Tag Archives: Pennine Way

Up and Down Colden

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Five days into 2017, another cold, bright day dawned.  We set off early afternoon to catch a bus ‘up tops’.    We alighted at the last stop, Smithy Lane.

frosty-grass-1From behind the bus stop we took the small old path that we had descended the previous September, again admiring the old wooden gate and worn stones as frosty grass crunched underfoot.

Reaching Edge Lane, we gazed southwards towards the dazzling sun before walking onto High Gate Farm.  We entered May’s Shop to buy lunch.  Shock, horror!  No pies!

 

We settled instead for sandwiches and tea, eating on the bench looking back out to the road we had just travelled.

hudson-mill-road-warning-signsWe then headed down the grassy path to Fold Lane and through Colden village.  The now-familiar jumble of farm junk, old stone buildings and gate posts punctuated the journey down the lane, edged with ice where the sun never shone.  Back on Smithy Lane we turned right and followed the bend round to Hudson Mill Road, taking in a collection of warning signs on the corner.  From the bridleway we headed down the first flight of steps.  We made our way gingerly down the icy steps into Hebble Hole.  The glade looked like a winter fairyland!

 

 

winter-gladeWanting to stay in the sun as long as possible, we crossed the clapper bridge and climbed upwards to the old causeway.  Looking back, I caught stunning views of clouds and contrails against a gorgeous blue sky.   We followed the yellow footpath signs for quite some way until we came to a junction.

Pausing on the conveniently-placed bench, we considered a choice of three routes: up to Heptonstall; straight down to Lumb Bank; down to the right taking a steep set of stone steps.

 

We opted for the latter and emerged above Lumb Bank Mill.  From there we took the windy but relatively safe route back across the river and onto the bridleway for a quick return home.

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Peace and Tranquility in Slack and Colden

harvest

A mid-September Sunday, we caught the bus upwards.  Alighting at Slack Top, crows, horses and harvesting added to the pastoral scene.  Behind the fields, the church tower peeked out amid the tree line, as if it was growing out of the hills.  .

vanishing-point-1We crossed the road to examine the milestone and interesting signs.

Walking through Popples Common, we marvelled at strange carved stones and at the view towards the vanishing point, redolent of the mid-west.

 

 

As we reached the brow, we turned up Crack Hill (with inevitable chuckles!) and walked along Edge Lane, enjoying the tranquil scenes with grouse in a field, old ruins and gate posts.

mays-shop-8At May’s Farm Shop we bought cheese pies to eat on the picnic bench outside.

I strolled around the farm buildings and snuck in the old cow shed to look at ancient stalls and interesting junk.

We then backtracked along Edge Lane until we came to a sign pointing down towards ‘Pennine Way’ and ‘Hebble Hole’.

wooden-gate-2The path looked very old and narrow, edged with dressed stone, wooden fence posts and rickety gates.  We crossed Colden road once more and continued following the signs.

This took us over gates and styals, round the side of a large house and down through more fields.

 

 

We arrived at a flight of steep small steps.  Water and mud made them potentially treacherous.  Descending carefully, we emerged just above the bridge at Hebble Hole.  Traversing the bridge, we had the glade to ourselves for once.  We sat peacefully, admiring trees and reflections in the water – like fairyland.  We then crossed back over the bridge and took the familiar quick route home through the clough.

More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtiM1othXhKZcNEcrHJA

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Pennine Bridle Way to Knott Wood

PBW 2g - Looking back  3

On a bright mid-August Thursday, my partner had a free afternoon allowing us to take a rare mid-week outing.   We set off for the bus stop intending to travel up to Slack.  The buses’ tardiness made us impatient and eventually we got the next bus that came and alighted at Callis figuring we could walk up from there.

A Lacy UnderbridgeWhilst crossing the road, we decided to make a change to our now-normal route and went up Underbank laughing anew at ‘Lacy Underbridge’ and onto the Pennine bridleway (PBW).

As we climbed the steep overgrown cobbled path (signifying not many other people did), we noted that whilst we sometimes came back down this way, it had been our original route up before we discovered the alternatives.

PBW 3b - Stone wall 1

We paused occasionally to admire views and catch our breath.  Soon after Mount Olive Chapel, we came to a junction.  Considering a small path through the tops of the woods, we elected instead to stay on the PBW as we had never walked that section before.

The path became much easier, with setts edged by well-maintained stone walls behind which fields and hay bales lay.

Reaching the top of that section we bought home-made jam at the entrance of a farm, placing payment in the honesty box.  We then rested on a wall at the corner of the farm track.

A woman and a small dog with a sock appeared coming along a smaller path that emerged at a gap in the wall.  I asked her where the path went and she told me ‘Marsh Farm’.  We had a short chat and it turned out she had made the jam.  She and her husband who had appeared at the farm gate, thanked us.

We continued on the route up and I told Phil he would recognise it soon.  He was distracted by crows flying around the fields and telegraph wires, but as we proceeded, it suddenly dawned on him: we were at the corner of Winter’s Lane.  We turned right along the lane and down into Rawtenstall.

Rawtenstall - Magical tree 1As we descended, we noted the deliberately twee features created by trees and rocks, the old stone gate post, and old ruined buildings from long-gone settlements (that I had failed to notice on our visit the previous autumn).

Phil joked about turning them into ‘ye olde village’ on his photo blog.

Winding down Turret Hall Road, we spotted a path leading off through Knott Wood and thought it would just cut the corner off.  This proved not to be the case.

We were led up and down, via tiny steps and narrow paths, through gates and over styals, and eventually emerged in a builder’s yard now occupying a disused quarry.  We admired the raised beds where onions and other veg grew, and strange large balls.

Knott Wood - Old quarryFinding no way through the yard, we doubled backed slightly and had a choice of following the overgrown path westwards, or going eastwards for a time.  We chose the latter, surmising that it must end up back on the road soon.  Thankfully, this time we were right.  We emerged down another flight of small stone steps onto Oakville Road.  I enjoyed walking alongside the railway lines as trains whizzed by.

Back on Burnley Road, we looked for the talking bird but couldn’t see it.  I did, however, discover more ruins and stone steps at the side of Woodbine Terrace.  A little way down, we crossed the busy road and entered Stubbings pub.  We ordered pints and food.  As we lingered canalside with a second drink, the air became chilly with the setting sun and the other tables emptied of punters.  We walked home along the canal and said what a nice time we’d had – which was just as well as the weather turned miserable for the next few days!

More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtiLdDOWPCAH-90Q4hVA

Knott Wood - Path and gate 1

Edge Lane Detour

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On a remarkably sunny Wednesday in April, Phil and I caught a bus from Market Street to Callis.  We had arranged to meet two walking friends somewhere up the tops and kept in touch via text.

Ruined house gardenWe walked up Jumble Hole, admiring the scenery as usual, especially the lovely waterfalls and ruined houses (some with spring gardens which made us laugh).

We found the uphill climbs hard work, but took it easy and stopped at Staups Mill for a break.  We then carried on to the small bridge taking us across the pretty brook and up to the fields below Blackshaw Head.

I paused to text our friends and check the map for a quick way down to Colden.  I had worked it out when a passing driver confirmed my instinct and we proceeded on the Calderdale Way across farmland until it met the Pennine Way going down to Hudson Mill Lane.

Colden - Lamb groupJust before the junction with Smithy Lane, we admired new born lambs.  Our friends awaited us on the bench at Jack Bridge.  We all walked up to May’s for the excellent cheese pies.

As Marisa and I went to use the primitive loo, a sheepdog cowered from us in fear.  I said it made a change; it was usually them that spooked me!

 

Signs

Marisa suggested going up Edge Lane as an alternative route back to Jack bridge.  We set off, with Hot Stones Hill on our right.

At the next junction, a sign directed travellers to tantalisingly named places such as Lower Earlees and Salt Pie (a historic stop on the packhorse tracks).

We turned down the lesser-used School Land Lane which skirted the bottom of Rodmer Clough, where a ruined chimney looked the remains of a fairy castle, and round the edge of Land Farm.

We then had a choice of routes and took the lower one. As it skirted a wood, the path became narrower.  A screeching bird could be heard but not seen…

Ruined chimneyEmerging in a field, the grass path became paved with ancient causey stones.  We crossed a styal onto New Road. I struggled to keep up with the pace setters and welcomed a short rest.

Marisa pointed out Strines Bridge in a field a little way down.  I asked if we could get to it.

The answer was yes.  Further down the lane we turned down a short driveway and across a very nice garden.  A tiny stream tinkled alongside us as we crossed a wooden bridge and then followed the line of the stream into a field.

Again, the grass path revealStrines Bridge close up 3ed old causey stones.  Peaceful sheep grazed next to the impossibly cute stone bridge, traversing a sky-blue stream.  A sharp arch was accessed by a tiny opening.  We remarked that the packhorses must have been very small (I later found out that the bridge was most likely a footbridge linking Strines Farmhouse with Coldeni.

From there, it was a relatively easy walk back down the lane to Jack Bridge.  We headed straight ahead back onto Hudson Mill Lane, and down the small, steep steps to Hebble Hole.  The boots I had chosen to wear that day proved ill-advised as my toes hurt with every step down.

We took the lower path to the garlic fields.  Phil did most of the picking as I felt exhausted and dehydrated.  I thought we were staying down in the clough but were led upwards to the top causeway.  I became even more fatigued.  Thankfully, we did not climb all the way up but instead came back down above Lumb Bank.  Mind you, loose stones and dried leaves made the path very tricky, causing more pain to my feet.

Utterly exhausted, I eschewed a visit to the pub. The day had already been too long for me. I  also felt far too sweaty to be in mixed company. I started stripping off garments even before I got in the house.  Once indoors, I hastily removed more clothes and doused myself in cold water.  I realised I had heat exhaustion.  Angry and upset, I ranted that when I said I was tired, dehydrated, and in need of rest, I really meant it.  The next day I still suffered from exhaustion.  On reflection, I decided it was my own fault – I should have heeded the signs that I had reached my limit and got on a bus instead of struggling on.

Nevertheless, the walk itself was lovely and it gave me ideas for further exploration of the Colden area (at a manageable pace)!

More photos at: https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=2DF4BDD5DCD70A39!118018&authkey=!ADRkaR0M8cPUjdY&ithint=folder%2c

Sky blue stream

i https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1133947

Wild Encounters in Widdop

Linnet 1On a couple of occasions, we have stayed on the community bus right up to Widdop reservoir. The first time, we walked back down along Ridehalgh Lane. The moors scenery is so different from the landscape only a short distance downhill, and it seemed strange that we were only a few miles from home.

Packhorse Inn 2We thought we might stop for a drink in the Packhorse Inn but it had just shut in true Yorkshire hospitality style (sic).  Instead, we carried on to Blake Dean where we lingered awhile before continuing our downhill walk.

On our second visit, we decided to walk round the reservoir. We found a myriad of interesting subjects to photograph, including windswept trees, weathered rocks and varied wildlife. I managed to get quite a good snap of a Linnet perched on a crumbling stone wall.

 

Small trees and waterHalfway round, we stopped for a picnic. However, the sheep that had hitherto not seemed interested in us started approaching. I had been attacked by sheep in the past. I became rather anxious and started to make a hasty retreat.

My partner said I was over-reacting but they started following us back down the path and across the wall so I refused to go any further.

Instead, we turned back and took a different path up (part of the Pennine bridleway) which took us up to higher ground.

After admiring the views and overhanging rock formations, we tried to stay up on the heathland.

However, our attempts to find a decent route across were thwarted by tussocks. Eventually, we found a decent path back to the bridleway. When we got to the ridge, the sheep had moved right onto the Bridleway blocking our path.

I weighed up the level of fear I felt about going past the sheep or clambering down the rough hillside. The sheep won. We managed to bypass them and later my partner remarked that he didn’t believe I had clambered down a 1:2 hill. I replied that it didn’t seem that steep, particularly compared to the other option!

Overhanging rock with reflections 1

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Bus Up, Walk Down

Blake Dean - Dappled treeDuring the summer months, a community bus runs from town up to Widdop. We have made use of this service on several occasions. Usually, we alight at Blake Dean then choose a walking route back down the valley.

Blake Dean (or Black Dean as it was known in the olden days) is a picturesque spot.   Nestled at the confluence of Graining Water and Reaps water, on a warm sunny day it can be full of people picnicking and bathing on one of the small islands formed where the two tributaries meet to become Hebden Water. If it is not too busy, we pause to take in the pretty features including gnarly trees, stone posts and an old wooden bridge.

Blake Dean - ripples in the streamOn a recent visit, despite the forecast assuring us there was 0% ‘chance of rain, it started showering the second we alighted from the bus! Convinced it would pass, we proceeded into the dean regardless.

A heavier burst of rain required us to take shelter for several minutes.   Whilst standing under a tree, I noticed the ripples created by raindrops falling in the water.  Also, the nice thing about the changeable weather was having the place to ourselves..

A walk along the left hand side of Hebden Water brings us to the remains of the Trestle Bridgei. From there, the path becomes rather dodgy and eventually forces us to find a safe place to ford the river. We then follow the path on the right hand side into the woods.

Alive with all types of trees, mushrooms, and lichens, this is another good place to linger. We have a favourite flat rock where we may stop for a picnic with little chance of being disturbed.

Upper crags - Flat rockAn alternative route onto this path is to descend off the main road opposite Gorple gate.

This also affords a good view of the Trestle Bridge from above. A series of steep, small steps, festooned with vegetation, takes us down to the river path and into the woods.

Due to the cliffs which feature heavily in the ‘Upper Crags’, the path deviates from the river necessitating clambering up and down at times.

A top path also eventually leads down to the crags.   Staying on the left side of Hebden Water, this route is even less well-maintained and boggy in places which could be a deliberate ploy to put walkers off.

The path becomes very narrow and overgrown too. A rickety ‘bridge’ made of plywood over a brook, leads into a private garden and then onto a lane. Again, we emerge in the woods and proceed downwards towards civilisation.

Hermits caveOn the way back down, we may stop at one of two places for liquid refreshment. Gibson Mill marks the border between the less populated Upper Crags and the better-known part of Hardcastle Crags.

Facilities include a cafe and ‘eco bogs’. Several times we have just managed to order coffee by the skin of our teeth.

Towards closing, a man who looks like he means business appears on ‘cup patrol’. It’s worse than being harassed out of the pub at last orders!

Continuing to walk the length of the crags along the bottom path, we often pop in for a cheap pint at The Blue Pig. We are frequently forced to move away from the riverside benches though, having been eaten alive by midges.

Following the river back into town, we will have walked the whole length of Hebden water – not counting the last part where it flows into the Calder.

More photos at:http://1drv.ms/1vYa1ip; http://1drv.ms/1vYam4E; http://1drv.ms/1IFrmod

i For information on the Trestle Bridge: http://www.milltownmemories.org.uk/mm8/7.html

Jumble Hole Rambles

Stone waterfall 2

A mid-October ramble started with an easy walk along the canal to Callis Bridge. Crossing the road, we turned right up Jumble Hole Road then followed a path on the left side of the stream. Amongst the very pretty trees and undergrowth we spied a number of old broken down buildings giving the impression that this was once a village in the industrial era.

Mini moors 1We came to the remains of a mill confirming this view. With no way to carry on up the left side of the stream, we crossed via a bridge running parallel to a stunning waterfall.

We then ascended a steep tarmac path before veering off onto a smaller path back along the route of the stream albeit a lot higher up.

Further on, we had a choice of several forks in the path and took one going down to a cute stone bridge we knew well. Traversing the stream once again, we climbed up to a different path leading back down towards the Pennine Way.

The steep climb and lack of stopping places rendered us in severe need of R&R (rest and refreshment).

Kinky bridgeWe sat on a flat rock which had become so overgrown that it resembled a mini moor.

After a picnic, we embarked on the last part of our ramble. This involved a steep descent making us footsore.

However, we still managed to laugh at the sign for ‘Lacy underbridge’ as we emerged back onto the main road!

 

9 - Small ruined house 1Visiting the clough again the following April, we noticed that some of the old ruins had been demolished, but we found a tiny house to explore.   Taking care not to sink into the several inches of mulch, we marvelled at the small dimensions including the very low ceiling that must have been in place judging by the evidence remaining.

 

10 - Pikachu woods 3

After crossing near the waterfall and climbing up the valley side, we turned left up a different path than last time, which took us through a strange ‘Pikachu’ woods . Moss had grown round the bottom of all the trees creating weird animal-looking formations.

Following a steep climb, we eventually came out onto a grassy lane.

 

11 - Spring lamb 3

We took a somewhat circuitous route via a dodgy path to Great Rock where we enjoyed lovely views and a picnic. We then walked down a very pretty road, with spring lambs aplenty.

 

12 - Stocks

 

At the village of Cross Stones, we laughed at the stocks and wondered if they were still in use, before walking the rest of the way down to the bus stop.

 

An alternative route into Jumble Hole cCough involved catching a bus with a friend up to Blackshaw Head. Alighting near the graveyard, we walked down following the’ Calderdale way’ signs.

Alpaca family 4This took us along small paths. Somewhat overgrown in July, the stone paving rendered them still navigable. I picked wild grasses and stopped to look at stone troughs, wild flowers and unexpected llamas.

 

 

Staups Mill 2We turned left at a wooden gate and traversed a field of sheep down to a wooden bridge into the clough. We crossed the bridge and followed the path along the streamto Staups Mill.

After a picnic, we continued down the clough and back across the stream at the arched bridge. From there we climbed towards the Pennine way and along smaller paths homeward, admiring the lovely hedgerow flowers along the way.

Harebells 2Later in summer, I took my partner the route my friend had shown me. We admired colourful flowers, long grasses and curious alpacas (with babies this time) on our way down to the clough.  We stopped in the lovely meadow above the clough lingering to take in the scenery. Delicate harebells contrasted with the lush grass.

 

We then crossed the bridge and along the path to Staups Mill. From there we decided to take a new route going downwards which eventually led to the cute stone bridge in Staups Clough.

Again we chose a different, lower, path to the usual.  We expected it would eventually lead back up to the path with the ‘mini moor’. It didn’t. Instead, we found ourselves following a narrow, overgrown path almost at the top of the tree line. A veritable jungle in places, we had to watch our step.

Eventually it led down to the paved path we knew. Tired form the effort, we stopped at the graveyard at the now-ruined Mount Olivet Chapel before continuing down.

Hedgerow flowers 3

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