This week’s 8-mile route begins from a favourite place of mine, and is perfectly suitable for winter walking conditions, offering fantastic views, writes Caroline Spalding.
Start from the car park opposite the Moorcock pub, Moor Bottom Lane, HX6 3RP [GR SE 055 218] and climb up to the moor to join the Calderdale Way.
Bear right along the path, passing the trig point to your left and then passing Ladstone Rock, a gritstone outcrop from which you can appreciate views of Manshead Hill and Crow Hill which rise beyond the Ryburn Valley beneath. Continue along the edge of the moorland, eventually descending to meet the quiet road beneath. Turn left along the road for a short while, before turning right down Highlee Lane, opposite the former New Rock Inn.
The track passes through farmhouses to become a grass path. Descending for a short while, turning left over a stile to begin a long, flat path named Moor Bottom Road, heading vaguely towards Ripponden visible in the valley bottom ahead.
Passing more farmhouses, you come to meet the B6113 at Ripponden Bank Top. Here, leave the Calderdale Way, cross the road instead and turn left up the joining road towards Barkisland.
Turn right down Rishworth Road and continue along the tarmac, forgiving this section of road-walking for what lies ahead.
Meeting the junction of the B6114, continue opposite down the bridleway leading towards Krumlin Hall [as marked on map] and enter the settlement of Krumlin on arrival at the country lane. Turn right, passing a phone box [another of my favourite walking valleys lies to the left beneath]. The road then curves right and you see the reservoir water tower ahead – to which you orientate.
This particular reservoir to me always appears dramatic; boldly reflecting the light in the sky above, perched here so high above the surrounding land. Turn left along the road, and then follow the reservoir edge down Withens Lane. At a clear way-marker, descend right beneath the reservoir dam, a good sturdy track that curves around the base of Ringstone Edge Moor.
The burbling of water flowing down Butts Clough is audible, the trees masking the steep slopes of this narrow valley.
Next to the white house, the track splits; take the upper pathway through a gate to continue the curve around the hillside; Rishworth is visible on your left.
Continue towards the electricity pylons. The path is not easily discernible, but walk underneath the pylon, then venture slightly left towards the cluster of trees beyond the field edge.
There is no proper stile; it took a second walk here to determine exactly where to go. Unfortunately, it involves a climb over a barbed wire fence, to which is attached at the crossing point some rather inadequate foam.
Turn right along the narrow lane, beneath trees to reach what appears private property; however next to one house, spot the bridleway way-marker. The path curves around, rising gently, then straight up a field track. Passing through a gate, turn left along the field edge, beneath a mast, then around to join Gosling Lane [as marked on map]. You come again to Saddleworth Road; turn left, then at next opportunity, follow the way-marker [left] – Upper Coneygarth.
This delightful path arcs around Hazelgreave hill to meet Fiddle Lane. Follow it left, then climb the main road past The Fleece Inn, returning via Moor Bottom Road. At the next path junction, go uphill, then take the way-marked path [left] reading ‘Longley’. Through a beautiful woodland, turn right as the path splits, climbing a sometimes narrow path to meet a stile. Continue left along the path [marked Rough Hey Wood on map] until eventually coming to a collection of houses [“Longley”], passing a horse ménage on the approach, and perhaps, like us, some rather friendly Shetland ponies that were on the loose.
At the tarmac lane, turn right to follow this back towards Moor Bottom Lane, where you’ll emerge next to the Moorcock Inn.
lAll are invited to join Calderdale Ramblers on this walk, Sunday 24 February at 10.30am.