Cara + Floss Days Out from Rough Top Cottage 

Cara the Wolfhound and Floss the Whippet-cross 

Guests Annette + Sophie and their dogs Cara + Floss share their favourite walks from Rough Top.

You have to plan days carefully when you have an Irish Wolfhound, Cara, and a delicate whippet-cross, Floss.  Floss loves nothing but zooming about but has already had surgery on her front leg following a fall.  Quite often, we have followed walks only to find that there are stiles/ kissing gates which are not wolfhound compatible due to Cara’s size or being ‘too scary’ to fit through 😊 We have discovered that to avoid having to re-trace our steps, it is best to use Bridleways or dog-friendly walks and thankfully there are quite a few within a short drive from Rough Top cottage which were lovely.  Here are some of our favourites!

1.Hardcastle Craggs – Mill Walk (starting at Clough Hole car park on Widdop Road)

If you park at the National Trust Car Park at Widdop Road which is a short drive from Rough Top on the way to Hebden Bridge it is £5 for the day and takes you to Gibson Mill via a lovely downhill path with a stream down to your left.  There is a stone stile which both the dogs managed to get over however, there is a gate next to it too which is helpful.  Follow the Mill Walk path through the woods which gradually descends to the Mill (past the picnic area and toilet block).  Go over the bridge near the mill and turn right towards the river.  If you walk along the riverbank in the direction of the main carpark it is a less busy route and has lots of things for dogs to sniff plus a few good places for a paddle.

You will then start to ascend again and come out near the entrance to the Midgehole Road car park and the hut with the map inside.

From this point you can either take the estate road back towards the Mill or take the path up the hillside via the woods which is quite a climb but worth it.

If you follow the circular route back via the pack horse path it will take you up above the road and then you’ll then join this after descending down the craggy hill.  It is much easier to do this walk in this direction due to the steep slope 😊and it means you are near the Mill for a cuppa before taking the path back over the bridge and back up the hill to the car park.

2. Hardcastle Craggs – Railway Trail (starting at Clough Hole car park on Widdop Road)

Park in Clough Hole car park as above and then walk towards Gibson Mill. Don’t cross the bridge to the Mill but follow the Railway Trail path past the mill pond which will be on your right. This is a 3 mile walk through the woods and after 1.5 miles the path goes sharply downhill via very steep rustic steps (shown below) which stop near the river. The dogs both managed this if you go slowly and they can have a nice drink in the river when you get to the bottom.

Continue alongside the river through the woods back to the Mill past Hardcastle Craggs which will be on your right. If you want to go up onto the Craggs be very careful with dogs as there are sheer drops but it’s a lovely view and you can almost see where you have parked on the hill

Photo shows Cara on top of Hardcastle Craggs

Continue walking along the estate road and you’ll arrive back at Gibson Mill.  Either stop for a cuppa or go over the bridge past the picnic area and toilets and take the path back up to the car park.

3. Hebden Bridge Canal Walk

This is a nice easy saunter and takes you to the Stubbing Wharf pub which is very dog friendly.  You can also take the barge on the canal which goes from here – they are dog friendly according to their website although I think wolfhounds would be a bit too large and we didn’t want to risk any aquatic accidents.

If you drive to Hebden Bridge and go past the turning to the station there is a lot of parking along the Burnley Road on the way to Mytholmroyd, park here and then you can cross the road towards the canal and get down onto the towpath.

If you walk in the direction back to Heben Bridge station, you’ll come to a park on your left and then if you go across the canal near the Theatre and then follow the path you’ll reach the pub.  You can also walk beyond there and see some of the lovely allotments/ community gardens before heading back the way you came.

4. Stoodley Pike (from Hebden train station)

We have visited Stoodley Pike a few times but found that starting at Hebden Bridge train station was a better route as the hard part of the climb is earlier on.  However,we parked in the same spot as for the short canal walk and then once at the station walked past the station building and turning right underneath the trainline.  You’ll come out near some houses, bear left and take the bridleway up a steep hill (the train line is below you on the left).  If you follow this roadway you will bear round to the right and then go past ‘Wood Top’ and some houses and up a particularly steep cobbled road (Spencer Lane) between some fields.

Picture shows the view looking back down Spencer Lane

At the top of the hill, turn right at the junction to continue along Spencer Lane.  You’ll come out near some farm buildings and some more houses (Old Chamber) which you go past and then follow the bridleway straight ahead. 

At a small crossroads, turn left up ‘Back Lane’ following the marked trail.  A little further ‘Jumps Lane’ will join from the left, turn right continuing along Back Lane to another small crossroads.  Carry on over the crossroads, onto ‘Kilnshaw Lane’ and you’ll see Stoodley Pike ahead of you in the distance.  Continue to follow Kilnshaw Lane, passing some houses on the left, to the end of the road and you’ll merge with the Pennine Bridleway, after a short distance follow the signposted path left up towards Stoodley Pike.

Photo shows Cara & Floss at the signpost to Stoodley Pike seen on the horizon.

After spending time at Stoodley Pike come back to the signpost where you turned left and head back towards Kilnshaw Lane but after a short distance turn down to the left & follow the Pennine Bridleway down past Kirshaw Farm. Continue to follow the Pennine Bridleway down through Callis Wood and the signs to Callis Bridge.

Cross over the bridge and join the canal path on the right which will lead you past the community gardens and onwards to the Stubbing Wharf pub at Hebden Bridge. This was 9+ miles so take a picnic & plenty of water and doggie treats!



Photo below shows Cara checking Floss is ok at the end of a long walk!

5. Ogden Nature Reserve

This is quite a drive away. However, it is a nice journey to get there and there is limited parking so best to go on a quiet day. You can walk around the reservoir but there is also a path half way round that takes you up out of the woods, through a dis-used quarry out onto Ovenden Moor where you can go for a more strenuous explore off the beaten track.  We took a picnic and found a nice spot near this little stream.  There are some stiles and gates but Cara managed to get through.  The walk takes you alongside the river at one point but there is quite a drop down into the water so best keep an eye on the dogs.

Photo shows the view back to the disused quarry

6. Shedden Clough Limestone Hushings

This is a nice walk which we only discovered as we couldn’t get through a stile to go somewhere else!  It is an old limestone hushings which has been rewilded and is not far from Roughtop Cottage.  Turn left out of cottage, on the Long Causeway towards Burnley.  A short distance along the road come to Coal Clough Windfarm.  There is a car park at the end of the windfarm on the right-hand side.  Follow the Burnley Way through Shedden Clough Limestone Hushings and follow the trail towards Cant Clough Reservoir.  If you wish, you can continue to follow the Pennine Bridleway to Hurstwood Reservoir.


You will walk down through some lovely countryside although there were sheep grazing so dogs need to be under control on a lead at all times but can have a paddle in the stream.  We only did a short walk towards the reservoir as the dogs were so tired from the previous day’s outing but this is somewhere we will explore when we visit again!

Photo shows the masses of rhododendron and the view across to Pendle Hill

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