South Pennine Walks
Date: 1st December 2012
Distance: 5.5 miles
Ascent: 888 feet
Time: 3 hours
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE020161
An interesting walk on the moors just north of the M62 including a visit to the top of Rishworth Moor.
Route Summary: Booth Dean - Oxygrains Bridge - Castle Dean Rocks Green Withens Clough - Green Withens Moss - Dog Hill - Blackwood Edge Road - Boan Cottage - Booth Dean
1. Upper Booth Dean Reservoir
2. On Oxygrains Bridge
3. On Castle Dean Rocks
4. Looking down into Green Withens Clough from Castle Dean Rocks
5. Looking south along the dam of Green Withens Reservoir
6. Green Withens Reservoir and Blackstone Edge
7. The trig point on Dog Hill
8. Looking back at Blackstone Edge
9. Manshead Hill
10. Blackwood Edge
11. Looking back at Rishworth Moor
12. Booth Wood Reservoir
Walk Detail: Almost seven years ago (where does the time go) I had a wonderful walk from Baitings Reservoir up on to the rocky moorland top of Blackstone Edge. Along the route we skirted around the northern flank of Rishworth Moor and I was conscious of the fact that I'd passed within a third of a mile of the trig point on Dog Hill, the highest point on Rishworth Moor.
The main aim of this walk then was to finally bag the Dog Hill trig point. As it turned out the walk was far more interesting than a mere trig-bagging exercise. The walk started in a layby on the A672 above the western end of Booth Wood Reservoir and just north of the M62. Almost straight away though I was distracted by the sounds of the nearby motorway by the lovely contouring path above the two narrow, picturesque reservoirs in the upper reaches of Booth Dean.
The next highlight was Oxygrains Bridge, a wonderful example of an old packhorse bridge and quite overshadowed by the modern bridge now carrying the A672. From the bridge I followed Oxygrains upstream to the rocky outcrops of Castle Dean Rocks above Green Withens Clough, another super little spot.
Carrying on up Green Withens Clough I arrived at Green Withens Reservoir. It was a beautiful sunny day and the dark blue waters of the reservoir contrasted nicely with the bright blue skies, with Blackstone Edge slotting nicely in between. From the reservoir I followed a moorland drain before striking off for the trig point on Dog Hill. It proved to be an excellent viewpoint with a number of features well seen including Stoodley Pike, the windfarm on Ovenden Moor, Blackstone Edge and, more distantly, Pendle Hill and Boulsworth Hill.
From Dog Hill I headed east on the path marked as Blackwood Edge Road. The latter section of this path, on Blackwood Edge itself, provided excellent views across to Great Manshead Hill and up the Ryburn valley towards Ripponden and beyond. Leaving Blackwood Edge I had a nervous encounter with some curious young bullocks but was saved by a farmer who was herding them across the moor and who literally ran after one particularly inquisitive member of the herd who kept leaving it to head my way.
Considering the fact that almost all of this walk was within sight or earshot of the M62 I found it quite easy to ignore the hum of traffic mainly thanks to the interesting features of what had turned out to be a hugely enjoyable walk, my second in a row in the South Pennines following my expedition to the Holder Stones the previous month. It helped that I'd enjoyed glorious weather. I really must spend a bit more time in this part of the country, it is very under-rated.