Another sunny Sunday and I felt strong enough to tackle a longer walk. We intended to get the bus to Blackshaw Head and walk down Jumble Hole. I checked bus times as there had been some timetable changes but the website displayed the original times. On the way to the bus stop, we bought pasties and pop then waited several minutes. The Widdop bus came first. I suggested catching it to Heptonstall and possibly take the lovely route down to Hardcastle Crags.
Alighting in the village, Phil stood in a patch of sun and declared he was stopping there. I laughed. We walked up Towngate and turned right.
Along Townfield, we paused often to appreciate the white tree blossom above us, golden meadows stretching before us and panoramic views of the valley below.
Among scattered farm junk, a child’s toy perched atop an animal feed container made us chuckle.
At a fork in the grassy path, I suggested taking the lower one down to Midgehole. This took us along a stone wall, through a picturesque stile and onto Draper Lane. I could see the footpath sign across the road, slightly to the right.
On the other side, we discovered a beautiful verge on the cliff-edge. We sat awhile on a convenient a bench surrounded by flowers to take in views of the Crags and Crimsworth Dean.
An idyllic wooded path led downwards. Thin oaks stretch upwards, their bark adorned with red lichen and their tops crowned by shiny leaves.
Tiny anemones poked out amidst bright green ferns. Gnarly roots acted as steps to aid our descent.
I had expected to go more or less straight down to Midgehole but hadn’t factored in the steep cliff-like drop, hence the path travelled westwards as it descended, until it met with the bottom of Northwell Lane.
We continued downwards along an old cobbled path where an old acquaintance was coming up the other way with a companion. She had availed herself of a strong pint of cider at The Blue Pig.
On reaching the river, we decided we’d rather have pies than beer and walked along away from the pub to find a suitable patch of rocks to squat on.
After eating, we continued on the riverside path and up to Midgehole Road. Having had a shorter walk than planned, we considered continuing up to Pecket Well but the prospect of a hot climb proved off-putting. Instead, we returned home along the tried and trusted route, where tiny May flowers lined the riverside and the beaches were busy with families enjoying the sunshine.
More photos at; https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtivsdtKSLOKoPSP1RVg