April Peregrinations

April Peregrinations in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

March Meanders

March hikes in the hills and dales around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley in the South Pennines. A wildlife haven and walkers’ paradise in one of dramatic corners of Yorkshire

Photographs copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Brimham Rocks

Rocking out at Brimham

The weird and wonderful rock formations at Brimham Rocks are one of the geological marvels of Yorkshire. Sculpted by the elements over hundreds of millions of years, they loom up out of the heather moorland high up above Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge.

Defying gravity, these monumental sandstone forms were once thought to man-made, so curious and unlikely are their shapes. But their extraordinary sculptural forms are an entirely natural phenomenon, the result of abrasion and erosion by wind, rain and ice.

Dotted in clusters over 400 acres, it takes several hours to see all rocks – and longer if you want to climb up on top or explore their nooks and crannies. Each rock is different in character and they completely change in shape when viewed from different angles.

A firm favourite with children, a challenge for climbers and a delight for naturalists, Brimham Rocks is managed by the National Trust and provides a great day out from Elmet Farmhouse. Geologists will be in seventh heaven and artists and photographers will be inspired.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks

Text and photographs copyright Lesley Jackson

The Old Ways – Limers Gate

An invigorating early morning hike from Elmet Farmhouse to watch the sunrise on Limers Gate above the village of Pecket Well. Crisp snow, blue skies and pinkish light on the hills beyond Crimsworth Dean.

Initially climbing up onto Wadsworth Moor along Deer Stones Edge, then up to the trig point at High Brown Knoll, which has been painted with a red heart. From here, walking along Limers Gate in fairly deep snow, the path rather difficult to follow. Amazingly clear views all the way to Upper and Lower Gorple Reservoirs and beyond to Widdop Reservoir, the dam clearly visible covered in snow and the water bright blue.

Dropping down off the ridge to Wilcock Dam, wonderful colour contrasts between the orange grass and the pristine white snow, the dam astonishingly vivid blue. Sublime views of Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike during the descent to Pecket Well.

7  February 2018

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