24 Ripponden – Hebden Br.

Ripponden to Hebden Bridge 8 miles (12.8Km.)

Logs / Art - For Sale

Logs / Art - For Sale

Having recharged the batteries it’s uphill again but it helps to have a firm surface along the quiet Ripponden Old Road. The new houses to our left have excellent views back up the valley to Rishworth, most appear to be individually built with one having, what I assumed to be the first owner’s, names and a date engraved into a stone facing the lane. I thought that was rather nice then I saw ‘Casa Por Fin 2002’, Home at Last, yuk, what happened to calling a spade a spade in Yorkshire?

Low Cote

Low Cote

At Low Cote we distilled from its surroundings the beauty of a 17th century farmhouse with an impressive porch topped by a dovecote. Around the corner we met a man stone facing a concrete block wall, no doubt a requirement placed upon him by the planners close by a Listed Building.

Cragg Brook bridge

Cragg Brook bridge

We have moved north from Kirklees to Calderdale and join the Calderdale Way about the same time as the tip of Stoodley Pike comes into view, this monument stands on the Pennine Way and overlooks Todmorden. While the GEW also heads north we maintain a lower level but the ups and downs are still demanding. There are plenty of private individuals making use of free energy up here, perhaps some have hydro turbines but all we can see are the wind turbines working flat out today.

Hinchcliffe Arms

Hinchcliffe Arms

Are you sure? says John as I direct us down steps to the side of a terraced house. Had we missed this path we would have also have missed the fine clapper bridge over Turvin Clough and a pleasant woodland walk. The Hinchcliffe Arms was inviting with an imposing porch but we pressed on through Cragg Vale to reach the final climb of the three days. It was a serious challenge as we reached the limit of our endurance, prompting more than one rest stop along the way. Entering the access land we can see in the valley our journey’s end, but I was hallucinating, it was Mytholmroyd not Hebden Bridge and we still had some very wet ground to cross.

Path Obstruction or Diversion

Path Obstruction or Diversion

There is old worn paving across Bell House Moor but some blocks had sunk down below the standing water and provided no assistance to keep our feet dry. Finally Hebden Bridge comes into view almost hidden in the deep valley but now identified by the village of Heptonsall standing on the hill side opposite. The final canal crossing on the GEW is the Rochdale canal, another recently completed restoration project crossing the Pennines with wide locks and no summit tunnel, well worth further exploration on foot or by boat.

Hebden Bridge station

Hebden Bridge station

We celebrated completion of this gruelling fifty two miles with a quick pint at the Fox and Goose, an acquired taste but one shared by many, before again using the train from the unspoilt and much loved station which still has staff on duty to serve the travelling public.

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Map of section 24

Map of section 24

Section 24 - the work

Section 24 - the work

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