logo Walking Britain

South Pennines Walk
Top Withins and the Bronte Bridge from Haworth

Region - South Pennines

County/Area - West Yorkshire - South Pennines

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km    Ascent - 850 feet / 258 metres

Time - 4 hours 50 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SE029373
Lat 53.831953 // Long -1.95742
Postcode BD22 8DG (approx. location only)
what3words start cocoons.alas.vanish

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL21Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL21Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 103Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 103Digital Map1:50kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 104Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 104Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Top Withins and the Bronte Bridge from Haworth
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This walk covers some of the places and landscapes most associated with the Brontë family. Park in the car park close to the Brontë Parsonage (grid ref. SE 029373) in Haworth where Patrick Brontë was vicar. Family life for the Brontës was full of tragedy with Patrick outliving his son, five daughters and wife. The longest surviving daughters achieved considerable literary success with Charlotte's "Jane Eyre", Anne's "Agnes Grey" and Emily's "Wuthering Heights" all published in 1847. Despite the sadness the family endured today Haworth owes much to their lives and work.

From the car park make your way to the Church and take the path that runs to its right to pass the Parsonage Museum, which has a superb collection of artifacts pertaining to the Brontës. Follow the path signed to Haworth Moor which leads you onto a road. Turn left along the road and bear left at the first junction. After about 400 yards fork right to descend down a grassy track which leads to Lower Laithe Reservoir. Reaching the road follow it across the top of the dam, turning left at a T-junction to continue through the village of Stanbury.

At the far end of the village, turn left along an enclosed tarmac lane. The lane deteriorates into a rough track. Reaching a fork, take the right-hand route, which is signed "Top Withins". The track climbs steadily with improving views to emerge onto open moorland. Ignore diverging paths and stay with the main signed route to join the Pennine Way. This area could be confusing in bad weather and some experience of navigation would be useful in mist.

The ruined farmhouse of Top Withins is said by some to be Wuthering Heights but this is strongly disputed by experts. We shall never know the truth but the scenery is certainly superb and in wild weather the location is probably full of literary promise with superb views of the surrounding moorland. Although most people turn back for Haworth at this point it is worth pressing on for another half mile or so to reach the relative solitude of the less visited moors beyond the ruins.

From High Withins retrace your route towards Haworth for about two hundred metres and fork right along a path that heads in the direction of the Brontë Falls. The path descends through moorland with a stream to on your right. Follow the signs for the Falls crossing a number of walls which are crossed by stiles. Reaching a kissing-gate join the Brontë Way and descend to the Brontë bridge and falls. Reputed to be where the Brontë sisters spent some time the retrospective view is superb.

Cross the bridge and turn left towards Haworth following the main path that climbs above the stream. The onward route is straightforward first crossing moorland. The path becomes a track and leads to a public road. Turn right along the road for a short way before taking a path that heads half left to climb slightly onto the higher ground of Penistone Hill Country Park. There are many paths in this area but the best route is take the clear path that follows the ill-defined ridge and then skirts the northern flanks of Penistone Hill to reach a road (grid ref. 027368). Cross over and follow the path taking turning left to reach Haworth churchyard and the end of the walk.



Other walks nearby

Walk 1585 Haworth Moor circular - easy - 5.0 miles/8.1 km

Walk 1243 Haworth Moor and Bronte Bridge - easy - 3.5 miles/5.7 km

Walk 2705 Oxenhope to Hebden Bridge without a car - moderate - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 1307 A circuit of Ovenden Moor from Oxenhope - moderate - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 1449 Cullingworth Circular - easy/mod - 6.3 miles/10.2 km

Walk 1584 Ogden Reservoir - easy - 4.0 miles/6.5 km

Walk 3215 Steeton to Ilkley without a car - moderate - 7.5 miles/12.2 km

Walk 1793 Lothersdale from Cowling - easy/mod - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 2661 Keighley Moor Reservoir & Hitching Stone from Cowling - moderate - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 1952 Five Rise Locks and the River Aire, Bingley - easy - 5.3 miles/8.5 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Pennine Way Map Booklet

Pennine Way Map BookletMap of the 270 miles (435km) Pennine Way National Trail, between Edale in the Peak District and Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. This booklet is included with the Cicerone guidebook to the trail, and shows the full route on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps. This popular long-distance route typically takes three weeks to complete.
More information

The Pennine Way - the Path, the People, the Journey

The Pennine Way - the Path, the People, the JourneyA portrait of the The Pennine Way, Britain's oldest and best known long-distance footpath, stretching 268 miles from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders. This personal, thoughtful and often humorous story of the path's remarkable history, includes the experiences of walkers and local characters on this exhilarating and complex path.
More information

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.