LETJOG – Day 27: Sunday 13 June – DIGGLE to HEBDEN BRIDGE (18 miles)
I was joined for today’s walk by one of my oldest friends, Rob, who had been with me also for part of Wednesday’s walk into Ashbourne, and by his brother-in-law Andrew, who I had not seen for perhaps 30 years. An honour to be walking ‘in their manor’ and to have their fine company for the day. And what a memorable day it proved to be!
After climbing out of Diggle on the road, we walked for nearly 15 miles along the peaks and ridges of this high section of the Pennine Way, rarely dipping below the 400-metre contour. From Millstone Edge, the route took us up to the top of White Hill, over the M62, past the Reservoirs of Blackstone Edge, Light Hazzles and Warland, then across Langfield Common to the Stoodley Pike Monument, before our descent into Hebden Bridge. Whilst, perhaps fortunately, the direct sunlight and the 28-degree-plus forecast temperatures failed to materialise, we were blessed with particularly clear air, allowing for some truly all-encompassing views throughout the day – across the Pennines to the Ferrybridge Power Station on the A1 far to the east, right around to the feint blue-grey silhouette of distant Snowdonia to the west. Andrew was sufficiently moved to remark that he had never before seen his home turf of Greater Manchester and its northern and western environs set out in such comprehensive perspective.
I must congratulate both my companions for putting in ‘personal bests’ today, in terms of walking distance covered, at least in recent years. Rob, as many will know, has a diagnosis of Parkinson’s and has been my primary motivation in seeking to raise funds for this charity’s research work, in which he himself is participating. Thank you Rob for sharing today and for making it a day to remember in so many ways.
Together, Rob, Andrew and I were joined by their other halves, Christa and Lisa, for a chat over a burger and an excellent pint or two of ‘Bread and Butter Pale Ale’, at Vocation Brewery’s tap bar in Hebden Bridge. A most pleasant end to a very fine day indeed!