Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales.

Jonathan has written his own book, the Dales 30 which details the highest mountains in the Dales.

He also runs one-day navigation courses for beginners and intermediates. Join his Learn a Skill, Climb a Hill weekends in the Dales.

To find out more details on any of the above visit his website,

PENISTONE Hill is only a very short (but steep!) walk from Haworth, the home of the Bronte sisters. Penistone itself is an interesting place to explore but this walk is much improved by extending it on to the wild moors that so inspired the writings of the three sisters.

Park in one of the car parks in Haworth and head towards the church and Bronte Parsonage. It is worth visiting the Parsonage before the walk to gain a feel for the tough lifestyle of the times. In turn this will bring a greater appreciation to the walk. The path heads up the south side of St Michael and All Angels Church, an impressive building where the father of the Bronte sisters was reverend for 41 years. Beyond the church the path bears left for 200 metres, passing a car park on the left. After 200m take the signed lane to the right which climbs steeply for a further 25o metres before meeting a minor road. Cross the road and take the footpath heading south west.

The path climbs on to Penistone Hill. The distinctive moonscape appearance of Penistone Hill is the result of sandstone quarrying, popular in the 19th century and only ceasing in the 1960s. The resuted landscape is a myriad of heather moors and craters filled with small tarns that are cross crossed by a number of paths. A trig point marks the high point at 314 metres providing some pleasant views. What is most noticeable about the views (unlike the nearby Dales but more like the North York Moors) is the deeply cut, dark valleys. It is a river eroded landscape creating the narrow valleys, not the U shaped glaciated valleys further north.

Picking your own way along the many paths head in a generally western direction till dropping to meet a road. Turn right and follow it downhill (the distance depends on where you met the road!) to a footpath heading in to the moors.

This path picks its way through the heather (a magnificent purple at this time of the year) till it meets a wider track. If you have not visited the Bronte Bridge before carry on the track to the bridge and then turn south alongside the waterfall. If you have been to the bridge previously take the footpath through the heather aiming to the obvious farm in the distance, Harbour Lodge.

From the farm turn back east and take the major farm/shooting track across the moors.

This is a large grouse moors, managed for the preservation of the young grouse and the yearly shoots. The views are tremendous and because the track is so easy the eye is drawn to the vastness of the moors. Lovely!

On meeting the road after one-and-a-half miles turn right briefly and then take the quiet road opposite. Follow the road for 1 mile (it turns sharply left after half a mile) till it meets your outbound route under Penistone Hill.

I have tried various footpaths above Haworth but they are in variable (and often wet) condition so recommend staying to the road and lane on returning to the town.

Fact File:

Distance: Roughly 5 miles (8km).

Height to Climb: 150m (500 feet)

Start: SE 030372. There are a number of car parks in Haworth but aim for the church to start the walk.

Difficulty: Easy/Medium. Generally the paths are excellent and straightforward to follow.

Refreshments: Haworth is full of interest with excellent cafes and pubs.

Be Prepared:

The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL21) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk). You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors.