1. Find an area I’ve been wanting to explore for a while
  2. I’ve been marking on my OS all the hikes I’ve taken over the last 2 years – in pink
  3. Mark all the hikes I take in this moment of global crisis – in purple
  4. Take photos of quirky things
  5. Cv look-alikes in nature
Look who was waiting to welcome me to Edge Lane

Somewhere in my ancestry research I had seen mentioned Edge Lane, Colden. In fact on my OS I have ringed some buildings on Edge Lane in pencil. And whenever I’ve taken the bus to Blackshaw Head I’ve passed Edge Lane and thought ‘I should get off the bus here sometime and explore.’ So today was the day. But with over 9000 people in my family tree now I simply can’t remember the connection with Edge Lane, though I seem to recall it was a school or chapel.

I got off the bus, at Edge Lane intending to walk up for a half a mile or so, then return back to the main road and walk down Hudson Mill Road back down to Hebden. This was my first time on an Access bus, smaller than the usual zippy bus, and a reflection of the lack of customers.

New Edge Barn

Edge Lane follows a contour line and so there’s little up and down hill which made it easy to walk. Though the paved section finished quite early it remained a real bridleway, clearly marked and mostly between well maintained walls. On both sides occasional farms were scattered but these were greatly outnumbered by fields of sheep. Several farmers were using the good weather day to repair fences, rebuild walls and some were on quad bikes, delivering food to the sheep.

For a mile or so four people on horses were a little way in front of me which gave me confidence to continue straight ahead. I did meet a couple of hikers and I chatted to check my route. At one time a couple of bicycles were slowed down by the horses in front.

Again, like yesterday I found that people were far more friendly than usual. It’s not uncommon for me to walk along the canal and pass 20 or so people who don’t even smile or say hello. I wonder if it’s the fact that everyone is currently having to adjust to the new restrictions – ‘we’re all in this together’ kind of attitude.

The Pack Horse Inn, Widdop – and a fire

I saw a couple of footpath signs pointing to Gorple reservoir and asked a couple of walkers if the track ahead was well trodden and easy to find. I was assured that it was, so I kept on going. I wasn’t going to go off on any barely visible paths but I’d stick to a clearly marked one. At one point I passed a ruined farm that’s undergoing major restoration. It’s name New Edge Farm made me smile. If that was new Edge farm I wondered what Old edge farm must look like!

Gorple reservoir

Suddenly i crested the ridge and there before me was not one reservoir but 4, Gorple being the closest. In all directions I could only see one building and after consulting my map I realised that the building was the Pack Horse, Widdop. Of course, like all the pubs in England now it is closed. Voted the most scenic pub in Britain for 2004, this converted and whitewashed 17th century laithe farmhouse is known locally as ‘The Ridge’. Set in a beautiful and remote location close to the Pennine Way, it stands at a height of 298 metres above sea level, affording spectacular moorland views. I’d been there twice before in sept 2018 when I was researching Willie Wrigley, my colourful second cousin three times removed! I wrote a blog about him: http://blog.hmcreativelady.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=7462&action=edit

On the night of the census, March 31, 1901 Willie, an architect, spent the night in this remote inn. I was beyond surprised to see this in from this vantage point. I sat down for a few minutes to consult my map and during that time I saw smoke beginning to appear from the moorland above the inn. There was no point heading over to the inn since it was closed but this would make a great walk when things get back to normal.

Panoramic of my view with Gorple reservoir

As I retraced my steps back along Edge Lane to Jack Bridge I took photos of ‘cv’ reminders in nature. I even met a lady with a crazy hat that reminded me of cv cells! I followed the main road to The New Delight, also closed, and headed off down Hudson Mill Road. I’ve hiked this road maybe 6 times during the last two years. It takes about an hour to get home from there.

I’ve written about that walk and my ancestors who lived there in another blog: http://blog.hmcreativelady.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=7569&action=edit

I joined the canal back in Hebden and popped into the Coop to buy some more fresh food. although some shelves were empty I was still able to buy fresh fruit and veg. When I turned on the telly later there were accounts of people waiting in queues of up to 50 people to get into supermarkets.

Lady with HAT