Day 5 – Cowling to Newton Grange

It was going to be quite a short days walk to Newton Grange (near Gargrave) today, and so that I didn’t arrive too early I had a late breakfast. There was less incentive to get going as the sun was hidden behind clouds and there was a chill in the easterly wind.

I was soon walking briskly out of Cowling, trying to keep warm, and out onto higher ground – which gave good views back to the monuments on the hill to the south, which are perhaps worthy of a visit another time.

The view back over Cowling to the monuments on Earl Crag at the start of day 5 Pinhaw high above Thornton-in-Craven

As I continued further north into the village of Lothersdale it was becoming apparent that I had left the high peat moorland behind for a while and was starting to walk further into the Yorkshire Dales limestone landscape.

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Day 4 – Hebden Bridge to Cowling

Having received instructions on how to get back to the Pennine Way I dared not take another route for fear of the potential consequences! (the regime at B&B I stayed at on the outskirts of Hebden Bridge was quite authoritarian, if not outright dictatorial).

Taking a shortcut from Hebden Bridge by walking along Colden Water A beech woodland with bluebells and wild garlic on the valley sides of Colden Water

Anyway it would have been a long walk back along the road, and the suggested route took me through a cool wooded valley – taking in carpets of bluebells and wild garlic and a stretch of beech woodland (my favourite) before rejoining the trail.
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Day 3 – Standedge to Hebden Bridge

It was half a mile or so back to the Pennine Way, so I took up the offer of a lift – I needn’t have bothered as much of the day was very easy walking on the flat.

It was again very hazy (if it were autumn it would probably be described as misty) spoiling what hinted as great views.

Standedge trig point at the start of day 3 The bridge over the M62

The moorland was gently rolling and there was a good sense of progression with road crossings at regular intervals, and not before too long the path was crossing over the M62 high up on a bridge.
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Day 2 – Crowden to Standedge

The view over the reservoir during breakfast was most appealing, and it was just a quick walk down the hill to rejoin the Pennine Way – thankfully I had listened to the instructions from the B&B as the path went through what looked like a drain under the old railway line…

The view back towards Torside Reservoir from Laddow Rocks A cairn and path near Grains Moss

The weather was sunny, warm and very humid, and starting the walk up to Laddow Rocks the cloud was thickening and it started to rain slightly – but it passed on quickly and I was soon able to take a break at Black Hill, so named due to the large black peat bogs. Thankfully again the path was well made of flagstones, otherwise it would have been much more difficult going.

The path up and across Black Hill The view north from Black Hill

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Day 1 – Edale to Crowden

After an excellent breakfast I was well fuelled for the first stage of the Pennine Way. I was up and about early but from the window of the breakfast room I had already spotted one person who looked likely to be on his was to Kirk Yetholm.

The Old Nags Head, the start of the Pennine Way in Edale The view north from above Upper Booth

It was an easy path out of Edale (passing the Old Nags Head pub), through Upper Booth, to Jacob’s Ladder a short sharp climb on the was up to Kinder Scout. As I got higher the views got better and better, despite the hazy conditions.

The view south from the top of Jacob's Ladder Noe Stool trig point on Kinder Low

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Edale – the day before

Edale (the start of the Pennine Way) from Back Tor Looking south from Edale towards Hollins Cross and Back Tor

It took about 5 hours on various trains but I was safely at Edale, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the light breeze was cooling. It was then that I had a major crisis – walking stick (MK1) had disappeared, while I was ambling into the village of Edale it was heading off to Manchester.

I found the B&B in quick order and decided to head to the hills to forget my crisis…

Two good viewpoints to the south were marked on the map – Hollins Cross and Lose Hill. While it was hazy at the top the views were uplifting, it was also good to stretch my legs, and I got to thinking about the path ahead – but I sure did miss my walking stick.

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