Monday, 25 September 2017

Pennine Way

Blackshaw Head → Ickornshaw

pry-hill.jpg Distance: 15.40 miles
Ascent: 706 metres
Duration: 6 hours 28 minutes

The wind-blown moors
« Not walked | Not walked »

We started today's walk in mist and drizzle, which only started to clear once we'd made it to Wadsworth Moor. The surface of the Walshaw Dean reservoir became a clear reflecting mirror, an idyllic blue that almost overcame the memory of the traipse over soft ground to reach it.

widdop-reservoir.jpgMuch of the day has been on high moorland; heather and rushes thriving in the boggy ground. At various places flagstones have been laid to make life easier for those following the National Trail; not only do these provide a solid path across the wettest sections, but they also act as reassuring navigational aids on expanses of land devoid of obvious features. Today was our first real experience of the wettest bogs of the route, and we're now learning how these areas of ground slow us down and make for tricky, unreliable walking.

top-withens.jpgThe sun didn't last long — the low clouds returned on cue to add dramatic lighting to the most evocative section of the walk over Withins Height. Top Withins is thought to have been the inspiration for Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Its setting is certainly dramatic enough, but the many paths which lead to the now-ruined farmhouse don't come close to the bleakness experienced later in the day.

ickornshaw-moor.jpgIt didn't help that the drizzle returned during the later stages of the walk, but cold, boggy Ickornshaw Moor seemed to stretch on forever; clumps of brownish heather hiding deep, water-filled peaty gulleys. There are several standing stones marked on the map close to the path but either the mist, or the end-of-walk tunnel vision, meant that we didn't see them. It was a relief to finally head downhill into the fields around Cowling, and the sight of neat rows of terraces marking the end of the walk.

Posted by pab at 19:20 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!