Ripponden19-10-2016 – Leader John

Ripponden19-10-2016 – Leader John

After heavy rain the day before, the forecast today for the 14 of us was very good, and so it proved.  Though a bit cool early on, for most of the day we had warm sun on our backs.  The start of the walk was exceptionally lovely, as we walked through a watery and reflective world along the River Ryburn to Ryburn Reservoir and then Baitings Reservoir.  The stark warning to potential house buyers next to a very noisy works site was interesting, as was a plaque on the main A672 about the site of Rishworth Station, which closed in 1952, perhaps a casualty of Dr Beeching.  We then began climbing, gently at first through Ryburn Woods, and then more steeply across the fields to our break between the two reservoirs, where we enjoyed magnificent and far-reaching views over the rolling Yorkshire countryside.  The views were so nice, we could have been in Lancashire!

After the break, we crossed Baitings Reservoir on the viaduct, and then began the main climb of the day through Greenwood Clough and up to Manshead End – the highest point of the walk at 1355 feet.  Along this stretch of the walk, we were like tiny dots in a mighty landscape, with big skies above – absolutely splendid!  Continuing, we passed over Great Manshead Hill before dropping quite sharply to take lunch around a very odd brick-built structure at Slate Delf Hill.  John kept us guessing for a while about what it was, before revealing that we were in a WWII bombing decoy site – indeed a Starfish decoy site – an amazing story!

At this point we had joined the Calderdale Way, which we then followed more or less eastward and downward across fields – seeing some very unusual cattle – coming to Hole Head and then down a lane called Eccles Parlour – very odd.  Soon afterwards we arrived at the very interesting and very vertical village of Mill Bank, part of a conservation area.  We continued on the Calderdale Way, with a sneaky final climb up to Soyland Town, before dropping back into Ripponden, passing supposedly the oldest pub in Yorkshire.  Refreshments were pleasantly taken at Stanley’s Kitchen, to end a varied and very interesting walk in a different area for us, so our thanks go to John for a really lovely day.

(Pics & write up Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

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