About the valley
The beautiful Upper Calder Valley lies in West Yorkshire and covers the towns of Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Luddendenfoot, and Sowerby Bridge, as well as a number of smaller settlements such as Portsmouth, Cornholme, Walsden and Eastwood. The valley is the upper valley of the River Calder. Major tributaries of the Upper Calder include the Walsden Water, which flows through the large village of Walsden to join the Calder at Todmorden; the Hebden Water, which flows through Hebden Dale to join the Calder at Hebden Bridge; and Cragg Brook, which flows through the stunning Cragg Vale, which features the longest hill climb ridden during the second day of the 2014 Tour de France, to join the Calder at Mytholmroyd.
In popular culture
The rugged and steep-sided Upper Calder Valley inspired such literary artists as the poets, Ted Hughes (who was born in Mytholmroyd) and Sylvia Plath (who is buried in Heptonstall, near Hebden Bridge), and the writer, Emily Brontë. The valley has also been a popular setting for film and TV.
In the Valley
This unique location has a character forged through landscape and time. The terrain made sheep farming ideal and a domestic cloth industry possible. Heptonstall, high above the valley, became the centre for weavers and Hebden Bridge the river crossing point for pack horses laden with cloth, salt and food. The valley also provided wood from the forested lower slopes and this combined with the established cloth industry created the perfect location for the furniture makers to develop their skills.