Tuesday April 25th
Air BnB stop, Hebden Bridge to Air BnB stop, Lothersdale
Expected walking time: 8h 20min
The 4th toughest day on my PW. Surprisingly large amount of height gain.
What a day this turned into. The NNW wind seemed stronger and it was bringing in succession after succession of hail showers. Although it was surprisingly bright and sunny until mid-morning, but windy with a hard frost.
I’d enjoyed Hebdon Bridge. The accommodation was right next to the HB Loop. I left the flat retracing my steps a little up the tow path to find the flight of steps leading from Market Street up to Heptonstall. Steep climb!
Heptonstall was charming. I followed the loop signs and did a circular of the village arriving back where I’d started: not intentional!
Managed my way out at the second attempt and made my way to May’s Aladdins Cave to buy lunch for what was sure to be a longer day. One large steak pie and Snickers and chit chat about previous days events on the trail and I was off again.
I got my entrance on to Heptonstall Moor all wrong, but made a virtue of this and took the path to the summit trig point. Bagged. Dropped down to the Pennine Bridleway and picked up the PW a short way later.
At the Walshaw reservoir chain I was pleased with the shelter the hills gave from the wind but the first of the very wintry hail showers had now set in. Another slight error from a walker not paying enough attention, I crossed the dam of the middle not lower reservoir.
Then over Withins Height to Top Withins. My favourite place on today’s walk. One other person had made the climb up on a cold day and I took shelter and had a short break.
Down to Pondon I stopped for the steak pie just before the ascent of Old Bess Hill. Again another short off route detour to bag another conspicuous trig point!
The descent to Ickornshaw was interrupted by the worst of the hail showers. They were stinging face and legs (yes, always wearing my shorts) so I hunkered by a wall near to the cabins and put the brolly up. Really pleasant- warm and sheltered. When the hail had stopped and I peaked out from under the brolly the hillside was white.
Got ‘lost’ again in Ickornshaw, couldn’t find the back route so just headed to the church and walked up Gill Lane. The weather was finally cheering up on the pop over to Lothersdale. Fleece and buff came off. Arrived before the pub opened so headed off for the last mile to my overnight and a well deserved shower.
08:00 Left HB
09:23 May’s Aladdins Cave
11:13 Middle Walshaw reservoir dam wall
12:02 Top Withins
13:05 Top end Ponden reservoir
14:07 Wolf stones trig point
17:16 Ray Gill farm
Total time 9.25 hours