Walking On

Beautifully kept memorial garden Group at start with impressive wall Heading to Brighouse in the rain Is it muddy underfoot? John telling about the local history Morning coffee The motorway crosses the canal Trying to avoid the mud

Brighouse Boundary Walk Sunday February 27th 2011

19 very muddy people 21 miles Ldr : John “Bogtrotter” Bullen

Do you know how much mud there is in West Yorkshire? We do. We know exactly how much there is. There is a lot. And we set out last Sunday to find it all, to wallow in it, to plough through it, to jump up and down in it and, in Julia’s case, to dive head first into it! What a day for mud lovers. For walkers however…..

I told everyone to allow an hour to get there from Bolton and how wrong that was. We were there in thirty minutes. Thankfully the new sports centre which had opened just the previous week let us all in to use their loo before we started and we bow and give praise to their Yorkshire hospitality.

This route is certainly splendid. As a local I met on the recce the previous week told me this is the “oasis of West Yorkshire” being slap bang in the middle of Leeds, Huddersfield, Halifax, Bradford etc. The first mile along Clifton Beck takes you into Bailiff Bridge and the war memorial there is the first delight of the walk, quite stunning and obviously cherished and respected, not a bit of litter in sight except in the bins. Pretty soon you are climbing up through the ancient and quaint village of Norwood Green, into Priestley Green and subsequently to the stunning promontory of Wynteredge Hall where we had coffee. From Hipperholme we trekked the ancient narrow pathway of the Magna Via, the first trade route opened up between “the East” and Halifax. All about are reminders of the quarrying that has gone on here over the centuries. The majority of Victorian London was built from Yorkshire stone.

We took lunch in the welcoming grounds of a Methodist Chapel before crossing over the M62 twice in quick success and dropping into the impressive Scout facility at Bradley Wood for another tea break. Picking up the towpath of the Calder & Hebble Canal we passed under the M62 again and were off to Three Nuns and its Dumb Steeple, said to be named as people on the run from the law could reach this and claim “sanctuary”.

The next four miles has to be the muddiest place in Britain. We would certainly argue strongly in its favour anyway! Goodness this was tough. Julie even tried going through it on her bottom!

And so back to base muddied and knackered!!!

I thank everyone for their support on the walk and apologise for the mud. Thanks also to the Calderdale countryside ranger I met the previous week who sent a “couple of his lads” along to clear the debris on the Magna Via and make it safer for us to walk.

Bentham and Beyond. Sunday Mar 6th, 18 miles from Bentham

14 people (and 1 small dog) gathered in the municipal car park in High Bentham on a delightful spring day to begin a walk which took us out across rolling hills towards Lowgill, then back through moorland and farm land to Low Bentham, returning to the start along the river bank.

Our leaders Mary and Fred used their experience to plan a varied and spectacularly beautiful route with open views across to Ingleborough in the afternoon. Mary, being born and bred in Bentham not only knew exactly where she was going, but also gave the walk added interest by sharing her memories of how the landscape and town had changed since her childhood, so we were able to picture the football ground which had occupied land now converted into a caravan park.

The weather was perfect, the mud minimal and the company excellent which made for a very enjoyable day out.