A couple of times a year I walk the sort of boundary to my patch here in the Holme Valley. It’s a long day of some 22 miles but I can slip out of the back door and be up in Ramsden Clough in an hour or so. From there I walk the pony track which traces the clough edge to Red Cabin and on along the skyline to Holme Moss. It’s a soggy walk across the Moss to the trig point on Black Hill where I pick up the line of the old Pennine Way for a glorious tramp across quiet bog lands to Greenfield Road and onwards to Black Moss on a good flagged path. That’s roughly half way! To get back to the house I dip down into the beautiful Wessenden Valley and climb up onto the gritty escarpement of West Nab before losing all my hard won height by dropping down to Meltham. A long haul up Harden Moss Road follows and if It’s early spring or autumn the sun is usually setting by now. There’s not enough daylight in winter for me to get around happily! I pop out behind the Ford and walk a quiet lane to Upperthong before dropping back into Holmfirth via Hill Lane.
In April 2016 I had wonderful morning of blue sky,sun,ring ouzels and curlews on the circuit before an afternoon of thunder and snow up on Holme Moss where I hid under a peat hag with lightening flashing around me and snow blowing past. A bitter wind bullied me along the pony track and I’ve never felt so glad to get off the tops and back into the valley on a local walk.
A November frost gave an easier day of crunchy bog walking after a pre dawn start to catch a golden sunrise in Ramsden Clough. There were long views North to Pen Y Gent and a magical close encounter with a Hen Harrier before a cold lunch stop at Black Moss.
Daylight ran out somewhere near the Ford and I walked home through Upperthong and down Hill Lane by torchlight. Come March and the longer days I’ll have to get one under my belt for this year.