“But I thought this blog was about all things Yorkshire??” I hear you ask. No, I’ve not lost the plot and flown across the pond for the sake of blog content, but Percy did have an adventure on Route 66 – the Yorkshire one!!
Route 66 (or the Spen Valley Greenway) is part of the National Cycle Network which includes numerous cycle paths and bridal ways. This particular route is a disused railway line that has been turned into a cycle path and stretches approximately 10 miles from the City of Bradford to the town of Dewsbury. From Bradford you can easily pick up other routes towards Skipton and North Yorkshire, and from Dewsbury you can join to the Calder Valley Greenway that runs towards Huddersfield.
The section of the path that we walked takes in the market towns of Cleckheaton (claim to fame – it’s the birthplace of Roger Hargreaves, the author of the Mr Men and Little Miss books!) and Heckmondwike, and takes you through some lovely countryside and woodland scenery. Percy loved sniffing around in the undergrowth and listening to the sounds of the different birds in the trees and horses in the fields.
Along the way there are a variety of things to see, and on the stretch that we walked between Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike there are a number of sculptures made from the leftover iron from the railway. It has to be said, Percy was a bit puzzled by the Greenway sheep – particularly when they didn’t respond to him saying ‘hello’ to each of them!
This is a very well used Greenway and it’s a great place to get kids out on their bikes as the route is tarmacked, extremely flat and the only other ‘traffic’ they have to worry about is other cyclists, walkers and the occasional horse rider. There are also numerous exit/ entry points if you want to come off the Greenway and explore more of the area and town centres including a handy entrance at the back of the supermarket carpark in Cleckheaton town centre, making it handy for parking and stocking up on supplies before heading off for a walk.
Our 3.5 mile walk took us an hour ‘out and back’ again (the trick is deciding how far ‘out’ you walk before turning back – you could easily find yourself on a fairly long walk!!). This is really easy walking, one of the benefits of the route being an old railway line is that there are no hills involved as the line cut’s into the landscape around it – the path still has the original railway tunnels that are very echoey to walk through! I have to admit a walk with no hills in West Yorkshire is almost unheard of, so this makes for a nice change.
All in all, a lovely place to walk with a wide variety of scenery to appreciate – possibly almost a varied as the American version of the route!!
Louise & Percy