Monthly Archives: August 2015

Holme Fen

Sunday 30 August 2015. There were 14 walkers on today’s 7.4 mile wander around Holme Fen. With a unintentionally late start of 10:30, we hadn’t been walking for more than 10 minutes before a brief shower made most of us don our waterproof coats. Thankfully, this didn’t last too long and had almost stopped in time for our coffee break at 11:15.

The route took us to most parts of the nature reserve including a stop at the Holme Fen posts which are said to be 9ft below sea level. More meandering took us into Jackson’s Covert and a lunch stop beside Bosotn’s Mere.

We had been lucky with the weather up until now but the last mile or so was done in steadily increasing rain which brought out a flurry of umbrellas.

The first 3 pictures were taken on my winter recce which perhaps show the fen at its best whereas the last 4 were taken today which was totally lacking in sunshine.

Holme Fen – walk route

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Holt Country Park

Sunday 23 August 2013. There were 9 of us on today’s 8.45 mile walk with just under 500ft of ascent starting from Holt Country Park. This is an excellent place to meet as, although there was a car park charge of £1.50, there were freshly cleaned toilets and a mobile van selling freshly ground coffee.

I’ve done a lot of walking during the last month in the Peak District and the Calderdale area of West Yorkshire but I don’t think that any of these walks were better than today’s. The weather was ideal, in the low 20’s and with a cooling wind.

The harvest was in full swing and we passed several combined harvesters busy in the adjacent fields. We stopped just short of Hempstead for coffee and then for a 30 minute lunch break in the grounds of Baconsthorpe Castle which dates back to 1460. I doubt that we’ve ever had such a beautiful lunch stop as we sat in the sunshine watching the swans on the surrounding moat.

When we did the recce for this walk on New Year’s day we passed a few donkeys in a field near to Hempstead Hall and, unsurprisingly, they were still there today. I don’t quite know what it is about donkeys but they always bring a smile to my face. Perhaps it is the childhood memories of donkey rides on the beach. After a short section of road walking the walk ended with a stroll through the woods and back to the cars.

Holt – walk route

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Pennine Wander

Sunday 16 August 2015. I wasn’t going to bother with a walk today but it was such a nice morning that it seemed a shame to sit inside and do nothing. I wanted to drive to the top of Cragg Vale which is something of a mecca for cyclist as it is the longest continuous gradient in England – 968 feet over 5.5 miles. The record time, cycling, is 14 minutes and 19 seconds. There were plenty of amateurs giving at a go today.

My walk, which I made up by looking at the map for a suitable route, started from the car park next to Blackstone Edge reservoir. I set off uphill towards Blackstone Edge following the Pennine Way and then headed back downhill again on what remained of a roman road. I then followed the Pennine Bridleway for a while before taking the Watershed Lanscape Reservoir Trail and finally the Pennine Way, again, back to the car. The walk was 5.6 miles with just under 1,000ft of ascent.

I managed 11 walks during the holiday in Hebden Bridge and totalled 77 miles bring my annual total of miles walked to 730, so far.

Blackstone Edge – walk route.pdf


Saturday 15 August 2015. Today’s walk from Oxenhope was only going to be 6 miles but at the half way point the weather seemed to be deteriorating with light rain falling. We had number of options. We could have carried on as planned and risked getting wet or to take a short cut on the Bronte Way and stay relatively dry. The latter won but we needn’t have worried as the shower was only short lived. The curtailed route was only 4 miles but still included a total ascent of 730ft.

We parked at Oxenhope station which is at the end of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and just as we got back a steam train was getting ready to leave. It rained for more than 12 hours yesterday so walking was out of the question and today there was a chilly breeze which, to some extent, influenced the decision on a shorter walk.

Oxenhope – walk route.pdf


Thursday 13 August 2015. Today’s 8 mile walk with a total ascent of 1,400ft started from the Watergrove Reservoir just north of the Lancashire village of Wardle. We were walking in typical Pennine countryside and followed the Pennine Bridleway for some distance before turning onto the Todmorden Centenary Way and then the Rossendale Way. This was real wind turbine country and it was interesting to see the network of service roads that had been built but didn’t appear on my OS map.

Route finding was a little difficult at times as there were so many paths to choose from. Waymarking wasn’t the best either, particularly when crossing the new wind farm roads. There was a yellow weather warning for rain so we started the walk 30 minutes earlier than normal. However, we needn’t have worried as the rains fell in the far south east of the country. I don’t think that we will be so lucky tomorrow and it may be a day of rest.

Wardle – walk route.pdf


Wednesday 12 August 2015. It was the glorious twelfth today and the weather certainly fell into that category with a long awaited summer’s day. We drove via Oxenhope on some very narrow winding roads to the car park just outside the hamlet of Wycoller. It was only half a mile or so to walk into Wycoller and as Bea wanted a sandwich for lunch we stopped at the local café. It didn’t usually open until 12am but the local Health Walk group had booked a stop there so it had opened early. We were at the back of a long queue but I eventually got my tea and bacon sandwich.

The walk started off by crossing farmland and walled fields before joining the Pendle Way where we stopped again for a late lunch. The section along the Pendle Way was delightful as we were on the edge of Brinks End Moor with a stream running below us to our right. We could have taken a short cut back to the car by using the Bronte Way but I wanted to walk across the top of Foster’s Leap. This meant that we had to do some road walking but I couldn’t let the opportunity of visiting such a prominent landmark pass me by.

I decided that I would drive back on what I thought would be better roads go via Colne, the M65 & Burnley. This was a mistake as the traffic was horrendous and I now wish that I’d gone back the way that I came. The walk was 7¼ miles with a total ascent of just under 1,000ft.

Wycoller – walk route.pdf


Tuesday 11 August 2015. It was overcast all day but at least it didn’t rain during our 7¾ mile walk from Todmorden with a total ascent of 1,450ft. We parked alongside the Rochdale Canal and then walked the towpath for a couple of miles. I can’t say that it was particularly attractive until we eventually escaped the town and broke out into the countryside. Leaving the level towpath, we now had a climb of 850ft over the next 2 miles to the top of Stoodley Pike. We stopped for lunch at the base of the tower but there was a chill wind blowing so we didn’t rest for too long.

A walk along a small part of the Pennine Way brought us to the intersection with the Calderdale Way which was to be the route for our descent. This path must have been established long ago as a packhorse trail between Todmorden and Cragg Vale as the paving stones underfoot were well worn by the traffic throughout the years.

Todmorden – walk route.pdf