I decided to do another of the AA Walks, this one from Lydgate to the Whirlaw Stones, the Bride Stones, the Hawk Stones and the Orchan Stones. I’ve done some of this with Cath and also most of it with Chris who loved it.
The AA description is a bit out of date. I’ve sent them some amendments so hopefully they will update it on the web, they make a lot of reference to the Sportsmans pub which is long shut. The first hurdle was a very overgrown path in Lydgate but I reported this to the Ramblers via the Pathwatch app which sends the Ramblers a grid reference and a photo which they then send to the relevant local council.
It was pretty hot but the first section is nice and shady, the path is no longer sunken but a concrete track and very steep. Into the sun and then yet another dead sheep, this one very smelly and with lots of flies. I walked under the Whirlaw Rocks and sat on a bench to eat my lunch. Then up a bit more, past Windy Harbour and the stone head, past a new build called Mast Farm but no mast in sight and definitely not where the map was saying it was. Up onto the Bride Stones where someone was drumming in a cleft in the rocks. Across to the non pub and along the road passing the Hawk Stones on the right. Down Mount Road, past a very ancient stone cross that I don’t remember seeing before but maybe I just wasn’t looking. Along a section that the AA needed to explain in a bit more detail. Then down past the Orchan Rocks and back down another shady wide track to Lydgate.
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.
Chris and I first tried to go to the Hawks Stones above Todmorden. It’s a very short walk from what used to be the Sportsman’s pub but although there had been a BMC notice at the start of the footpath telling us to be good, there wasn’t one saying there was restricted access to the Access Land that the Hawks Stones are on until we got to them.
We then opted for the Bride Stones which are just a short hop on the other side of the road. It took me a while but I got the anchor, myself the belayer and Chris the climber all roped up correctly and I belayed her up the slope. I can see I still need to practise this but it is getting a little bit easier.
Then we looked for a place for me to try an abseil. I deliberately kept the slopes very small for this practise session. I eventually managed to get a classic abseil sorted out and I think I got a version of a South African one as well but this was quite hard.
I definitely need to keep on practising these and hope that I can have another refresher prior to doing the assessment.
It was a lovely warm afternoon and Chris has offered to help me practise this as Carol is currently out of the running with her hernia.
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.