Calderdale Way – TODMORDEN

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Todmorden SignStarting in Todmorden town centre.

Todmorden - Stones Walk Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However before I got the bus from King Cross to Todmorden,  I had noticed in the clearing skies and in the direction of the area of Todmorden: a bright light travelling across the sky.

I took one photograph before the thing winked out and disappeared. A strange start to a days walk of a significant number of ‘discoveries’:

saucer-enlaged

saucerArriving in the town I headed off to see the Quaker Graveyard and look around the Church that has a huge black spire dominating the town on the hill in the Salford area. On a previous walk I had confused the route into Todmorden after coming down from Stoodly Pike through Lumbutts out along the long lane and instead of continuing, I took the Millennium Marked Calderdale Way at Croft Farm. So missing the Quaker graveyard.

 

Logo -Calderdale Way Marker

CALDERDALE WAY Logo

The Calderdale Way at some junctions can be extremely confusing, as one sign is known as the Link Path which links to others and to the nearest local transport (Bus). The other shown here is the onward route sign. Great idea in theory but in practice must lose lots of walkers.

You cant miss the tall blackened church spire behind the pub as you walk from the Town hall and the main roundabout along Rochdale Road:

 

 

Golden Lion Pub - TodmordenChurch Gargoyles - Todmorden

Spinning Sun Discs - Todmorden Church

Built by the sons of ‘Honest John’ Fielden it was modelled as a small cathedral in 14th century Gothic style. John Gibson being the architect (who had worked with Charles Barry on the Houses Of Parliament) had previously built for the brothers; the nearby Debroyd Castle. He later was responsible for the Town Hall and the Fielden’s school. The family dominated the town being rich farmers, mills and land owners.  ”At the time when Henry VIII reigned there lived a Jeffrie ffielden a yeoman farmer.  His son James Fielden, also a yeoman farmer, had a daughter Elizabeth and she married her cousin Abraham Fielden.  Abraham was the son of Nicholas Fielden and Christobel Stansfield” – From the Fielden Society.

The church was opened in April 1869. Curiously inside the Todmorden Unitarian Church the large round stained glass window celebrates several spinning Sun motifs. Rather curios for a church? Somewhat reminiscent of other locations, with  Swastika like wheel spokes and resembling certain Masonic mandala likened ‘ sun’ iconography. Rotating 'Leaves' Todmorden Unitarian Church

On close inspection the ‘spinning arms’ are curved leaves, even so such symbolism has nothing that I can establish being associated with Christianity.

Walking up the steep lane past the church and just before open countryside,with rough moorland and the dominating Tower of Stoodly Pike (built 1815 commemorating the Battle of Waterloo and defeat of Napoleon.) There is a a location surrounded by huge Beech trees. It was a windy day but here it was peaceful and sheltered. This walled beach tree garden reminded me of the tree sanctuaries of the ancient Druids as detailed by Robert Graves in his book The White Goddess. Another to that is that Mytholmroyd poet Ted Hughes was a student and friend of Graves.  It is here that the Shrewbread Quaker Burial ground (1668) is located:

Quaker Burial Ground - Todmorden

Quaker Burial Ground (1668) Todmorden

Back down the hill to to town you come to Fielden Square with its mill machinery and information plaque. Turn left away from the town centre and cross over and go along along Rochdale Road until you see the John Fielden (MP) house:

Fielden Sq - Mill Machine - Todmorden John Feilden's House Todmorden

Almost immediately after the house turning left at Dobroyd Road, go up the lane, crossing the canal bridge and then up over the railway crossing then going right and up the hill in the forest:

Dobroyd Rd Train - under foot bridge

 Going up Dobroyd                                                           Looking back – a train passes below.

Heading up a steep winding tree-lined road, to come out at the gatehouse to Dobroyd Castle. Passing the entrance straight ahead onto and along Stones Road.

Castle Gatehouse - TodmordenStones Road

Autumn LeavesAutumn Leaves 2

Go along Stones Road, continue around a sharp bend and up again. Magnificent views of the valley below:

Valley Masons Arms

Castle & Pike

ZOOM: Train Line and Masons arms far away in the valley below.Eventually you rise enough to see the blackened stone of Debroyd Castle and over in the far distance Stoodley Pike. Eventually Stones Road runs out at a small group of houses (The Stones) and the Calderdale way is then signposted to the right through a grassy area with lots of Horse Chestnut trees. I almost took this route without thinking, but as I looked at the path alongside the wall enclosing the houses  a huge stone in-front of one house over the wall caught my eye.

Chestnut canopy Path At STONES

Huge Stone and HouseLooking over the wall, almost tumbling into the house is a large stone. It looked to me like a dislodged capstone, perhaps once ontop of stones beneath and covered with earth: a Neolithic Dolmen or Tumulus? This got me interested so I went further up the rack to go around the back of the stone to see more. But around the rear was a huge wall, probably built to shield the small hamlet from the winds, which swept across from the open moorland behind. Then as I looked at the moor; right in front of me below in a field was a huge black standing stone:

Standing Stone at STONE Calderdale Stone at STONE

I was very surprised as I know or thought I knew the area and I had never heard a mention about such a large standing stone near Todmorden. I soon realised why this small hamlet was called Stone. It had Stone Road leading up to it and around the side another lane wound around and past the standing stone and off into the distance: Stones Lane. Everything around was to do with Stones – Neolithic ones. Here follows some more pictures of the standing stone or Menhir.

Stones Lane Todmorden View of Stone

Standing Stone with Toadstools Stone and Toadstools

Stone Another view

Mid October and the Toadstools and Mushrooms were opening around the Stone. Coincidence as both Standing Stone’s and such Fungi are associated with Witchcraft. I heard later after this walk that the area of Todmorden is known in UFO circles as: The Pennine UFO Triangle – a UFO hot spot. The town according to some sits on 3 lay lines, and has a history of unusual things taking place including large black panther looking cats  a policeman supposedly abducted by aliens, and a witch called Sybil. This lady allegedly sold her soul to the devil near Eagles Crag above Cornholm further up the valley along the A646, and not far from the Catholes Stone near Lydgate, the Great Bridestones and the Whirlaw stones causeway and its Megalith rock art.  There was a witchcraft associated murder here in 2003. So its no wonder the Town has been passed over time from being in Lancashire to now being in Yorkshire! And I can’t help associate my sighting of a UFO on the morning I set out for this walk –  with such coincidences that I found out about later.

And Another Nealithic StoneI looked around the field and went over to more stones – small ones adorning an entrance to a spring, or maybe another stone once stood here too? Then in the top corner of the field I saw another Stone this time a much slender looking one. Another walker mentions these Stones in his blog Ravens Rambles, it shows the slender Stone on a bright day. Notice in his picture the contrail or ‘Chemtrail‘ in the sky, there is a major amount of this activity in the area.

 

Stone in Circle of Stone Stone rolling

Now that is a curious stone, very slender, tall and set into a round base stone, it sits ontop of a mound the same height as the possible stone ‘Tumulus’ remains at the house opposite. The location is called; Centre Hill, but known locally as Beacon Hill. This stone may possible have been moved to this position and had the base specially made to support it, or maybe it was always so. Whatever the case it has all the appearance of being ‘looked after’. It made me wonder what is beneath it? And this episide reminded me to watch again a great set of videos: Standing With Stones.

Stone View

I went back down the field and out through the gate and back down the track passing again the Stone ‘Tumulus’ house back to continue on the Calderdale Way: The photograph below shows the signpost and from this angle it looks like its pointing directly to the position of that stone I was just sitting next to up there on the hill just behind the Beech trees:

Stone Pointer

A lady on the path told me that the area, after I had asked, “was linked to witchcraft in the past, around the houses and the stones”; she said. The lane goes past two odd square houses on the right, which are attached to a large ruin behind. And in front a small cottage; with several stone heads with medieval appearance possibly also representations of the ‘Green Man’.

Square, Houses Green Man cottage - Stones - Todmorden

The views across the valley towards Stoodley Pike and showing the Dobroyd Castle, both built by the Fielden’s and curiously lining up to some extent with the hill of the Stones on this opposite Beacon Hill to the one at Stoodley Pike: could this be a Ley-Line?

View across the Valley View across The Valley close up

According John Michell and in the book The Sun And The Serpent: by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst: the Earth energy flows like a snaking river and not in a straight line, but certainly meeting at nodal points along its path: Castles, Standing Stones, Cairns, monoliths churches etc.

Back to the cottage and a close up of the heads on the building and a pixie figure inlaid in the wall opposite the house:

Head House Pixie

MAP of the RouteStraight on past this cottage to a wooden style. Instead of going straight on along the wall in front go instead left and diagonally up the hill. You find yourself on a cut out track. It looks like an ancient earthwork snaking up the hill. It was also full of Toadstools and Mushrooms like those near the first Standing Stone; but here all types and varieties.

Toadstools-Saucers

This way Snaking path

Mushroom

 

So, up the hill and through a style in a wall, then keeping the wall on the left continue along through several open stone styles, until you reach the road.

Style -No gate ROAD Parkin Lane

Going straight ahead along the road (Parkin Lane) for a short few yards and turn sharp right and down the track towards some houses.

Turn Here

At the bottom of this short lane at Kailys Barn, the track curves round and at the edge of the garden there is an almost covered-over-path. There is a sign-post pointing at it.

 

 

 

Path Down To Todmorden Edge

 

Take this walled path (Todmorden Edge) and go right down to a gate with an unusual Cast Iron post with a spring and a stream and a dangerous drop below on the left. Be careful here.

 

 

Entering the woods, the view across the valley:

View across the valley Todmorden Edge - Woods

A Sign again

 

Follow the path down through the woods.

Reaching the road turn left and go right along, down through Ewood until you reach the main Todmorden Burnley road ( A 646).

Passing the Fielden centre:

 

Fielden centre      Fielden Centre Window Todmorden

 

At the main road I turned left and back to Todmorden, making this a fairly short walk, but very interesting (apx 4 miles).To continue on the Calderdale Way go left towards Lidgate.

 

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Another description of this same walk can be found at: SMASHINGHILLS.com

Some further notes:

Freemasons and Stoodley Pike

Stoodly Pike dominates the entire landscape in the area, one time long before the Freemasons erected their tower the spot was associated with previous probably Neolithic monuments. It was a beacon hill – in line with another with the same name. Standing stones and towers have ancient beginnings. England was once covered with a vast network of standing stones, monoliths. Such structures were very important in ancient Egypt.  (It could be said that such towers have a subconscious imperative in human conciousness, Stoodly Pike like a stone version of its modern London eequivalentnt: The Shard)

An Earlier Fielden -  Joshua -  Stoodly Pike and Local Freemasons

Todmorden. An obelisk, it’s part of a trend which Alan Moore called ‘the great Masonic obelisk siting drive of the nineteenth century’. The obelisk design of the tower is a ‘…reflection of patron Samuel Fielden’s Freemasonry’ and of the society of the time’s obsession with Egyptology.

The commitee for the building of the Monument: Stoodly Pike:

Chairman. John Fielden of Dobroyd.
Treasurer. Samuel Fielden of Centre Vale.
J. Ingham, Joshua Fielden of Stansfield Hall, John Eastwood,
Edward Lord, John Veevers, Wm. Greenwood of Stones, J. Green (architect), John Lacy and Mr. Knowles of Lumb (secretary).

Taken from part 4 of the Fielden Trail.

More local connections with Fielden’s and Stoodly Pike

The Fielden Trail a Walk with History

 

RIBBLEHEAD

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sir-nigel-gresley-On-Ribblehead

Blue Thunder 2012 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ Steam Engine: water colour by Simon Dolby.

This walk has great views of the Three Peaks but you don’t have to climb up any!

Its a walk of approximately 7 miles. And no big hills.

Lots of people drive here and park and hike, but I think the best way is to arrive by train, which I did from Leeds. My train overtook a steam engine parked in a siding at Hellifield, so I waited for it to arrive, before beginning my walk, for the Cumbrian Mountain Express to arrive.

Mountian Express

The Cumbrian Mountain Express arrives at Ribblehead Station.

 

 

No stopping at Ribblehead Station it steamed through and continued over the viaduct.

So that’s my route also but underneath it:

Walk down from the Station passing the pub and on to the viaduct. Behind in the distance is Pen-y-Ghent.

 

Pub Under Viaduct Viaduct commemorative Plaque

Pen-y-Ghent soon disappears as we under the Ribblehead Viaduct and go into the valley dominated by the other two of The Three Peaks, Whernside and Ingleborough. Thankfully we are not doing  The Three Peaks walk, we go through the valley bottom.

The Route Ribblehead walk

Click to see the Walk

Following the concrete road to the farm gate and passing through into open countryside.

Thistle and Viaductleft after Gate

follow the pathTowards Ingleborough

Turn left at the metal gate and head along the road in the direction of Ingleborough.

Path turns rightGate

Wall - Inglebough distantAfter the cattle grid the path is to the right on an indistinct track through grass diagonally  towards a gate at the top corner of a walled field.

Going through the gate and emerging into another field. Go along the track next to the wall, downwards, eventually reaching a stream, sometimes a small river, in dry periods this watercourse interestingly disappears underground to emerge at a water fall gushing through rocks.

Dry River crossing

 

The view shows the dried up river with Ingleborough in the background, we do not follow this route, but keep straight on heading for another gate at the corner of this field towards the trees, where the river re-emerges at rocks and a water fall, in a very nice sheltered and rocky glade.

 

Undeground RiverNext Gate

In this area a profusion of flowers:

Blueish White BellsPinkish-purple wild flowers

WhieWildFlowerDaiseys

 

Leaving this enchanted region, (end of July) go through yet another gate into a more open filed with a forest on your right hand side:

Yet Another Gate

You go down to the forest in the distance, and take a submerged track:

submerged pathFlooded

 

The track can be flooded, but no worries there is a route upwards going along the fence. After a short time you emerge at a road and turn left, often along here you meet and merge with lots of Three Peak hikers on their way towards Inborough after leaving Whernside.

Path emergesHikers

3 Peak Hikers

 

We go straight on, but unlike the ‘serious hikers when reaching the main road they go left, we go right, along the road all the way down to a turning on the right signed towards  the Church of Chapel – le Dale:

 

 

 

Chalel-le-Dale - Church Chapel-le-Dale entrance

DSCN5050Ribblehead-Workmen

 

Hurtly Pot

 

Turn right after the church. There is a walled path which passes a huge hole in a forest, after-which  it opens with a field, and a gate enabling you to go , cautiously down to view the Hole. Its called Hurtle Pot and is reputed to have a Boggart living down there.

 

 

Keep going straight on along the main path ahead, in the distance is Ingleborough and if you look with binoculars you can see the ZigZag wall on the fields below:

ZigZag - WallsDSCN5069

Continuing up along the walled road you come to a metal statue on your left:

SculptureStatue

Looks like a Boggart might look!

Top RoadWhernside

LimestoneAfter a while and passing a farm on the left the road emerges into open countryside with a grand view of Whernside ahead and as it begins to open up more, passing the trees on the left you get again a view behind of Ingleborough. Follow this road along, then up and winding around to the right to a gate and cattle grid that opens up to a fiel with house/farm in front, pass these buildings out into open land.

 

Orange Butterfly

 

On the left there is a wall and rocks with a forest above, here and there trees grow out of the wall. The view on your left, in front and behind has magnificent views of both Werneside and Inglborough. Buterflys along the sides of the road and large white unknown? Wild? Flowers? Answers on an email PLEASE…

TreeWallWotPlantisThis

Keep on going straight on passing a road that crosses, coming from Whernside – often with hiker coming of the Tops crossing ‘our’ route and heading down. We go on to a gate with a signpost to Winterscales, leading to open fields and in view again in the distance is the Ribblehead Viaduct.

DSCN5104To Winterscales

Walk across the field through a gate and past the farmhouses and keep straight on:

HikerFarmhous

 

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You come to an area of limestone rocks with tree growing in them, keep on, signpost to Deepdale, go through the gate, a hump back bridge and then open country and a view in the distance of a railway signal box.

DSCN5144DSCN5153

RIBBLEHEAD the source of the river Ribble:

Ribblehead

Walk on up towards the signal box until you see a tunnel underneath the railway go through and turn right this path takes you back to the Ribblehead viaduct and the end of this walk.

 

 

Seen in a small pond on the track:

Dragonfly laying eggs

back2Viaduct

 

 

RibbleHeadWEATHERtoday

[[Ribblehead Viaduct]]

Settle: A silence, a cave, a waterfall

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Settle-Town-SignThe area around Settle is very special. It has some remarkable landscapes. The town itself is interesting and historic. There are many walking routes starting in Settle.

In ancient prehistoric times our ancestors thought the area had special significance, their traces are still observable on the land. Prehistoric remains. Many millions of years ago this landscape was underwater, some of the limestone hills were reefs; coral reefs (High Hill a reef knoll)). Along the edges were slippages is seen with rock shale deposits collecting below, denotes were an ancient land-slip (stile active?) demarcated two types of landscape, to one side good arable land on the other rocky sheep grazing.

Sheep-over-Settle

‘Shawn’ of the Sheep high above Settle

This town is a great place to get too by train and then walk the many interesting routes in this magnificent scenic part of the Yorkshire Dales.

Settle - 510 ft

Settle - Station - Signal - Box

DSCN2775

For railway enthusiasts this station is the start point for Settle to Carlisle train trips.

The station has a book shop themed about railways especially this one and lots of books for tourists and walking guides etc.

On some holidays the Signal box is open to visitors. There is also an original water for steam filler and a settle coal truck on display.

The town square:                                                                               Constitution Hill

Settle-Town-Square  Settle-Constitution -Hill

This walk starts at the far left of the town square shown in the picture above and goes up Constitution Hill. Going around the cottages to the left you come to a fork in the road, take the track to the right hand side and go up the steep wall lined track:

Constitution Hill Cottages Settle  Cottage Settle Yorkshire

DSCN2988 After reaching a gate there is a grass worn track going up diagonally to your right. If you go straight on to the signpost (to Malham) you have great views below, and across to the quarry, but the climb from this point is steeper most walkers take the diagonal path. In high summer this point is a good location to see Swallows and Swifts dancing in the sky and flipping over the stone  walls.

 Swallow-blue-sky

DSCN2994  Quary-Settle

DSCN2992 DSCN2996

The climb is steep and arduous but on the way you can stop and look at the wild plants and flowers (May):

DSCN2995  DSCN2998

DSCN3002  Stone-Wall-Above-Settle

Follow along the line of the wall, eventually you reach the top, then a slop downwards, with a small cave on your left.

Cave  DSCN3026

You’ve now reached a quit amazing place, what I call the SILENT VALLEY. The calm, peacefulness and silence here is something amazing. Its a tangible experience of silence. Of course until somebody shouts in the distance as the location has audio peculiarities and can enhance the sounds from the hills around;you can often hear the chatter of far off hikers. To experience this location in silence is worthwhile, so let all the others pass by for a few moments of silent solitude here; you will perceive what I mean. All Things Must Pass (George Harrison) and so we move on.

Shell-Targets-Settle

This is the location of an ancient fault line, a subsidence, still continuing, separating the limestone rocks from the more fertile land beneath. During a past war this location was disturbed by Army shells firing at metal targets for accurate gunnery training; the bangs here must have sounded as loud as loud can be!

As you move along on the left an upwards path emerges between two hillocks, take this route.

Around here you begin to see a change in the rock Lichen:

DSCN3025 Limestone-Lichen

And rare Orchids appear (May):

DSCN3032  Rare-Orchid-Settle

DSCN3030

Take the grass track upwards to the style/gate to cross over the wall to the other side and continue along the path, through a gate that goes along a wall. Here you approach the Victoria Cave high up on your right.

Wired

Victoria-Cave-SettleVictoria-Cave-Info

OrchidsDSCN3052

Larger Orchid looking flowers cluster below the cave near the path (Mid May).

After the cave continue along the path edged with the wall; through a gate slightly down to a driveway track. One path does down through a gate, the other continues upwards.

Turn right up a slight incline:

Driveway-Track

Keep on until you reach a style going onto the road, which you cross over and can continue along to Cartrigg Force, waterfall, alternatively to see the ‘erratic stone’; go along the road, finding the road with a sign for Stainforth. Go across the cattle bridge and down.

DSCN3086 DSCN3088

Along this road you will see a white farmhouse in the distance and on the left a large stone incredibly standing on top of local limestone. Silurian Sandstone boulders stand on top of younger limestone! This is one of the most Southerly examples, most being around Norber / Austwick. Deposited here from the far of hills of Scotland as boulders within melting ice fields:

Erratic Stone Settle  DSCN3096

Further along the roadside; not erratics but stone engraved by green algae:

DSCN3097 DSCN3098

Reaching the farm; Lower Winskill – turn right (signpost to Stainforth) going to Cartrigg Force, waterfall, waterfall, turn to the right taking the path towards a gate.

(We return exactly along this route, coming back from the waterfall.)

Onwards passing into open fields and diagonally joining a path through a gate (and signpost to Stainforth). Towards the trees and Cartrigg Force, waterfall:

DSCN3099 DSCN3101

DSCN3102 DSCN3104

DSCN3105 DSCN3113

Retuning the way we came back to the junction at Lower Winskill farm, this time going straight on past the farm on the right, down the path towards a white farmhouse but taking the step-style on the left, signposted to Langcliffe:

DSCN3145 DSCN3146

Go across the path in the fields eventually descending into a forested area, follow the track right down to the flat fields below and pass through the gate onto a path.

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DSCN3169 Nettles along the walled path into the village of Langcliff:

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Langcliff - fountain DSCN3187

From Langcliff I couldn’t find a path or track in the fields back to Settle so I took the main road:

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Walk apx: 8 miles

Ilkley – Bluebells

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Bluebells-Ilkley-YorkshireOne of the best places for Bluebells at the very end of April and first few days of May is Middleton Woods: just across the river. You can see the woods from the town, all you need to do is go down Brook Street and pass the park and cross the bridge and head for the woods.

This walk starts down at the park, going along the river and crossing it at the old bridge.

Ilkley-Walk

Its a fairly short walk about 5 miles from Ilkey station. And can be extended as much as you like by rambling around all the little pathways and routes in the Middleton forest which at this specified time, will be full of fantastic bluebell landscapes.

< Click this route map to enlarge for exact directions.

We started off on the day of the Ilkley May Day Parade, apparently it was highlighting the forthcoming Tour de France which passes through the town. The parade was nice but apart from several lampposts with past tour winners featured and some people carrying placards about announcing the visit of the ‘Tour’; nothing whatsoever was actually included within the parade about it. And this was strange because the crowd which was about twice the size of previous yearly parades where drawn there with expectations of inclusion of at least something specifically to do with the ‘tour’. NOTHING was featured.

The-Badger-Mr Hinault  Froome  Eddie  Yorks-Tour-ilkley

Drum-7-Pipe  Destination-Yorkshire

So forgetting the disappointing parade, nice enough for kids, but not for keen cycling enthusiast; we headed over the bridge on the river Wharf and turned left along the bank:

E-Up  Wharf-Bridge-Ilkley

 

Wild flowers along the riverside:

Wild-Flowers  Wild - Garlic

Grass-Flowers

Keep going along the riverside until the path inclines upwards near a power transformer.

Here you emerge at a road . Cross over directly in front and turn left onto: OWLER PARK ROAD.

It also has a notice stating this is a private road, ignore this its a public right of way – a very Posh neighbourhood.

Go right up the hill, very nice houses, right to the top. Here the road bends to the right with a sign-posted route to the left down through a forest and back to the river.

Green-Acres  Austby

So go right at Austby: At the top of the hill the road goes around to the left, but take a look over the fence to see the forest with a carpet of bluebells below. Continue right up the hill until you reach a ‘T’ junction with a sign: Private Road – they like these signs around here plus lots of CCTV is watching too. Ignore the Private sign as this road is a public footpath and a bridleway: go along the road along the hilltop.

Ivy-Tree  Private - Road!

Go along this road, it dips down at a stream then continues. Soon you reach on the left a wooden doorway into Calvery: a Catholic sanctuary commemorating the: Stations Of The Cross: Jesus’s crucifixion.

Calvery-Entrance  DSCN3360

Continue along the road to a ‘T’ junction and turn right down hill passing some cottages on the left, shortly after-which turn right following the road and going past the Catholic College at Middleton grange.

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Reaching yet another ‘T’ junction go left then almost immediately turn to the right following the road, were very soon on the right is a style and a path crossing the field to join Middleton Woods.

DSCN3370  Rotting-Tree-and-Blubells

From here inside the woods at this particular time of year (very end of April-start of May) its Blubells, blubells everywhere:

Middleton - Woods - Ilkley - first of May  DSCN3396

Dave-in-the-Woods  DSCN3403

You can meander as long as you want. If you vaguely follow the main path eventually you reach a road, you can cross it to another section of the woods and follow a downwards route, full of bluebells until you reach a stream and a small bridge to emerge on the outskirts of Ilkley: follow your nose to town…

 

 

 

 

 

Luddenden – Booth – Jerusalem Farm

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kershaw-HouseAt Luddenden Foot  on the (A646) go up the hill. Passing Kershaw House restaurant which is supposedly haunted is on the left. There are toilets and a car park on the left. Go up the hill past the Old School house on the left go straight on and up.

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Map About four and a half miles, not a strenuous walk apart from the road going up and the upwards detour for the view over the mill and to get fresh eggs!

This is another walk in Calderdale and although the Luddenden Dean area at the very top of this walk, is not as popular as the valleys of Middle dean and Hebden Vale in the ‘Craggs’ above Hebden Bridge, this quieter and more secluded location is a true gem.

Passing a modernised and huge old woollens mill on the route to the village of Booth, we follow the road, which is fairly quiet, with great views of the valley beneath. Keep on the road until reaching Jerusalem Farm which is a camping area and a nature reserve next to the often rushing Luddenden Brook.

 

Pub-Sign   DSCN2328

 

Oats-Royd-Mill

Follow the right hand turn at the fork in the road towards Booth (Dean House Lane) and going past Oats Royd Mill.

After the car park for the Mill, which is now converted to luxury apartments, you can head on along the easy route to Booth or take the wall lined lane on the left: this lane goes very steeply up, and give magnificent views of the mill and valley below emerging onto a narrow road at the top; turn left at the chicken farm.

View up…                                                                                             and looking down.

DSCN2332  DSCN2333

 

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At the top turn right going along the top road, past at the corner the chicken farm; fantastic fresh eggs and cheap:

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Views of the tree lined lodge pond below. Carry along the wall lined road, until you reach a downwards slopping turn to the right, follow this walled track until reaching a gap on the right-hand side between the wall and

an upright stone post, go gown to the village below: Booth.

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Turning left at the end then again when reaching the road.

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The 24 x 7 x 365 Booth Library is housed in a telephone box; go through the village and round the bend.

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The view below which we will pass through on the return route. Continue along the tree lined road.

DSCN2386More dog-shit patrols are needed as lots of dog owners follow this procedure but then hurl the plastic bag into trees and in the river.

Carry on along the road until you see a large !road sign on a sharp bend go through the gate at the end on the building: this is Jerusalem Farm.

 

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There are several walking routes from here and climbing structures for kids. Going over the bridge there are several paths, just keep moving in that direction soon you will reach pond with a bridge and a stepped water fall beneath it: take the bridge and continue along the path reaching the road, go to the right and down the road.

 

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Pity that they put this stepped waterfall from the barren (of fish) lake above, especial y as this is a nature reserve; they should have a small uninterrupted ‘spillway’ alongside these steps to let fish traverse up and down. In fact this needs to be done all along the river and the brooks in the area to bring back the trout and other spawning fish.

At the very bottom of the road down the hill, turn left and into the row of old terraced houses at Coit Side:

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After the end of Coit Side terrace continue straight on along the pathway to another row of houses on the right. To the left and over the wall is a wonderful Japanese garden, beautifully kept, by the lady of the large house here.

Continue straight on along the track.

 

Continuing along now at the foot of the valley the river (Luddenden Brook) flows to the left. Go past the large house on the right along the boundary wall to emerge onto the track passing through open countryside, with the track diminishing in paving:

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Soon you reach another row of terraced cottages on the right. Curiously at this point the river runs under a very unusual bridge. For a very lengthy stretch this bridge turns into a long set of gardens with quit large trees growing on top. Just another example of the capability of the builders and watercourse engineers of those old days ow woollen mills and the pre-industrial era, who’s ruins can be found alongside all the brook-sides and watercourses in Calderdale’s valley bottoms.

To the left looking up the hill once again passing Oats Royd Mill, this time high above. With the river on your left, walk on passing steps up to a house and the road above, onwards to the church, and turn to the left following the river to a bridge which is within the churchyard cemetery.

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The Church of St. Mary’s Luddenden. The Bug Hotel near the river at the Church:

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And Now to the pub! Just through the gates of the churchyard behold the wonderus Lord Nelson a hidden gem of a pub and a fantastic pint of Timothy Taylors Landlord.

DSCN2477 If you time your walk, to reach the pub between 1pm – 2pm on a Saturday or sunday you can arrive here in time for a large plate of roast beef and huge Yorkshire puddings.

The pub is on High Street; go down and across the river bridge and take the little passageway straight on the left.

 

 

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Go over the bridge at at the end of the pathway and then straight on past the house going up hill to then join the main Road going back down to the A646 passing again Kershaw House back to the starting point.

 

 

 

 

 

STAFFA

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STAFFAOkay not much of a walk can be had on this island, really an excuse to show the amazing scenery, the boat trip to Fingal’s cave; a great adventure!

Start at OBAN and take the ferry to the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides.

Good to call in at the town of Tobermory especially to visit the Brewery.

 

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Tobermory-Harbour

 

Iona-Ferry-LandingTo travel to Staffa you have to go to Fionnphort, across and at the other end of Mull, a fantastic scenic trip whether by coach or car. Then take the Fionnphort Ferry across to the Isle of Iona.

Its well worth staying on Iona and walking around (no cars) and seeing the island. On a nice summer day the sky, the sea make you think of a Mediterranean island!

At the same landing place (shown above) the ferry arrives:

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The small boat to go to Staffa arrives. A few of us board and fares are taken on-board (£20)

The skipper talked about the trip and informed us about a few things on the journey out to Staffa, in a choppy sea. We pass an island made entirely out of pink rock, which was quarid for special buildings in Manchester, Liverpool and London.

 

Will insert here a video of the trip to the Island……

Approaching Staffa:

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Video here of Sailing past Fingl’s Cave:   and another, and another.

On this trip in October the weather was changing, it was high-tide and the sea getting rougher as we approached the landing jetty. We were lucky to get to the cave whilst the sea and waves were high enough to make it very dramatic inside the cave.

DSC01629The boat tied up at the landing jetty and we got off to explore. The walk starts with steps which you can follow to the top of the island or take the route to the cave, which we did first. Its invigorating, even quite scary as you go along a narrow stretch of rock cliffs with waves crashing very close by. At the worst stretches there are ropes and some iron hand-rails to assist. After about ten to fifteen minutes we reached the geometric shaped rocks that signify the entrance to the cave. The boat had to then stand-off as the waves were gaining in strength.

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Fingal's Cave

 

We reached the cave which inspired Felix Mendelssohn on his visit here to compose The Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) as it is said to be a musical cave. In fact I heard musical noes here myself. I attributed it to the waves compressing the airflow over the columns of hexagonal basalt at Fingal’s Cave. Then the sea got much rougher:

 

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VIDEO INSIDE

Standing inside here was a truly amazing experience; waves crashing and rolling in from the gayping entrance then rolling rapidly along the inside of the cave to meet the other end, where they crashed and foamed up to the roof at the far end.

We walked back along the same way we came, to the steps for a climb up (130ft) to the top.

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The sea was changing and the skipper of our boat had to use a loud haler to round us up, and quickly cast off from the landing. Once aboard we circled the island, seeing seals on a beach on the far side. Then we headed back past another little island outcrop with Cormorants sheltering on it.

 

 

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Horsforth – Leeds Liverpool canal – Right Hand Path

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Once reaching the canal from Horsforth there are two options, last time we took the left hand canal path to go to Kirkstall Abbey, this time a circular walk under the canal bridge, eventually returning to Horsforth station. To see how to get to this point see the first section of the first walk from Horsforth.

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Through this bridge the first thing you see is a long line of canal barges and a boat repair yard.

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DSCN1699 The canal is very pleasant along this first stretch but the scenery begins to deteriorate after the first vehicle access low bridge.

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Along this stretch of the canal in winter with all the trees bare of leaves, the thing you might notice is the hundreds of little plastic bags of dog – shit. Dog owners walk their dogs and pick up the doggy doo and when nobody is looking they hurl it into the forest alongside the canal. It all becomes noticeable in the winter. We will need canal-side CCTV to stop this!

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After a while you reach Rodley Nature Reserve – a Twitchers paradise! lots of ducks and other feathery friends:

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Moving along, reaching Rodley and continuing under the main road bridge (A6120):

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DSCN1731  Notice under the bridge; I Am At The Bridge.

Read what’s on the panel.

After passing under the bridge we leave the canal path (Calverley) going on the left path down to the river bridge and passing (or calling in) the Railway pub.

 

 

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On the other side of the bridge over the river Aire is the Calveley picnic area, as you can see the local graffiti vandals have been at work: I like artistic graffiti, in the right place, this is just totally anti-social in exactly the same category as those awful dog owners who only pretend to pick up their dogs shit.

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Going straight up the wide main road to the top and then taking the steep track past the houses on the right. On the road two bike riders full coated in mud from head to toe passing on the road up. Follow the track to the main road and cross over.

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This is Hall Lane and you then take; West End Rise here we have to go through suburbia to get to the track that goes through the high forest on our route to return to Horsforth.

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When you reach The Avenue turn onto it on the left, go along it to the very end and turn uphill (left) until you reach the pathway marked going into the woods on the right-hand side of the road.

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Going through the woods, you reach a little bridge a tree here has a small wooden owl in it, there is another further up the hill. After the bridge keep to the path, there are several meandering on the Leeds Country Way, routes to the top.

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The way to go is through the gate and straight on. However there is a detour to the left for a nice view of the black spire church of Saint Margaret’s and views over Leeds in the distance.

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Return to the path and go down to the other end and pass into a very narrow path to the right.

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Especially narrow if a horse comes along the opposite way!

At the end of this track you emerge in St Margaret’s Road and from here go to the right and back into the village of Horsforth and the station.

This circular walk is about 4.5 miles

 

 

Summer – Swallowshaw – Jumble Hole Clough

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Studley Pike

This is exactly the same walk and route as the Winter walk. Here to show what it looks like in a different season.

Starts in the car park. You walk up the steep track from the car park going up over the railway tunnel bridge where the view of Stoodley Pike comes into view on the opposite side of the valley.

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After following the track to the top, going through some houses and onto a level twin track road, you turn left up the hill: the picture above shows the view looking back.

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FoxglovesIn June this lane is ablaze with tall foxgloves and at other times a range of wild plants and herbs.

Follow the lane where it bends.

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At the very top you meet a road (T Junction) turn right and walk down the road towards Swallowshaw: on Cross Stone Road and between two houses turn left on Buts Lane and go up the steep hill.

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Monkey Puzzle The puzzle about this tree is how to get it to turn the correct way up!

I have passed this way on several walks and I always notice the air and the peaceful ambiance around this spot, a little stream flows by, many plants flourish, its a small micro climate: a good place to stop for a few moments to appreciate it.

 

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Follow the incline up the road past Hollins Royd Farm, up until you reach a sharp left turn near a cottage. Here you go straight on through a narrow path, a gate and up over a wall, and then downwards into a forest with a small waterfall.

 

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Fed up with WordPress not putting in the pictures right way up….

Follw the marked route going up an incline and around the rear of a house; reaching a sign continue on a straight route, with great views to the right:

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You follow the path to the left through a hilly area to join a wider path going to the left, go through the style, carry on to the road turning left to meet a T junction, turn right, goiing towards the Big Rock…

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The ROCK

 

Follow the road around the rock and go downhill passing……farm to the bridge at…..

Take the lane going towards the old house

 

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Another put in wrong!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBC …… more soon…

 

Mytholmroyd & Cragg Vale

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Mytholmroyd Station is the starting point for this walk which is a circular route around Cragg Vale and including in our walk; stops at three pubs! And this had nothing to do with sliding off down a deep ravine… more of this later. Approximately 6 miles.

The-Iron-ManMytholmroyd is the birth place of Ted Hughes one time British poet laureate and student of Robert Graves. The station has lots of displays showing the works of Ted Hughes.  Cragg Vale is the location where David Hartley (around 1765) started the counterfeiting of the coin of the realm – the Coiners. Easter (Good Friday) the ancient Pace – Egg play is sometimes performed here and an old film from the sixties (Hebden Bridge) records it. Amazingly in July 2014 the town sees the Tour de France flash through and ascend up Cragg Vale!

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Shoulder of Mutton Tour de france

From the station turn left under the railway arch and passing the Shoulder of Mutton pub on the right (we passed by because it was closed) take the road bearing left and walk almost straight in front to the road at the corner of the Methodist church and go up the hill: Hall Bank Lane.

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“Black Halifax boiled in phosphorus” TerracesSHLane
a quote from Ted Hughes. These cottages at the top of the Lane are typical of the area, weathered by the black sooty smoke of the Industrial Revolution from nearby Halifax: as the poem The Beggars Litany by Blake goes; “from Hell, Hull and Halifax..” recording the conditions, smoke and working practices of that time.

At the top of this hill, at the end of this row of cottages turn right (new houses) go straight on past the For Winds rock and onto the pathway track into the forest up above the river in the valley below.

Four-Winds

 

 

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Its a short pleasant walk through this top section of the forest that brings you out at an access road to an industrial park and a chicken rearing complex. They don’t want ramblers wandering around and so they put this sign: cross over the road and keep the wall to your right and go up the hill.

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As you rise up this climbing track, stop to see the views of distant Heptonstall and its crowned top church steeple.

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At the top there is a style and a road on the other side, turn right and go up keeping to the left, go up a bending steep old road (Stake Lane). DSCN0927 Ignore the signposted option, with a gate to the right. Continue climbing steeply up, sometimes this track is flooded. Go up until you go around a bend, her there is a bench take the track to the right and the path along the top. The wind turbine is now below and a forest is in front.

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At the top of an incline you emerge at a style, go past to the left and continue with the forest to your right and hilltop farmland to your left.

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I notice that after some exertion that my breathing is better, taking in more oxygen and my observation begins to increase and I begin to notice things that I might have missed previously. I put this down to the meditative state of walking through the woods in silence:

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I saw some bracket mushrooms growing on a birch tree then on one below the Fungi a dark triangular patch (enlarged in the photo above) a camouflaged moth: The Peppared Moth.

Further along the path you reach a very rocky location here you take a path climbing around and through the rocks.After a while ahead the forest fall below and great views of Cragg Vale come into view. Here protruding rocks can be viewing platforms. Many have been chiselled with names and dates.

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After a short period the path descends sightly and opens up into a clearing with a rushing small waterfall in front, take the path here to the right descending and winding below the rocks into the forest below. Here you reach a pathway, turn left going past lots of Birch trees and coming to a stream in front, which is from the waterfall above, go across through the wall/gate style into an open field  and cross it diagonally.

 

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Across the field is a gate, go through taking the path down with great views over the wall of the houses below:

 

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At the end of the walled track again lower down in the forest turn right through a gate into another walled path heading down to the houses.

This is the end of the first and highest part of this walk, next a stome at the pub for lunch, then on to another for a drink, before traversing over to the other side of the valley for the return route following the river back to Mytholmroyd. We are at this point about 40% into the walk. 

Upper Birks  (Upper) Cragg Road

Decending down through Higher Birks and then Twist Clough (terraced houses) and out onto Cragg Road. Turning left we head up the road to the Robin Hood pub.

              “Ye Bowmen and ye Archers good, Come in and drink with Robin Hood”.

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Bike Race Wall Robin HoodReaching the Robin Hood. At last a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord is available here. The pub sign has a yellow bicycle appendage in celebration of the Tour de France passing here in July (2014). Inside the walls in one room are adorned with Tour de France photographs and memorabilia. The food at this pub is very, very good. The roast beef is from local sources and is to a very high quality. Curiously there is a persistent rumour that Robin Hood did hang out in this area and interestingly there are two Robin hood pubs in the area the other is at Pecket Well and the bike race goes past both! Cragg Vale is a ‘Mecca’ for cyclists, a great long hill-climb, and the pub has become a focal point for cyclists. Paintings by: Michell Cambell.

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The’Badger’ Rides Cragg Vale!

Bernard Hinault rides up Cragg Vale

The Tour de France passes here and its the second Robin Hood pub it goes past in the race, the other is at Pecket Well.         > The Tour de France.

TDF passing the pub on 6th July 2014

Moss

 

More than 50 shades of green. In the valley it can be very wet and dank, limited sunlight. These are great conditions for all things green maybe that’s why Robin Hood liked the area? After reluctantly leaving the pub we cross the road and continue up the road until we reach a spur road on the left and a row of houses below.

 

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This is Castle Gate lane. Continue along the lane with the sounds of the waterfalls below in Cragg Brook and over to the left is Cragg Hall Wood. Soon you reach a bridge with the lane continuing upward to the left: we go straight on through the gate and into a splendid large meadow. Here the path continues along the brook-side.

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Cragg Brook at this point is a joy to behold, then the path moves away, it becomes paved with stones and in the distance is the small hamlet of Cragg Vale itself.

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Antique vehicles parked up and the church of John the Baptist in Cragg Vale.

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The Hinchcliffe Arms and another pint; this time its Black Sheep. The pub is a very popular lunchtime and evening restaurant – of a very high standard.

In the early 1970′s it had Friday and Saturday night disco’s. Parked outside was Jimmy Savile’s motor home the infamous serial rapist. Not outed at that time he was a welcome guest, he would ride his bike up and down Cragg Vale on Sunday mornings and he raised lots of funding for  the nearby church!

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Another miscreant from here but far less a criminal than Savile was, the King Coiner David Hartley and some Coiner artefacts are displayed in the pub. According to David Icke: Savile was a Satanist!

 

DSCN1007Before leaving Cragg Vale its worth walking a short distance up Withins Clough lane to see the magnificent gate house – The Lodge once the entrance to Cragg Hall which burnt down in the 1920′s.

Continuing on the last stretch of this walk we go along the path at the corner of a house next to the pub and along the river through the huge Beech tree forest circling back to the bridge on Sunny Bank / Castle Gate lanes.

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Queen Victoria Post Box

 

So we loop back over the bridge and again onto Castle Gate lane but this time instead of returning to the main Cragg Road we divert to the left down a descending narrow passage, past an old post box. Down here we go into the valley bottom, and interesting place of water falls and old ruins, water wheel industry workings:

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It was here that I was shouted at by a pony-tailed ageing hippy bloke telling me this was all his private property, waterfalls river ruins and all. I had to keep out and stay on the road. I let him rant on until he calmed a little saying its dangerous and any accidents were not insured. We headed on and upwards sloping path through a gate with a yellow arrow denoting the public right of way.

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So ramblers and Hikers alike at this location keep to the main path on the road here, otherwise the Pony-tailed man’s wrath will descend upon you heavily. Indeed keeping on the right path would soon prove to be good advice, as along the route we now embark upon, is quit dangerous, should you loose your footing.

 

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Industrial ruins and a series of crashing waterfalls below; and as we rise up in Hobson Hey Wood, on this narrow path it looks increasingly a very dangerous long way down drop below. The next two pictures show the path; its essential to keep to the wall:

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I had just past by this marvellous twisting trunk of a huge Beech tree when I heard a shout from my walking colleague behind. She shouted (expand the second picture above) that it was scary, slippery and she was not continuing on this route and thought it safer to take a lower path that she thought was there.

DSCN1039There was no way to argue. I retuned and lead the way on this other path which soon faded out to become just mushy wet piles of leaves. But too late I slipped and down I went. Luckily the stick I had was quickly dug into the ground; so instead of a hurtling tumbling fall I was halted and then began an irretrievable slithering slow motion slide down. As I looked up exactly the same event was happening to her.

 

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I don’t think many people have been down here, no pathways or animal tracks; however the only way to describe it is verdant: the moss is in almost gigantic forms.  There was no possibility to climb back up as the mountainous piles of wet slippery leaves just gave way with and weight on them. So the only option was along the river, in fact into it as around the first bend both sides were high rocky walls. However the ravine was wide so the river flow was shallow enough to wade through. I crashed through in my boots.

WadingINSilvia removed her boots and socks and reported on the bank around the rocks outcrop that it was remarkably refreshing.  We survived and soon found the path again as it descended down to a gate which we came up too.

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Onwards through Paper Mill Wood to Spa Wood and to the bridge at Cragg Wood where the Spring (Spa) is located: Cragg Spaw Sunday. Its near the bridge down close to the river.

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Cragg - Spaw Springs, wells and waterfalls were venerated long ago and the practice was taken up by the church, baptism fonts etc. Many churches and especially cathedrals were built over ancient water shrines. The concept of the value of water is obvious but is there more too it? The association of water with holy traditions, and healing is a very persistent theme, and the modern ideas, views, theories and scientific discoveries regarding water are interesting: See WATER.

 

DSCN1054 Next we pass over a style on the bridge and go down the steps to follow the path alongside the river along the ‘permissive path’ to: Clough Foot Bridge.

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Follow the path next to the river, through several gates and styles. In summer these water meadows are full of Pink Purslane. At the point where the river veers off to the right, and here the bank is exposed and you can see layers of iron embedded in the strata of the stone and shale:  Parcock Clough. Turn to the left and cross the brook joining the river, going over a large stone slab bridge. Go up the steps and turn right. Go straight ahead. Here you meet a branch road (Cragg Lane) turn left and join Cragg Road again go left and follow the road back into Mytholmroyd.

This time as we reached the Shoulder of Mutton it was open.

The Shoulder of Mutton    So it had to be another pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord (my favourite tipple).

Next to the pub is a house with an interesting gate, and angel and a devil guarding the entrance:

Angel & Devil Gate

 

 

Back to the station to get a train to Halifax: Mytholmroyd Station.

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Route: OSMap

 

 

 

 

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