Kirklees Council provides walking routes for visitors of all abilities to the local countryside and green spaces.
The public rights of way network in Kirklees has always been an important asset for recreation. Public rights of way are there for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone, so the council and its partners work hard to improve safety and accessibility wherever possible.
This valuable resource is often taken for granted even though footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways now play an even bigger role in people's health and well-being. Having a good public rights of way network also contributes towards reducing carbon emissions by encouraging people to walk or cycle instead of travelling by car.
The public rights of way network supports tourism which makes an important contribution towards the local economy and it helps ensure that residents and visitors have access to the wonderful countryside that we have in and around Kirklees.
Standing over 900 feet above sea level, Castle Hill dominates the skyline above Huddersfield. Wheelchair users and other visitors with limited mobility can park on the summit of the Hill and use the access trail to enjoy spectacular and often windswept views. There are also colourful and lively information panels explaining the wildlife and remarkable history of Castle Hill.
Oakwell is a multi award winning country park and historic hall, featuring woodland, walled gardens, arboretum, cafe and visitor centre. ‘Easier access at Oakwell Hall Country Park’ is a site map for wheelchair users and anyone who wants to avoid steps and slopes, available from the Country Park or to download as a PDF file from Kirklees Council’s web site.
With five major parks and 28 smaller parks, 260 recreation grounds play areas and 152 playing fields and sports pitches in Kirklees there is plenty of green space across the district for local people and visitors to enjoy.
There are three greenway routes in Kirklees which serve as National Cycle Network (NCN) routes.
The Spen Valley Greenway is a green transport corridor using the route of the former Spen Valley railway. The seven mile section open between Oakenshaw and Thornhill Lees, provides a great off road opportunity for cyclists, walkers and wheelchair users. This is NCN 66 and on the eastern side of the Spen Valley is the Spen Ringway route which currently extends from High Street, Heckmondwike north to Royds Park, near Cleckheaton. There is potential for this disused rail route to be extended.
The Birkby Bradley Greenway to the north of Huddersfield is NCN 69, another route on a former rail corridor. At Bradley this connects to the Calder Valley Greenway (NCN 66) which is a route comprising of some sections on disused rail corridor, quiet roads, and riverside sections through Mirfield and Ravensthorpe to Dewsbury.
The first short section of the Meltham Greenway starts in the car park of Morrison’s Supermarket in Meltham, but is soon in delightful countryside.
Information on the routes can be found on the Sustrans website.
See also the Search for walking and cycling routes page.
Holmfirth Tourist Information Centre,
tel: 01484 222444
Marsden Library and Information Centre, tel: 01484 222555
Countryside Unit, tel: 01484 225618
Experience Community CIC, though not connected with Kirklees Council, may be of interest. They are based in Huddersfield and provide information and short films about access to the countryside and other leisure activities for disabled people, mainly in the Kirklees area. They also arrange guided walks for disabled people and the wider community and are hoping to begin to offer hand cycling as an activity in the near future.
They are continuing to run weekly walks in Kirklees and will do all winter, helping to keep people fit and active. The walks are open to anyone and are suitable for wheelchair users. These walks are made much easier with the addition of a Freewheel - see the YouTube video (link below) which shows just how versatile they are.
They have also started to organise regular walks for people who have Mountain Trikes. These rambles are proving popular, and they have recently purchased a Trike that people can hire on a first come first served basis - they are hoping to increase the number of Trikes they can hire out in the New Year. You can watch a short film about a recent visit to Oakwell Hall Country Park and the places they got to in the woodland on the YouTube video (link below).
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