white horse logo

Looking across Wharfedale from Backstone Edge Lane
Looking across Wharfedale from Backstone Edge Lane

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 2017 walks | 1993-2000 library | Find a Route |
| A few Routes to print out | Request a Route... |

Route No. 537 - Wednesday 19 March 2014
Hebden, Backstone Edge Lane, Blea Beck Dams,
Duke's New Road, Hebden Beck circuit - 12km
Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas


'Main Street' in Hebden where we started our walk
'Main Street' in Hebden where we started our walk

Walking along Main Street to the B6265 junction
Walking along Main Street to the B6265 junction

The B6265 climbing up Hebden Bank
The B6265 climbing up Hebden Bank

Looking back down Hebden Bank
Looking back down Hebden Bank

We walked back to the main road and turned right to cross the bridge over Hebden Beck and follow the main road up Hebden Bank for about 800m to Bank Top farm at map ref. SE034630. Opposite the farm we turned left off the road to follow a bridleway along a walled track called Backstone Edge Lane, leading northwards over the moor.

The weather forecast promised a bright fine day for today so my mate, Jim, and I drove to the little village of Hebden in Wharfedale about 2km east of Grassington. We parked in the village at map ref. SE026631 on 'Main Street' about 100m off the B6265.

The B6265 road bridge over Hebden Beck
The B6265 road bridge over Hebden Beck

Looking back over Hebden and Wharfedale from Hebden Bank
Looking back over Hebden and Wharfedale from Hebden Bank

A handsome tupp in a field off Hebden Bank
A handsome tupp in a field off Hebden Bank

Our turning opposite Bank Top farm on to Backstone Edge Lane
Our turning opposite Bank Top farm on to Backstone Edge Lane

Looking across Wharfedale from Backstone Edge Lane
Looking across Wharfedale from Backstone Edge Lane

Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor
Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor

Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor
Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor

The weather forecast was correct and there were lovely views of the dales hills all around us in the spring sunshine.

The track climbed steadily for about 1.8km to map ref. SE037647. Here the track passed through a gate to cross open country with Grimwith Reservoir down to our right.

Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor
Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor

Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor
Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor

Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor
Backstone Edge Lane crossing Hebden Moor

Out first view of Grimwith Reservoir below us to the right of the track
Out first view of Grimwith Reservoir below us to the right of the track

Grimwith Reservoir
Grimwith Reservoir


The bridleway heading for Blea beck

After about 350m the wall bends to the left and we continued alongside the wall above Blea Gill Beck. After another 600m we came to a stile by a gate through a wall at map ref. SE043663 where the bridleway ends.

As we approached a gate in a wall at map ref. SE045653 we joined a track coming up from our right and we followed the track through the gate. The track then continued bending to our left but our route along the bridleway continues straight ahead following a wall.

Rocky outcrop above the bridleway
Rocky outcrop above the bridleway

Gate & stile at the end of the bridleway
Gate & stile at the end of the bridleway

Path across open access land approaching the Blea Beck Dams (the horizontal bank top ahead is the dam crest)
Path across open access land approaching the Blea Beck Dams (the horizontal bank top ahead is the dam crest)

Path by Blea Beck across open access land
Path by Blea Beck across open access land

Lake behind the breached dam on Blea Beck
Lake behind the breached dam on Blea Beck

Lake behind the breached dam on Blea Beck
Lake behind the breached dam on Blea Beck

We sat by the small lake remaining behind the dam for our lunch. Very pleasant in the sunshine with the water in the beck bubbling along beside us. After our break we followed an access track to the second small reservoir at map ref. SE038670.

Over the stile the path continues across open access land following Blea Beck for about 500m to the end of the dam of a small reservoir. The reservoir is disused and the dam has long since been breached at the south western end. It is the lowest of three dams called Blea Beck dams.

Path by Blea Beck across open access land
Path by Blea Beck across open access land

Breach at the south west corner of Blea Beck Dam
Breach at the south west corner of Blea Beck Dam


The track leading away from the lowest Blea Beck Dam

A second small reservoir by the track
A second small reservoir by the track

Track through the spoil heaps of the old lead mine workings
Track through the spoil heaps of the old lead mine workings

Track through the spoil heaps of the old lead mine workings
Track through the spoil heaps of the old lead mine workings

After about 900m we came to a junction in the track and turned left to continue along a track with another small pond and industrial chimney beyond away to our left.

We followed the track along the edge of the reservoir heading westwards through an area of old lead mine workings with heaps of waste material from the lead mines.

Remnants of the old lead mining industry
Remnants of the old lead mining industry

Chimney at the end of the Cupola smelt works flue
Chimney at the end of the Cupola smelt works flue

Track heading down through the old lead mining area
Track heading down through the old lead mining area

Following the track down through the lead mining relics
Following the track down through the lead mining relics

Part of the mineral recovery plant of the 1950's
Part of the mineral recovery plant of the 1950's

The Cupola smelt mill seen from the Duke's New Road
The Cupola smelt mill seen from the Duke's New Road

Below the junction are the ruins of another lead mining site where there was a large smelting plant of a type called a Cupola Mill. This smelting plant used coal as the fuel and had a long flue running up the hillside for about 800m to the foot of the chimney that provided the final stage of the flue. From the junction we followed the track down to cross a beck and then gradually climb up the far side of a small valley along a track called the Duke's New Road with a view across the little valley to the Cupola smelt mill site opposite.

We continued along the track bending round to our left and passed through an area of ruined buildings and industrial structures at map ref. SE028666. This was originally a large dressing floor built in the 1830's where crushed rock excavated form the mines was sorted into good quality ore and waste rock. Most of the ruins here are the remains of a plant used from the mid 1950's to the mid 1960's to recover minerals from the old mine waste heaps. We followed the track dropping down the hillside for another 400m to a junction in the track at map ref. SE024663 where we turned right.

Loading bay from the mineral recovery plant of the 1950's
Loading bay from the mineral recovery plant of the 1950's


Upper reaches of Hebden Beck

Stile along the Duke's New Road
Stile along the Duke's New Road

Track heading down towards Hebden Beck
Track heading down towards Hebden Beck

Track beside Hebden Beck
Track beside Hebden Beck

. . . crossing back over Hebden Beck . . .
. . . crossing back over Hebden Beck . . .

The track turned to follow Hebden Beck downstream and criss crossed the beck a few times before settling on a track down the eastern bank of the beck.

At map ref. SE019658 the track was beginning to bend round to our right and here we turned left off this track to follow another track heading down the hillside to Hebden Beck with more lead mining remains to the right of the track

Track heading down towards Hebden Beck
Track heading down towards Hebden Beck

Crossing Hebden Beck . . .
Crossing Hebden Beck . . .

. . . stepping stones back over Hebden Beck
. . . stepping stones back over Hebden Beck

Track beside Hebden Beck
Track beside Hebden Beck

Track along the valley of Hebden Beck
Track along the valley of Hebden Beck

Looking back up the valley of Hebden Beck
Looking back up the valley of Hebden Beck

The track followed the beck for about 1.5km to a little stone arch bridge over the beck before reaching a tiny settlement called Hole Bottom at map ref. SE023640.

It's a pretty valley with rocky outcrops and remnants of the lead mining of the past.

Track along the valley of Hebden Beck
Track along the valley of Hebden Beck

Track along the valley of Hebden Beck
Track along the valley of Hebden Beck

Approaching Hole Bottom along the track by Hebden Beck
Approaching Hole Bottom along the track by Hebden Beck

Looking back along the road to the hamlet of Hole Bottom
Looking back along the road to the hamlet of Hole Bottom

Nanny Spout waterfall
Nanny Spout waterfall

Approaching the B6265 in Hebden
Approaching the B6265 in Hebden

The whole walk had been 12km and it had taken us about four and a half hours to walk including our lunch stop and a good look at the lead mining remains along the way. There's information about the lead mining on the following web sites:-
Grassington & Hebden Moor Mines
Uncovering Hebden Gill's industrial heritage

Here we joined a minor road which we followed still heading downstream above Hebden Beck. About 700m from Hole Bottom we made a short diversion of about 100m along a public footpath across a field to our left to see a waterfall on Hebden Beck called Nanny Spout. Then we returned to the road and continued for the final 300m back into Hebden and our parking spot in the village.

The road above Hebden Beck heading for Hebden
The road above Hebden Beck heading for Hebden

The road above Hebden Beck heading for Hebden
The road above Hebden Beck heading for Hebden

Back in Main Street, Hebden at the end of the walk
Back in Main Street, Hebden at the end of the walk

The old road bridge over Hebden Beck at Brook Street in Hebden
The old road bridge over Hebden Beck at Brook Street in Hebden

Top of Page