Car-free aroundHebden BridgeYorkshire

Welcoming to walkers and cyclists, blessed with some beautiful bus routes and with four trains an hour arriving from Leeds and Manchester, Hebden Bridge is an ideal car-free destination. The pioneering “Walkers are Welcome” town has an excellent combination of scenic paths, cosy pubs and teashops. Hike over the moors, sightsee by bus, or stroll beside the water to explore the area’s industrial and literary heritage. Here are four great car-free journeys.

  1. 3. Canal walks and boat trips

    For a much gentler stroll, try wandering along the canal-side towpath to Stubbing Wharf. The path goes past several locks, including one lock on an aqueduct where the River Calder goes under the canal.

    • The waterside Stubbing Wharf pub serves real ale and good food and you can sit out by the canal. Go down the slope off the towpath to find the way in.
    • You could book a cream tea cruise along the Calder Valley with Hebden Bridge Cruises, leaving from outside the pub, (50 minutes; £15).
    • Or – to really explore the waterways – you could even rent your own boat for the day from Bronte Boat Hire at the Marina on New Road (from £130 for max 12 people).
    • HBWA suggest an alternative way to walk back from Stubbing Wharf, making this into a relatively easy circular route.
  1. 4. Train rides towards Leeds and Todmorden

    The railway to Leeds follows the River Calder and Rochdale Canal along the valley, passing some dramatic Yorkshire towns, like Sowerby Bridge.

    • The first village, heading east, is Mytholmoryd, where poet Ted Hughes was born – you can even stay in his old house.
    • Eureka! The national kids’ museum is right next to the station at Halifax (£12.95; off-peak day returns to Halifax are £4).
    • Heading in the other direction, Todmorden is another small, but vibrant market town that recently acquired “Walkers are Welcome” status. Built where three steep valleys meet and full of shops and cafes, it makes a great base for adventures (£2.30 for an off-peak day return).
    • In the trees above the river, Hebden Bridge railway station itself is a delightful historic building with sofas, bookshelves, a piano, a cheap, independent café in the old parcel office and bike hire outside.

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount