Walking in the glorious Ryburn Valley hills
This week's eight mile ramble is a return to a favourite starting point - Norland Moor overlooking the Calder valley, writes Caroline Spalding.
Parking opposite the Moorcock Inn [GR SE 055 218], climb up to the moor to join the Calderdale Way heading right.
A gorgeous pathway; with many benches situated to offer the loveliest of views. The Way descends to meet the road, where turning left, walk a short distance until turning right, down a driveway. Passing farmhouses, you will then turn left, onto Moor Bottom Road; initially a grassy pathway, turning into a tarmac track.
You will re-join the main road; just above the Fleece Countryside Inn. Turning left; take the road towards Barkisland, before turning right onto Rishworth Road.
Continue along this quiet road; to your right, the dam of Baitings Reservoir(pictured)becomes visible.
At the junction meeting the B6114, follow the Bridleway opposite towards Krumlin Hall [as marked on map] but actually passing a property called Knoll Top.
Again, meeting a tarmac road, turn right, passing a collection of relatively newly built houses in a cul-de-sac called Ringstone.
Passing the phone box, the road begins to curve right as the motorway comes into view up ahead.
At Ringstone Edge Reservoir, turn left at the road junction, continue along Withens Lane, following a way marker citing the West Yorkshire Cycle Route suggesting Mytholmroyd is only 13 miles away!
At the dam; turn right descending along a track beneath the reservoir.
Again the motorway comes into view on the distant hills; it’s like watching a steady flow of metallic ants snaking across the earthy brown moorland.
There is the sound of fast flowing water in the deep gully to the left of you [Butts Clough] and ahead is an isolated white house.
At the house, the path splits; take the upper path through a metal gate.
As you follow the path around the curve of the hillside, Ryburn Reservoir appears in view.
Largely a very peaceful walk, here you may hear sounds drifting up from Rishworth beneath; the gentle whirring of motorway traffic also comes within earshot.
Passing underneath the electricity pylons; I simply lost the path; having to hop over a wall; despite what the map shows.
On joining the tarmac track; turn right and enter woodland. You will emerge thinking you’ve intruded onto private land; but there is a bridleway marker up ahead. Follow the bridleway, it bends quite distinctly before heading directly uphill.
At a field boundary, turn left and follow that wall towards the transmitter mast up on the hillside.
You approach some far buildings and the path meets Gosling Lane, which you then follow back up to meet the Saddleworth Road, which you’ll recognise from earlier.
Turn left and just opposite the bridleway you followed earlier en route, there is a left hand, way-marked path and a sign reading ‘Upper Coneygarth’.
It is an enchanting path; passing above a dell full of trees before meeting a track that leads back to meet Fiddle Lane.
Turn left, descend slightly and you’ll meet the main road above Ripponden.
Turn right and head uphill, once again past The Fleece and back along Moor Bottom Road.
At the next path junction, turn right uphill, but then take the left-hand way-marked path reading ‘Longley’ [alternatively you could continue uphill to retrace the beginning of the walk].
This last path was my favourite; a beautiful, magical route through a woodland del, crossing a stream over a stone footbridge. Be aware; the path appears to split, and I took the upper path, which turned out not to be a path, however I could scramble to re-join the main route.
Leaving the woodland over a sturdy stile, follow the field edge towards the buildings and road above. On meeting the road; you will turn left and it is a clear, short distance back to the start, passing Longley House, once Halifax Children’s Holiday Home.
lCalderdale Ramblers host walks in the area each week. The next walk is Calderdale Way 7 on August 12 starting at 10.30am. This is a moderate 10 mile walk. For more info call membership secretary Susan Holmes on 07940082098.