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The Magna Via also known as The Wakefield Gate Halifax: a great walk from Hipperholme to Halifax

This ancient road, connecting Halifax to Wakefield is a fascinating reminder of the illustrious past and until the 18th century was the only route East. Carrying animals, wool and textiles by packhorse, this footpath enables walkers to really experience how difficult life must have been in times gone by.

The walk from Hipperholme to Halifax, which we took by bus from Dyer’s Holiday Cottage into Halifax and bus to Hipperholme, is provided in the walks section of our guest information folder at Dyer’s Holiday Cottage Halifax but briefly consists of a downhill section from Station Road, then an upward path following Dark Lane, which is one of the best preserved Medieval holloways, up to 12 metres deep in parts, carved out by many centuries of traffic. At the summit, above Shibden Hall, home of Anne Lister aka ‘Gentleman Jack’ from the television series written by Sally Wainwright, the track levels out offering splendid views across the Shibden Valley to Queensbury on the opposite ridge. Look out for the old mineshaft before descending into the remnants of the woods of Beacon Hill. Here the track becomes setted again. The cobbles were laid in the 1720’s to provide an all weather surface but the gradient was too steep for wheeled vehicles. Excavated and restored by Halifax Civic Trust in 1984. we can now see the beauty of their workmanship.

The 1741 Turnpike Trust meant that gradually the Magna Via was used less to carry goods as the toll paying Halifax Old Road was built following a lower but longer more Northerly route between Halifax and Hipperholme.

It remains a great memorial of past times for walkers to enjoy and took us 1.5 hours, approximately 3 miles.

For more information have a look at www.milestonesociety.co.uk

www.visitcalderdale.com

www.calderdale.gov.uk

Information Board near Dark Lane Hipperholme
Dark Lane
Choose your route
Shibden Valley
The track descends into the woods on Beacon Hill Halifax
A work of art!

Nearly there!

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