Tag Archives: Sheffield University

Pennine Way – Day 16 – Ponden to Mankinholes (or Mist, Rain, Mist, Monument, Thief!)

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A delightful aspect.
A delightful aspect.

Clearly we were going to have a one of those days where I am immensely grateful that I never even considered for a minute not using GPS as our primary means of navigation! Breakfast was quite interesting. There was a couple staying who were going back over the bits of the path that the woman had missed out when she had done almost the whole thing slightly earlier in the year. It’s most unfortunate for others but our weather has really been delightful which somehow makes the achievement feel less than (though I am exceedingly glad we have had such good weather.)

Wuthering Heights!
Wuthering Heights!

When staying at Ponden Hall the owner had suggested that when a couple had asked for a short walk he had sent them on a little 20 minute trip to the House that supposedly enspired Wuthering Heights. Perhaps on a beautiful day if you know exactly where you are going, have no bags and are very fit you could it in 40 minutes, but I must side with his guests who came back a little exasperated that such a walk were a full scale hike and that it would have likely taken over two hours for a round trip. Assuming you were back in time for dinner it would likely leave you quite excited at the prospect of food, glorious food.

Flags!
Flags!

I know I have said it before but without having been up on the moors it is difficult to convey quite what a welcome sight they are when they arrive. It is sad really that they are not marked upon the map so that they could be really looked forward to and to make it less disappointing when they end or are very brief.

A beautiful path, slightly longer, but it doesn't go down.
A beautiful path, slightly longer, but it doesn’t go down.

With still enough days left for it to feel like a chore and the fact that this was all part of the walk that we had done before it was very difficult to resist the temptation to not take the Pennine Bridleway instead of the Pennine Way when it offered a very similar route only with less deep ravines and so it proved as we approached this particular stretch. My map progress software indicated that there was a totally unnecessary decline of 50m followed by an equally steep climb up the other side. When there was such a beautifully well made alternative it was no challenge to chose it.

Trimming the verge
Trimming the verge

Walking past the reservoir did, however, necessitate that we could see a group of men (one assumes working for the water board) moving the bank of the reservoir. I do not know for certain but I had always imagined these to be nothing more than banks of earth and thus it seems a little odd that they should need to be mown in this way. Can it really be true that if they are left to the sheep alone they can in someway degrade?

to a waterfall?
to a waterfall?

Over the hill and it seems we really missed out by not having a guide book with us. I saw a sign that advertised a shop which sells everything you can imagine and I must admit that I was briefly tempted but in my haste I decided to push on because what we really needed to do was go down a steep ravine to see this piddling little waterfall (rather than visit the shop and thus legitimately walk around it!).

Must we go down?
Must we go down?

My father has articulated a suspicion that Wainwright was simply a drunk who wandered aimlessly from Inn-to-Inn, rather than a genius crafting a walk to take in some of the best scenery in the country. I must confess that I can not agree with this idea but when you arrive at the top of a place like this to see that one is simply going to have to go down for no other reason than to come straight back up one can have a little sympathy. If we had shaved a day off the journey from Standedge to Malham we would probably have been stopping at Badgerfield’s farm which we were about to pass (a place we stayed ten years ago).

Must we go down?
Must we go down?

While we did take a few detours today it felt too much to walk around the side of Stoodley Pike and thus miss out the monument at the top. From the ground we could see it reasonably well and my map promised reasonable track up most of the way. I must confess I thought it likely that there would have to be some track all the way to the Pike since someone built the damn thing surely. Alas it transpired that they had built it in commemoration of the Napoleonic War some 200 years ago and so no track had been built to get up to it (you should see some of the paths the build now a days for nothing more than a Pylon). Thus having felt such temptation it seemed necessary to take a picture of the monument but even from 44m away (honestly where the picture below was taken) it was hardly visible. It looked as if someone had stolen it.

Who stole Stoodley Pike?
Who stole Stoodley Pike?

Which neatly brings me on to the issue of my walking socks. Left neatly in the drying room on a clothes hanger between my coat and my fathers I felt sure they would be safe. While I would probably not leave my iPad or laptop on display unattended for a long period in a youth hostel it would be a special kind of arsehole who would steal a fellow walkers walking socks wouldn’t it? I have no evidence but the circumstantial facts are these. They left the drying room suspiciously close to the same time that a large group of academics from Sheffield University left for the pub and someone from that group was drying a pair of identical socks along with their boxer shorts on the radiator after returning from the pub later that evening.

A not yet squished frog.
A not yet squished frog.

Does walking the Pennine Way look hard to you? Well why not sponsor me here.