Ripponden Round – 9 miles, Wednesday Nov 13th

Leader Neil Woodcock 

Eight plodders met next to Baitings Reservoir for the first walk led by Neil W. One steadfast plodder, Reg, was missing, as he had to pull out en route to the start due to ill health. But it was a welcome return for Ann who had been absent since falling on the Morcambe Bay walk.

The walk set off along a permissive footpath over Yorkshire Water land, the drawback being they tend to have land which catches the rain and holds it, hence bogs. The walkers had been warned that gaiters were recommended.

It was a steep climb up to Manshead Hill before a ridge walk along to the Calderdale Way. On meeting the “Way” we stopped to be informed about structures we had seen in the distance en route such as Stoodley Pike and Wainhouse Tower as well as an explanation about what looked like a pill box in the middle of nowhere.

From here it was downhill along the Calderdale Way, with quite a bit of metalled road walking, down to Mill Bank where we stopped for a drink next to a babbling brook. Having replenished our liquid intake, we set off uphill to Soyland and down to Ripponden over the packhorse bridge. Here we stopped for lunch in the park next to the river.

A riverside walk followed with the disused Sowerby Bridge to Rishworth railway line above. It was originally intended to take the line all the way to Littleborough but the final stretch from Rishworth to Littleborough was never started. We did, however, carry on in the direction of Littleborough passing Ryburn and Baitings Reservoirs with the beautiful autumnal tree display helping us forget the uphill pull.

We returned to the cars after about 5 hours and a few set off for The Wine Press at Hollingworth Lake for liquid refreshment before returning home.

This walk was originally planned for 27th November but was brought forward to fill a hole in the Plodders diary. Neil W intends leading a further walk on 27th, this time in Lancashire : more info to follow about this.