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.

 

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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.

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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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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.

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

 

 

 

 

Horsforth – Leeds Liverpool canal – Kirkstall Abbey

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After taking the train from Leeds to Horsforth station. This is a short walk going past the river Aire weir, along the canal and finishing at the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey. Approximately 4 miles station to station.

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Started out at the Horsforth village museum (Sunday Closed): outside the plinth commemorating that in 1940 the town adopted HMS Aubrietia. Along with two other warships and with Aubrietia on the 9th of May 1941  they captured a German UBoat and from it they recovered the Enigma machine that assisted Alan Turing at Bletchley Park to decode the German Abwer high command military code. This action was kept secret for tens of years to hide Britain’s computer secrets and this heroic action was also kept secret for the same period! HMS Aubrietia collected the survivors from two sunk British ships; both torpedoed by the UBoat before it too was attacked on the surface by HMS Bulldog and HMS Broadway. HMS Bulldog captured U-110, following a surface gun battle, the subs captain surrendered in the belief that he had scuttled the boat. However Sub Lt David Balme of Bulldog bravely entered the boat as it filled with sea water: finding the Enigma code machine ciphers and code books. U-110 was taken on tow and Bulldog kept her afloat for 17 hours then let the towline slip. The intention was to tow U-110 into Iceland when the Admiralty realised this would have been a massive error of judgement (Iceland being neutral). However U-110 resolved the matter itself by sinking.

Horsforth Peace Garden

Opposite the Museum a small park (Horsforth Peace Garden) you will find some weather worn ancient neolithic rocks, with well worn ‘Ring Marks‘.

Leaving Horsforth Just off the A 6120 and turning onto the  A65 New Road Side (Abbey Road) turn left into Newlay Wood Road:

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And take the turn to the left into a narrow passageway between houses. This track pops out at the wier and bridge at Rein Road.

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River VIDEO

Cross the bridge and the railway line, passing the Abbey pub and turning left, at the entrance to the Hunters Greave Activity Centre and Scout camp site, go into the field on the right; take the short track to the canal.

Sign

Canal Bridge  Canal Map

On this occasion, here we turned right to look at the canal map near the arched bridge. An alternative is to carry on>. Then turning back passing the steps we came up from, we followed the route along the canal in the direction marked towards Leeds and Headingly: to Kirkstall Abbey. Alternatively two weeks later we took the right-hand route>

L&L Canal Locks Canal Reflections

Power-Reflection   Canal Lock reflection

Mill Relection  DSCN1569

Going past the Kirkstall Brewery housing refurbishment on the left bank of the canal and onwards through the tunnel (shown above) and turn right on the path towards the main road junction (Traffic lights) Cross over towards the bridge (Bridge Road) over the river.

DSCN1573             Kirkstall Abbey Park

Go past the brewery (overhead clock gate) and the war memorial turning left at sign and into Kirkstall Abbey Park. Follow the pathway to the Abbey:

Kirkstall Abbey  Kirkstall Abbey - Close - up

Kirkstall Abbey inside ruin  Kirkstall Abbey - Turner was here

Turner the artist came here on his painting tour of Yorkshire and painted Kirkstall Abbey.

Abbey Road Headingly

To the station: two ways, return on the path back to Kirkstall Lane and turn left going up the steep hill past the road junction and traffic lights to Headingly Station on the left. Or quicker route; go out of the Abbey Park onto Abbey Road turning left towards Leeds and walk along to the traffic lights at Leeds & Bradford Road junction with Kirkstall Lane (B6157) turn left up the steep hill to the station.

headingley-station-sign

Trains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penyghent

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Penyghent or Pen y Ghent is one of the ‘Three Peaks‘ in North Yorkshire. Its not a difficult climb, more an uphill walk with two alternative approach  routes; this walk goes the slightly less arduous option. The mountain is the lowest of the three peaks at 2,277 ft above sea level. If you come by train you will see Penyghent framed in the top of the narrowing train lines as they head of towards the North. Its an unmistakable point dominating the horizon on the Settle to Hawes road and most impressive from Horton – in – Ribblesdale.

3Peaks-Book

Dalesman Books 1969, an old guide to the peaks shows a picture of long past manual hay-making with Penyghent in the distance.

Car park on the B6479 in Horton.

As the signpost states its a three and three quarters of a mile walk from the car park just after the bend going around between the Golden Lion Pub and the church on the right …….  and its about three miles down on the return path over the other side of the mountain back to the church. Only on the finest of days is it without a breeze at the summit on less favourable days it can have vicious cold inducing winds up there, so take a suitable covering with you. Its an interesting feature to observe how clouds tend to cling or form over the mountain, often obscuring the summit. Penyghent rises in appearance more dramatically than Ingleborough or Whernside even if of lower elevation on its side are some challenging rock climbs, best left to professionals; the walkers path involves no arduous rock climbing abilities. There are deep potholes nearby, Hull Pot a 60 ft deep crater (often filled with water from Hull Pot Beck). Its a favourite location for Grouse shooting, and in winter months ski-runs are active.

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Leaving the road and near to the Pen-y-ghent Café which ids also a walkers and climbers information centre.

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On a pleasant sunny summers day the walk, though strenuous is quite enjoyable with wonderful views of the mountain, somewhat appearing to be in an eternal same distance away, for the first two thirds of the walk. Initially you go up along a walled track through farmland; along the walls grows all kinds of wild things, Foxgloves, plants smelling of aniseed, larks singing and other creatures scurrying about. Rising up you go through a gate  turning right, showing the Pen-y-ghent sign, although there is no need of notification, as it dominates the landscape ahead.

Hull-PotTo the right, is Hunt Pot (160ft (49m), a gash in the moorland grass showing the underground limestone that  drops straight down into a deep chasm.   Then further along to the north is Hull Pot, a much bigger hole. In wet weather a stream tumbles down its limestone crags into the depths. Continue over two ladder stiles, rising up steadily. The country opens up here and you can see the path winding up and leading to the summit.

AscendingPghentYou will see on a good weather day lots of people strung out along the track. Passing each one brings on that feeling of having to say good-day greeting to each one; it becomes a distraction. I began to switch my attention to the rocks alongside the track and found some very interesting ones; looking almost like mosaics.

Composite-Mosaic-Rocks

 

(Click to enlarge) and see what I mean: are these rocks, and there were quite a few lying around, some sort of composite? or is it just the surface layer with interesting weathered patterns or some species of Lichen? All I know is that they would have been easily overlooked if i had been knocked out of my active meditating mental state of alertness, by anticipating, then keying up a “hello nice day” response to the oncoming, descending, hikers.

At the Top:

Top-Style-PGhent summit bench

Pgent-Top

There are two routes: the left-hand style leads away to another route, so take the style adjoining the long wall that recedes in the distance to the right, near to the stone-pile marking the highest point.

If you are tired or want to have a snack there is a walled and sheltered circular stone bench.

On the other side the change in the terrain is immediately different, rocky and steep. However its not so hard as there are steps going down. However the majority of walkers seem to prefer coming up and doing the reverse of the walk described here, either way its a magnificent trip.

PenyGent-Top PenyGent-down-from-summit

Steep-Steps-PenyGent PenyGent-Lower-slop

PenyGent-by-heck-its-cold Peny-Gent

It can be cold and windy up there even on a pleasant day so take a jacket with you, unless its a heat-wave!

Going down steep steps, through rocks with the stone wall to the right. Passing over two styles keep to the downward path until you reach the sign to Brackenbottom: turn right (style) and follow the track down. Eventually reaching a gate, go through keep on heading down, through more rocky terrain. Then over a step – style, now seeing the view ahead stone quarry.

PenyGent-rock-wall  Step-Style-PenyGent

The route is not difficult to follow its straight down, along the wall; stone farm below, keep on eventually popping out at the church:

Stone-Farm-PGent  PenyGent-Church1030325

Stainforth

 

 

Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

So back to the road and the car park.

 

 

 

 

Active Meditation: observational walking

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Tree-BarkA method of stress reliving meditation that anyone can do whilst walking. There is a lot of incorrect associations regarding meditation: such as needing a teacher, a training course, often with fees associated. Yes, it is a very useful practice for entraining the mind towards quiescence. But you can do it yourself. Unless you want to go deeper into the subject, you have no requirement for, chanting, visualisations or fees.

A quieter mind is a natural stress relieving state. The National Health Service and many schools in the UK are now actively encouraging practices of meditation.

However one EASY method that can lead on to more advanced techniques, if required is Active Meditation; this simply involves walking with a mind attempting to become set upon seeing and observing the natural world.

Meditation was the ‘in thing’ in the 1960′s due to the Beatles meeting the Maharishi and to be fair, in spite of all the associated gossip regarding it, we have to acknowledge that he brought the practice to wider attention: George Harrison kept with it to the end of his life.

Coping with our stressful world.

We live in an ever increasingly faster and more pressurised world; this is leading to strain in every-direction and its probably going to get worse and faster before it gets any better. We have crisis after crises fed to us by 24 hour news feeds. We have financial pressures and worries of all kinds. These frustrations impinge upon our minds and we are constantly inwardly reviewing our situation often making things appear to ourselves to be worse.

One simple option for reducing stress, getting out in the fresh air, and seeing the world is this method of meditation; that is really very, very simple to achieve.

 

 

Swallowshaw – Jumble Hole Clough -Winter

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Starting-OutCalderdale Todmorden region.

For great views of Stoodley Pike

Snow walk: January 2013.

You need to be well prepared and wrapped

up for a trek in the snow in this region.

 

TodSnow-Walk

Start at Car park Picnic area Rochdale Road on the HebdenBridge side of Todmorden. Opposite Lobb Mill. I took a bus from Halifax.

Length: Five and three quarters of a mile.

Climbing uphill and reaching the top levels with magnificent views of Stooley Pike. A micro climate at Swallowshaw, an ancient cottage, a giant rock and the industrial stone ruins of Jumble Hole with crashing waterfalls. 

Another description from WALKS IN CALDERDALE – Paul Hannon:

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 Click the picture to view: this is a great little book, now out of print, you might find second hand copies – I show this as an example of a great and recommended local walking guide.

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Opposite Lobb Mill Farm: Climbing up the track from the car park up the hill from the car park/picnic area (zig – zag). Stop for this view  over the top of Horesfal Tunnel – Rochdale canal, the railway line and the main road below (A646). You reach a vantage point with a great view , in the distance is Todmorden on the other side of the valley: Stoodley Pike

SILENCE: the blanket of snow reduces the sounds, until a train roars through the tunnel just below.

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Stoodly Pike in the far distance: built by the local Freemasons to celebrate the Victory over Napoleon (for the second time) at Waterloo. Waterloo flags and banners can be seen in Halifax Parish Church , local regiments fought in the battle.

Moving on up the track passing a few Yorkshie sandstone-grit cottages, you come to more open countryside.

RedBerryWall IcicalWay

At the end of the walled track turn left.

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Great views looking back along the walled road:

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Views over the fields on the left:

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At the end of the walled road you reach a T junction – turn right and walk down this ‘B’ road down to Swallowshaw.

Tjunction Road

Although this road was still covered with snow and very deep at the sides a tractor had cleared it to enable farm traffic to move but the sides were still full of original snow. In this area the farmers are paid to clear the roads.

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The architecture of the houses here are not the only interesting feature. Turning left (Butts Lane) and going up the hill I stopped just after passing the houses, there is a small stream to the left: I realized that I was within a micro-climate. In such locations (often near flowing water) a heightened sense can be identified; its very subtle and easily missed if pre-occupied in conversation or trivial repetitive inner thoughts. It can best be described as catching it, but if you try too hard such effort can hinder the connection. These micro-climates even mini ones as at this location, if you look at the vegetation, you might see it has a distinguishable verdant abundance, it has more life and within such locations Active Meditation is given a slight boost.

Headstone Walking slowly up the steep hill to more buildings on the right leaning against a farm building was a new age type headstone and further up the farm itself with two snowcats link twin Sphinxes guarding the gateposts at Hollin Royd Farm:

SnoCATS

Straight on up the hill and as you rise up there are magnificent views of the entire valley below and to the right-hand side.

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Passing a house on the left at the end of the road, go straight on (not following the road any more). There is an overgrown track, a rotting signpost and a gate. Go through to emerge at a stone style, pass though and on to the woods in the distance, crossing a stream with a small waterfall on the left.

As you approach a house there is a small marker-sign showing the route upwards; you go up and then navigate around the top boundary of this house emerging out the other side, meeting a low wall, follow the grassy path (in summer) as the channel along the wall was filled with deep snow I had to struggle and wade through the snow to eventually reach a stone gate and a sheltered area. Wonderful views of the valley below:

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Turning left (joining another walking route from the right) go through the style, emerging into a walled pathway which you follow to the end.

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Arriving at the road at the end of the walled pathway turn to the left and walk up the hill to the ‘T’ section and go left. Passing a large house on the right in the direct of the ‘Great Rock‘ on Staups moor. The rock has a dark history; in the past it was associated with the Druids and witches from Heptenstall.

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The road bends around near the rock then slightly descends towards Hippins; walk along it past a modernised farm building: Staups Lea Farm. Then on to Hippins Bridge. The second photo below shows the view over the bridge (Path to Blackshaw Head) and icicles on the rock wall nearby:

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The way is now over the bridge but not to follow the road which swings upwards to the left. Going to the right past the sign post to an intriguing and beautiful ancient house:

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The date-stone is 1656. The house is built from local gritstone and has typical mullion windows probably a family house in which, in those old days pieces of cloth were spun behind these windows, and taken for sale at Halifax Piece Hall.

Passing the house almost immediately on the right is a stone style and signpost, and some impressive trees. Go through into a short walled passage and then into an open field with a wall on the left stretching out in front, follow the path along the wall:

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The fields begin to narrow and you will begin to hear the rushing waterfalls in the valley on the right. you follow a path diagonally away from the wall towards a stile entrance to steps going down through the forest to the valley floor. There is a huge flat rock (shown above) you pass or better still make a beeline for it and sit on the top for a rest with great views.

Into the forest:

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The beauty of the landscape comes into sharper relief with a covering of snow. The ion rich air pushing up from the rushing waters below can all assist to enhance perception: like the eye  of a painter or a photographer you can catch that mental state of active meditation. Simply by looking at the surroundings; you are not passively contemplating, you are actively participating in appreciating the outside world and internalizing it at the same time: colours can become richer and photographs do it no justice and its all in magnificent high definition 3D!

Pass through the style and take the steps down, (advisable to use a walking stick on this descent, in snow or after rain) eventually you reach another stone passing place in a wall, continue down turning left past a huge tree, and with a nice view of Stoodley Pike through the trees on the left, continue down the track, where you will reach a bridge (Staups Clough) made from one huge stone slab:

FrozenTreesandPike    P1010528

Cross the bridge. Here there are ruins of an old mills outer buildings (Staups Mill). The route goes left after the bridge through a tree lined track. The river below is now on the left. The path follows the valley; a ravine bellow with rocks and waterfalls, you pass along the top forested area until you notice a sharp decent, coming to a road leading upwards to the houses on the right. Go straight on bearing left and down the steep concrete road to the bottom; it carries on winding to the left were you reach a flat area with a bridge and several impressive waterfalls – this is the start of ‘Jumble Hole Clough’:

P1010537In the past locations such as this were important in the woollens trade and the easy availability of fast flowing water to provide water wheel power and the river was also diverted to form a reservoir lower down the valley. Jumble Hole Cough; begging at the top bridge (Cow Bridge) had a series of mills running down and along the fall of the river. Part of an almost forgotten local industrial heritage.

Now all gone, almost. What remains are ruined mossy walls with trees and vines growing in out and around them, making the area for all the world resembling some lost city in the jungles of central America.

Continue down the road, passing underneath the railway bridge and emerging onto the main road.

TodmordenSign

Walk in the direction of Halifax/Hebden Bridge, taking the path parallel with the main road and emerging to join it after a row of terraced houses on the opposite side. Here there is a road crossing point, go over the road and over the river (weir) to the canal.

 

Wier P1010549

 

At the canal there are two options, to go in the direction of Todmorden, returning to the starting point and car park. Walk along passing several locks and under bridges, passing on the left the cricket ground, carry on until you pass a row of terraced cottages (Spring Side) on the other bank after-which take the path up to the side of the bridge to some houses and a boat works. Take the road to the left crossing a river hump-back bridge, the road leads to the main road which you follow for about a quarter of a mile to reach the picnic area and car park

Or going in the other direction along the tow-path to Hebden Bridge.

Soon you pass the Calderdale ‘Sue Indian’ reservation (Joking):

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Returning to the tow-path after a quick stop for a pint in the marvellous Stubbings Wharf pub which is just alongside the canal, the air was colder and the path very icy:

P1010568      HebdenMoon

 

Soon reaching Hebden Bridge where I caught a bus for Halifax.

        Winter-Tower

 

 

 

 

 

Hebden Bridge – Pecket Well war monument

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HBmap

This walk starts in Hebden Bridge and goes up to the first world war monument at Pecket Well. Then returns to Hebden Bridge. Other local routes can be added to extend this walk, which is relatively short. Aprox 3-5- miles depending on your start point, and possible potential extension options, the core route has a two step assent to the monument.

Street MAP

RouteMAPgreenPublic transport: buses from Halifax, Rochdale, Burnley. Trains from Halifax and Manchester.  Parking is available in the National Trust  fee paying car park in(central for this and many walks in  Hardcastle Crags.

Autumn, early December 3013

ROUTE – MAP    TBA one shown is just a reminder to update it

No rushing to beat a time no rushing at all.

A lot of walkers and even more hikers are more concerned about reaching the end of the trail, often in the quickest time; this is like taking the rush, rush of the world along with you. Rambling is a good name: lets ramble on.

If you start at the car park – walk back in the direction of Hebden Bridge, past the toilets and and Midgehole;  out along the road you drove in along, until you reach the old factory with the walled lined track going up alongside on your left.

If you begin at the Town of Hebden Bridge follow the sign to Haworth/Keighley along the A6033:

UpTheA6033                  PieShop

I didn’t bring any sandwiches, so I bought pies and a cake from this shop on the corner of the town square; I already knew it and can highly recommend it. Continuing with a backpack and with some fantastic smelling beef pies I was ready.

Walking up the black stone walled line of the A6033 you have great views of the town and the river far below.

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Passing a set of smiling ‘alien’ stylised stone gate-posts: continue up passing the discontinued pub the Nut Clough (converted to a home) until on your left you see a sign going left along the smaller Crag road down and onwards towards Midgehole and Hardcastle Crags.

NurClough       DSCN1277

Walking along this road you will see the objective in the distance the top of the hill on the left in the far distance. And there is a parallel alternative for a short distance lower down and towards the end of this track before it again re-joins the road, down below you might just see Yorkshire Llamas!

DSCN1280         YorkshireLlama

Walking along this road; above is the A6033  and a forest, on your left is the river. The road is bordered all along with a stone wall covered with with moss of many shades of green. Walking along with eyes wide open actively seeing the surrounding beauty of it all, you can begin to notice things: here on the moss covered wall was a tiny creature: a little yellow ‘Ladybird’ and further along I noticed some minute mushrooms peering out from the moss wall. Rushing and being mentally pre-occupied can easily close down the senses, so relax let your senses open and you will see thinks you might not notice if your mind is still in the office.

YellowBugonMoss Tiny Mushrooms on moss

On the right you come to some old stone factory types of buildings (derelict) between these there is a walled path rising up (on the left of the first picture below). Take the track up. Sometimes flowing with water and deep with leaves and Beech nuts crunching beneath your boots.

Trackstart Leafytrack

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Its a steep path but soon you will become fortified by the wonderful air that resides within the upper reaches of this valley: negative ions pour out from the rushing stream below, activated by the rushing waters downward spiralling, swirling, splashing on an ever downwards journey over tumbling waterfalls and around and over the rocks below on your left. STOP and BREATHE in the AIR. This phenomena; a profusion of negative Ions at this area is a gift from nature, it is much more apparent in the Autumn, and Winter as the trees and other vegetation sleeps.  In the spring and summer months the trees absorb much of it; however enough of it is still there in Summer; a palpable presence, once you notice it, then it becomes something you will be able to identify at other healthy watery locations, its what people like to breath in deeply at the sea-side. (See my page about WATER.)

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I climbed down to take picture and a video that you can see by selecting the video link/pic above. I don’t recommend that you go down as there is no path its very steep and slippery.

The hill eventually levels out just after you see on the left the brook twist and turn into two halves.

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Here you have a choice, you can continue straight up a steeper slope, emerging on the road at Pecket Well village and visit the Robin Hood pub, or as I did on this occasion turn left:  or For a longer interconnecting walk to Lumb Hole Waterfall>

Robin Hood Tour de france

A Note about the Robin Hood pub (which has overnight accommodation) This pub is on the route of the 2014 Tour de France – starting in (Leeds) Yorkshire. The Tour goes down from here into Hebden Bridge and then on to Mytholmroyd, where it turns left over the bridge and heads up Cragg Vale and onwards over Holme Moss and on to Sheffield. Interestingly it passes the Robin Hood pub on Crag Road; making Tour de France history when the race passes two Robin Hood pubs!                                >The Tour in Yorkshire.

CONTINUING…

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Left turn down the path and crossing the bridge over the brook, watch out for mountain bikers this section is very popular with them and its a great place to see them navigating this section although in wet periods they do churn up the mud!  Again, left at the bottom and take the wonderful tree lined path, this is a level section and you can continue to enjoy the fresh air.

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Walking along this leafy pathway, with the WW1 monument above high up through the trees on the left. After a while (just a few minutes) you will see a sign over the wall with several access steps extruding from it: go up and follow a climbing path to a wall which you climb trough and turn left, go up the field to the blackened stone monument:

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DSCN1329Splendid views across the valley below and towards Heptonstall (church) and further in the distance Stoodly Pike. The area is known as ‘Little Switzerland’ and often on windy days you can see birds flying backwards here.

A good time to stop and eat that pie I bought in Hebden Bridge.

Long pause whilst munching at my brilliant succulent pie with crunchy fresh pastry…

 

 

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Two routes lead away from the monument, the top one goes to Pecket Well and the other re-traces steps back to the wall and down the same route taken to get up here . Another alternative is to forsake the return path and go straight over the wall again on route for Pecket Well, through the forest.

 

For a longer interconnecting walk to LUMB FALLS>

add link here into Lumb Falls Walk – build alt page route…>

Bracket mushroom Lined Stump

Pecket Well Clough Sign           stump&mushrooms

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Coming back through the steps in the wall at Pecket Well Clough go down the hill, and follow the path right down all the way. Eventually popping out on the road at the public toilets near the car park and entrance to Hardcastle Crags.

 

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A choice here; continue with two choices. Take the road back to Hebden Bridge or go down and follow the river trail: Avoiding the entrance to the Crags go left and over the bridge and down to the houses, keep left and follow the river bank route until you reach a metal bridge. Cross the bridge and take the path across the field to a confusing signpost; turn left up the (hill) road and back to the road.

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Follow the road back the original way you came (direction Hebden Bridge) past the Llama farm. Towards the end of this route there is an unmarked path to the right next to a hose with a statue of David in the garden, this pathway with steep steps leads to the river, again and following it will take you to the back streets of Hebden Bridge (this is another alternative picturesque walk — > LINK optional page…)

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Passing by David’s backside, on this occasion I tool the direct road to Hebden Bridge:

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Then upon reaching ‘Nut Clough’ I became intrigued by another diversion; to investigate:

nutcloughsign KCwoods

And I was pleased to make this decision because as soon as I went through the metal gate I perceived that negative ion presence so wonderfully experienced earlier in this walk.

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Once again refreshed and with a renewed spring in my step I returned to the road descending down to the town. Then looking down over the wall at the river below: a Herron fishing as the light was beginning to fade as the sun sank over the hill at Heptonstall. What could be a better end to my walk… just one thing before getting the bus back to Halifax… buying some local Christmas cards ….

 Christmas Card artist Hebden Bridge December 2013

                                                                                         Finally:

this walk was all in 3D.

It really was and I had no need of 3d glasses!

The photographs can’ show it, so:

                                                                          Go and try it yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

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