Pennine Way memories pt. 3

Day three: White Moss to Stoodley Pike, 15.25 miles

The weather cleared over night and we were presented with a bright morning with sunshine and some high clouds. Suitably cheered by the weather and fortified by breakfast, we resumed battle with White Moss and then Black Moss. We soon found the correct path and made good time to Standedge. I’m not sure why, but we didn’t investigate the café and crossed over to Millstone Edge. The walking here was much easier. After a quick look at the Ammon Wrigley monument we bowled along at a good pace.

All the time the weather was improving. We had lunch somewhere around Redmires and lazed around in the sunshine for a while. After lunch, again we made good progress. We may have popped into the White House for a pint, but I can’t be sure. The paths along the reservoirs were easy compared to the peat bog bashing of the previous two days. As we motored along, the clouds began building again and we were dowsed by a couple of light showers before we reached Stoodley Pike.

At Stoodley Pike, we spotted a flat pitch near the spring. This seemed like an ideal place to stop, before reaching the enclosed valleys around Hebden Bridge. The nearby spring meant that we didn’t bother with the purifying tablets that gave everything a disgusting chlorine taste. It was surprising that so near habitation, we saw no-one else that evening.

Day four: Stoodley Pike to Withins, 11.25 miles

We were running out of food, so a re-supply stop at Hebden Bridge was needed to re-stock. After an early breakfast, we rushed down to the A646. Robert went into Hebden Bridge to get some food for the next leg, while I looked after the packs. After about an hour, he returned with our food. In all probability, one on the items would have been a tin of Tyne Brand Stew. We made it a habit to have some tinned food for the first evening meal of each leg, to give us a bit of ballast.

The next section was a pretty complicated route through various fields and gates. I’m glad to say, we navigated it with few problems, but it was quite slow. I think we must have had lunch at Colden and I’m fairly sure we had a pint or two in a pub there. I seem to remember that the first part of the afternoon was a bit slow because of the refreshment.

As we reached the reservoir road, the clouds were building again and it was getting quite muggy. At the start of the climb to Withins, it began to rain. Withins is supposed to be the inspiration for Wuthering Heights. There’s a rather pompous plaque explaining this by the Bronte Society. More interesting for us was the shelter on the side of the house. We piled in out of the rain and decide we would stay there for the night.

The bench wasn’t the most comfortable place for a night’s sleep, but at least it was dry. It also meant not having to pack a wet tent. We had no rucksack covers and the rucksacks were definitely not water resistant let alone waterproof. We had to put all our gear in pedal bin liners. We had a supply of spares as they ripped easily. No waterproof roll top liners in those days! I seem to remember that it was a pretty grim night with lashing rain. We hoped it would be better in the morning.

Pennine Way memories:   part 4part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11

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One thought on “Pennine Way memories pt. 3”

  1. You slept at Top Withins? Wow! I’d v. much like to do that some time, just for the atmosphere of the place and the memories of Wuthering Heights, but I’ve been too wimpish to do it on my own.

    Reading what you say about the kit you were carrying is bringing back tons of memories for me of walking with pals in the Lakes with ultra-heavy kit when I was a student, and then a few years later when I started walking there alone. Thank goodness it’s so much lighter now.

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