Walks in June 2016

5th June

Withens Clough

This is one of my favourite walks. I did a circuit from the reservoir and skirted round the bottom of Stoodley Pike. Lovely day.

I’m fond of this gate and the posts beyond.


18th June

Sophy and I did another favourite around the Walshaw Dean reservoirs. Not much sun so we brightened the place up ourselves!

Walshaw Dean Middle
Blending in with the rhododendrons!
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.


Wintry walks February 2015

Last weekend Cath and I walked from the Shepherd’s Rest at Lumbutts around the hill and across to Gaddings Dam. We were checking a route for Cath and generally enjoying being out on the snow. At one point we took a right of way on the map that wasn’t visible on the ground and it was nice to see that our bearings worked out and good to keep in practice. Very chilly but lovely in the sun.

Intrepid Cath
Stoodley Pike from Gaddings


This weekend I walked from the Hinchliffe Arms in Cragg Vale, going up through the woods behind the pub onto the hill. Very soon I met a group of 4 roe deer who scooted away, I walked carefully and came upon them again but they shot off again. After the wood up onto a very icy track to the road above Withens Clough reservoir. It started off lovely and sunny and was almost warm but then fogged over big time and again very nippy in the wind. Across the top of the dam and then a very neat contour along a drain and up by Tenter Wood where cloth used to be dried on tenter hooks (so my friend Babs assures me). Back down past a couple of houses where they’ve made a feature of the footpath and turned it into a lovely dry gravel path. Some geese skating on an icy pond and then the 4 deer again.

Apart from some not very well behaved dogs, an atmospheric walk in the cold and mist, very Bronte-esque!

Near Tenter wood
Near Tenter wood
Wood behind the Hinchliffe
Wood behind the Hinchliffe


Withens Clough reservoir
Withens Clough reservoir


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


Withens Clough 6th October

I parked near the Hinchliffe Arms in Cragg Vale. Set off up the track towards Turley Hole B&B and instead of heading down the very boggy bit to the stream, which I had done the last time here with Babs and co. I stayed on the track going past an old farm sign saying “If you haven’t been invited, stay away”. As the sign was very old and I was on a public right of way, I ignored this charming command.
The path rises up and goes alongside an old wood, then past a couple of houses, great remote spot. There were some large pedigree dogs here (no, I don’t know what they were, sort of pinky grey colour, smooth coats) but they were well behaved and closely supervised, however I should have got my walking poles out in advance. (Remembering my encounter with a horrible Swiss dog, where I defended myself by crossing the poles in front of me for protection, shouting at it helped too.)
Then I was up on the moor, and took a right heading towards Tenter Wood. This section was quite boggy but OK with gaiters on.
At the end of Tenter Wood, I headed left along a terrace towards Withens Clough reservoir. This is a lovely part and although not dramatic like the Climbers’ Traverse on Bowfell or the Heather Terrace on Tryfan, still has a soothing feel to it, and today it was inspiring looking across to the turning leaves and swathes of colour.
The terrace ends up at the reservoir, where they have finally finished all the construction work, many months overdue. I circuited the reservoir noting that Yorkshire Water seem to have gone mad for fencing. Fences against walls, fences where no-one in their right mind would want to go. But they have improved some of the track and some gates.
At the dam end, they have taken down a hideous building and replaced it with guess what? Well you decide. I can’t make out what it’s for but it has a letter box, although it doesn’t look like a house. They’ve put up a great wind turbine, which was whizzing round madly despite there not really being much wind. Is it me, but wouldn’t a water turbine have made more sense?
Nice walk to keep my feet in!

Add caption
Got the self timer working
The old building, photo by Mark Anderson
Wind turbine and new building
Surely not a house?
Just buy a longer chain

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

Diet, fasting

Diet and fasting

About 2 weeks ago I decided that I couldn’t continue just eating anything and everything and being very greedy and that I needed to get some control or else I would just expand to Michelin man proportions.
I was also given the sight of my cousin who has lost loads of weight and is now training for a marathon by doing lots of running. She looks fit and is eating healthily. She is in her 20s but this was a bit of a catalyst for me. Or just envy!
So I went back to calorie counting and portion control but this time with a difference. Instead of allowing myself to eat bread and pies and cakes and chocolate because the calories only added up to x, I would eat much more healthily and in fact cut out all those things except for a square of chocolate and a 100 cal energy bar if I wanted them.
This strategy has been working well and I’ve lost a few pounds and am enjoying eating nice tasty food more slowly and not needing to stuff myself of an evening.
Then on Monday I watched Michael Mosley on Horizon and the research seems to stack up in favour of incorporating fasting into one’s lifestyle. MM looked into ways to do this and go to work full time and came up with 5 days of normal eating and 2 days of fasting (limited) on work days.
MM’s reason for wanting to do this is because he doesn’t want to die young like his father did and he wants to be alive for his family and reduce the possibility of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. In particular he mentioned getting rid of abdominal fat which is a factor for most of those.
Summary of Horizon programme.
Yesterday I tried my first fasting day. I had breakfast of muesli and yoghurt and lunch of soup followed by a fruit yoghurt with fruit juice and later an apple. And apart from a half pint of beer that was it for the day.
Chris and I have also did a bike ride which involved a lot of up especially on the last bit after the pub. Whose idea was that? Enormous hill down to the Hinchliffe! But we probably sweated the beer off!

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Chris doing Martian look
Last big hill to do
Stoodley Pike
Last dregs of sun at Blackstone Edge reservoir

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

Withens Clough 20th November 2011

Babs, Chris, Jay and I met up at the Hinchliffe in Cragg Vale. I was hoping the Hinch would be open as I fancied a coffee but they don’t upon until midday on a Sunday.
Babs led our walk and mostly she led us into bog! We set off going down towards the river which is the Turvin Clough. This was the first boggy stretch of many. Very lovely down by the river where there is an old clapper bridge. The sun came through the trees at this point and then we went up a long stretch of stone steps onto the moor. We stopped for a bit, near Tenter Wood, Babs told us how the expression “being on tenterhooks” comes from the fabric having to be hung out using hooks made of glass as metal or wood would stain the fabric.
We ate cake that Chris brought which was a bit like a Christmans pudding cake with yummy fruit and nuts in. The sun went in and the mist came down. It didn’t really manage to lift again so we spent most of the time in the cloud, very good for nav skills practice!
Along the contour for a good kilometre until we arrived at the end of the reservoir. There is still a lot of work going on here and it doesn’t look very nice at the moment but it should be done by the spring. I was a bit upset by how horrible it looks as this is one of my favourite places to walk. I suggested that it would be nice if Yorkshire Water resurfaced the road up from the Hinch to the reservoir and we had a little grumble about this, I’ve looked this up and it seems they have filled in the potholes and cleared the gullies. So I should think!
We walked around the reservoir and then headed off up the hill going through some more bog.
Stopped for our second meal break, this time it was lunch for me, a pitta with hummous. I produced my homemade flapjack and this went down fairly well. Babs was a little surprised to find that she could eat it despite almond essence and sultanas!
Around the edge of what Chris and I know to be an extremely boggy wood, but still managing to be quite boggy along its perimeter, then round to the road for a short stretch. Down a nice track and then the road, going past Cragg Old Hall and back down to the Hinchliffe.
In the Hinch, we had hot chocolates and coffee. Since getting home through the thick fog, I’ve looked up the Hinchliffes and found this gem about them.
Our walk featured a lot of bog, lots of walled in packhorse tracks and lots of paths on the ground that aren’t on the map.

Clapper bridge
Shadows in’t mist
Blue, blue Withens Clough
Babs (she said she was smiling), Chris, Jay
Cragg Old Hall

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Warland 120610

Withens Clough

Beautiful walking weather. Carol and I set off quite spontaneously (a first if ever there was one) and parked up at Withens Clough reservoir car park. Despite being annoyed by the building site which was blaring out something probably to do with football, we soon passed this hazard and got into the peace and quiet.
Headed up away from the reservoir and across to Red Dyke ruined farm. Although the farm itself is roofless, the whole farm set up must have been very well built as all the surrounding dark walls are still in excellent condition, it’s a bit foreboding and I’ve never fancied poking about the place. So we didn’t!
Wandered on a bit more and stopped on a rather windy stone bench overlooking Tod for a very late lunch. We just meandered along the Pennine Way until we got to the turn of the drain and kept along until reaching Warland reservoir. The reservoirs are very low in water, haven’t seen them this low for a while.
Returned via the same route mostly. Did cut across the rough as we could see the gate we were aiming for, but it was a lot of old tussocks and they are hard work. The path although longer, would probably have been quicker.
We managed to make a not very long walk last for hours, must have been the good company!

Warland Reservoir

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