Our Trek North On The Pennine Bridleway Continues

Diggle to Hollingworth Lake – 10 miles

Pebbles was busy trying to chew her panniers as we attached them to her harness. A fruitless task really, as her head couldn’t properly reach them, and only a minute later she gave up.

It was the first time of wearing them and she wasn’t carrying much weight – only her fleece pyjamas and a blanket. I still had all her food and other bits and bobs in my rucksack.

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Geoff had just kindly dropped Kim and I (plus Effy and Pebbles, of course) off at Diggle, so we could do another couple of days on our slow wander north on the Pennine Bridleway. Our plan was to walk from there to Hebden Bridge, spending the night near Hollingworth Lake, at Milnrow.

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Climbing right from the start, the route took us all around the edge of Castleshaw and Bleakedgate Moors, passing more reservoirs than I ever knew existed in this area.

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And once again, we were balancing between the moors on our right and the Manchester conurbation on our left.

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The weather forecast had promised us a warm, dry day.

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Unfortunately though, the weather Gods hadn’t seen the forecast and around lunchtime we were suddenly treated to a couple of hours of cold, heavy rain and hail, adding to the mud that was already underfoot.

WP_20160408_007We soldiered on, Pebbles tiptoeing and jumping around every puddle and patch of mud we came across, and finally the rain stopped. The sun didn’t exactly come out again, but at least we dried out.

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Now, daft as it may sound, one of the things I’d been looking forward to on this section, was the M62. The Pennine Way has its foot bridge across it, but the Pennine Bridleway goes underneath it.

We turned a corner and it came into view.

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Even from this distance, we could hear the roar of the traffic – passing directly under it, the noise was almost deafening.

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Sad I know, but I loved it. From this angle, it just looked an amazing feat of engineering.

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Well, we had by now done nearly 10 miles. Feeling a touch weary, we had a stupid experience at the campsite I’d booked into – which I just can’t be bothered to go into – but moved onto the Backpackers Campsite at Hollingworth Lake instead.

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I knew this Backpackers site existed, but also knew that it had closed down some time ago. What I hadn’t known was that it had reopened last April. Featuring toilets, showers and water, it was just what we needed and it cost us the princely sum of £2.50 each. It’s only a small field, there was only us staying and we passed a very pleasant, peaceful night.

DSC00354WP_20160408_017Hollingworth Lake to Hebden Bridge – 12 miles

Although I slept well, I was aware at times of an awful lot of rain falling overnight. The morning dawned bright and sunny, however and we even breakfasted outside the tents.

We had great hopes of a dry day.

DSC00357Once again, we were climbing up onto the moors straight away.

DSC00358 Pebbles was coping really admirably on her first trip with panniers. After the initial ‘What the hell are these?’ looks, she simply carried on as if they weren’t there. Her and Effy were also getting on very well and the pair were a delight to walk with.

And the weather even played ball, with clear views all around as we progressed ever northwards.

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There is a surprising amount of up-and-down on the Bridleway with a variety of terrain underfoot – it’s not all manicured tracks by any means.

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For the first part of the day, we paralleled the Pennine Way – the route passing just a mile or so to the west of Blackstone Edge.

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We had First Lunch in the sun, on a high point, shortly before dropping down to Summit, on the way to Todmorden.

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Summit’s claim to fame is that it is the highest point on the Rochdale Canal. Crossing over the canal at Summit Lock, a slight change of plan began to formulate in my mind.

We then crossed the main A6033 road to Todmorden and once again started climbing out of the valley.

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It was warm and I was concerned that Pebbles in particular, might find the 12 miles this day a bit tiring.

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So, when we once again dropped down into the valley – ready to climb out onto the moors again on the other side – I suggested we picked up the canal tow path instead and did the last few miles to Hebden Bridge along that.

Kim was in agreement. It also gave us chance to visit an eatery and buy cans of coke and cheese and onion crisps for a treat for Second Lunch – which we had sat on a bench by the canal.

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It’s not the most scenic stretch of canal in the country and the closer we got to Hebden Bridge, the more we became aware of the sheer destruction left by the Christmas floods. Several times, we had to leave the towpath where repair work was being carried out and continue on the road.

We saw some very sad sights. Destroyed property. Closed down businesses. The pub in Hebden Bridge where we’d arranged to meet Hamish – Kim’s hubby – was still shut after all the damage it had sustained.

The weather kept dry for us though, but within five minutes of Hamish picking us up in their camper, the heavens opened and it rained and then snowed, all the way home.

But the dogs slept through it, peacefully dreaming. First Class Sleeper Seats for them, all the way back.

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About chrissiedixie

Love being out on the moors and mountains, backpacking, dogs, travelling generally. Favourite place in the world - Yosemite National Park. Retired teacher and ex Mountain Rescue Deputy Team Leader. Married to Geoff, who puts up with all sorts.
This entry was posted in Backpacking Trips, The Pennine Bridleway. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Our Trek North On The Pennine Bridleway Continues

  1. £2.50 sounds damn good for a campsite – bet you were glad you moved on in the end!

    Just come back from around your way – Glossop. Got escorted on a lovely walk on Kinder Scout and a soggier and colder one (the ground was soggy, not the weather and there was also snow from last night) on Bleaklow. Wish I’d taken my camera but I was on the train and had enough to carry without the big Zenith really! Next time I will.
    Carol.

  2. Don’t think I’ve ever paid as little as £2.50 for a site before! And believe me, we were really glad we’d moved on…
    Hope you enjoyed Kinder and Bleaklow then. A bit different to the Scottish mountains but they have their charms. 😊

  3. Dawn says:

    Sounds fantastic, £2.50 for a campsite. Looks as if you all had a fantastic time. Pebbles is coming along amazingly well, a wonderful dog!

  4. Thanks Dawn. I am, of course, totally biased, but she is a super dog! Just need to hope she eventually stops that silly barking when I’m putting the tent up…… 😀

  5. Looks great, I spent my formative years in North Lancs though don’t really know the Pennines.

    Pebbles has a very expressive face!

    • Hi Mark 🙋 I lived on the moors to the north of Todmorden for 7 years too, but we were still walking on footpaths I’d never touched before. I suppose there’s a tendency to walk more in the vicinity of the Pennine Way – and I do know the paths round there well.
      And Pebbles does have a myriad of expressions, you can almost read her mind by them!😄

  6. McEff says:

    Blimey. Dogs didn’t have fleecy pyjamas when I was a lad.
    Must add my my four-penneth to the camping fees discussion. That really is good value for money. Campsites can be a ripoff sometimes so it’s refreshing to come across one for £2.50.
    Alen

    • Dogs were obviously tougher in the old days Alen – as well as her fleecy pyjamas, she spent the night with my light duvet jacket over the top of her and kept trying to shove her toes into my sleeping bag…..
      I think he just made the £2.50 up – maybe he wasn’t even anything to do with the site and we’ve given the money to some random stranger! 😀

  7. Sartenada says:

    What a great joy it was to trek with You thru Your lovely photos. I saw greenness already there. Very nice.

    Because You missed my previous post, so I selected one photo from it and ask You:

    Guess what dog walked on the ice?

    Have a nice day!

  8. Lovely to hear from you Matti 🙂
    It had to be the Boxer on the ice didn’t it?! So brave, beautiful, intelligent…… 😀

  9. surfnslide says:

    I’m enjoying this wander up the Pennines in instalments. I am curious over what happened in the first campsite

    • Nothing that interesting really! It was a very strange site (strange area for a site, in fact), a large, mainly residential place with ‘retirement’ chalets. Dogs were not allowed to walk over most of the place, but they did take tents apparently and put us in a small spot near some touring vans. I don’t think they were tourers though, I think they were vans that were there semi permanently and people came out to them at weekends.
      But it was impossible to get the tent pegs in! The grass was only about an inch deep, with what seemed like solid hard-core underneath. What was even weirder, was that they didn’t appear to believe that we couldn’t get the pegs in – after all they often have a couple of large tents there…. Well, ‘large’ tents with huge pegs and a mallet are a different story, aren’t they? And then, on top of that, they couldn’t put us anywhere else in the EMPTY fields they had, because we had two dogs with us……..
      Luckily, the Backpackers Site was much nicer, anyway!

  10. Matt says:

    How did you book your stay at the £2.50 campsite?

  11. We didn’t, we just turned up. They are really difficult to contact. There is a Face book page – https://www.facebook.com/hollingworthbackpackers/ – but it doesn’t appear to be up to date. There was a phone number on their gate but I didn’t make a note of it! Doesn’t seem to matter to them though, it’s very informal!

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