Walk – Rawtenstall Bank, Turret Hall

I finally dragged myself away from the computer and out of the house today. We had blue skies here earlier so I’d arranged to walk ‘the long way’ to the shops with Lisa via one of the many local hilly paths.

By the time we set off it had clouded over again but it was nice to be out walking again. Until we got onto the canal towpath that is… I apologise to those disgustingly selfish dog owners in Todmorden so harshly criticised by me in this post. You are still disgustingly selfish, but I shouldn’t single you out – we now appear to have plenty of them here in Hebden Bridge too! 👿 Yes, our very own Dog Shit Boulevard enables us to run a local Gauntlet of Crap.

You might have considered strolling along the Rochdale canal towpath enjoying the scenery but I strongly recommend that you spend most of the time staring down a couple of yards in front of you or you won’t be welcome in the house when you get home. We were both getting really annoyed with the state of the path. There’s absolutely no bleedin’ excuse for this – if you don’t want to clean up after a dog, then don’t own a dog – okay?

Another thing – if you’ve been good and put the afore-mentioned shit in a bag – that’s great. Don’t spoil it by chucking the bag on the path! The concept is that you leave no trace of your dog, not that you make its crap more acceptable and then litter the environment with shit-filled bags.

Okay, I’ll shut up about it now. I’m getting angry again and it’s not good for my blood pressure. Calm, calm, calm; controlled breathing…

We fled from the towpath over to the A646 and crossed over to Church Lane.

The steep little road took us up past the church and the school and then we headed up the bridleway towards Colden Clough. There are lots of nice variations from there which I have described on the blog before. You can go about one third of the way up, then drop down to the right and back round to Hell Hole Rocks or Heptonstall via Lumb Bank. For a longer walk, go almost to the top and then drop down to the right, cross the old stone footbridge, climb through the trees and head back down the valley on the other side. Maybe you fancy continuing up to the New Delight for a drink and a snack?

We were doing none of those routes today. Instead we climbed up a footpath on our left and headed up through the woods to Rawtenstall Bank at the foot of Mytholm Steeps. Hmm – I’ve just realised that I’m not sure if it is Rawtenstall or Rawtonstall – both spellings can be found on t’interweb… Well, according to Google Maps it is the former. That means that I’ve misspelled it in the past. Never mind.

We crossed the road and continued up the bridleway which we normally use on our Jumble Hole Clough walks. We like it up there because you suddenly emerge into the open and there are great views of the opposite hillside and the distant Stoodley Pike. That hillside still had a frigid look, with snowy patches. We only saw one small patch on our side of the valley, but that’s the side which catches what winter sun there is.

There was a cold breeze blowing but we were wrapped up nice and warm, as were two friendly horses which wandered over to greet us as we walked past their field, their tarpaulin-like jackets keeping the chill off them.

Horse behind a dry stone wall
Horse behind a dry stone wall

Lisa wanted to carry on to Jumble Hole Clough but we had shopping to do and I had lots to do when I got home so I persuaded her to take the short cut back – down the bridleway to Turret Hall, then back into town along the A646.

Some of the bridleway has been resurfaced to join up with a section that was done a while back. It is becoming more and more tempting to try cycling up that on my road bike. I’ve done it lots of times on my MTB but it would be a bit more challenging on my Basso. There’s a section of muddy tarmac where building work is being done on some cottages, but apart from that a lot of the bridleway is okay for skinny tyres. It’s a bit gravelly at the top, but nothing too serious. I’ll report back once I’ve had a go at it.

If I manage the Turret Hall bridleway on the Basso, I’ll have to see about Duke Street which is parallel to it but about a mile or so nearer Todmorden. That is altogether a harder proposition given its steeper gradient. It used to have a really broken up surface towards the top, but that too has been ‘sanitised’ and might be road-rideable.

It was a nice little walk which ended with the usual cafe stop at Innovation.

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