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15th January 2019 Beverley Addy

Sport in West Yorkshire

First-class football

West Yorkshire sport

Huddersfield Town flag

Birthplace of Rugby League, the county has top flight teams, with Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers among them. Even with a rugby league team in every town there’s still space for rugby union, too. Huddersfield Town is in the premiership, so there’s also first-class football to watch, with Bradford City and Halifax Town in the lower leagues.

Come the summer months however, West Yorkshire is cricket mad with Yorkshire playing at Headingley in Leeds for the best of test, T20 and international matches. But wherever you are you won’t be far from a cricket pitch and passions running high, for senior and junior fixtures, weekdays and weekends.

For the cycle lovers, West Yorkshire is home to the Tour de Yorkshire. Following the huge response to the 2014 visit by the Tour De France, the county secured its own bike race, attracting more than two million spectators each year over its annually changing route. For those who fancy a go, there is always the Tour de Yorkshire Ride, in which thousands take part for charity and experience the Tour de France legacy. If you fancy claiming your own yellow jersey on the hilly Yorkshire terrain, why not try the Colne Valley Mountain Challenge which takes riders round a tough 30-mile on and off-road route?

Also try Havok Bike Park, man-made, off-road, mountain bike trail at Cockhill Wood, Todmorden, with two downhill trails graded red and black and three orange free-ride trails varying in difficulty, and a set of jumps. Or for scooter riders, skaters, and BMX bikers enjoy Mags on Ramps indoor skate park, just outside Halifax centre, with lots of outdoor parks around.

Huddersfield Town is in the premiership, so there’s also first-class football to watch, with Bradford City and Halifax Town in the lower leagues

Outdoor climbing

West Yorkshire sport

Enjoy outdoor climbing and bouldering

For a calmer experience, there are the Sustrans routes across the county, or the West Yorkshire Boundary Route offering a taste of the whole region, or for even easier riding chose one of the many canal towpaths or award-winning Spen Valley Greenway, a disused rail-line route.

In such a beautiful landscape, it’s hard to resist getting out. West Yorkshire is a great place to go for a major hike or pleasant ramble. Try finding all six Stanza Stones, poetry-embossed stones, on a 50m route between Marsden and Ilkley, or the ancient Swastika Stone on the Woodhouse Crag, Ilkley moor, thought to have been carved in Neolithic times or by occupying Romans. To cover more ground try horse riding with many stables in the district offering hacks for all abilities.

You can enjoy outdoor climbing and bouldering on the natural gritstone that rises from the moors at Marsden and Hardcastle crags, or take it artificial at Rokt, Brighouse, with the country’s highest, man-made, outdoor climbing walls at 36m, with endless climbing options inside.

At Halifax ski and snowboard centre’s dry slopes and Castleford’s snow slope at Xscape you can even get you on your skis. Golfers also find great courses across the region such as Fixby and Woodsome Hall in Huddersfield.

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Image credits: ©Goleador/Adobe Stock

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