MTL Widdop to Jack Bridge 04 and 05/02/17

Widdop to Jack Bridge

A) Sat 4th Feb 2017, Widdop to Gorple

Felt very tired so only walked from Widdop to Gorple reservoir and back round. I didn’t have enough light to go further plus I’d arranged to do the rest with Babs the next day. Chris and I have walked and cycled here many times. Back to weeping all the time.

Cludders Stack


Gorple reservoir

B) Sun 5th Feb 2017, Gorple to Jack Bridge

We set off from the Pack Horse pub and walked to the New Delight pub and back. The New Delight name always makes me think of the Pure Drop pub in Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

This is a lovely stretch of the walk, we climbed up to 380m which is quite high for this part of the world. Just as we got sight of the New Delight and started thinking about grub, the Mary Towneley Way whisked us away from it and took us a roundabout way to reach it. The pub itself was a bit of a let down and we had to wait ages for a bowl of soup and when it came it was disappointing, plus the staff were borderline rude. So no Delight to be had, won’t be going there again.

We returned via a quicker route. We didn’t get much sun as the day before but at least it didn’t rain on us. 8.4 miles, 13.5km.

Gorple reservoir
Sadly this isn’t Pisser Rough but I so wish it was. That’s just a few metres up the road.



Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.



Springy walks 2016

Stoodley Pike from Withens Clough 14th February

Fantastic bright day with deep light resolution.




Crimsworth Dean 25th February

Evening walk.


Erringden 27th February

Bronze NNAS course.


Crimsworth Dean 6th March

Chilly hill circuit, snow on the ground

St. Ives that way

Brynarth near Lledrod 12th and 13th March

It’s a Humphrey

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Walsden and Quaker graveyard 25th March

From Todmorden along the canal and then up. Great walk for friend’s new hip!

Silly goose
Silly goose
Was not expecting this
Was not expecting this
In the Quaker graveyard
In the Quaker graveyard

Hardcastle Crags circuit 6th April

Great route, just a small problem with horizontal hailstones. Evening walk. Too difficult for photos!

Top Withins 10th April

Reccy for the Brontes by dark, a night walk I’m planning for the South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival in September, hoping to make the most of the Bronte festivities this year. I may even have to re-enact Heathcliffe and Cathy by semaphore.

From the Bronte Bridge
From the Bronte Bridge
Top Withins
Top Withins


Widdop towards Burnley 17th April

I was looking forward to this so it was irritating that it was marred by 2 off road motorbikes and a quad bike, all without plates, using bridleways and also a footpath. They were busy illegally churning up the paths and the moor and   bog. I had planned a circuit but they were on the same route as me so I went out and came back the same way.

Widdop reservoir
Widdop reservoir, last bit of sun
Sun down over Widdop

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Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.


Winter walks

20th December 2015 – Cat Stones, Rishworth

Fine until it got too hard to cross any more bog because it became a river.

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2nd January 2016 – Widdop

A reccy with Cath, in perfect no visibility conditions!

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10th January 2016 – Widdop

Another reccy with Cath, much brighter and colder day.

Reaps Cross

17th January 2016 – Stoodley Pike

In the snow.

Stoodley Pike


31st January 2016 – Widdop

With Maureen, so very soggy from every angle.

Walshaw Dean reservoir (middle)


14th February – Withens Clough and Stoodley Pike

Almost felt glad to be alive. Beautiful day with deeply intense light.

Song of the day: Badlands

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Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.


Widdop and Gorple Reservoirs 15th February 2015

This is a walk I’ve done many times and cycled it too. Today I went from Widdop dam and up to the rocks at Shuttleworth Moor and Black Moor overlooking Upper Gorple reservoir. Across to Upper Gorple on a permissive path and then to Lower Gorple reservoir. It was mainly misty with the odd glimpse of sun. I took a path that was new to me to get back across to Widdop. It went through a boggy and gloomy wood where most of the trees had died. The path had been moved which I only realised because I had to check a bearing when I got out of the wood. Then crossed a good chunk of featureless moorland and came out at the top of Cludders Slack. I don’t know what that means but I like it. Some really vast rocks litter the hillsides round here.

Widdop reservoir
Widdop reservoir
Cludders Slack
Cludders Slack
Lower Gorple reservoir
Lower Gorple reservoir
Upper Gorple reservoir
Upper Gorple reservoir
Widdop reservoir
Widdop reservoir
Cludders Slack
Cludders Slack
Widdop reservoir
Widdop reservoir

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.


Winter walks January 2013

Saturday 12th January 2013
Chris and I did a quick up and down Stoodley Pike. For me this was a warm up for the following day. I coughed all the way up to the pike and it was bitterly cold in the wind. But lovely to be out and walking again after what felt like a long gap. The last real exercise I had was at the end of November on the bitterly cold bike ride from Todmorden to Mytholmroyd in the Valley of Lights. Then I was floored by the evil flu from hell and only went back to work on 7th January. Lovely to actually feel well despite the cough.

Chris and furry ear
The mighty prong of Stoodley Pike!
Mincing! I did exactly same pose when I was 19, the one and only time I’ve skied.

Sunday 13th January 2013
I met Cath at Hebden Bridge railway station and we drove up to Widdop. The road past Maureen and John’s house is shut off so we had to go through Heptonstall but this was lovely for a change. The road to Widdop was very frosty.
We set off and basically did a 6 mile circuit that took in Reap’s Cross which is missing its crossbar, then Raistrick, up to the old scout hut, over to the big reservoir, around it and back along the permissive path by the side of it and back to the car, the last bit along the road.
Cath wanted to see a nice bridge that she remembered from when she’d done the Pennine Way and it was still there. We had an early lunch at Reap’s Cross (re-erected in 2002 by the people who live in the hills) and a second lunch much later on.
Fab day with lots of good conversation.

Cath’s bridge
The FBs
Cath sporting new Rab jacket and new mountain cap at Reap’s Cross
Ruin at Raistrick

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Widdop and Hardcastle Crags

I got the bike on top of the car relatively easily. We parked in the upper car park at Hardcastle Crags and set off along the road turning off before the steep zig zag section.
Went up to the first Gorple reservoir and then to the second. Here we decided to return to the first and fork to get to Widdop.
Then crossed the road and along to Walshaw Dean. Turned right along past some farms and a tiny hamlet. Chris came off her bike as we crossed the path to give way to some cyclists coming up. She hurt her ribs and her hand was sore but she soon got back on. Then we headed down down to Gibson Mill. Here we had to stop to sample Nat Trust cake and tea. It was ok, my first time in the mill. Now need to return to see round it.
Then a short walking section to get back up to the top car park.
Managed to get the bike back on the roof but less gracefully this time.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.


Widdop bike ride 9th September 2012

Chris and I met up in the top Hardcastle Crags car park on the Widdop road, both getting our free National Trust parking.
We set off along the road and then did the wiggly and very steep bit up to and past the pub. I pushed my bike up that section but Chris stayed on for quite a while.
Then we tootled along to the further Widdop car park where we struck off to cross the footbridge and then carried the bikes up the steps.
We were able to ride for quite a while until the path got very steep. Went through a ferocious 20 second shower which made me cold in that time. But it really did only last that long.
A bit more pushing and then we sailed along for a quite a bit, the path started to go down and we both decided that we would only have to get back up so we headed back up the path and then tried to strike across country, however this soon got to boggy. And although Chris and I rarely walk or cycle without bog, we actually made a hasty retreat. Instead we headed across to Widdop reservoir alongside the big rocky outcrop. This was only a short bike pushing section and so would be possible to do another time. This takes you to the reservoir from where you are then on a great track which is in good enough condition for a relaxing ride so we whizzed along, passing the old scout hut and were soon back at the road.
A great ride!

Scout hut
That a way
Soaking up the rays as per usual!
Not sure yellow my colour! But good on the road.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Widdop August 24th

Nice early evening walk in Widdop with Anita passing several reservoirs and looking at some slightly different navigation tricks.
We stayed out until it started raining and then headed back as it got dark. We didn’t have to use our lights as despite the low cloud, it was still easy to see because we’d got accustomed to the light changing as we walked.
Managed not to get too badly bitten by midges. Anita came up with really useful piece of advice to prevent being eaten alive which is to eat marmite or take a Vitamin B pill if you don’t like it, before encountering the evil beasties.

Widdop reservoir
Gorple reservoir

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

The Walshaw Dean reservoirs

At last, a rainless day so Carol and I met up with Babs at a grid reference on the road at Widdop. We had actually planned this in advance and selected today as the only really good looking day on the forecasts. It didn’t rain at all while we were out and there was quite a bit of sun but it was incredibly cold and we met some really nasty wind chill on our way back.
We walked along the west side of the Walshaw Dean reservoirs – Lower, Middle and Upper. I’ve been here a lot as it’s a good walk if you don’t want anything too challenging but has options for that if you do want it! Today we stayed with the mild side. We had a bit of a go at natural navigation spotting which ends of puddles were more silted up, there was certainly a strong southerly wind blowing but I already knew that so we didn’t really work it out but it was good to see the puddles showing hints. We talked about trees making a tick shape as they bend themselves towards the sun. I took out my Dad’s old military compass which is a Glauser Mk IX from 1938 but it was too chilly to play about with it, too chilly to get my hands out of gloves anyway.
I’d not walked all the way to the top of Upper before so was surprised when we came to the top reservoir inlet which is a torrential river. We tried to cross it going over a gate, at least Babs and Carol watched me whilst the gate swung too and fro and I struggled across to the other side, at which point we all decided that perhaps we wouldn’t all do it so they just buggered off and left me dangling over the torrent!
We then crossed the river a bit lower down where it was a bit less deep and looked for a suitable lunch location. We sort of huddled behind a wall but it was bitterly cold and so our lunches were fairly swift. I’d brought along a flask of coffee for which I was very grateful. Just for Kate, Babs had curried tuna, I had turkey and mustard and Carol had ham. We all had some chocolate. Babs had Lady Grey tea.
We tried to do a circuit of the reservoirs but the next hurdle was a big ravine leading to an enormous lagoon so we back tracked skipping across the river again. Then it was just going as fast as we could to get back to the cars. The last 500m seemed to be the coldest.
Despite the cold we were all glad to have been out.

I love these walls
Walshaw Dean Upper reservoir
Terrible posture, Jak!
Intrepid river crossers
This little sign brought on spontaneous praying!
Walshaw Dean Middle reservoir
Walshaw Dean Lower reservoir
Blackstone Edge reservoir on the way home or as we call it – The Sea

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Walshaw Dean Lower and Middle

This should have been a weekend wild camping in the Lakes but the forecast was so dire we decided to just aim for a long walk instead. Yesterday morning waking to an enormous clap of thunder we had clearly made the right decision about camping. So we did household jobs and aimed for today. Today we woke to a big lot of rain. Whilst waiting for it to stop raining (mid afternoon) I amused myself by not fixing a computer and getting very cross with it. I don’t like to be beaten.
Eventually we got out and drove up to Widdop in lovely clear early evening sun. Everything crisp and clean after the rain. We walked to the parapet between Middle and Lower Walshaw Dean reservoirs and then came back. Although we were only out for a couple of hours it was a lovely walk.
I tried out my new to me Mountain King Trail Blaze walking poles. I bought these on eBay for £29 (they retail at £70). They are as good as new and fine once you get used to them. They are really really light, and fold up like a tent pole. I didn’t particularly need them for this walk, this was just a road test. They feel a bit flimsy at first but actually are strong. The tautening mechanism almost floored me but finally I worked it out. I’ll probably mainly use them when I’m very keen to keep the weight down, pleased with my bargain.

Walshaw Dean Lower reservoir
Walshaw Dean Middle reservoir

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.