Friday, 10 August 2018

Pennine Bridleway

Mankinholes → Worsthorne

calder-valley.jpg Distance: 14.10 miles
Ascent: 737 metres
Duration: 4 hours 26 minutes

« Not walked | Not walked »

They were huddled together, talking animatedly as they looked at a phone. "Pennine Way?" I asked. They nodded. "You'll want to go this way," I said, encouraging them to continue down the track they were on. "Then why does does the sign show that way?" Asked the young European woman, pointing to a National Trail waymarker showing the path I'd taken out of the dell in Callis Wood. Her male companions (who admittedly had initially said they didn't want help) looked as me as if they'd just played a trump card. I pulled out my guide book. "Pennine Bridleway. Different thing."

i-am-real.jpg"Is there anywhere ahead we can buy a map?"

I showed them where I thought the famous Aladdin's Cave of May's Shop was and we talked a little more before heading our separate ways. To be honest, I was quite jealous at the thought of doing this long trek on the threshold of adulthood.

The Pennine Way and the Pennine Bridleway are intertwined on this section, at first crossing each other, then running together in three separate places. Using the same acorn waymark and having almost identical names, there are plenty of opportunities for confusion (especially when you factor in the odd missing or misplaced signpost).

coming-storm.jpgThis intertwining was a delight and a challenge for me. I enjoyed the easier route of the Bridleway out of the Calder Valley, but then felt frustrated at how circuitous a route it seemed to take to reach Lower Gorple Reservoir. This was compounded by the sudden downpour that started as I reached Badger Lane. The rain skipped straight over the gentle shower phase and hit with a thunderclap which announced the arrival of plump raindrops, soon to be followed by hail, dumped from the sky.

hare-stones.jpgThe showers eventually cleared, and my spirit lifted as I saw the reservoir wall ahead of me and recognised not déjà vu, but a clear memory of walking this way before, back in September last year.

Were it not for the Europeans, the rain and the reservoirs, today's walk would have felt a lot less interesting. Ultimately it was mile after mile of stoney track. This seems to be the defining characteristic of the Pennine Bridleway: a good surface for horse and bicycle riders to enjoy, but for walkers it's a long plod whose main goal is to cover distance. I hope tomorrow is better.

Posted by pab at 18:35 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!