2018 12 20 Calder Woodland Variation



Bah Humbug!


Photos by Andrew


Jackie, Andrew


Ian, Mick


Ron, Peter




A fine walk which mixed woodland trails with far reaching open valley views from paths & tracks , a generous scattering of steep sharp ascents , a small amount of canal towpath & great banter throughout in like minded company with a good pace kept throughout on a very undulating route . As I mentioned to Ron , if it's flat & not the canal we've come off route !!!

Out of Todmorden nearing Cross Stone looking across the valley to Stoodley Pike , in & out of wood , a brief dash along the canal to join a woodland canalside trail then up & down for a short planned diversion inevitably uphill to avoid a beck in spate & down again thru woods to reach the first stop at Hebden Bridge rail station cafe for teas & coffees . Here we were joined by Andrew eager to get a bug out of his system .

And so the magnificent seven set off with a near vertical climb thru trees to reach open views across Mytholmroyd , then beyond housing for another ascent to join the Hebden event route in reverse for half a mile . Re entering woodland a somewhat interesting unmarked high level traverse on a very narrow ledge of a path at the very top of the tree canopy with a steep drop off to one side : in May this was a carpet of bluebells but in December slippery & exhilarating . Now out of the trees views opened out for the descent to Friendly ( yes really , who says I don't do social walks!) then a short stretch on the canal to the second stop at Sowerby Bridge rail station . Inevitably we re-ascended to views over the impressive rail viaduct near Greetland then a lovely enclosed path on the edge of woodland & open fields where a pig grunted across for patting & hoping for food .

Another descent to cross the new bridge at Copley by the old toll house , re joining the canal briefly to cross the A629 for a short stretch on the wooded Calderdale Way . Passing a restored mill to head uphill through Elland Park Wood then across the road to Cromwell Bottom . The softies option was to follow the canal into Brighouse , but of course that wasn't offered . Instead through the Nature Reserve created on the site of a former tip where the methane was being burned off according to the chair . A final steep slippery ascent in Reins Wood to reach another fine vantage point in the open ; levelling out to reach houses & a photo call by one decorated for the season : they must have known Scrooge was coming ! At precisely the same time as the recce we reached journey's end in Brighouse : a fast paced winter's walk with no hanging around following a challenging undulating route with many steep climbs : the walk does what it says on the tin !

And no better way to round off an excellent day's walking than a lengthy stop in the superb micropub with a wide choice of real ales to suit all tastes , complimentary potted beef open sandwiches & great banter followed by curry & beer at Spoons before trains homeward bound .

21 miles / Ascent 4105 feet / Descent 4335 feet