- 10.5 miles, 400 metres ascent
- 5.5 hours
- See the route on plotaroute.com
It had suddenly turned from winter to summer. I’d got sunburn the day before while working on Marsden Moor with the National Trust, I’d also half killed myself from a full day’s manual labour (hard work for someone fresh from 27 years as an office worker) followed by an evening’s climbing. I thought a nice stroll from home over to Cragg Vale and back would be an easy change from some lake district mountains (which had been my plan). Not really a photography day. There won’t be so many of them now until autumn but at least there are plenty of flowers to photograph.
I took the familiar route up to Withens Gate and the reservoir beyond, the way we’d gone the year before to see Le Tour climb up Cragg Vale. It had been a busy route then but today I was on my own. The sky had nice wispy clouds making interesting chevron shapes, I’d like to know how that happens.
There is a very nice permissive path from the reservoir that contours on a level route alongside a drain (sounds bad but is actually very attractively overgrown) looking down all the way on Cragg Vale and Calderdale beyond.
Eventually you drop down to the valley bottom and the really gorgeous riverside walk along the vale. This really is a local treasure, probably not much known outside Calderdale. Strong midday sunshine in the woods made good photographs almost impossible (I’ll have to come back in autumn) but close-ups can be made to work. I saw two deer but, as usual, as soon as you see them they run away.
I was surprised I resisted the urge to get coffee and cake at Greens in Hebden Bridge but bought a naughty cake to take home with me on the train.