Last weekend I was out with Crosby Rambling Club.Our destination was Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. After the recent floods the town was slowly returning to normal.
We left the town crossing the canal and climbing steeply up the minor road. Looking down we could see a yard containing dozens of cars which had been wrecked during the floods.
When the road swung sharp left we carried on along a footpath to meet up with the Pennine Bridleway. Care was needed in places where streams were gushing across the path.
We linked up with the Pennine Way. Our objective was the monument on Stoodley Pike. It was raining and the visibility was poor and soon we disappeared into the mist.
The path was clear but it was hard going and eventually we saw the monument emerging from the gloom.
Stoodley Pike Monument stands on the top of Stoodley Pike, a 1300 ft hill which dominates the moors above Todmorden. The monument was designed in 1854 by a local architect James Green and it was completed in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War. The monument replaced an earlier structure which was started in 1814 to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon and the surrender of Paris. It was completed in 1815 after the battle of Waterloo but the structure collapsed in 1854 following a lightening strike.
It is possible to climb to the top of the monument via a spiral staircase of 39 steps. The view from the top is usually impressive but not today when all you could see was – mist.
We paused there for a quick lunch stop, a bit early but it would be the only shelter we would find for the next couple of hours.
Conditions were deteriorating, the wind had got up and it was driving the rain into every nook and cranny of my waterproofs.
We continued heading SSW along the Pennine Way before linking up with the Calderdale way and dropping down to Mankinholes.
Our original plan had been to drop down to the canal and follow the towpath back to Hebden Bridge but we had to abandon this idea as the embankment had been washed away in the recent floods. Instead we decided to follow the bridleway known as The London Road . After a few hundred yards we came to a sign across the path which read – Road Closed –Landslip. Did it refer to 4 wheel drive vehicles? people on horseback? or walkers?
We decided to press on. If there was a landslip surely we could navigate round it. When we reached the landslip it was about 30 yards wide. A sea of mud but passable on foot.
We re-joined our outward route and then followed a series of field paths before descending steeply through woodland back into town.
My images had a nice misty, dreamy effect. Not the clever use of filters – just water on the lens.
Fortunately some of the tea shops and pubs were open so we could enjoy some refreshment before the coach journey home.
At 9.1 miles and with 2400 feet of ascent it had been quite a hard B party walk especially in the poor conditions.
Stoodley Pike Monument taken on a previous visit.