Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Hadfield to Penistone 21/06/14

Top of the year already, and I rarely get out to do anything with the longest day before the decline of Summer kicks in, so as we are entering the final corner of my three year odyssey this seems like a cue for a long day on the trail, aiming for the second most talked about route of all the paths that I have been considering over the last few years, namely the Woodhead Route, the late and lamented Manchester, Sheffiled & Lincolnshire Railway / Great Central Railway line from Hadfield to Penistone, now enduring as the central stretch of the Trans Pennine Trail. A big day also deserves company, and I request the company of my good friend MW, himself a keen walker and in the midst of his own voyage of experience in his 40th year, so that me might share a social expedition that the previous years have missed. Even before we have set out he has shown his value, acknowledging that a train ride from Leeds to Hadfield is unduly long and expensive, and that alighting at Stalybridge and getting a taxi will cut 40 mins of time and £10+ from travel costs. So onwards into virgin territory for the both of us, starting out on the very fringe of Greater Manchester, but actually with the High Peak District of Derbyshire, and it you'd like an alternative perspective on the day, hop over to MW's blog to enjoy a much brisker and more engaging writing style.

Hadfield to Penistone, via the Trans Pennine Trail  16.5 miles

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ravensthorpe to Holmfirth 14/06/14

The good news is that the latest 40th birthday celebration on 7th June went off in a much more predictable manner than the previous one, with 30+ people descending on AK's house to enjoy afternoon tea, a larger crowd than I'm usefully sociable in, but enough familiar faces to keep me company before staying on late for pizza and drinks, altogether a good day, enjoyed by all. The bad news is that the following weekend has me dropping Wild Boar Fell off my schedule again, as I can see no way to fit it into a day that also has me invited out for a dinner date with a group of my colleagues, attending the restaurant which we had been due to visit at Christmas last year before being curtailed by a power cut. Travelling out to the bottom corner of Cumbria and then being back in time for a 6.30pm table seems beyond my scheming, even with FoSCL doing the organisational work, lateness will either ruin it or I'll arrive still reeking and sore after topping a 700m+ hill. The later considerations come down to cost, as a rail trip and a meal seems like a lot of green to drop on one day, especially with another trip coming on the next weekend, and the weather finally looks not really good enough for a trip that really would deserve to be a year highlight. So on Friday evening, we look to the reserve list instead, wondering where else in Kirklees has avoided my gaze so far, and that's where a wander to Holmfirth drops in, for it's the notable town in the county that I have still never visited in all my years up country.

Raventhorpe to Holmfirth, via Lepton, Kirkburton & Brockholes.  12.1 miles

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Morley to Leeds (version 3.0) 01/06/14

Every walking season so far seems to hit a point in the Spring where my early season enthusiasm drops off and the need to take some time out from the trail comes down, mid-May last year and mid-June in 2012, and sure enough, at the end of May this year, my enthusiasm falls off once again. It's mostly the need to have a Saturday morning lie in this time around , and not having much desire for the planned trail along the Barnsley canal, thus ending the month with only 7 days walked when I had hoped for 9, but the need this time is more the need for a rest, and knowing that June is going to be a much quieter month, some time out feels earned. However, the change of months has some excellent weather upon it, and that means the weekend can't go to waste, and with a trio of walking targets still outstanding from my last walk, it takes only the slightest amount of shuffling to find a fresh route to take in a Sunday morning stroll through the industrial heritage of Leeds once again.

Morley to Leeds, via Middleton Park & Hunslet  7.6 miles