Walking The Dog – Withens Clough Reservoir

It was a lovely sunny day and I hadn’t seen my pal Carrie for a long time so I invited her over for a walk and she brought her dog Buster with her. He looks like a cross between a Jack Russell, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and maybe something else as well. A very nice-natured dog, and one bursting with energy. He’s still quite young and can run for hours, as I was about to discover …

We walked along the Calder Valley Cycleway to the old Clog Factory mill, then turned back up towards Wood Top. From there we walked up steep cobbled Spencer Lane to Old Chamber.

We had decided to walk a big loop round to Withens Clough Reservoir, up the hillside to Withens Gate, then back past Stoodley Pike, along Kilnshaw Lane, then down through Crow Nest Wood and back into Hebden Bridge.

Every time we let Buster off his lead, he went running off to explore. he’d come back to his then run off in the opposite direction. I reckon he was doing three times the distance that we were!

We put Buster back on his lead any time we got close to sheep. There were one or two spring lambs already in the fields, and most of the ewes were heavily pregnant. We didn’t want Buster’s excitement leading to any angry-farmer-with-shotgun encounters!

Carrie and Buster
Carrie and Buster

We walked over Rake Head and Erringden Moor to ‘Cragg Road’ which we followed down to the reservoir. As we got closer, I saw that there was a lot of earth-moving equipment next to the reservoir. In fact, the gate was locked and signs told us that the bridleway by the reservoir was closed to the public.

I felt a bit miffed and tried to work out an alternative route for us. No need! Carrie spotted a footpath diversion up to our right which took us round the works and back down to the reservoir a few hundred yards further on.

We started walking up the hillside towards Withens Gate but decided to stop there for a picnic and to sit in the sunshine for a while. There was no hurry to get home. Carrie gave Buster some dog biscuits but he seemed more interested in my crisps …

Buster the crisp-scrounging dog!
Buster the crisp-scrounging dog!

After 30 minutes or so, we got on our way again, Buster darting this way and that. It was tiring me out just watching him!

The fine weather had brought a lot of people out onto the hills and many of them seemed to be dog lovers. Buster was certainly getting a lot of friendly attention.

Carrie and I have both been up inside Stoodley Pike many times so we didn’t bother today. We made our way down to Kilnshaw Lane and back through Crow Nest Wood to Hebden Bridge where Carrie treated me to an ice cream.

I made her a mug of tea back at my house and Buster leapt up onto her lap and was asleep within about 5 seconds! I’ve just worked out that we humans walked 10 miles so Buster must have run at least a full marathon today – no wonder he was tired! 😉

I like well-behaved dogs like Buster and I enjoy walking with them, but I also like my freedom so I wouldn’t choose to own one. It wouldn’t be fair on a dog to leave it locked up at home whenever I wanted to go out on one of my all-day bike rides.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply