Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Revisiting Calderdale after a long absence

23rd December 2019

2007 became a year that was dominated by walking sections of long-distance trails like the Pennine Way. That in turn led me to Calderdale during the spring of that year. Two trips stand out for me with the first being near the start of February and the second near the start of March. Since those, I hardly have explored the area with other places gaining my attention.

This is a part of the world laden with so many public rights of way that it is difficult to pick out a few to facilitate some wandering. Maybe it is better to ramble from one to another in a more haphazard way and civilisation is ever at hand in the valley below the moors in any case. That sort of approach lay in the background as I plied my circuitous way from Hebden Bridge to Todmorden during the autumn of 2017.

It was a sunny if chilly Friday so it was little surprise to see others wandering about as well. Even so, I was about to find plenty of those quieter interludes that I relish so much. The advantage of having many paths to follow is that people can spread out everywhere. Some of these rights of way were not as clear or as well signed as others, but there was no conflict with landowners either.

Looking towards Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, England

There may have been a problem with train services going east from Hebden Bridge but it did little to delay my arrival and was soon forgotten as I scaled the steep slopes to reach the moors in the autumn sunshine. Because of all the path options, that also meant correcting a wrong turning and I got to wondering if having a GPS receiver with me might have been better. These days, the OS app on my phone would have been enough to put me right but that lay in the future back then.

Looking towards Heptonstall, West Yorkshire, England

The constant sunshine and the multitude of quieter places meant that I could navigate from right of way to right of way in peace and with ample time for ensuring that I was going in the right direction. Some of these followed clear tracks while others took me straight across boggy ground. Along the way, I took in views towards Heptonstall and Mytholmroyd though any sights of Hebden Bridge were lost in the steep-sided cleft of Calderdale. On any hike, some views are left behind you as you proceed towards others.

Stoodley Pike Monument, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England

My eventual destination was Stoodley Pike and getting there meant passage along part of the Pennine Way, so the direction of travel was easy to follow at this point even if the air was chilly enough for me not to tarry for too long. Cloud may have started to fill the sky, but any disruption of sunshine was momentary so I started on my way towards Todmorden. That took me down a steep incline using part of the Calderdale Way to Mankinholes and Lumbutts from where a mixture of road walking and footpath rambling got me to my final destination in ample time for the train journey home again after what had been a satisfying stroll with an added element of problem-solving.

Travel Arrangements

Train journey from Macclesfield to Hebden Bridge followed by a train journey from Todmorden to Macclesfield.

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