Pennine Way Day 4 - Friday 12 June 2015
Hebden Bridge to Ponden (12.7 miles)
We were the only people staying at Sharon's delightful B&B therefore had the dining table to ourselves. Breakfast was cooked right in front of us and was lovely. Sharon was off to London that day therefore we did not hang about even though we had only 13 miles to our next destination of Ponden.
Leaving Hebden Bridge we made our way back along the Rochdale Canal to the point where we had finished yesterday. From the A646 there is a gradual but in places steep rise out of the town - approximately 1000 feet over 2 miles before we reached Badger Lane. The route crossed over the lane and headed downhill through a very cozy and tight walled lane to reach Hebble Hole. This was a lovely little dell and we paused here for a while whilst Fudge had a swim in the river. Heading out of Hebble Hole we arrived in the village of Colden via an overgrown section of the path and on reaching Cinder Lane we turned off route for 300 yards to visit May's Aladdin’s Cave - a well known shop which sells just about everything. We had a drink and an extremely tasty pie each before heading back to the route.
Heading along the Rochdale Canal on our way back to the route from Hebden Bridge
This was steep!
A last look back at Stoodley Pike
Someone's having fun
Heading to Colden
Heard a lot about this place therefore made the slight detour to visit it
It was all kicking off in Hebden Bridge
May's Aladdin Cave - great pies!
Above Colden - it was a long old way to Bronte Country!
From Mount Pleasant Farm there now began a splendid transit on a good path over Heptonstall Moor which on a day like today gave us superb views over the countryside - we could see the isolated Packhorse Inn to our right - a pub quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Reaching the Pennine Bridleway we headed north to reach the eastern edge of Gorple Reservoirs. We continued north to join Blacktop Lane before heading left on the service road to the Walshaw Dean Reservoirs.
That's a pub down there, The Packhorse Inn - just off route therefore never mind
Approaching Gorple Lower Reservoir
Ticking off the miles......
At the service road there is an option to remain on the road or follow the Pennine Way over the Lower Reservoir Dam. We chose the latter and on crossing the Dam headed along the right hand side of the Reservoir on a good path that continued almost to the top of the Middle Reservoir. Leaving the Reservoirs, the route took us through a section of patchy heather before crossing Withins Height. After what seemed like ages we finally saw Top Withins in sight. For those who do not know, the ruined farmhouse of Top Withins is said to have been the inspiration behind the Earnshaw family home depicted in the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - however some say this is stated without the slightest evidence that it actually was. This does not put people off visiting here and the place clearly attracts lots of visitors although we had it to ourselves today - there is even a signpost in Japanese!
A bit of road walking as we head to the Walshaw Dean Reservoirs
A bit of sheep photo posing
As we crossed the Dam over Walshaw Dean Lower Reservoir, Fudge decided he did not like walking over corrugated bridges
Walshaw Dean Middle Reservoir
Looking over to The Lodge between the Lower & Middle Walshaw Reservoirs
Walshaw Dean Middle Reservoir
Be prepared for a bit of so called culture - Top Withins in sight
The jury clearly remains out as to whether Top Withins was the inspiration for Wuthering Heights
Above Top Withins
Fudge doing his bestest Heathcliffe impression
We are guessing Top Withins gets a lot of Japanese tourists
On leaving Top Withins there is an option for those staying in Haworth to head to the town via the Bronte Bridge & Waterfalls however we were staying at Ponden therefore carried on over Stanbury Moor to reach Rush Isles Farm and turn left to follow the track to our B&B at Ponden House. Our hostess Brenda was entertaining a friend in the garden therefore we were given Tea & Biscuits prior to settling into our room.
We were visiting friends in Haworth that night therefore after the customary shower and sorting of kit we headed on out for what was a lovely evening with great company. Today was another superb walking day over varied landscape and coupled with great weather too. Tomorrows forecast was to change all that and we were in for a bit of rain overnight - we would wait and see how the weather panned out.
Ponden House, Ponden - http://www.pondenhouse.co.uk
This B&B is in a lovely location with superb views over Ponden Reservoir. We ate with friends in Haworth that night - had we not then the nearest pub was about a mile away (The Old Silent Inn).
Day 4 Data
6 hrs 44 min
27 hrs 42 min
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