A short but enjoyable walk from Hebden following Hebden Gill upstream to Bolton Gill before returning via Mossy Moor and Edge Top.
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It was mid-March and it was only my 8th walk of the year, and my first of 2020 in the Yorkshire Dales. The slow start was due to some terrible weather including the floods in February. This walk was done in the shadow of the growing global pandemic though at the time I didn't know that I'd only get out for one more 'proper' walk until the middle of May.
The weather was again poor in the morning which is why I chose a short route and I didn't arrive in Hebden until just after midday. Although overcast it was at least not raining. Before I set off on the walk properly I made a short detour to visit St Peter's Church. Despite a number of walks in the area I seem to have never had a closer look at it. I was therefore quite pleased to find an Ordnance Survey cut benchmark carved on the outside of the church.
"A relatively small reservoir it is an attractive sheet of water. There are normally some type of moorland birds around the reservoir. On my first visit many years ago it was dunlins. On this occasion it was oystercatchers. "
Returning to the crossroads at the western end of the bridge I turned left to head north out of the village towards the little hamlet of Hole Bottom. Before reaching the hamlet I took a path down to the right for a look at Scale Haw Force. Scale Haw Force is an attractive waterfall but one which takes a bit of a scramble along the bank to get close to. Since my last visit a tree seems to have come down in front of it. This, coupled with the fact that Hebden Beck was running quite high, meant I couldn't get as close to the falls as I would have liked.
Returning to the road I didn't follow it up to the houses but carried on along a track. This crossed the stream at a footbridge before continuing upstream below Care Scar. On the opposite bank I spotted a plaque fixed to a rock. I couldn't make out what it said so took a picture with my telephoto lens zoomed in. When I got home and loaded my photos I found that the plaque had a date of 2000 and the following inscription 'This wood is dedicated to the memory of Paige Candice Richardson drowned 6.11.99 aged 36 years. My memory lives on in every tree so enjoy this wood and remember me.'
Further up the track I passed a mine level and a thin waterfall on my right. Next, just above the track, there were the ruins of some old mine buildings. After a closer look at these I continued to a junction at the foot of Bolton Gill. Turning right I forded the stream before following a thin path up to the top of the gill to look at the large mine opening which is gated off. Returning back down the path I then took the footpath heading south across pastures and moorland.
After passing through several gates I made a short detour to the left to visit Mossy Moor Reservoir. A relatively small reservoir it is an attractive sheet of water. There are normally some type of moorland birds around the reservoir. On my first visit many years ago it was dunlins. On this occasion it was oystercatchers.
Returning to the path I continued south for a few minutes before making another short detour. This time it was to locate the stone circle marked on the map. Eventually I found what is known as Dumpit Hill Stone Circle. It wasn't very large and would have been easy to miss in the reeds and heather. You can find out more about this stone circle on the Northern Antiquarian website.
Back on the track I continued south passing the house at Scar Top before taking a path descending south-west. This was towards the house called Scar Side House on the map but which seems to have seen some restoration and is now called Hedgehog House. The way on was not so clear at first but eventually I found the route dropping down through dead bracken and large boulders. Finally I reached grassier pastures from where it was a short walk back into Hebden. Just before getting back to the car I had a look on Hebden Bridge and was able to find my second benchmark of the day.