The first decent walk of 2018 began on a bright, frosty day. Setting off at 2 p.m., thaw had occurred as we headed through town towards the riverside path. However, on the unpaved Groove Road, ice on the ground proved tricky.
Just before Foster Mill Bridge, we stopped to examine a dilapidated cart in front of a wood-fronted garage, surrounded by frosty leaves and grass.
On the bridge, mossy walls appeared to have been sprinkled with icing sugar. A cheery man said “nice day for it” and advised me to take care as we crossed to Salem.
We took the steps up to Hollins, surveying the lovely sycamore tree and sunlight on the hills opposite. Through the eternally dark hamlet and into Tinker Bank wood, a group of walkers asked directions into town. We paused to consider which path to take and initially elected for the lower one before Phil suddenly took a steep upward path. I said we had not been that way before but he was sure we had. It became horribly muddy in places and I was glad I had sensible boots on.
Large stone blocks were strewn either side of the narrow path, suggesting that it had been a vehicle track, lined by walls at one time.
At the top, we emerged onto Lee Wood Road and were amused by the ‘slow’ sign nailed to a tree, beside a newly-formed waterfall. We walked eastwards towards Bobby’s Lane. But on encountering a paved lane downwards, we decided it might be a quicker way down to the riverside.
Not sure if it was a private drive, we discovered a dilapidated shed and another shortcut. This one looked decidedly dodgy though, so we kept to the tarmac, and round a large bend to emerge near the posh horse farm.
A couple walking with a bonkers dog created amusement for a few minutes before becoming rather annoying.
We overtook them, until we were forced to slow down by ice underfoot. I also wanted to take photos looking up to Pecket Well where sunlight on the hilltops created a contrast with the dark shadows below.
Further down, ice on the path turned to water. I kept to the edges and trod carefully.
Reaching the river, we spotted more frosty vegetation and a tree branch fallen in the weir.
We took the usual route back along Hebden Water and stopped at the first ‘beach’ to rest.
As we climbed back up to the path, Phil saw someone he knew in the garden opposite and we chatted over the gate before continuing back to town – this time sticking to Spring Grove; a much safer option.
More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtiuo3on4DPPFIIWhcCw