Colden Clough Walk

The weather conditions were quite good today – mild, dry, not much wind, and plenty of nice sunny spells. I was tempted to go for my first bike ride of 2009 but my walking partner Lisa rang to suggest going for another walk. We don't normally do as much walking as we have been doing recently, but we might as well make the most of the current opportunities. Lisa is looking for a new job so soon she won't be free during normal working hours. I have more flexibility because I'm working online (on this blog, among other things) and can choose hours which suit me. If the weather is nice, I might go out during the day and work in the evening. If it isn't I'll work all day.

Today's walk took us up Colden Clough, a lovely wooded valley on the fringes of Hebden Bridge. There is a good bridleway up one side which I often used to ride on my mountain bike (MTB). I haven't done that for about a year because the MTB needs a lot of new parts and I can't afford to buy them until my online projects start to bear fruit.

It's a good steady climb up the valley and even at this time of year, with no leaves on the trees, it still looks pretty.

We crossed Colden Water on a small stone footbridge towards the top of the valley, and then turned to come back down the other side.

Colden Clough footbridge

There are various paths back, but we favour one which takes us up into the fields above the valley. There are more open views up there, and better exposure to the sun.

We spotted some very tough looking sheep on the return leg of our walk. When we got closer, we saw that they were rams which had been de-horned. Lisa grabbed my camera and took a picture of a very placid-looking pair.

Two rams

Eventually, our route took us back down into the woods, but not before I took a couple of photographs from ‘the tops'.

Hell Hole Rocks, Heptonstall

Colden Clough

I kept taking pictures as we walked along so Lisa would get ahead of me, then I'd have to walk very briskly to catch her up. The woods looked okay in sunshine, but they'd be a bit spooky once it started to get dark…

Spooky woods

Presently we came to ‘Hell Hole Rocks', just below the old West Yorkshire village of Heptonstall. There are dramatic views from the rocks down into lower Colden Clough. When I first walked round there about 25 years ago, I found the exposed nature of the views a bit too much for me. I still suffer from Acrophobia (fear of heights), but not as badly as I used to.

View from Hell Hole Rocks

The path goes past the disused Heptonstall quarry. Disused by quarrymen that is – it is a very popular site for those into climbing and ‘bouldering'.  Those are activities that I'd love to try. In another life – in this one, my fear of heights makes such activities impossible.

Anyone for climbing?

Anyone for bouldering?

After the quarry, the path starts to descend back round the hillside towards Hebden Bridge. I paused to take a few photographs of Church Lane, a road opposite which leads up to the fearsome slopes of Mytholm Steeps, oft-mentioned by me on cycling forums to those local riders who love to ‘bust a gut' ascending ridiculously hard climbs.

Church Lane, Mytholm

Back towards Hebden Bridge

When we got back into town, we called in at ‘Innovation' for a coffee each and a shared toasted currant teacake – that's a few calories and a few pence saved. 😉

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