Walk: Great Northern Railway Trail

in Queensbury, West Yorkshire

Enjoy this walk along part of the old disused Bradford to Keighley railway line. This section covers the two stunning viaducts at Cullingworth and Thornton the best examples of repurposed railways routes in the region.

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The Route

  • what3words for start point: ///decent.repair.talked
  • Start Point: Thornton
  • Finish Point: Cullingworth
  • Distance: 6 Miles

GPX Route Map

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Walk Description

Opened in the 1860’s the route from Bradford to Keighley was known as the Switchback or Alpine route due to the large number of viaducts and tunnels that had to be build to navigate the geography of this part of Bradford.

This walk starts in Queensbury where you can see face to face the Queensbury tunnel, at just over a mile long, which is currently at the heart of a campaign to reopen as a walking route to Halifax.

Follow the fairly flat route towards Thornton and over it’s magnificent viaduct. The views down the valley to the city are simply beautiful. Look out for the school at the viaduct’s end, this is the site of the old station. Follow the signs to Wellshead tunnel where you’ll need to follow the route over the fields above the tunnels towards Denholme.

Once there you’ll pick up the route again towards Cullingworth to the even more stupendous Heweden viaduct. This 14 span structure is even more impressive due to it’s curve and views over the reservoir and Bronte moorland.

The route continues for another mile into the lovely village of Cullingworth where you find a nice café at the village hall for refuelling and a caffeine pick me up. This walk can be split up into separate sections in Thornton and Cullingworth which are accessible friendly.

Related Accommodation

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