Tag Archives: Standedge

Pennine Way – Day 18 – Standedge to Torside (or Path, Resevoir, View, Flags, Tunnel)

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

How did we get so lost last time?
How did we get so lost last time?

When we attempted the walk 10 years ago this journey was effectively the end of our contiguous endeavour. We must have gone wrong somewhere but starting off from this direction the path seems to be such a very well made track that is hard to conceive how we can have gone so wrong!

120 yds to the M11!?
120 yds to the M11!?

I certainly have no recollection of seeing this stone. Though I am rather confused by its contents. Advising, as it does, that we are about 120 yards from the M11. The GPS advised our course very well and we made a great deal of progress and I was optimistic that we might even make it to Torside while they were serving tea. Sadly it soon became obvious that it was not likely.

Looks like a nice path on the otherside.
Looks like a nice path on the other side.

One of the harder choices was whether to follow the Pennine Way down this ravine to make it to this delightful looking path on the other side or to continue along the current contour to join the way at the end of the first reservoir. A conversation at breakfast suggest that perhaps this later choice may be an earlier version of the Pennine Way and I wonder if it is possible that this could be where we went wrong all those years ago as once on the well made up path it continues on beautifully to the top of the hill where my father is sure that we stopped for a bacon roll at a burger van a little before noon all that time ago.

Framing the view.
Framing the view.

Sadly this time we clearly arrived just too late for the burger van (if the burger van still visits the lay-by) but it was around noon and so a good time for lunch. We stooped just over a wall and oddly a group of youths drove up this lay-by and asked my father to take a picture of them (clearly we had stopped to close to the road) which they then followed with some public urination and wild gesticulation and shouting at any that should come past.

The view over Holmfirth
The view over Holmfirth

The view from the top of this hill was really quite something and the pictures don’t do it justice. What looks like a much larger conurbation than I recall Holmfirth being was to be seen in the far distance dominated by a large tower which is barely visible in this picture. At the trig point was a good point to stop for second lunch and we met a couple who were walking the way together. The husband had done it before about 25 years ago for a meagre £25 and was bringing his wife along with him this time. I’m not sure if they will make it the whole way but they are camping and so able to stop at fairly regular intervals which may mean it takes them some time. I don’t really remember much of what it was like 10 years ago but my father reminisced with them about when the hill had really deserved its name of black moss and how well it had taken to grassing over the years since.

Torside approaches
Torside approaches

When we first got over the final hill of the day it seemed that we would soon be at Crowden. However, a quick perusal of the map soon put an end to any such hopes since even from Crowden it was another mile and a half to Torside. (Though this means we are left with a much tolerable 15.97 miles tomorrow). Today has generally been beautifully flagged though alas this last section seemed to have lots of difficult terrain between the sections of flags.

Endless flags!
Endless flags!

The Old House is a beautiful place to stay and they have transformed what used to be the guest lounge into a tea room with a large outdoor seating area. I think we technically arrived during the time when they are supposed to be open but with the end of the season approaching there was no-body else in. I later learned that they have a silent alarm on their gate so they are able to be more prepared if a paying guest arrived! They made us a delightful cup of tea (which felt well earned) and were good enough to sell me a slice of what was possibly the best rocky road I have ever tasted!

Overflowing gently.
Overflowing gently.

We also learned that the sneaky sock theives from Sheffield University are just generally careless having taken a jumper from their drying room. Though as it had been left behind by someone else I suppose it was technically abandoned and so isn’t really theft? The host was good enough to drive us down to a local pub where we good enjoy a tasty supper before having an early night a head of a long day tomorrow. Fortunately an American couple were staying for the ‘two day package’ and so we had the option to have breakfast at 0730.

A beautiful tunnel.
A beautiful tunnel.

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

Pennine Way – Day 17 – Mankinholes to Standedge (or Bullying, Stone, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Tresspassing)

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

It's gonna be one of those days.
It’s gonna be one of those days.

After a good deal of panic regarding my lack of socks it transpired that despite my advice my father kept back a spare pair of walking socks. I was concerned that having successfully avoided getting blisters for several days this change in socks seemed certain to lead to their renewal. The only alternative would be to take the bus (which I had astonishingly seen whisk pass the youth hostel at half past eleven last night) to Todmorden and hope that their was a shop there which sold outdoor equipment. If there was not a trip onto Skipton would have been necessary.

Flags! But not on the Pennine Way!?
Flags! But not on the Pennine Way!?

Having suspected that they had been accidentally been taken by one of the the large group from Sheffield I tweeted the man who seemed like their leader (he has an OBE don’t ya know) that ‘ I think one of your number have accidentally left Mankinholes with my only pair of walking socks ‘. This lead to an abusive exchange where he told me that now I knew how those on income support feel. At least he didn’t say filthy tory scum like the usual vile rants that left wing fruit cakes come out with. His bullying has in fact lead me to change my twitter handle to remove the reference to ‘tory’ since twitter is now used much more than just for commenting along with question time. Given his total refusal to engage (have a quick luck round and leave them at Torside) I could hope that they give whoever took them blisters but I’m bigger than that. Plus since dad’s socks worked out fine they actually did us a favour by lightening the load a little. Though I was kind of shocked at the total lack of respect for other walkers and their kit.

If man made does it count?
If man made does it count?

The bridge below with the flags above were the only examples we really saw of what was clearly a footpath being better made off the Pennine Way than on it. This bridge looks like someone has gone to quite a bit of work but it doesn’t seem to lead anywhere and is far too small for any kind of vehicle.

What a neat bridge.
What a neat bridge.

There has been no doubt that this walk has been greatly aided by the use of GPS. We have met people who think they are being clever / purists by refusing to use the tech but I think they are just stupid and I don’t really have any respect for it. If you want to push yourself further why not just add extra distance to your walk rather than playing a random game of ‘if I miss the turning I will do an extra 5 miles’. However, for those who did any kind of travelling in a time before GPS or, even further back before maps themselves, I have the upmost respect. Supposedly this stone was an ancient marker which was used to guide people but I don’t see how that can be true. It doesn’t stand out desperately and so only confirms that you are in the right place rather than helping you to find the right way.

An ancient standing stone
An ancient standing stone

I don't think we were supposed to touch it.
I don’t think we are supposed to touch it.

Today’s route took us past more trig points than any other (3 in total). I’m not sure we went past more than one on any other. Two of the trig points were on top of very large rocks and in order to get up for the view it required some climbing. Oddly (though perhaps not unsurprisingly) each had a divit that made for a rather nice foot hold. It does make me wonder what they are for and of course this being the age of wikipedia I was very easily able to find out! It seems that when they were built in 1935 from each it was possible to see two others and thus by careful measurement of the angles between them it was possible to build a very highly accurate map of Britain. (Well of these triangles anyway). I wonder if that would make a really interesting life challenge to visit all of them and make your own map. Though it isn’t something I will be looking to do in a hurray!

From the top of a trig point.
From the top of a trig point.

We met several walkers out today. Having been walking from North to South for the most part we had been meeting people who had already done substantial parts of the walk. For the first time we were now meeting people who had only recently started their walk. This brought home to me most at one point when I congratulated a young woman on getting this far and she pointed out that it is us that should be congratulated.

It doesn't look like it does in Wallace and Grommit
It doesn’t look like it does in Wallace and Grommit

Crossing the M62 I was deeply disappointed to discover that the Burger van that con sometimes be found there is very much a morning only affair. 10 years ago I think we walked sufficiently slowly that we missed it on that occasion as well. I suppose it is always possible that there is no longer a greasy burger van that greets those leaving Saddleworth in the morning so that they can sneak a greasy burger without their significant other finding out. There is, however, no doubt that for me personally crossing this bridge felt like a symbolic return to civilization (where civilization here really means the area where one grew up).

A lasting legacy
A lasting legacy

It seems that following the death of a loved one who walked up in the hills someone chose to erect this stone in their memory. It made me wonder if the medieval standing stone from earlier was similarly erected. Given how easy it would be to get lost on the hills above Greenhead or the moor on the way to tan hill perhaps the erection of such stones as memorials to this who have walked the way could be a great way to make it easier for those walking it in the future.

The race to the finish.
The race to the finish.

Taxi booked to meet us by the old Globe House Farm we missed the turning, and seeing the track, I chose to make a bee-line for it. There was a fence but it was so poorly maintained that without doing anything more than a bit of limbo (i.e. I did not need to climb over it and an animal would not even have noticed it) we made it through a field to the path. Some local decided that he would try and give me a telling off for this, “you know your off the path, you’ve had to climb over walls and fences to get here.” One of the many problems with knowing a little bit about the world works is that irrespective of it being theoretically trespassing with no prospect whatever of a criminal convection and the damages being less than ten pence I couldn’t really give a rat’s nose. If the owner wants to sue me then please go ahead in advance I make you a part 36 offer for the aforementioned ten pence.

Our taxi awaits.
Our taxi awaits.

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