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A Walk In The Hills.Hebden Bridge and Stoodley Pike Walk: Sunday, 17th July 2005

By John Concannon

We arrived at the Stubbing Wharfe Pub to the beaming smiles of familiar faces, all looking forward to stretching their legs.

We set off along the Rochdale canal tow path, a warm balmy morning. Friendships were rekindled as we trotted along in pairs and threesomes. Some near misses with the canal, saved by the well-practised art of precipice avoidance and blind faith. The genuine warmth and welcome of those living beside the canal is an endearing memory.

Leaving the canal by ascending the 39 steps led up to Lobb Mill and eventually open moorland where the topography suddenly became steep and began to sort out the men from the boys. The huffing and puffing was mixed with gasps of delight as Stoodley Pike and its surrounding came into view for the first time. The pace quickened from hereon as the topography leveled off along the Pennine Way. We were soon at the foot of Stoodley Pike monument (originally built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo, but more latterly a war monument) where we rested and had lunch and later ascended the monument up its pitch black staircase to a viewing gallery. The views of Hebden Bridge and surrounding valleys were splendid, again gasps of delight.

We headed down from the pike along Dicks Lane towards Hebden Bridge, via some intricate footpaths when of course we got split up in the time honored fashion. It happens all the time in the alps so why not the crags above Hebden Bridge, do I hear you say. The majority took the long unscenic route, the minority the more direct route, but we all seemed to end up in the same place at roughly the same time. Once in Hebden Bridge it was all about feasting on ice cream and cups of tea before proceeding back to the Pub for a cool glass of beer which we all felt we thoroughly deserved as we basked in the sunshine sitting along the Rochdale canal. Everyone departed in good spirit looking forward to next years event.

Well done Dave for organizing a great and memorable day.