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Blackshawhead Packhorse Trail

Explore the Packhorse Trail from Blackshawhead to Heptonstall and learn about this ancient route with far-reaching views.

This linear walk takes you along one of the ancient packhorse routes between Blackshawhead and Heptonstall, across fields, over a packhorse bridge across Colden Water, along paths above the wooded Colden Valley, and ends near the Cloth Hall, the centre for the local woollen trade. There are long sections where the original causey stones can still be seen, with far-reaching views along the way.

About the Trail


This 3.4 Km (2 mile) e-Trail will take you about 1½ hours (including stops), a bit longer if you have children with you. If you want to make it longer, it is a brilliant walk to do in reverse after you’ve explored Heptonstall. You will get a totally different perspective on the way back.

How strenuous:

There are some uphill stretches, but no hard climbs.

Start & Finish:

The trail begins at the bus stop in Blackshawhead (Postcode: HX7 7QD, Grid: SD95829 27566). There is an hourly bus service from Hebden Bridge to Blackshawhead. The best place to park is on Badger Lane, outside the Methodist Chapel, but parking is very limited.

The trail finishes in Heptonstall where you can either:

  • Simply retrace your steps, if you left a car in Blackshawhead. When you get to point 9, you have the option of carrying on along Hudson Mill Road towards Jack Bridge and the New Delight Inn. Then it’s a steady climb from the pub along the main road back up into the village.
  • Catch a bus back up to your starting point.
  • Go on to Hebden Bridge by either walking down the Buttress, a continuation of the packhorse route, or catch a bus down the hill.
  • There is also the option of now walking the Heptonstall Trail. (Postcode: HX7 7NX, Grid: SD98595 28154)

Where to download the app:

For iPhone/iPad: Go to the Apple Store from your iPhone or iPad & search for Pennine Horizons. ** For iPads you must select the tab 'for iPhone only', or it will not find the Pennine Horizon App.

For Android: Open the Play Store & search for Pennine Horizons. Click on the application & follow the instructions to download.

Where to buy a guide:

The guide is available in various bookshops & Tourist Information Centres around the area.

You can also buy a copy, by popping in to the Birchcliffe Centre, Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8DG. Or dropping us a line at info@pennine-horizons.org.uk or calling on 01422 844450.

More information

Titus Thornber’s book ‘Seen on the Packhorse Tracks’ gave us invaluable information as did Mrs E M Savage’s booklet: “Stoodley Pike” published by Todmorden Antiquarian society.

To find out more about Balckshawhead and its history this is a good place to start.

With thanks to; Community Rights of Way Service (CROWS) who upgraded and waymarked the route and to Blackshawhead Local History Group (SHED) who provided information for this trail.