West Yorkshire is a beautiful part of England and the World all year round, but when autumn starts showing its warm golden colours amongst tumbling rivers and craggy moors, my heart often swells just that little bit more with my love for home!
Here we have compiled a list of our favourite haunts for autumn walks.
“Autumn leaves don't fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.” - Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
So, What makes the best autumn walk?
For us, there are a few things that combine together to make the most perfect autumn walk. Firstly and most importantly, there needs to be some trees! Nothing screams autumn to us, more than the changing of the leaves - it actually inspires a lot of what we make and many of the leather tones that we use.
Alongside some woodland, we like to have a little bit of a water feature - a babbling brook or a reservoir. These pools of water often catch the autumn light as well as the seeds and leaves that have been shed from the trees.
West Yorkshire is home to a lot of heath and moorland, and these blustery hills are perfect for a little jaunt on a sunny Sunday and for a pleasant stroll in Autumn. The heathers have recently flowered in the months of August and you see their vibrant colouration turn to a rich deep purple in September, before browning further. The long grasses change to a russet as the vibrant greens of the mosses start to wane.
Where to go for an Autumn Walk in West Yorkshire
Hardcastle Crags Near Hebden Bridge
Hardcastle crags sits in a wooded valley, not far from the town of Hebden Bridge, made up of over 15 miles of footpaths amongst beautiful woodland and tumbling streams. Craggy stone rises up on either side of the bottom of the valley where old icons of industry still sit. Hardcastle Crags is owned by the National Trust and is a superb place to visit for a walk in Autumn.
With many footpaths to choose from that wend their way up stream and through woods, you can be pleasantly greeted by the National Trust visitor centre and café to warm yourselves up with a mug of coffee or hot chocolate mid-walk.
Hardcastle Crags is great for families and kids who like to explore - they can gather tree seeds, spot wildlife and learn about the conservation efforts of the area.
Find out more about the great woodland walking routes and facilities here!
Hade Edge near Holmfirth
I spent a good part of my life living near Holmfirth and before even that we used to spend a lot of time walking its hills. Hade Edge was a place we frequented often - and Jason and I still like to hop over the hills to visit and walk through its forestry.
Our favourite loop starts from the village of Hade Edge and takes us down toward Home Styles Reservoir and through Holme Styles Wood. This is a lovely loop that only takes a couple of hours - with streams running through heather flanked cloughs, fir trees, and bridle tracks. You can also add and extend these walks easily onto open moorland for those looking for a hike!
Ramsden Reservoir - Yate Holme
Yateholme was one of my favourite childhood walks, and one that I couldn't wait to take Jason on when we had first met. It combines a babbling river, woodland, a reservoir, hills and cloughs and a hobbit home! Also, a super pub at the end for a grand Sunday Roast and a crackling fire - the perfect end to an autumn walk.
I couldn't drive when I first took Jason there, but there's a bus stop that serves the village which makes it easily accessible. It's the last stop on the journey as well, so you will know where to get off for your autumn walk!
There's also a car park opposite the village, across the valley and this circular walk can be done from there. The only difference to the route we do, is we cut across Netherley Brow to the village.
Perfect activities during your autumn walk
Whether it's the change of the season, or the vibrant colours and shedding of seeds that Autumn brings - we find ourselves often lingering on our walks. We don't head out in a rush and we spend time with pale golden sun and enjoy the last tinge of mildness in the air before it gets bitterly cold. With that, we have a few activities that we love to do in the autumn months, especially out on a walk!
In early to mid September, we love to go out with a basket or Tupperware and gather some blackberries. The fringes of woodland are often good places to look for them! There's a small quarry on the Yateholme route where I recall as a small child clambering up with my mum and collecting as many blackberries as I could! Perfect for your apple crumble!
Conkers, Acorns & Pine Cone Collecting
Another pastime for us both that has crossed over even to adulthood! Collecting all the beautiful conkers, acorns and pine cones that begin to drop from the trees. They end up as decoration in our shop and home!
Now, in honesty, we aren't big mushroom foragers - mostly because Jason isn't a fan of them on his plate. But! We do however love to spot them in the wilds, growing from fallen trunks, amongst mosses and more. I personally love to photograph them and try and work out the type with no book references to hand! I'm not very good, might I add.
Squirrel and Bird Spotting
You may catch squirrels dashing across the woodland floor, scooping up acorns to bury for winter! What are they gathering? Where are they taking them to?
It's also lovely to spot birds preparing their migration or nests for the coming months!
Well, after writing all of that I can't wait to get my scarf on and get wrapped up for those colder days! We hope to see you out on the trails!