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
9/23/2020 - Jeff Platts

An excellent walk, albeit there are several issues worth noting. After crossing the stone slab bridge at Reference Point 4, it's another 50 metres ahead before you find the path on the left. We could not find the faint path amongst the heather near the gully after Reference 5 - so abandoned Point 6 and headed directly West to Reference Point 7. Conditions from Point 15 to 16 were extremely hard to negotiate - thick tussocks, boggy sections and deep reeds made this downhill section very slow and extremely hard work.

4/11/2015 - Matt Booth

Walked this today, the first section was a bit tricky at times with no path to follow but the map certainly helped. Was really windy which made it tough going but the views are spectacular and made the whole thing worth it.

3/25/2015 - Alec Jackson

Did the walk today (25/3/15). At WM03 there is now a slight diversion (recent change) as follows: - After passing through second gate there is a metal gate on your left. Go through this gate and along the stony path, left of fence, to the end, turn right and walk up to the where the path divides. Continue with instructions from divide.

5/8/2014 - David and Chris Stewart

Thanks to Alec for the comment. My recollection of the route between Wm.4 and Wm.6 is that it is a bit tricky, and extra care should be taken - map and compass will be useful in conjunction with the route description. Paul Shorrock.

5/2/2014 - Alec Jackson

Excellent walk with dogs although got lost between WM04 and WM06. Rough walking through heather etc.

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