South Pennine Walks
Little Holder Stones
Date: 10th November 2012
Distance: 7.4 miles
Ascent: 921 feet
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD932222
A thoroughly enjoyable walk visiting moorland reservoirs, a canal and the gritstone outcrops of the Holder Stones.
Route Summary: Walsden Station - Top O The Hill Road - Higher Knowl Rake End - Gaddings Dam - Warland Reservoir - Stony Edge - Holder Stones - Little Holder Stones - Little Dove Lowe - Light Hazzles Reservoir - Warland Reservoir - Cote Clough - Rochdale Canal - Walsden Station
1. Looking down towards Gauxholme
2. The Basin Stone
3. Gaddings Dam
4. Looking towards Stoodley Pike
5. On Stony Edge above Warland Reservoir
6. Looking across the moor towards Holder Stones
7. The Holder Stones
8. On the Holder Stones
9. By the trig point on Little Holder Stones
10. I went up to my thighs in this innocuous looking spot
11. Warland Reservoir
12. The track leading to the top of Cote Clough
13. The Rochdale Canal at Warland
14. Autumn colours by the Rochdale Canal
15. St. Peters Church, Walsden
Walk Detail: It is nice sometimes to leave the car at home and use public transport to get to a walking destination. This was one of those occassions and, even though the journey time to Walsden was longer on the train than it would have been in the car, it was inifinitely more relaxing and meant I didn't have to drive through Bradford and Halifax.
From Walsden station I crossed the bridge over the canal and within a few minutes I was leaving the village behind and heading up steep pastures on to the moorland above and, without much effort, gaining good views back down into the valley.
While there was some low-ish cloud about at the beginning of the walk this soon lifted and cleared and the beautiful conditions that prevailed, combined with a number of interesting features, made this a hugely enjoyable walk that included three moorland reservoirs, a number of gritstone outcrops and a lovely canal.
Amongst the gritstone features I visited were the Basin Stone below Gaddings Dam, the outcrops of Stony Edge above Warland Reservoir, the trig point topped Little Holder Stones and, the largest rocks of the day, the Holder Stones themselves which I'd first seen from a distance over six years before when I'd visited Stoodley Pike.
The reservoirs were all very attractive. There is something about upland bodies of water, whether they be tarns, lakes or reservoirs that I am irresistably drawn to. In the afternoon autumn sunshine Warland Reservoir viewed from the northern end of Light Hazzles Reservoir was particularly impressive.
Whilst much of the walk was on clear or easy paths the section to the Holder Stones and back from Warland Reservoir was entirely pathless across quite rough and damp moorland. For some reason I struggled to stay on my feet and on two occassions I slipped over completely and on my way to Warland Reservoir from Little Holder Stones I went up to my thighs, both legs, in an innocuous looking bog.
Bog aside it was a great walk with a very enjoyable finish along the towpath of the Rochdale Canal from Warland all the way back to Walsden. It was one of the highlights of the walk, once again aided by the afternoon autumn sunshine illuminating the scenery quite beautifully. One of my favourite walks of the year.