Best Foot Forward: Blackstone Edge Reservoirs

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This week’s route, courtesy of www.casualramblers.co.uk, is a mainly flat 3.5 mile circular walk around the reservoirs at Blackstone Edge.

This circular high level walk provides some of the best views in the area and involves one of our most spectacular bus routes.

Length and time: Three and a half miles.

Gradients: Totally flat, except for a couple of very mild inclines

Terrain: All on reservoir tracks

Obstacles: A gate at the beginning and end to prevent off-roaders (and unfortunately wheel chairs as well).

Facilities: White House pub does food, but check opening times

Points of interest: Spectacular views of Lancashire and Greater Manchester, upland moors, occasional sightings of skylarks and curlews

This walk involves a bit of planning beforehand. You need to get the time table for the 900 bus. and the time table for the 528 bus.

You might want to check whether the White House pub is open. You then need to decide whether you will set off from Hebden Bridge in the morning or after lunch.

It is best not to do this walk when it is very windy or when there is low cloud (no views).

Always take some warm clothes and waterproofs – the weather can change at this height quite quickly.

The 900 goes from the centre of Hebden Bridge. The bus goes to Mytholmroyd and then turns up Cragg Vale on to the top of the moors.

Ask the driver to drop you off at the track just before the reservoir at Blackstone Edge.

The reservoir access road follows a drain which catches the water coming off the moors.

On you right, the sloping area of moor you are passing is Nigher hill, Middle hill and Farther hill – we don’t know why it is called these names!

After about 30 minutes, you come to White Holme reservoir where you can go left or right.

Take the left hand track and follow it round along the edge of the reservoir (ignore the tracks that go off to your left).

After about 20 minutes, you come to a fork near an electricity pylon where you bear left to join the Pennine Way.

Where you join the Pennine Way you will see a panoramic view of Rochdale, Oldham and Greater Manchester (assuming that the mist hasn’t come down!).

Turning right here takes you past some reservoirs and to Stoodley Pike, but you should turn left along a well maintained reservoir access road passing some spectacular rocky outcrops.

After about an hour, the track ends at the White House pub.

For the return, you have some choices: The 900 bus route is five minutes up the road, you stand on the corner by the reservoir and flag the bus down when it

comes.

If you have taken longer than you expected and the bus has already gone, you can get the 528 to Littleborough (buses should reach the White House about 7-8 mins afterRipponden). There isn’t a bus stop – you have to wave them down, so we suggest that you walk five minutes up the road to a point where you can see the bus coming and it can pull off the road.

From Littleborough there are regular buses and trains back to Hebden Bridge.

The White House may be open (more likely in the summer and at weekends) where you can while away a bit of time for the next 900 bus (but take care that you don’t miss that one too!)

If all else fails, you can call a taxi to get you back to Littleborough and then back to Hebden Bridge by bus or train.