Heading along the second of the route's canal towpaths, the Rochdale Canal takes you quietly along to Hebden Bridge before the most grueling challenge of the whole route, the ascent to the cobbled streets of Heptonstall.
Hebden Bridge itself was originally an important meeting of pack horse routes and as a river-crossing point in medieval times. But its current size is again owed mainly to the textile industry, a constant theme of so many of the towns passed so far on the cycle route. The canal first opened in 1804 and was a vital link in the distribution of textiles and clothing, when at one point, the area was the largest cloth maker in the world. Times have changed again, and the moored leisure and house boats complement the cycle route well.