Looping the Loop

Looping the Loop: Crimsworth – Walshaw – Hardcastle Crags

 

 

Walkers are spoilt for choice in the countryside around Elmet Farmhouse, with its dramatic and varied landscape and the dense network of paths. On a fine clear day, there’s no better hike than the Crimsworth Walshaw Loop, a high level walk up on ‘the tops’ with glorious views of wooded valleys, hilltop hay meadows and rolling heather moors. Spring, summer, autumn or winter, if the sun is shining, this is the place to be.

These photos record an extended version of the Crimsworth Walshaw Loop in mid August when the heather moorland is in full bloom and turns a rich deep purple. The walk begins at Grain Water Bridge at the far end of Crimsworth Dean, then veers off up the hill over to Walshaw. After dropping down to Walshaw Lodge, it climbs up over Walshaw Moor to the string of reservoirs at Walshaw Dean, where it joins the Pennine Way. 

On meeting Alcomden Water, the route follows a track for several miles from Blake Dean to Shackleton Hill, with ravishing views across Hardcastle Crags towards Slack Heptonstall, with Stoodley Pike in the distance. Eventually it meets a footpath which curves back round through Crimsworth Dean. 

Inspiring and invigorating, this has got to be one of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales.

 

© Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson

Heavenly Heather

Heavenly Heather

 

“I have fled my country and gone to the heather” 

Emily Brontë

Emily Brontë was right. August is the time to head to the hills and immerse yourself in the glorious heather moorlands. Because the hillsides of the Upper Calder Valley are so steep, the carpet of heather on the plateau-like uplands is barely visible from down in the dales. It’s only when you venture up onto ‘the tops’ beyond the hay meadows on the shoulders of the hills that you encounter the purple haze.

Good spots for heather walks are Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well, Midgley Moor above Luddenden Dean, Heptonstall Moor above Colden, and Walshaw Dean and Widdop Reservoir above Hardcastle Crags. On a hot summer’s day with the sweet scent of the heather and the bees buzzing all around as they gather the nectar for honey, it’s an intoxicating sensory experience and a visual spectacle not to be missed.

 

High Waving Heather
Emily Brontë

High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars;
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
Man’s spirit away from its drear dongeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.

All down the mountain sides, wild forest lending
One mighty voice to the life-giving wind;
Rivers their banks in the jubilee rending,
Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
Wider and deeper their waters extending,
Leaving a desolate desert behind.

Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
Changing for ever from midnight to noon;
Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.

13 December 1836

High Summer on Midgley Moor

The moorland  above Luddenden Dean is carpeted with heather, which blooms throughout the month of August and into early September.  As the heather comes into flower, the moors take on a vivid purple hue, which becomes more and more intense. 

These photographs were taken on a walk from Pecket Well to Luddenden Dean over Wadsworth Moor and Midgley Moor. Perched on the hilltop overlooking the Luddenden valley are two small reservoirs where the heather grows right up to the water’s edge. 

 

Walking on the Wild Side at Widdop

 

Two hikes near Widdop above Hardcastle Crags in mid August with the heather in full bloom.

First walk along Great Edge, the ridge above Widdop Reservoir, early one sunny morning. Tramping through the heather via a series of  rocky outcrops known variously as Slack Stones, Raven Stones and The Scout that lead up to Great Edge. Beyond, a sea of heather on Widdop Moor, sliced through in the distance by the blade-like rocks of Dove Stones.

Returning along a bridlepath by the shores of Widdop Reservoir. The low water levels revealing sand and rocks give the impression of a beach. Looming above, the sheer cliffs below Great Edge. Very few humans, just a solitary buzzard and a few skylarks.

 

 

Second walk starting at Widdop Gate and climbing up to Gorple Lower Reservoir via Low Moor and King Common Rough, looking down on the narrow gorge of Graining Water. Ascending over the tussocky slopes of Flask to Cludders Slack, a fine vantage point high up above Widdop Reservoir at 390 metres, with dramatic views  towards Great Edge. 

Circling the shores of Widdop Reservoir, then cutting across to Alcomden Water and along to Blake Dean at the top end of Hardcastle Crags. A blustery afternoon which started out with dark brooding skies but culminated in bright warm sunshine. Captivating light effects on the purple hills and the steep lush heather-covered slopes of Blake Dean.

© Text copyright Lesley Jackson

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Walk on the Wild Side at Widdop

Walking on the Wild Side at Widdop

 

Two hikes near Widdop above Hardcastle Crags in mid August with the heather in full bloom.

First walk along Great Edge, the ridge above Widdop Reservoir, early one sunny morning. Tramping through the heather via a series of  rocky outcrops known variously as Slack Stones, Raven Stones and The Scout that lead up to Great Edge. Beyond, a sea of heather on Widdop Moor, sliced through in the distance by the blade-like rocks of Dove Stones.

Returning along a bridlepath by the shores of Widdop Reservoir. The low water levels revealing sand and rocks give the impression of a beach. Looming above, the sheer cliffs below Great Edge. Very few humans, just a solitary buzzard and a few skylarks.

 

 

Second walk starting at Widdop Gate and climbing up to Gorple Lower Reservoir via Low Moor and King Common Rough, looking down on the narrow gorge of Graining Water. Ascending over the tussocky slopes of Flask to Cludders Slack, a fine vantage point high up above Widdop Reservoir at 390 metres, with dramatic views  towards Great Edge. 

Circling the shores of Widdop Reservoir, then cutting across to Alcomden Water and along to Blake Dean at the top end of Hardcastle Crags. A blustery afternoon which started out with dark brooding skies but culminated in bright warm sunshine. Captivating light effects on the purple hills and the steep lush heather-covered slopes of Blake Dean.

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

 

 

Hiking in Hardcastle Crags

A Summer Saunter through Hardcastle Crags

 

 

A summer saunter through the woodland paradise of Hardcastle Crags in Hebden Dale near Hebden Bridge on 22 July 2017. Starting at Widdop Gate, looping around via Blake Dean, then climbing up to the Crags before dropping down to Gibson Mill.

Returning back through the woods along the banks of Hebden Water, criss-crossing the river over the three footbridges, then ascending to the top of the woods, looking across to Walshaw Lodge before climbing back up the steep steps to Widdop Gate.

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

Jumble Hole Clough

Jumble Hole Clough

 

Jumble Hole Clough is one of the many delightful spurs off the Upper Calder Valley near Hebden Bridge. Steep, narrow and densely wooded, it is hard to believe that this was once a hive of industry. A series of water-powered textile mills once tapped the river running through this valley, including the picturesque Staups Mill, seen in these images.

Fay Godwin photographed these intriguing ruins for Ted Hughes’s book Remains of Elmet in the 1970s. Amazingly, the building is still just about standing, although the clough itself is more overgrown than ever. 

Just one of the hidden gems to be discovered on walks near Elmet Farmhouse. 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Bluebell Bonanza

Bluebell Bonanza

May is a fabulous time of year in the valleys around Hebden Bridge because the woods are awash with bluebells. This year’s display was particularly intense because of the hot spring weather. These photos were taken in May in the beautiful wooded dales of Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean, both  just a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse. 

 

Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

Photos of the Month 2017

Elmet Farmhouse Photos of the Month: 2017

A hand-picked selection of recent photos featuring views from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge and snapshots of the surrounding countryside in and around the Upper Calder Valley

 September 2017

View of Heptonstall from Elmet Farmhouse at 7.25am on 19 September 2017 – beautiful pinky-purple light on the hills beyond

 

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall in the early morning sunshine, with the trees in Hardcastle Crags just starting to turn

 

Multiple pockets of early morning mist clinging to the woods in Hardcastle Crags, viewed from Crimsworth Dean

 

River of mist in the Calder Valley between Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike, photographed at 6.54am on 19 September 2017

 

The magnificent newly-restored Halifax Piece Hall, built in 1779 for merchants to trade locally-made hand-woven woollen cloth

 

Looking more like an Italian piazza than an 18th century cloth market, the impressive Grade I Listed Halifax Piece Hall now houses cafes and shops and provides a unique venue for outdoor events

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

August 2017

This month’s photos are devoted to the spectacular display of heather above Widdop Reservoir, not far from Hardcastle Crags. Seen here is a dramatic rocky outcrop called Dove Stones slicing up through the heather moorland on Widdop Moor.

 

View along Great Edge, a rocky gritstone outcrop running for a mile or so above Widdop Reservoir

 

Great Edge with heather in full bloom on Widdop Moor

 

Widdop Reservoir from Widdop Moor

 

Widdop Reservoir from Great Edge in the early morning sunshine

 

Cludders Slack above Widdop Reservoir

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

July 2017

 

Deer oh deer! A beautiful roe deer kid in the field at Elmet Farmhouse, one of pair of twins born in our hay meadow in June.

 

Double at t’mill! Gibson Mill reflected in the millpond in Hardcastle Crags on a lovely sunny July morning.

 

View of Gibson Mill with the old packhorse bridge in the heart of Hardcastle Crags

 

Hebden Water, the river running through the narrow gorge-like valley of Hardcastle Crags, with its verdant summer canopy

 

First cut: the start of this year’s haymaking in the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse, with the panoramic backdrop of Heptonstall Church and Stoodley Pike

 

Making hay while the sun shines in the meadow at Elmet Farmhouse. The grass is turned several times so that it dries out before being baled.

 

View from Elmet Farmhouse with swathes of mist rising up from Hardcastle Crags and swirling around the hilltop village of Heptonstall, taken at 7.30am on 23 July 2017

 

© Photos copyright Ian Fishwick and Lesley Jackson

 

June 2017

 

The magical hidden valley of Jumble Hole Clough, one of the numerous spurs off the Upper Calder Valley near Hebden Bridge

 

The atmospheric ruins of Staups Mill in Jumble Hole Clough

 

Golden plover chick on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well – listen out for the peeps

 

Curlew in Crimsworth Dean 

 

On the tops above Walshaw between Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags

 

Well-fed lambs on the lush green slopes above Hardcastle Crags with golden buttercups in the hilltop hay meadows across the valley 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

May 2017

 

One subjects dominates this month… bluebells

 

An aurora borealis of bluebells in Hardcastle Crags

 

Close up and personal with the bluebells and stitchwort in Hardcastle Crags

 

Bluebells carpeting the earth beneath the trees in Hardcastle Crags

 

Newly-unfurled beech leaves overhanging Hebden Water in the woodland paradise of Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

April 2017

 

Lamb piggy back in Crimsworth Dean

 

Number 1: new-born lamb in Crimsworth Dean

 

Early spring sunshine in Crimsworth Dean

 

Ramsons (aka wild garlic) in the woods in Crimsworth Dean

 

A river of ramsons rampaging down the steep slopes of Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

March 2017

 

Mill chimney in Colden Clough near Heptonstall

 

Evocative remains from a huge complex of mills in the woods near Lumb Bank in Colden Clough

 

Elmet Farmhouse in the spring sunshine with a dazzling display of daffodils

 

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well, looking towards Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

 

The handsome stone mullion windows of 18th century Elmet Farmhouse, with forsythia and daffodils in the garden

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

February 2017

 

River of Mist in Hardcastle Crags below Elmet Farmhouse with Stoodley Pike on the  horizon

Mist clearing in Pecket Well Clough below Elmet Farmhouse

 

Expectant sheep at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

Heron nest-building in the treetops above Hardcastle Crags

 

Early morning above Colden Clough near Heptonstall

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

January 2017

 

Stoodley Pike from bridleway above Horsehold, near Hebden Bridge

 

View from Pecket Well towards Heptonstall

 

View along Crimsworth Dean towards Stoodley Pike

 

Sheep in the bracken in Crimsworth Dean

 

Walshaw Lodge above Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

Photo Journal – January 2017

Have you had your Five a Day?

Five photos taken on walks in the countryside and villages around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, interspersed with views from Elmet Farmhouse in the village of Pecket Well, and a few forays further afield. Yorkshire at its finest. Enjoy!

These are the last entries in my Five A Day Photo Journal covering 12 months from 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2017. Scroll down to see how the landscape and the natural world evolves from season to season over the course of the year.

 

31 January 2017

Walshaw Lodge above Hardcastle Crags 

 

 

View across Hardcastle Crags towards Heptonstall Moor

 

Looking across Hardcastle Crags near Walshaw, with Heptonstall Moor on the far hilltop

 

Moorland between Walshaw and Crimsworth Dean

 

Pony on top of the moor 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

30 January 2017

Former quarry in Crimsworth Dean, below Shackleton Hill

 

Track through a copse of Scots Pine trees near boundary of National Trust estate in Crimsworth Dean

 

Meadow in Crimsworth Dean, at the foot of Shackleton Hill, where Ted Hughes camped as a child

View from Walshaw across Hardcastle Crags towards Stoodley Pike

 

Looking towards Slack Top and Stoodley Pike across Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

29 January 2017

View from Elmet Farmhouse at 10.30 am as the early morning fog was clearing

 

Blue sky over the woods in Crimsworth Dean at at 11.37 am

The beauty of leafless trees in winter

 

An oak tree in Crimsworth Dean, near Mideghole

 

Drystone retaining wall of disused dam in Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

28 January 2017

This year we will be wearing…

 

… lots of extra layers…

 

… because it’s cold out there

 

… in Crimsworth Dean

 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

27 January 2017

Freezing fog makes for some intriguing visual effects – that’s Old Town mill chimney on the right

 

View from Pecket Well War Memorial, looking towards Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike, with River of Mist in the Calder Valley

 

Three monuments in alignment: Stoodley Pike, Heptonstall Church and Pecket Well War Memorial

 

Pecket Well War Memorial honouring the dead from the First and Second World Wars – echoing the obelisk form of Stoodley Pike

 

Peachy sky over Old Town early on monday morning

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

26 January 2017

Extras from Baa-Baa Land in Martin Parr’s old haunt of Crimsworth Dean

 

As retweeted today by the Martin Parr Studio!

 

Crimsworth Dean looking rather ethereal early yesterday morning

 

Nonconformist sheep in Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

25 January 2017

Beautiful pink sky in Crimsworth Dean at 8.15 am this morning

 

Sunrise over Old Town

 

View along Crimsworth Dean towards Heptonstall

 

Old Town Mill chimney on the horizon from Crimsworth Dean at 8.11 am

 

Crimsworth Dean on an early January morning

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

24 January 2017

Hebden Dale from Pecket Well War Memorial at 7.50 am this morning

 

Old Town Mill chimney silhouetted against the sunrise at 7.45 am this morning

 

River of Mist in the Calder Valley at 8.55 am yesterday morning

Sunset in Crimsworth Dean last friday afternoon

 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

23 January 2017

View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge at 9 am this morning

 

Freezing fog at dawn melted into a River of Mist at sunrise

 

Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall separated by the River of Mist

 

Hard frost on the hills, mist in the valleys

 

Stoodley Pike rising above it all

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

22 January 2017

The Queen of Crimsworth Dean

 

Top of the Flocks

 

View along Crimsworth Dean in late afternoon January sunshine

 

Heptonstall Church in the centre, Stoodley Pike on the far right

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

21 January 2017

 

Yesterday’s glorious sunset at Elmet Farmhouse

 

 

After days of overcast skies the cloud lifted – this was the scene earlier in the day at 2.50pm

 

Rosy sunset after a warm sunny day spent planting apple trees in the field

 

Perfect backdrop to Stoodley Pike

 

Looking towards the west from Elmet Farmhouse at 4.45pm

 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

20 January 2017

Beautiful sunset in Crimsworth Dean at 4.10pm this afternoon

 

Pink haze over Crimsworth Dean with Stoodley Pike on the far horizon

 

Pastoral scene in Crimsworth Dean

 

 

Stoodley Pike framed by the steep wooded slopes of Crimsworth Dean

 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

19 January 2017

Percy the Pheasant in the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse

 

Muted view from Elmet Farmhouse on a mild cloudy January morning

 

Fungi on lilac tree in the garden

 

Beautiful patterns and colours

 

Ivy-clad gateposts and ornate Victorian gate leading into the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

18 January 2017

Crimsworth Dean Beck near Midgehole and Hardcastle Crags

 

Still some copper-coloured leaves clinging to the beech saplings in Crimsworth Dean

 

Cornus ablaze at Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean

 

Packhorse bridge over Crimsworth Dean Beck at Wheat Ing

 

View from Pecket Well towards Heptonstall on a mild misty January morning

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

17 January 2017

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Crimsworth Dean on a mizzly January morning

 

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Leafless trees silhouetted against the misty landscape

 

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Everything is in soft focus and looking rather muted

 

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Pecket Well ponies looking a bit bedraggled

 

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But at least they live in a des res

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

16 January 2017

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Looking down on Luddenden Dean from Wadsworth Moor

 

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Snowy expanse on Wadsworth Moor, looking in the direction of Crimsworth Dean

 

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Reservoir on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

 

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Winter heather with its characteristic deep purplish-brown hue contrasting with the snow

 

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Wadsworth Moor above Old Town a couple of days ago

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

15 January 2017

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Walking up to Limers Gate up on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well yesterday morning

 

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Sun blazing on the snowy hills

 

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Swaledale sheep camouflaged in the snow

 

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Here today, gone tomorrow…

 

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Enjoy it while you can!

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

14 January 2017

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Snowy panorama from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge

 

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Stoodley Pike looking particularly magnificent, the snow highlighting the contours of Langfield Common, the ridge on which it stands

 

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Heptonstall looking positively alpine 

 

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Our recentCanadian guests compared the view to the Rockies, and you can see why!

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial with Hardcastle Crags and Shackleton Hill beyond

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

13 January 2017

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Spectacular sunset at Elmet Farmhouse at 4.20 pm yesterday afternoon

 

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Amazing colours reflected off the newly-fallen snow

 

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This view is across the fields from here at Pecket Well towards Lower Crimsworth

 

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Heptonstall church is just visible on the horizon on the left

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

12 January 2017

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Snowy panorama from Elmet Farmhouse at noon today

 

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We’re back in the throes of winter

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial on Smeekin Hill with mist rising from Hardcastle Crags

 

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A blizzard of sorts, but not particularly heavy

 

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Pecket Well Clough in the middle distance with Heptonstall on the hill above Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

11 January 2017

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge at 11am

 

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Ivy clad gateposts flanked by lilac and laburnum trees

 

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View from Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

 

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Stoodley Pike on the far side of the Calder Valley

 

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Winter sunhsine on the village of Heptonstall perched on the hill above Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

10 January 2017

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Hebden Bridge in the winter sunshine…

 

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… glowing with pride after winning the Great British High Street Competition

 

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Not only Best Small Market Town…

 

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But the People’s Choice as well, attracting 40,000 votes from its admirers

 

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Hip Hip Hooray for Hebden Bridge! What a top-notch little town

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

9 January 2017

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Aternoon sunshine in evergreen Crimsworth Dean

 

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“I’m ready for my close up”

 

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Aerial vew of Crimsworth Dean, looking towards The Steps

 

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Well-insulated sheepin Crimsworth Dean, ready for whatever the winter has to throw at them

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Rosy Crimsworth Dean sunset on New Year’s Day, with Stoodley Pike in the distance

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

8 January 2017

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Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Two waterfalls side by side with a plunge pool below

 

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Packhorse bridge over Crimsworth Dean Beck above Lumb Falls

 

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Looking downstream along Crimsworth Dean Beck from the packhorse bridge

 

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And looking upstream along Crimsworth Dean Beck from the packhorse bridge at Lumb Falls

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

7 January 2017

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Ruins of 13th century chapel at Heptonstall

 

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Weavers Square in Heptonstall with the tower of the chapel in the background

 

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Alleyway with arched gateway near the churchyard in Heptonstall

 

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Top ‘oth Town, next to Weavers Square in Heptonstall

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

6 January 2017

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Pink early morning sunshine on the frosty hills above Hardcastle Crags at Blake Dean

 

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Blake Dean wearing its winter coat

 

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Hardcastle Crags below Widdop Gate at 9 am

 

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Sun catching the tops of the hills through the trees in Hardcastle Crags

 

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Farm on the horizon near Widdop Gate above Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

5 January 2017

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Heavy frost at Blake Dean, Hardcastle Crags

 

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Frost-coated bracken by Hebden Water

 

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Parting of the Red Sea

 

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Scots Pine and rocky outcrops near Blake Dean

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

4 January 2017

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View from Elmet Farmhouse in the village of Pecket Well above Hebden Bridge at 12.30 pm today 

 

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With Stoodley Pike in the distance and Heptonstall on the horizon, surely this is one of the most perfect panoramas in Yorkshire

 

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A glorious view all year round 

 

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Here it is again with a pinkish glow at 15.40 pm in the afternoon two days ago 

 

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And back to the here and now

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

3 January 2017

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Hebden Bridge beaming in the January sunshine

 

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Winner of the Best Small Market Town in the Great British High Street Competition

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What a heroic achievement!

 

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What an amazing setting…

 

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… what a remarkable town

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

2 January 2017

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A walk to Stoodley Pike on beautiful frosty January morning

 

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The stark beauty of leafless trees

 

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Sheep on the hillside below Stoodley Pike 

 

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Busy day up at Stoodley Pike – the fine weather brought people out in throngs!

 

 

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View across the Calder Valley from Stoodley Pike

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

1 January 2017

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Crimsworth Dean at 15.20 pm

 

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Late afternoon sun in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Sheep at Walshaw

 

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Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Thrush in Crimsworth Dean

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

Photo Journal – December 2016

Have you had your Five a Day?

Five photos taken on walks in the countryside and villages around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, interspersed with views from Elmet Farmhouse in the village of Pecket Well. Yorkshire at its finest. Enjoy!

31 December 2016

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Frosty morning in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Scots pines in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Starlings at Walshaw

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

30 December 2016

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Sheep on meadows at Walshaw above Hardcastle Crags

 

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Stoodley Pike beyond Slack Top

 

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Slack Top from Walshaw

 

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Blake Dean from Walshaw Moor

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

29 December 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at 8.36 am

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Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

28 December 2016

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Sunset at Elmet Farmhouse at 15.20 pm

 

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Highland cattle above Pecket Well Mill

 

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Stoodley Pike from Wadsworth Moor at 4.20 pm

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

27 December 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse  at 12 noon

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

26 December 2016

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Tree bole in Hardcastle Crags

 

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Beech leaves covering the path in Hardcastle Crags

 

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Hebden Water in Hardcastle Crags

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

25 December 2016

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Christmas tree in living room at Elmet Farmhouse

 

 

 

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Christmas grotto under the stairs

 

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Festive festoons on the cabinet in the living room, ready for our Christmas guests

 

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Ingredients for our Christmas pudding…

 

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Christmas cake fresh out of the oven

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

24 December 2016

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Churchyard Bottom in Heptonstall – completely derelict during the 1970s, now restored

 

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Village pump in Heptonstall

 

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Silver Street in Heptonstall, lined with weavers’ cottages with stone mullion windows

 

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Heptonstall Primary School, still thriving today

 

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Grand residence above Heptonstall

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

23 December 2016

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Heptonstall’s beautifully preserved main street…

 

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Lined with handloom weavers’ cottages….

 

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Silver Street, the cobbled main road running steeply uphill through Heptonstall

 

 

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The handloom weavers are long gone but their cottages remain

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

22 December 2016

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16th century gateway on Northgate in Heptonstall inscribed JB 1578

 

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Heptonstall courtyard

 

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Grand three-storey house on the main street running through Heptonstall, indicating the village’s former wealth

 

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Handloom weavers’ cottages in Heptonstall

 

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Towngate Tea Room in the centre of Heptonstall

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

21 December 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at 11.40 am…

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Same old view but subtly different each day

 

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Pecket Well Clough falling away steeply below the village

 

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Stoodley Pike and Hetponstall on the horizon at midwinter

 

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A significant turning point – now the days start to get longer and lighter again

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

20 December 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at 2.30pm on a sunny December afternoon

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Still compelling even in the depths of midwinter

 

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The majestic outline of Stoodley Pike with interleaved hills

 

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Silhouette of Heptonstall church with prickly scaffolding on one side

 

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Crimsworth Dean Beck from Lumb Falls

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

19 December 2016

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Stoodley Pike from Heptonstall…

 

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Hazy mist in the Upper Calder Valley

 

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The stark beauty of winter

 

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Stoodley Pike on the brow of Langfield Edge

 

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Stoodley Pike framed by leafless trees from Heptonstall 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

18 December 2016

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A beautiful sunset in Crimsworth Dean with Stoodley Pike on the horizon

 

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Some unusual sheep in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Their faces are so woolly that you can hardly see their eyes!

 

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They thought I was bringing them some food

 

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Watery winter late afternoon sunshine in Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

17 December 2016

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Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Best seen after heavy rain

 

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Old packhorse bridge above Lumb Falls

 

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Crimsworth Dean Beck flowing under the packhorse bridge

 

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Another view of Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

16 December 2016

 

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well at 9.20 am

 

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Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike…

 

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…on a hazy December morning

 

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Mild weather at Pecket Well as Midwinter approaches

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

15 December 2016

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Heptonstall church in the mist from Colden Clough

 

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Dry stone walled field enclosures below Stoodley Pike on a rather murky December morning

 

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Bridlepath along the top of woods above the Calder Valley near Hebden Bridge

 

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Steep road up from Horsehold above Hebden Bridge paved with stone setts

 

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Woods at Horsehold, just outside Hebden Bridge

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

14 December 2016

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Crimsworth Dean at 8 am this morning…

 

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…with Heptonstall church just visible in the mist

 

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Beautiful soft pinky-purple sky over Crimsworth Dean at sunrise

 

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Clouds illuminated from below at sunrise

 

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Pastoral idyll – sheep grazing at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean at 8.40 am

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

13 December 2016

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View along Luddenden Dean

 

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Looking towards the Castle Carr estate in Luddenden Dean

 

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White cow with black muddy bootees in Crimsworth Dean

 

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(Below) Buzzard wheeling above Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

12 December 2016

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River of Mist in the Calder Valley from up on high at Deer Stone Edge above Pecket Well

 

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River of Mist in Hardcastle Crags…

 

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… just below Pecket Well War Memorial

 

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Spectacular sunrise at 8.08am on Deer Stone Edge, with Emley Moor transmitter in the distance…

 

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Compare and contrast… Emley Moor transmitter poking out of sea of mist viewed from Heptonstall Moor near Colden

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

11 December 2016

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Our old friends, the pigmy goats, in Luddenden Dean

 

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Looking very dapper

 

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Push me, pull you?

 

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When it comes to beards, these goats are ahead of the pack

 

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The mild December weather has spawned some spectacular fungi

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

10 December 2016

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Octagonal Methodist Chapel in Heptonstall -directly across the valley from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

 

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Built in the mid 18th century and a favourite preaching place of John Wesley

 

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18th century marriage stone on Northgate in Heptonstall

 

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Some of the many handsome houses lining the main cobbled street in Heptonstall

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

9 December 2016

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Atmospheric ruins of the old church at Heptonstall…

 

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… dating back to the 13th century

 

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The ancient village of Heptonstall is extremely well preserved and unspoilt

 

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It’s full of interesting historic buildings

 

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No wonder it’s a conservation area

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

8 December 2016

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Rocks at Hell Hole near Heptonstall, high up above Hebden Bridge

 

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Huge rocky outcrops are perched on the steep hillside

 

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The cliff-like rockfaces are partially hidden by trees…

 

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… but can be explored via a network of paths

 

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View of Lumb Bank from Hell Hole at Heptonstall – formerly owned by Ted Hughes, now the home of the Arvon Foundation

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

7 December 2016

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Early morning sunshine on one side of the Calder Valley

 

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View from Hell Hole at Heptonstall, looking down on Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley

 

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Boundary wall of Lumb Bank in Colden Clough near Heptonstall

 

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Steep path running down from Lumb Bank

 

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The path runs down through the woods in Colden Clough below Heptonstall to Hebden Bridge

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

6 December 2016

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Chimney of Old Town Mill from Crimsworth Dean on a frosty winter morning

 

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Is this a shooting star? Probably not, but it’s rather magical nevertheless

 

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Looking along Crimsworth Dean towards Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike

 

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Steep path down to Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean, one of many old packhorse tracks

 

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Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean on a frosty winter’s morning – no one swimming there today – Brrrr!

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

5 December 2016

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Early morning mist rolling up onto the moors from Pecket Well

 

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Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning

 

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Sunrise at High Brown Knoll above Pecket Well

 

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A sea of mist playing strange tricks…

 

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Sunrise at Deer Stone Edge above Pecket Well

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

4 December 2016

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Crimsworth Dean with Stoodley Pike on the far horizon

 

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Late afternoon sunshine in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Still plenty of green in Crimsworth Dean, even at midwinter

 

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View towards Blake Dean and Gorple Reservoir from Walshaw Moor

 

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Sheep grazing on hilltop meadows above Hardcastle Crags

 

 © Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

3 December 2016

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Slack Heptonstall on the brow, looking across Hardcastle Crags

 

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Stoodley Pike  in the distance beyond Slack

 

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Sheep grazing at Walshaw

 

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Hardcastle Crags in the valley below Walshaw

 

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The rare orange sheep of Walshaw!

 

 © Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

2 December 2016

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Ruins of the old church in Heptonstall

 

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This ancient building dates back to the 13th century

 

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The evocative remains of the old church…

 

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… just across the graveyard from the new church, built in the 19th century…

 

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… where Sylvia Plath was buried in 1963

 

 © Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

1 December 2016

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Old Town Mill above Hebden Bridge

 

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View from Old Town towards Heptonstall

 

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Packhorse bridge in Nutclough on the outskirts of Hebden Bridge

 

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Looking down Nutclough from the packhorse bridge

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

Autumn Glory

 

Autumn Glory

Wow! Just look at these astonishing colours in Hardcastle Crags and Crimsworth Dean. Autumn came late to the Upper Calder Valley this year. It wasn’t until mid to late October that the trees really began to turn because of the unseasonably warm weather. But when Autumn finally arrived, it was worth waiting for. Truly glorious! An explosion of russet, auburn and gold.

The woods in the deep, plunging steep-sided valleys around Hebden Bridge are amongst the best in Yorkshire. On a sunny October afternoon or a misty early November morning, there’s no greater pleasure than wandering along the riverside paths by Hebden Water and Crimsworth Dean Beck, drinking in the intoxicating colours.

Even now, in mid November, there are still leaves on the trees. Enjoy them while you can! All just a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well, which has a bird’s eye view of this breathtaking panorama…

 

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© Text and photos copyright Lesley Jackson