Walk – Midgehole, Old Town

It was a beautiful sunny day and Lisa was going up to do some gardening at her mother's home in Dodd Naze, above Hebden Bridge. She asked if I wanted to walk up with her and I said okay – I'd do it as ‘the long way round' to the shops! (A couple of hours walk as opposed to just 5 minutes.)

We decided that we'd take the riverside path through Salem to Midgehole Road, then go up the bridleway to Pecket Well and walk along the little lane from Pecket Well to Dodd Naze via Old Town.

It all started off so well…

We enjoyed our stroll by the river and the quiet lane to Midgehole, and then we started up the bridleway which is just behind the public toilets near the entrance to Hardcastle Crags.

Field at Midgehole
Midgehole view

That picture is taken over the wall from the bottom of the bridleway. Β It is a lovely climb up through the woods to Pecket Well. If you try doing it on a mountain bike, you'll find the climb testing because it is steep in places and has sections of broken cobbles. It is equally testing as a descent. To be honest – I prefer it as a walk because I'm not great at technical mountain biking. Some MTB riders really love this one though, so don't let me put you off riding it – try it and see what you think. Remember to watch out for walkers – don't just fling yourself down the bridleway. Exercising caution would probably be good for your neck too… πŸ˜‰

It was lovely and cool walking up through the woods, with patches of dappled light on the path.

Unfortunately, Lisa was starting to suffer. She'd made the elementary mistake of trying to do a vigorous walk wearing sandals. In fact she wasn't even wearing socks! That's fine for pottering about in the sunshine, but not a great idea when tackling steep rocky bridleways. It wasn't long before the skin on one of her Achilles' tendons was rubbed raw πŸ˜•

Pecket Well to Midgehole bridleway
Pecket Well – Midgehole bridleway

That's the view from the road in Pecket Well, looking back down the bridleway as it disappears into the woods.

As we were walking along the lane to Old Town, we spotted this pony in a field. I couldn't help feeling sorry for it – surely it wasn't feeling cold on a day like that?

Overdressed pony in sunshine
Overdressed pony

And then Lisa realised that she'd made a second mistake – she'd left her mother's key at home and her mum was out! It was too late to go back for it, so we decided to go and have our picnic in a field on the hillside rather than in her mum's back garden.

Stone circle at Old Town
Old Town stone circle

I hadn't seen that stone circle before so I stopped to take a picture of it for the pagans among you out there. I don't actually have any pagan beliefs, but some people round here do. In fact, they would probably still be sacrificing 21 year old virgins in those circles if they weren't in such short supply these days… πŸ˜‰

Distant Stoodley Pike on a sunny day
View of Stoodley Pike from Old Town

Well how about that for a place to have a picnic! We stretched out in the sunshine for about half an hour but then I felt myself starting to burn. I have very delicate skin and have to use suncream if I'm going to be out for more than an hour or so. We'd actually been walking for longer than that but much of the walk had been in shade so I'd been okay with unprotected skin until then, but now I had to get back under cover. We packed up and headed back towards Hebden Bridge on a nice little path we know down through Nutclough Woods.

Footpath through Nutclough Woods
Nutclough Woods footpath

It's a very popular spot, especially for dog walkers, which is probably why there is so much dog crap next to the path – come on guys – clean up after your pooches! Yeah, apart from that, it's a great location.

It's only a 5 minute walk home for me from there. Am I lucky, or what? πŸ™‚

Well, that was another lovely walk. It really is beginning to look as though we are going to have a decent summer this year. I really need one, because it is largely due to the past two wet, gloomy summers that I put so much weight on in the first place! When the weather is good, I get out a lot and burn off the calories. When the weather is bad, I get depressed and don't. I end up sitting at home eating more, and drinking beer.

Let's have more sunshine please!

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