Stoodley Pike from Cragg Vale
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In a hilly area, one hill often looks very much like another. This is especially so in West Yorkshire, where the hills are of the ‘rolling moorland’ end of things, and one hill often merges with the next. No mistaking Stoodley Pike, though. The monument at its summit is distinctive and dominates the Calder Valley – because of this, Stoodley Pike is usually visited from Todmorden, Hebden Bridge or points between the two.
This route visits Stoodley Pike via the back door, from Cragg Vale. For the initial part of the walk there is no indication that Stoodley Pike is on the menu, but as height is gained the unmistakable shape of the monument acts as a magnet. However, a direct line is out of the question, with Withens Clough Reservoir in the way, so this route makes the best use of the ground to get to Stoodley Pike without having a huge height loss which then has to be regained.
The first part of the walk uses good paths, but these fade away on the ascent of Turley Holes and Higher House Moor. The section leading to the cairns named ‘Two Lads’ is mostly trackless, and could be challenging in bad visibility, but this section is short and in good conditions would present little or no difficulty – if the weather is bad you may have some extra navigation practice, but on the whole these hills are fairly benign.
A little way beyond ‘Two Lads’, the route joins a well-defined path that traces the line of a drainage ditch serving another nearby reservoir, followed by a section of the Pennine Way. Stoodley Pike and its monument are visited before returning to Cragg Vale by another ‘less trod’ path.
This route ticks the boxes both as a new way of visiting an old friend or as an interesting first time visit to an iconic part of the Calder Valley scenery. One thing is certain, though. With the exception of the Pennine Way section, the route will be fairly quiet.
England - North England - Yorkshire - Calderdale
Ancient Monument, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Moor, Pub, Restaurant
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