Tag Archives: dam

The Highest Beach

Saltway view 1A sunny mid-July Tuesday, I arranged to meet Marisa for a long-overdue trip to Gaddings Dami.  We caught a bus to Todmorden bus station and had a short wait for the Mankinholes circular. Initially, the tiny bus took us the way we had come but then turned right to climb Shaw Wood Road.  Round the houses, through Mankinholes, past the Top Brink Inn, we arrived at Lumbutts.  We alighted opposite the Shepherds’ Rest and went through the gate.  Marisa consulted me on a choice of three paths up.  She was not keen on the straightest and most popular option, heading steeply upwards and I did not fancy the ’quarry path’ which she informed me was quite a bit longer.  We settled on the third option, taking us along an ancient saltway.  Old stone paving became rough gravel further up.

The impressive boulder took on different aspects circumnavigation, looking decidedly like a chicken from the other side.

Stone feature 3

A little further on, we caught sight of the steps leading up to the dam.   Although we had almost reached our destination, the buffeting north wind blew across Walsden Moor making the climb arduous.  At the top of the dam wall, the wind became fiercer and I really wondered what on earth I was doing up there!  I walked away from the water’s edge to escape the worst of it.

Turning a corner Marisa spotted her friend J in the water who invited her to jump in but we walked on to the beach.  Guessing which person was her friend’s partner, we introduced ourselves.  I parked on the beach created by the yellow sandstone to rest while Marisa changed and went straight into the reservoir.  P sat at water’s edge adamant it was too cold for swimming.  I tentatively paddled and agreed it was bloody freezing!  Then he took the plunge and lay face down in the water.  “that’s brave!” I said.  He then badgered me to do likewise but I stuck to my guns.  After the brave ones had swum, we spent an enjoyable hour or so on the beach, chatting and sharing snacks.  A line of hikers marched across the moor, silhouetted against the western sky: “It’s a Lancastrian invasion!” we joked.  In truth, it was probably an end-of-term school outing.

Whos that coming over the hill

We consented to return via ‘the quarry path’.  It proved incredibly picturesque with fine views of the surroundings and birds of prey circling above.  However, I did not find it as gentle as Marisa had suggested.  Being sheltered from the wind it became hot necessitating short stops for rest and water.  The descent took easily twice as long as our ascent.  Back at the pub, we said goodbye as J&P retrieved their car.  Luckily, we discovered a bus due.  It took us via Walsden back to Todmorden.  An interminable wait ensued at the bus station as three buses in a row sailed past displaying ‘not in service’ signs.  Eventually, one arrived to take us home.  I asked the driver what was going on.  “They’re all lazy” he said dismissively – very helpful!  During the journey I was so tired that I started falling asleep.  Marisa declared “It’s such a lovely evening I think I’ll go for another walk”.

Quarry path

Notes

i               http://www.gaddingsdam.org/

ii              https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/wtw/sources/themes/plugriot.html

More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtisFruK7X-PY8kM_4iA

 

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Changing Landscapes in Crimsworth Dean

Old road with tree 1

An alternative to the ever-popular Hardcastle Crags, a ramble through the nearby Crimsworth Dean took us on a journey through numerous landscapes.

Woodland flowers 1At the top of Midgehole Road we skirted the edge of the crags passed the overflow car park. We walked up the bridleway, and climbed, and climbed.

Soon after the apex we found a small path going down to the right and headed through woods planted in the 1830’s with Scottish spruce and beech. We took time to admire spring flowers and tiny birds flitting amongst the trees.

Crimsworth brook 1Descending further, we navigated across felled trees, impromptu streams and small waterfalls until we reached a very pretty bridge over Crimsworth dean brook.

After crossing we turned right again and followed the line of the brook on the other side of the clough.

Large stone with ruin 1The landscape changed every time we passed over a boundary. From a posh garden and through wetland, we came into a moor-like field, complete with tiny ruins and huge stones.

A perfect spot for a picnic.

The next boundary brought us back into woodland. We came across a crop of garlic. Pausing to pick some, we discovered most of it was growing in bog making harvesting rather tricky. We then chose from two paths to go down to the water’s edge.

Mill pond with duck familyThis took us to a series of industrial ruins.

On an old mill pond we took time to watch a family of ducks calmly paddling away from us.

We then proceeded along the man-made landscape and came upon a huge dam wall. We marvelled at its dimensions then carried on into a more pastoral scene where lone trees adorned pretty green fields. Pausing again to take in the views, we came out through a wooden gate back onto Midgehole road.

Old dam wall 6More photos at: http://1drv.ms/1QpWlVn