Walk Day 35 – Hebden Bridge to Laneshawbridge

Day 35 – May 13 Hebden Bridge to Laneshawbridge
 Weather: Sun, Cloud and a light shower  B&B: Rye Flatt B&B (£40)
 Departed: 9:15 Arrived: 15:00  Walked: 4h 46m Rested: 1 hr 00m
 Distance Today: 14.7 mi / 23.66 km  Total Distance: 558 mi / 898.01 km
 % Complete: ~ 48.86%  Pint of the Day: Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale
 GPS Track for: Day 35

I enjoyed the two day break from my normal routine but I was now ready to hit the road again. I was away by 9:15am and walked through Hebden Bridge one last time. I decided to forgo the normal route through the valley so that I could visit Heptonstall, a pretty little cobble-stoned village perched high atop a hill above Hebden Bridge. The climb was long and very steep, up a road that even buses struggle to conquer. The garbage men working their way down the hill suggested the bus was an easier option but the only response I could manage was an out-of-breath chortle. Fortunately Heptonstall was worth the effort.

Once out of the village I followed the road for a mile or so until I rejoined the Pennine Way and headed up onto the moors. I had one last look at Stoodley Pike, still visible but now on the southern horizon. I spent a little under an hour crossing the Heptonstall Moor before descending into a valley where I met Neal taking a break near one of the two footbridges. He’s on day 3 of his Pennine Way walk and so I joined him briefly as we moved forward up a road. It wasn’t long before I veered off the PW but we figured we might see each other again in Malham tomorrow.

I left the Pennine Way because I decided not to stay in the one b&b near Cowling on account of the £16 surcharge they add for staying a single night (on top of the £36 for the room). Instead I opted to overnight in Landshawbridge and so I devised an alternate route that follows the Bronte Way. Before I could join it I had to walk along a fairly quiet road for several miles and past the Widdop Reservoir. This section of the walk also forms part of both the Pendle Way and the Pennine Bridleway. The trail symbol for the Pendle Way is a witch riding a broomstick, in reference to the infamous Pendle Witches. Nine members of two peasant families were tried, sentenced and hung after being found guilty of witchcraft in the summer of 1612.

This section of the Bronte Way skirted the edge of the Bedding Hill and Pot Brinks Moors and it was where I met a local walker from Huddersfield who was out on a day hike. He was walking as far as Trawden before catching a bus back to Burnley where he started his walk. We had a good chat along the way and he mentioned that he had recently watched a programme on the Spirit Bears in northern BC and thought the coastal scenery was beautiful. I left the moor just above Wycoller and walked down through a farm and into a wooded valley. Wycoller is another picturesque little village with an ancient packhorse bridge, a museum and an impressive ruin (Wycoller Hall).

Until now the weather had been excellent for walking: sun and cloud and only a light breeze. However the clouds had been thickening for the past hour and so I was treated to some short but sharp showers less than half an hour away from my b&b. These continued on and off until I knocked on the door of Rye Flatt Farm, a very nice b&b with one of the nicest rooms I’ve stayed in to date (and hands down the best value for money). How often to you get to stay in a room with 17th century windows like this?

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