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Home > Walks > Cragface - Bronte Walk

(also in Japanese)

The Bronte Canter by CragFace

  Distance: Just over 8 miles (13 km)


An hours canter; or, about a 5 hrs. walk with stops to wave at Cathy.


1,017ft (310m)


Tricky in places, some difficult ups and downs. One, wood stepped stile.


Heathcliffe and moor. Occasionally haunting. Semaphore by moonlight.


Park in the Parsonage Car Park £2:00p per day.WARNING : This is CLAMP country.


OS Outdoor Leisure 21. South Pennines

Bus Service:

See for details. Or drive to the car park. Fee payable.

A literary promenade with Heathcliff; past romantic gushing waterfall, charming Bronte bridge, and Top Withins:
the setting for Wuthering Heights.

This walk was Complied by Cragface.
All Words, Photography, etc. are by the man himself.

View Larger Map 




Tether your horse & carriage in the Parsonage car park, and leave by the pedestrian exit, turning right onto the cobbled road. Put on your best bonnet and seek out the back of the church. You can locate it from the chimes every quarter of the hour, and by walking up the alley (Opposite the Tourist Information Centre) towards the Kings Arms Beer Garden. Then veer left afore 'e get there.

At this sign, (see picture) "Public footpath to Penistone Hill and Oxenhope", follow the path keeping the dead on your right and the living on your left.


At a gap in the railings on the left, go down the four steps and turn right to follow a tree tunnelled pathway. Hold your breath along here so as not to catch the consumption.

Go through the gate, and at this wooden signed post (pictured) turn right heading in the direction of "Top Withins 3½; Bronte Falls 2½; & The Bronte Way." Keep a look out for a pewter mug Branwell dropped during his drunken revelry.


Make haste along this 'ere path, and past some buildings on both sides. At last you meet a modern road which you cross over to arrive at a small coach resting point and this track off to the left blocked by the boulder.

Originally this was a massive rock, but has since been whittled down to it's current size having been used for cannon balls, grape and chain shot, during the Napoleonic wars. Go past the rock on the right (for 'tis bad luck some say, to tarry to the left) and follow this main track all the way.


Many paths beckon you, both left and right; heed 'e not any.

You will come upon the petrified library. Here it is said that at the crossroads at dead of night drearily, Branwell, ravaged by drink, was so jealous of his sisters, that he did a deal with a Pendle witch and turned all his siblings' books to stone.

You will see them over on your right just before the crossroads 'ere, (see picture) carry straight ahead. Do not turn at the crossroads.


You can see over to the right the reservoir. Now in the distance you can just make out a road, and a large triple road sign over on the right, and near you, some picnic tables.
At this large rock (under which is reputed to be the hidden opiate stash of Branwell) there is the start of a pathway.

However, as the wooden signpost states, there are toilets in a further 250 yards, if you need them. Take the path (see picture) to the right and head for the main road. It is signposted for "Bronte Falls, Top Withins, and BronteWay."


Having crossed the road, merely head down towards this infernal contraption of gates and cattlegrid. (see picture) Follow the wide dirt track past the green sign on your left for South Penine Moors.

Enjoy the rugged pasture, heath and wildlife on this long mile stretch of the walk. Listen out for the lonely call of the love struck Cathy.


Follow your nose along this good lane. You meet paving and steps down. Continue forward...
Well here it is.

The Bronte Bridge, Waterfall and Supermart. Notice to the left is the waterfall, (somewhat bedraggled and understated at the best of times) and here (see picture) the bridge, rebuilt in 1990 after a torrent forced it down the year before.

Take care not to lose your balance. (as Bramwell always did; especially if he had had one of his 'special little pills') Walk over the bridge to follow the pathway ever upward.


You will probably want to catch your breath here (see picture) at the kissing gate. You probably won't feel like kissing anything at this instance though?

Once through the gate, take the paved path, and walk on up towards the next obelisk Take a 'Bramwell pill'. Feel good. Tune in. Turn on. In this space; no-one can hear you scream.


Further along, the path straightens and a squeeze gate manifests itself. (see picture) Here "the grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge- cutters."

The route is fairly straightforward, just keep following the obvious path.

Now climb the four steps (see picture) of this wood stepped style, "with vexatious phlegm", walk on.........Jump gently across two babbling brooks at the valley bottom; where "not only the murmur of the beck is distinguishable, but its ripples and its gurgling over the pebbles, or through the large stones which it could not cover."
Plod onward. Upward... Vollied & ...
If you start to cough up blood now, at least be happy that you had something in common with the Brontes.

This is the stiff-upper-lip bit. Remember, -it's romantic to die young and talented. Keep your head down and climb the paved laborious pathway (see picture) to Top Withins. Look out for Charlotte's liberty bodice, discarded in a fit of pique. Or was it Byrons?

At Congratulations fair hiker on reaching this juncture. (see picture) You can tarry here a while to catch your breath and seek out views, but sadly you have still an uphill traipse.

Go left from here, but remember this signpost, for you must return to this point again from High Withins (next instruction) ruins.


Course on upwards to the ruins of Top Withins. By now you will "breathe as fast as a cat." Here there is sheltered seating, (inside the doorway you can see in the picture) where you can share your lunch with the flies...

The weather here can vary: sometimes some seek shade if the sun should shine; others passing puddles promptly pursue protection from the pouring, pounding precipitation.

Once you have satiated your curiosity, return back down the same path you came up, and pass, on the left, the signpost again...but carry on forward now, not down to the right.

Follow the obvious track all the way as it undulates, taking you past a smaller ruin, and some pleasant terrain.

Pass a farmstead on your left, and at this juncture (see picture) take the left path by the signpost, just past the large rock here.

Keep your spirits high by singing 'There's an old mill by the stream, Nelly Dean'


Soon after; this scene manifests itself. (see picture) Go over the cattle grid or through the gate. Follow the good road down.

"Oh! these bleak winds and bitter northern skies, and impassable roads..."


Passing the Stanbury Village sign, on the left, keep right and wander through the village high street. There is a seat in the middle on the left, where you can rest your weary body and take in the views over the River Worth towards Oldfield.
The "... chapel bells were still ringing; and the full, mellow flow of the beck in the valley came soothingly on the ear. It was a sweet substitute for the yet absent murmur of the summer foliage, which drowned that music about the Grange when the trees were in leaf."
Continue all the way through Stanbury, past the school on your right, and taking advantage of the pubs should 'e wish it.

Here (see picture) Take the right turning, and head toward the reservoir. (Before you turn, note the sign further down on the right that warns of 'Ice' on the road - is a permanent one...

Avoid the fast moving vehicular transport along this narrow road. The Lower Laithe Reservoir was completed 1925, is 24m / 78.8ft high, and has a capacity of 1314tcm / 289 million gallons of water. (see the education you get on these 'ere walks?) Toilets are, apparently, seasonal; ring 08451 242424 for further information!

Pass the pumping station (see picture), and head a little uphill. Soon here on your left is a small junction for Sladen Valley Water Treatment Works. Turn left down here.

You are met by this sight (see picture) Take the right hand fork (which has a post in the centre, and follow it all the way. Watch out for the speed bump, and slow down to 15 mph. otherwise you may damage your undercarriage.

There are views over to your left and behind you. Over to the right blueberries when in season. By Deuce!

Reaching the rise of the hill (see picture) turn left at the road and walk past the Haworth Cemetery Gates on your right. Beware of further consumption by a breath's snatch.

Continue along this road until a rock on the right declares itself
'Penistone Hill Country Park'.

Cross the road in front of you that comes down from the right, and then yards later, turn right onto the main road into Haworth village.


Walking along the right hand side of the road soon after is this gate contraption, (see picture) consisting of wall, pole, and swing gate.

Go through 'ere and bear left and head up along this pathe'd path.

"Here you may gather your peat for burning..." You are n'ere but a cuckoo spit away from home now.

This gate (see picture) leads you back " will be swallowed up in the anticipation of its fulfilment..." to the Parsonage where, as you turn left by it, the car park is in front of you and the end of the walk, under tree shade.

"I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth."
Toilets are at the entrance to the car park as you drive in; in any of the pubs you pass; at instruction No.5 and there's always the reservoir? (No.18)
Quotes are manifest from
"Wuthering Heights"
by Miss Emily Bronte.







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