Birkhouse & Clifton
5 miles – 2.5 hours – grade 2
Our walk starts from the carpark in Wellhome Park, Brighouse, off Thornhills Beck Lane. Many of the paths, fields and tracks can be muddy; there is a short climb up to Birkhouse but the rest of the walk is fairly easy.
Leave the carpark in the top left-hand corner onto Thornhills Beck Road and walk up the tarmac road towards the viaduct. Just before the viaduct you will see, on your left, the path. Continue along the path, following the stream and woodland until you come to a style leading you into the field. Continue along the path to the far corner, you will then drop down to the valley bottom and stream, take the right-hand path. You will come to a small wooden bridge, which will lead you into the housing estate.
Straight in front of you will be a path and stairs leading you to another cul-de-sac, once again at the other side you will see a path between the houses. Just after the garden fence, on your right is a style taking you up to the old railway line. Turn left and walk towards the old bridge, turn right on the track to the junction of small roads. Go straight forward up the hill towards Birkhouse.
Follow the road up and to your right until you come to a large gate, (there is a sign regarding dogs, these are chained up and, in the farmyard,), the gap is on your left-hand side, continue along the farm track, take the right-hand track and walk around the farm buildings on your left to the end. The track turns left, on your right is a way marker into the field.
At the far end of the field, diagonally to your right, you will see a very large tree, head towards this. You will see a style in the middle of the wall/fence, go straight forward onto the farm track, this area is called Clough and the track Clough Lane. At the end of the track, you come to Jay House Lane.
Turn right and in front of you is way marker into the field. You walk straight forward in the middle of the field to the rise in front of you, you should be able to make out the path. Once on the rise, you will see a style into the next field, head towards the banking (a disused railway which took coal down to the canal basin in Brighouse) diagonally to your right is a large post in the middle of the field, head towards this. The fence through the field meets the wall and at this point is a gap style. Take extra care, it comes out onto the road, often with very fast traffic.
Cross the road and turn left, when you reach the bottom of the road, on your right you will see the track marked Spen Valley Heritage Trail & Kirklees Way. This wide track cuts through the golf course, do not take any of the paths that lead from it but continue straight forward. After the sign for the Spen Valley Heritage Way on your left, the track becomes Green Lane, at the T junction turn left and continue until you reach Towngate at Clifton, the Black Horse Inn is to your left.
Turn right and walk along the footpath, you will pass the school and then the church, on your left. On the opposite side of the road, you will see another church, just after it is a right-hand turn taking you between the houses onto a cul-de-sac, opposite you will see another path, which will bring you onto a football field.
Keep straight forward and down the field towards a style, turn left and continue along this old path to the main road. Turn left and walk to the houses on the left. Opposite you will see the wide farm track to Green Farm, walk past the cottages and farm buildings, you will see the track leading you past the fields. You will come to a style and then fenced path to the small hamlet of Thornhills.
Turn left and walk along the small road, on your right you will see the Calderdale Way sign and gap in the wall. Follow this path down the hillside to come out on Thornhills Beck Lane. Turn left and walk down the road towards the viaduct and the carpark.