Sunday, 24th January 2010


Walk: Todmorden, Calderdale Way, Withens Clough Reservoir, Stoodley Pike, Pennine Way, Gaddings Dam, Rochdale Canal
Start Point: Todmorden car park Grid Ref: SD 937 241
Distance: 13 miles Ascent: 1,560 feet
Weather: A dull day with intermittent drizzle and mist
Accompanied by:

4 members of the group, led by Ian and Karen

Comments: With an improvement in the weather during the week we were hoping that the snow and ice encountered in this area the previous week would have disappeared. While there were some pockets of snow the walk was ice free and much easier to navigate. A reasonably gradual climb took us along the Calderdale Way, crossing the Pennine Way at Withens Gate. Here, Ian pointed out that we would return to this point, walking along the Pennine Way, thus completing a figure of 8 walk. Intermittent mist blocked the views at times but in the main the weather was very kind to us. and we had some good views over the surrounding area. A torch was needed to ascend the tower but, unfortunately, the ascent was made during a misty period, thus reducing the extent of the views! Good time was made along the Pennine Way and we eventually found ourselves walking alongside the Rochdale Canal back to the cars.


Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Ready for the 'off' at Todmorden car park


Fielden Wharf was a derelict site which received a much needed face lift and was awarded a Commendation in the 'Community' category at the 2008 British Urban Regeneration Waterways Renaissance Awards Ceremony. The stainless steel fish sculptures (and nearby planters) were created in collaboration with artist/blacksmith Nick Green and Todmorden in Bloom


Sheltering from the rain . . .


or heading 'round the corner' (bend)!


There's still some snow around as we reach Withens Gate, at the crossroads of the Calderdale Way and the Pennine Way


Time for a coffee stop overlooking Withens Clough Reservoir


A major restoration project - or a swimming pool!


There are some deep snowdrifts along Dick's Lane


Interesting field patterns North-west of . . .


Stoodley Pike.

The current structure was designed by local architect James Green in 1854 and the building was completed in 1856 when peace was declared at the end of the Crimean War. An earlier monument had existed on the site, started in 1814 to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon and the surrender of Paris then completed in 1815 after the Battle of Waterloo (Napoleonic Wars). This structure collapsed in 1854 following an earlier lightning strike and ongoing wear and tear from the elements.


Ian and Karen meet up with some friends from the Long Distance Walkers group


Fearlessly navigating the dark stairs (with the help of a headtorch) the balcony looks deserted . . .


but Robb decides to join me . . .


to admire a rather misty view


Perhaps we should have waited until after lunch - when the mist had cleared to give a view to Todmorden in the distance


Time for a group shot before we head along the Pennine Way


Passing Withens Gate again (see photo 5) we carry on along the Pennine Way . . .


where we get a view back to Stoodley Pike


A practice ground for the Olympics toboggan run? . . .


no, just a snow filled Warland Drain (runs into Warland Reservoir)


Which way shall we go?


Looking over a frozen Gaddings Dam, Stoodley Pike can still be seen


Walking along the embankment . . .


the widening gap shows quite a depth . . .


of snow and ice


The Basin Stone is a natural weathered outcrop of millstone grit on Walsden Moor. The stone was the location of radical meetings of the Chartists, Hudsonites and later Socialist groups. On August 18th 1842, following the Plug Riots in Halifax Ben Rushton addressed a large Chartist meeting at Basin Stone. A painting of this scene by AW Bayes hangs in Todmorden Town Hall


Unusual garden feature!


Back on the Rochdale Canal - what a change to the icy towpath we navigated last week

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