2016 12 15 Bronte Crimbo Bah Humbug


Eight set out from Hebden Bridge including the quiet woman & Steve who'd travelled by train from York nice 'n early for the honour of being on one of my walks again ( some people just never learn !! ) . Still I had another gentle warm up as the opening two & a half miles via Nutclough & Chiserley had 950 feet of ascent thrown in for no extra charge .

We hit the uplands where things levelled out for a while , across the top of Dimmin Dale & a catchwater drain before detouring off the path to visit one of the Stanza Stones appropriately called Mist . Beyond Nab Hill the first refreshment stop was taken , then descending we dropped out of the mist & near to middle distance views unfolded above the valleys . As the group headed across Black Moor I reached 5000 walking miles for the calendar year – appropriate to pass this milestone whilst leading a group walk ! Completing our descent to Lowertown Oxenhope meant there was only one option … to start ascending once more across Stones Edge & a fine scenic path hugging the side of Hard Nese Clough with views opening out .

Another ascent brought us to the catchwater drain & a moorland trod to reach isolated Harbour Lodge House for the second refreshment stop . Some remote moorland walking followed around Harbour Hill with views beyond to Top Withens , then upwards to the flat boggy moor beyond Oxenhope Stoop Hill . The paved Pennine Way was joined to Walshaw Dean Middle Res , then shooters tracks across Wadsworth Moor to Walshaw . A steep descent to the back of Hardcastle Crags & the splendid riverside path to Gibson Mill for a final brief stop . The riverside was followed to Midgehole then onwards to Hebden Bridge to finish by half three .

We decamped to the fabulous micropub where the real ale as expected was in top form & did not disappoint … the dark strong beer so good so in fact we stayed put only leaving to grab fish & chips on the way to transport home . A cracking brisk paced walk with no hanging around in a fabulous walking area enjoyed by all & rounded off with excellent beer , fish & chips . What's not to like !

22.75 mls ascent 3400 feet .