This was last updated on March 29th, 2019. See further down for advice on travelling from outside the UK.
Hebden Bridge is connected to both Leeds and Manchester by train. 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.
Reopening of the Oddsall curve in Manchester last year means there are some direct trains from further afield, but it’s still probably cheaper and quicker to break your journey and cross Manchester City Centre on foot if you can.
Once in the Calder Valley, fares are cheap, with an anytime day return from Todmorden to Hebden Bridge currently at £3.20, off peak £2.70. 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, and Realtime Trains can give accurate current departure information for your station.
(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 Airport 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 these 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 information.
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 usually 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 twice a day to the East of Hebden Bridge, especially due to ongoing flood defence work that means more temporary traffic lights. 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: £10 – £15
Sowerby Bridge: £7 – £10
Halifax: £12 – £18
The valley is also great for walking and cycling, with many bridleways, packhorse trails, and towpaths. Be aware that most routes are hilly, and the towpath heading east from Todmorden toward Hebden Bridge will be closed for repairs during Feral Vector 2019.