South Pennine Walks
Date: 14th October 2006
Distance: 7 miles
Ascent: 1 feet
Time: 3 hours 10 mins
With: Lisa and Mandy
Start Grid Ref: SE001232
A foggy walk up to the landmark monument on Stoodley Pike before returning to Cragg Vale via Withens Clough Reservoir.
Route Summary: Cragg Vale - Spa Wood - Clough Foot Bridge - Bell House Moor - Dick's Lane - Stoodley Pike - Withens Gate - Withens Clough Reservoir - Calderdale Way - Cragg Vale
1. Approaching Stoodley Pike
2. Lisa and Mandy
3. Stoodley Pike
4. Looking towards Coldwell Hill with Long Stoop in the foreground
5. Long Stoop
6. The Te Deum stone
7. Withens Clough Reservoir
8. Holder Stones with Red Dykes right of centre
Walk Detail: During the early part of the walk I was kept fully occupied navigating us through the intricate pathways either side of Turvin Clough. When we did finally break out of the woods and onto the moor the cloud was as low as when we had arrived at Cragg Vale and even at about 350m high we were into the cloud.
The crossing of Bell House Moor was very wet and marshy and I was rather pleased to navigate us safely without compass over the trackless Erringden Moor to the beginning of Dick's Lane. From there it was a very easy walk to the impressive monument on Stoodley Pike.
Having braved the pitch black steps on to the viewing platform (not that there was much to see) we ate our lunch in the shelter of the monument's entrance. Finally the clouds began to break a little and the odd patch of blue sky appeared. I probably enjoyed the route back more as we were able to see down into the valley on the easy mile along the top of Stoodley Pike to Withens Gate having passed both Long Stoop and the Te Deum stone.
After enjoying some typically bleak South Pennine views past Red Dykes to Holder Stones we followed a rather wet path down to Withens Clough Reservoir and from there the access road all the way back down into Cragg Vale.
Despite the dreary conditions we all enjoyed ourselves though I'd definitely like to go back on a nicer day!