a wealthy young woman who escapes her domineering mother in this classic melodrama selected to show as part of Classics at the Cottage this June.

from £7.00

Where to go near Hardcastle Crags

Hebden Bridge Hostel
Hebden Bridge
Hebden Bridge Hostel

Hebden Bridge Hostel is a well-located hotel adjoining a Grade II listed former Baptist Chapel offering easy, budget-friendly stays.

The Fox and Goose
Hebden Bridge
Bar or Pub
The Fox and Goose

The Fox and Goose is a co-operative, community run pub with local popularity that was Calderdale Pub of the Year 2019.

Hebden Bridge Market
Hebden Bridge
Hebden Bridge Market

Open four days a week in St. George’s Square car park selling a medley of new goods, second-hand antiques, arts and crafts and local produce.

Woody's Pizza
Hebden Bridge
Woody’s Pizza

Woody’s Pizza offer artisan NY style 12″ & 14” dough, skin on fries, killer garlic breads, locally made donuts, ice-cream and more.

Hebden Bridge

Drink? is an indie bottle shop offering a wide selection of craft beer, spirits and natural wine with a new bar out-back.

Culture Guides