Walk – Widdop, Gorple, Heptonstall

Maisie and her boyfriend were up for the weekend, so today I joined them and Lisa for a good walk in the spring sunshine.

We caught AndyH's 906 Bus (pdf timetable) up to Widdop reservoir. It has just started running again and will continue at weekends and bank holidays through to late September. It is a great way of getting up onto ‘the tops' if you fancy doing a walk like this one. The fare was only £1.80 which I thought was very reasonable

There was hardly any wind so the surface of the reservoir was almost mirror-smooth. It is very rare for the water to look like that and it would have made a lovely subject for a photograph, unfortunately muggins here forgot to pick up his camera on the way out of the house – d'oh! Sorry, no pics this time…

The biggest ascent of the walk was up the bridleway behind the reservoir. It was getting pretty warm by the time we got up there and I began to wonder whether I should use the suncream that I was carrying with me. Nah – surely I'd be okay for 4 hours this early in the year?

We toiled our way up to Gorple Stones and then descended past Gorple Upper Reservoir and round to Gorple Lower Reservoir where we stopped for a picnic lunch.

After our break, we did the second little climb of the day up and over to Edge Lane which we then walked along to where the Mary Townley Loop turns off to the right towards Rodmer Clough. We had intended to follow the MTL round towards Blackshaw Head, but decided that that the walk would probably take longer than we'd planned so instead we continued along the lane to Colden, and from there back along the road through Slack to Heptonstall.

We stopped at Towngate Tea Room for coffees and scones and then walked back down into town via the path along the top of Heptonstall Quarry, and down through the woods.

The total distance walked was about 14 km (8.7 miles) but it felt like a little less because there was more downhill than up.

That was the best weather since about September 2009 – absolutely lovely! Oh, and I should have used the suncream – I've now got a red face and a very tender neck which very nearly burned. 😳

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