We found a peaceful moorland walk on Sunday. I guess it was so quiet because of the drizzly weather. It soon fined up though and we happily abandoned our waterproof jackets. Yay!
Our walk started from a canal side car park near the Anchor Inn at Salterforth near Barnoldswick. This isn’t an area we have explored before and despite having a map and walking book we did get a bit lost ( shocker! ) but it all worked out ok in the end.
The route headed up into the rugged moorland of Weets Hill where there are fantastic views and even some unusual art work. Here are some images from our 6.5 mile hike.
This walk was definitely all about the views , the wildlife ( we were serenaded by the continuous chatter of pippits and skylarks) and those unforgettable sculptures at Duck pond farm.
Walking Book – Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle by Terry Marsh.
Sunday mornings unpromising weather predictions didn’t put us off our intended trip to Haworth. Our plan was to take a walk from the town, over the surrounding moorland to Top Withens . The wild location of the ruined farmhouse is thought to be where Emily Bronte pictured ‘ Wuthering Heights ‘ in her novel.
We put Hugo in the back of the car, picked up my sister and niece and made our way to Yorkshire, wind screen wipers on the go. Amazingly the rain seemed to clear up once we arrived in Haworth. A walk over Haworth Moor was still on the cards.
Raincoats on, we set off from the Brontë Village Car Park, and would you know it within five minutes, the weather could definitely be described as wuthering! We were blown past the ‘Literary Landscape Sculptures’ two sets of five stone books peering up from the heath. The sweeping rain prevented me from getting any photos. At this point we decided to only walk as far as the Brontë waterfalls, and save Top Withens for another day.
The Brontë Waterfalls lie some 2•5 miles over the moor. A well trodden path leads all the way there and is clearly signposted too, surprisingly in Japanese as well as English. Described by Charlotte Brontë as ‘ a perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful’ the falls on Sunday were definitely more of a trickle than a torrent. However the setting is lovely, even on a dreich December day. As yet,shades of copper bracken add colour to the rugged scenery and a babbling beck gives drama to the landscape. You can see why the Brontë siblings enjoyed walking here.
Below the falls a stone footbridge known as the Brontë Bridge crosses the stream and the path continues onwards towards Top Withens. We posed in the rain for a quick selfie and were soon joined by a group of hardy ramblers who chose this glorious spot for a lunch break. It was amazing how many other walkers we had seen along the way, despite the dreary weather. Our tummy’s rumbling and feeling rather like drowned rats, we decided to retrace our steps back to Haworth, where the promise of a hot meal somewhere warm and dry beckoned.
Haworth is definitely somewhere that feels incredibly festive at this time of year. After warming up in a welcoming ( and dog friendly) cafe on Main Street called The Cook House, we went for a wander along the cobbles, listened to Christmas carols, visited some lovely independent shops and found a bustling Christmas market in Central Park.
I’m sure we will return in the Spring, for another stride over the Moors, in the footsteps of the Bronte’s.
Here I am snug as a bug in a rug. The radiators are piping hot , I have numerous throws to wrap round myself and two fur babies to snuggle up with. Bliss !
Friday night though was spent ( mostly shivering!) In a little B&B in the Yorkshire town of Haworth. I won’t say it was our accomodations fault. I couldn’t properly get warm anywhere at all. I think Yorkshire folk must be alot hardier than us Lancashire lot. The heating was on everywhere but didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I layered myself up and was tempted to keep my coat and hat on….even in bed. I have turned into a right softy!
Wil and I ( minus the pets) stopped over in Haworth as we were attending a talk in nearby Keighley by the Arctic adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It certainly seemed touch and go whether the event would take place. But of course ‘ the world’s greatest living explorer’ was easily up to the challenge of travelling from Exmoor to bleakest Yorkshire, whatever the conditions. 🙂
Despite my whinging, we did have a lovely time. The snow gave the cobbled streets of Haworth a wintery charm. The town is of course, famed for being the home of an extraordinary literary family, the Bronte’s. Writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne lived in the parsonage with their father the Reverend Bronte and brother Branwell. We had the Bronte Parsonage Museum all to ourselves on Saturday morning. Photography is no longer prohibited inside the museum,so I took a few pictures and imagined the Bronte siblings sitting at the dining room table, scribbling away. How frozen must their fingers have felt in the perishing south pennine winters.
We ended our visit to Haworth with a winter warming lunch in The Hawthorn on Main Street, whilst browsing our purchases. I bought ‘The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef ( Can’t wait to start it! ) and Wil had purchased a signed copy of Ranulph Fiennes appropriately titled ‘Cold’, the evening before.
In the past when Wil and I have driven to the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, we have arrived there completely frazzled, because our old sat nav loves magical mystery tours. Or we just couldn’t find the place at all! Happily on Saturday the Gods did not conspire against us, and we pulled up in a sunshiney Hebden before ten in the morning.
Hebden Bridge is a market town in Calderdale. , famed for its independent stores and creative community . Artisan shops and pavement cafes adorn the cobbles and Victorian terraces cling to the steep hillsides. On a bright September morning, it really did look like we had arrived in the ‘Happy Valley’.
As we were accompanied by a certain ‘ hungry black labrador’ , I suggested we stop by at The Lamppost Cafe for coffee and flapjacks for us…and a pup cake for him. On the Lampposts facebook page it says ‘Because every dog deserves to feel special and be treated so! Don’t tie your best friend to a lamppost, bring them in The Lamppost!’
Hugo and new friend ‘Lucky’.
Waiting for a Pup Cake.
Help yourself to water for your doog.
We loved the rustic decor in this very dog friendly cafe, and it was fun choosing Hugo a mouthwatering muffin from their impressive pup cake collection. It’s a pity he wolfed it down before I could get a picture ! His new friend Lucky was most happy to pose though. Isn’t she adorable. 🙂 Lucky is sat on a hessian coffee sack , which you can help yourself to, if your dog doesn’t want to lie on the wooden floor. I really enjoyed my fruity flapjack and the coffee was good too.
After a wander round the shops and the market ( I found a lady who makes felt fairy lamps ~ Christmas present sorted for one goddaughter! ), we had lunch at Green’s ( a veggie cafe) and then went for a walk by the canal.
We headed in the direction of Hebden Bridge’s neighbor Mytholmroyd, where poet Ted Hughes was born. Along the way there were were many barge businesses and floating homes.
On the outskirts of Hebden Bridge a rust coloured sculpture of a hawk, roosts in memorial to the Yorkshire born poet. I’m not sure it looks hawk-like enough. What do you think? Hughes first wife writer ‘ Sylvia Plath’ is buried in the churchyard at nearby Heptonstall.
Mid afternoon and Hebden Bridge was crazy busy , so we left the town and headed for nearby Haworth, another Yorkshire parish with famed literary connections. But first we stopped off for a walk on the rolling moorland above Oxenhope. Hugo decided to leap onto this wall and nearly ended up in the steep ravine below, tangled with the purple heather and brambles. Luckily he decided that running amongst the rushes was just as much fun!
Beautiful Haworth is still so evocative of its famous residents, the Brontes. Surrounded by wild moor land , Haworth’s cobbled streets are brimming with old fashioned shops and is little changed from the days when Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell lived with their father in the parsonage , now a museum.
I love the cute shops in Haworth and make no apologies for buying a couple more Christmas gifts. I just couldn’t resist and ‘ Wave of Nostalgia ‘ especially, really drew me in.
There are lots of Tea shops on the cobbled main street, but Wil can certainly recommend the Jamaican Peaberry Coffee from 10 the coffee house, where all coffees are freshly ground to order. As you can see the African Lime cake we shared is tiny! But I’m kind of glad, as it has been my only cheat in a fortnight of abstaining from cake, pastry, crisps , bread and chocolate …..so far. 😉
It’s been a few years since I have wandered round the wonderful Bronte Museum, and on this visit I contented myself with a stroll in the garden and a quick glance in the museum shop.
I’ve already decided that I would like to return soon and follow in the footsteps of the Bronte’s ,up onto the South Pennine Moors, via the path that passes the parsonage. Watch this space. 🙂