This was last updated on March 10th, 2017. See further down for advice on travelling from elsewhere in the UK or internationally.
Getting Around in Calderdale:
Once you’re in Calderdale, travel is cheap compared to much of the UK.
If you’re sticking to the centre of towns like Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Sowerby Bridge, rail is the quickest, cheapest and best option to get around in Calderdale itself.
If you’re in a car, or reliant on buses and taxis, the A646 has you covered, though beware that it tends to have rush hour traffic jams to the East of Hebden Bridge. Buses also run from Cragg Vale and Oxenhope. For buses, as well as Google Maps there’s a journey planner on West Yorkshire Metro.
Here are estimated cab fares from Hebden Bridge to:
Todmorden – £8 – £10
Mytholmroyd – ~£5
Sowerby Bridge – £7 – £10
Halifax – £10 – £15
The valley is also great for walking and cycling, with many bridleways, packhorse trails, and towpaths. Beware that most routes are hilly. Catastrophic flooding in December 2015 did close some towpaths, roads and bridges until late 2016, but everything between Todmorden and Sowerby Bridge is repaired now.
Hebden Bridge is connected to both Leeds and Manchester by train. Trains are good in the Calder Valley, with a few things you should be aware of. As ever, they’ll be cheaper if you book specific trains in advance, and break your journey in certain places. Here are the cheapest options coming from various parts of the UK:
The North: via Leeds, (BREAK), Leeds to Hebden Bridge.
If you’re coming from the North, via Leeds and breaking your journey there is best from most locations (except the Lake District). Trains then go direct from Leeds to Hebden Bridge, and a ticket for this leg, even on the day, will typically be less than £10.
The Northwest and Cumbria: via Manchester (Victoria or Piccadilly), (BREAK), Manchester to Hebden Bridge.
Most locations from this side of the North are best travelled via Manchester. Trains tend to head south through Lancaster to either Manchester Victoria or Manchester Piccadilly. Break your journey here, then travel from Manchester Victoria to Hebden Bridge.
London: Grand Central to Halifax, (BREAK), Halifax to Hebden Bridge.
From London, direct Grand Central services tend to be the cheapest, though the site will default to also showing journeys with changes in Leeds. GC runs direct from London to Halifax, but book early. From Halifax, Hebden Bridge is a fifteen minute train journey, and bought on the day this ticket will be about £3 (Most London to Hebden routes will direct you from Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, but booked in advance, Grand Central Kings X to Halifax is far cheaper).
The South: Manchester Piccadilly, (BREAK), Manchester Victoria to Hebden Bridge.
If you’re coming from elsewhere in the South or Midlands (For instance Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol), via Manchester is generally best, but the city has a few quirks. The South of the City is served mainly by Manchester Piccadilly station, the North by Manchester Victoria. Trams connect them, or they’re a fifteen minute walk apart – beware though, Mancunian pavements are not kind to wheeled luggage and backpacks are a better option if possible.
Once in the Calder Valley, fares are cheap, with an anytime day return from Todmorden to Hebden Bridge currently at £2.80. Trains run regularly from Todmorden, Sowerby Bridge, and Halifax. Beware that if you’re staying in smaller locations like Walsden or Mytholmroyd, they may stop less frequently. Matthew Somerville’s traintimes.org.uk is a good, lightweight site suitable for checking even on a limited mobile connection.
(CC Image by Phil Champion)
If driving from the South, going to Hebden Bridge via the M62 and Littleborough will be the least traffic-ridden route (though if you want some epic and bleak moorland views, the A640 south of the M62 has them for you). The A646 East of Hebden Bridge gets quite congested and stays that way until traffic splits toward Oxenhope, Crag Vale and Todmorden, so we’d advise not driving from Leeds if possible.
From the North, taking a rural route through Keighley or Burnley will probably be better than getting tangled up in Leeds and Bradford.
Manchester is the best airport to travel from. Trains from the airport to Manchester Piccadilly are regular and take around 15 minutes. In Manchester, travel from Manchester Piccadilly Station to Manchester Victoria Station, then get a train to Hebden Bridge (see advice in rail section, above).
You can travel via Leeds Bradford Aiport or Liverpool John Lennon Airport, but both of these journey options will take up to an hour longer than Manchester after you’ve landed. Both of thes airports also require an onward bus journey to get to a railway station:
Leeds Bradford Airport travel information, and airport bus service.
Liverpool John Lennon airport travel informtation.