‘Make it to the top and you’ll be
This is another fantastic walk shared by Sue Mardell, a regular walker around Calderdale and beyond. Sue, from Savile Park, said: “The walk starts in Luddenden Foot and is not quite as the title suggests, but almost a direct and straight ascent of one of Calderdale’s recognisable hilltops. “It is far from a mountain but has many their redeeming features, especially the 360 degree panorama from the summit which makes the effort worth while. “It descends onto the Crag Vale hillsides and return along the canal towpath from Brearley.” START AND FINISH - Luddenden Foot (regular buses along Burnley Road or park your car in Station Road) DISTANCE - Eight miles. GRADE - Moderate TERRAIN - Tracks, grassy paths, cobbles, tarmac, canal towpath Leave Luddenden Foot along Station Road in a westerly direction and cross the Rochdale canal and the river Calder. Continue straight forward up the cobbles of Blackwood Hall Lane which takes you over the railway. Notice the sublime sphagnum moss covered wall on the bend. After a sharp left hand bend the cobbles end and tarmac begins with a handrail if required. At an impressive stone gatepost turn to the right then first left and join Milnergate. This is close to the old school which is now residential. Just before some bungalows take the path on the left and climb up the field side on a delightful cobbled walkway to emerge at High Lee Care Home. Turn right up the drive to arrive at Sowerby Lane. Go through the gate ahead and walk up the field next to the cricket field to arrive at the top corner where the path continues upwards. Continue up the flagged field side path then to the left aiming for the next farm and cottages, Hollins. There is a short road section here but the stile is on your left shortly. Continue in a southerly direction, contouring now to reach a white farm house. You will notice Steep Lane Chapel ahead, also housing. Walk up the grassy and often boggy track until you emerge onto a tarmac minor road with a seat at the end of a bridleway to the left. The views from here are stunning and it is worth taking a beverage break to admire them. Continue to the end of New Lane and turn right up Steep Lane. Opposite the next block of cottages take the driveway to Lower Quickstavers Farm.
Walk to the extensive buildings and note the path just to right through a gate by the ‘West Wing’. Walk up the field side to next stile, cross it and walk up to the right, over another stile. Go straight on here onto the heather moor and the path soon becomes a ‘dual way’ created by a vehicle. Go to the top and see your first view of Crow Hill, Sowerby, but not quite there yet! Walk up the wall side to a track and then turn right noticing the sign post ahead. Turn left and cross a boggy section and follow a broken wall always ascending. Cross stile or open gate where you will find a track. Note this point as you will be returning to it after the final ascent of the hill. The path ahead is a little steeper but it is short and you will see the welcome trig point on the summit (383m) Take a well earned break and listen to the skylarks and maybe even a crow or two. The all around views are truly spectacular and well worth the effort of the climb. Stoodley Pike, Warley Moor wind farm and Holme Moss can be picked out plus many more familiar landmarks. Start the descent by retracing your steps to the stile at the bottom of the incline and turn left (NW) on the track. Join a tarmac lane and turn right for a short time before turning left at the main junction. Pass Water Stalls Farm and turn right down High Stones lane At the bottom turn right and then take the stile on the left to continue to descend down a rocky field. Take the stile on the right by a rhododendron bush and aim for the farm with the white gable end - Wether Hill Farm. Enter the farmyard by the main gate and pass between the stables and farmhouse. Turn left at the end. Just before the next farm - Wood Top - the path swings to the left down a path which is shared with a stream and the two intermingle in places to enter woods.