Here’s an easy-going and novel urban route with fine valley views and a history lesson all about the Luddites

Making and breaking history

Great British Life: Easy walking on the Spen Valley Greenway (c) Paul KirkwoodEasy walking on the Spen Valley Greenway (c) Paul Kirkwood

1. Walk north along Cartwright St. After river bridge turn right and, after 50m, left. Pass through tunnel beneath Spen Valley Greenway cycle route. Turn right and almost immediately left up footpath running parallel to bridleway between the Jo Cox community wood and Liversedge football ground. Turn left at t-junction.

2. Follow Quaker Lane to Hightown Rd. Cross the road and keep ahead on St Barnabas Rd. Where road bears right go forward on footpath between two garages to reach Church St. Turn right then left. At t-junction turn left onto A649. At the convenience store turn sharp right down Miry Lane, through a park then past the backs of houses.

Great British Life: Walton Cross. (c) Paul KirkwoodWalton Cross. (c) Paul Kirkwood

3. At Walton Heights (a minor road) keep ahead for a few metres then turn right onto Lincs Wold and left onto Second Lane. Cross Windy Bank Lane and keep ahead down footpath, passing the Walton Cross.

4. At tarmac lane turn left then, at t-junction with Lady Well Lane, turn right. Follow lane as it bears left. Having passed St Peters Church on your right turn left onto footway beside Church Lane and continue to the Windy Bank crossroads. Cross over and continue ahead along Hare Park Lane.

5. Just after the Friends' burial ground, as the Lane bears left, keep ahead on footpath called Upper House Lane to and through Upper House Farm. At Clough Lane turn left to the A649 (Halifax Rd).

6. Turn right and after 100m turn right onto footpath. At stile at end of path turn left. Follow path over stiles, past backs of houses and Fairfield Court to emerge on Low House Fold. Turn left to Halifax Rd. Cross it via the pedestrian refuge and turn right to reach the Luddite Statue.

Great British Life: The Shears. (c) Paul KirkwoodThe Shears. (c) Paul Kirkwood

7. Retrace your steps for a few metres and continue west on A649. Just after the Shears turn right down Primrose Lane. Pass under the Spen Valley Greenway via a tunnel back to Cartwright St.


Curiosity on every corner

Great British Life: The Jo Cox Community Wood. (c) Paul KirkwoodThe Jo Cox Community Wood. (c) Paul Kirkwood

When is a town not a town? When it’s Liversedge buried deep within the west Yorkshire conurbation. It's actually an amalgam of villages or townships. The closest thing it has to a town centre is the point at which the old school and former town hall face each other across Halifax Road. The spot is marked by a sculpture depicting one of the Luddites. These were local weavers who set about destroying loom-making machinery in the early 19th century to try and preserve their jobs. The term has since become associated with any group that is considered to be holding back what most people see as technical progress for the sake of their own, smaller interests.

Great British Life: Lands Beck valley, Hightown. Paul KirkwoodLands Beck valley, Hightown. Paul Kirkwood

This walk is one of two in the area devised by the Spen Valley Historical Society that link together places associated with the Luddites. (The other walk was featured in Yorkshire Life, Feb 2023). This route is perfect for mid-winter in that, being just off the M62 it’s quick and easy to reach for most walkers and, at five miles long, can be completed without a break so you can keep warm. Alternatively, a pub and farm shop are passed en route (see below). On top of that the route is peppered with historical spots, most of them connected to the Luddites but also including the Walton Cross and Lady Well. A new point of interest is the Jo Cox community woodland opened in March 2020.

Download leaflets for both trails from For further historical information about the area read the detailed panel at the Luddite statue or view online at

Eat here

Great British Life: Bennett's Farm. (c) Paul KirkwoodBennett's Farm. (c) Paul Kirkwood

Bennett's, Croft Farm, Liversedge. Café Bistro open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Home-made ice cream also a speciality. Look out for the local rhubarb flavour in February! Includes small petting farm and dining garden.

The Shears Inn, Halifax Rd, Hightown. Very traditional pub dating back 1772 featuring log fire and stained glass windows. A room upstairs was used for secret meetings of Luddites as they planned their attacks. Fine views from the garden which provides plenty of seating. Dogs welcome. No food. 01924 402374.

Great British Life: Liversedge and Cleckheaton walk route (c) OS MapsLiversedge and Cleckheaton walk route (c) OS Maps

Compass points

Start/finish: Liversedge. BD19 5LS, grid ref SE 198 245.

Time/distance: 3 hours/8km.

Accessibility: Easy walking, much of it on surfaced lanes.

Maps: OS Landranger 104 Leeds & Bradford. OS Explorer 288 Bradford & Huddersfield.

Parking: Cartwright St, Cleakheaton.

Map link: