One of the classic family outings in Yorkshire is the Railway Children Walk, a 2 1/2 mile stroll beginning in the valley which carries the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway between Haworth and Oxenhope.
The line was famously used as location in the 1970 film of E. Nesbitt’s classic novel. For those who would like a longer walk, this route doubles the length to take in rolling fields to the west of Oxenhope and a taste of the so-called Bronte Moors around Penistone Hill on the west side of Haworth. Be sure to make the minor detour to soak in the atmsophere of Oxenhope Station when a train is arriving or leaving. It is best to do the walk at weekends or on Bank Holidays, when there are numerous trains on the line. The walk passes the iconic Bronte Parsonage. Look out for goldfinches in the fields and linnets on Penistone Hill.
1. From Haworth Railway station walk south to Brow Road. At the bottom look for steps on the right leading to a path beside Bridgehouse Beck. The route runs parallel to the railway line, rises to pass Ives Bottom, and descends to pass a Yorkshire Water installation. The shorter Railway Children walk goes right over the track here but our route turns left over a footbridge then right to follow a path out to Mill Lane, Oxenhope. Turn right and at a junction make a short detour to Oxenhope Station.
2. Return to the route and go right into Mill Lane then left on Moorhouse Lane. At a school playground turn right and walk behind the playground to cross a soccer field to a wall gate. Turn right and follow the worn path, angling left at a dilapidated wall to a wall gap. Follow the path into a dip, cross Moorhouse Beck then continue up to Mould Greave and a tarmac lane.
3. Turn right and walk along the road. Cross with care to a kissing gate into Marsh Common and follow the path past a picnic table and continue up two fields to emerge in the hamlet of Upper Marsh. Turn right and walk along the road. Take a left fork and find a track signposted to Urban Common. When the path splits take the right fork to a building with aluminium shutters.
4. Pass to the left of the building and turn immediately right to follow a path over Penistone Hill. At a bench turn right to find a path leading round a quarry. There are many paths criss-crossing the moor here but aim for a long straight path which aims north-eastwards and intersects with a tarmac road called Dimples Lane.
5. Cross to a narrow lane leading downhill. At the bottom turn left on a good path to Haworth Church. This is the official Railway Children Walk. Follow the path right at the church to arrive on Haworth’s cobbled main street. Turn right and walk downhill. At the main road fork left to continue to the bottom of the hill and turn left to return to Haworth Railway Station.
Difficulty Rating: 1 star
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 5 miles
Maps: OS Explorer (1:25000) OL21 South Pennines
Public Transport: Haworth and Oxenhope are served by steam trains on the Keighley & Worth Valley line. Keighley is on the Airedale Line between Leeds, Bradford and Skipton. Keighley-Haworth buses are 663, 664, 665, 500. For all times check www.wymetro.com or call 0113 245 7676.
Refreshments & Toilets: Haworth, Oxenhope.