This walk lies about about an hours drive from Preston, near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, and is great when combined with a trip to Hebden Bridge and Haworth. Parking at the National Trust car park is currently £2.50 for three hours which isn't bad value. Free for Members of course.
The Hardcastle Crags National Trust estate has deep rocky ravines, tumbling streams and oak, beech and pine woods. Our walk began at the main car park and we walked up the gravelled road through the woods to Gibson Mill. The Bluebells put on a spectacular display so now (early May) is a great time to vist if you get chance.
At the mill we stopped for a while to enjoy cofee and excellent fudge and carrot cake in the sunshine and also had the chance to watch some glassblowing.
There are a number of options to extend the walk from the mill. The circular walk to the crags themselves is about two miles. Once back at the mill you can take the pleasant riverside woodland path back to the car park.
After a couple of hours at Hardcastle Crags we parked up in Hebden Bridge and gave the dog his first ever town shopping trip! He waited patiently outside most of the shops visited by Dogs Mum and then, after a trip to the Menagerie Pet and Garden Shop (on West End just off the main A646 by the river - a really friendly shop where dogs are welcome and treated to a variety of doggy goodies by the owners!) enjoyed watching us eat fish and chips on the park.
Our day was completed with a quick trip to Bronte Village at Haworth, which once again gave the dog a chance to practice his social skills walking through the lovely narrow streets near the Bronte Parsonage Museum before visiting the nearby Central Park.
The dog is now shattered and in his bed! A good time was had by all.
Click here for directions and information on Hardcastle Crags
Doggy rating 6/10. (8/10 for Dogs Mum and Dad!)