Thursday, January 22, 2009

Walking Wuthering Heights

Top Withins farm is reputed to be the setting for Wuthering Heights, if not the model for the actual building itself.

Lower Laithe reservoir, it does seem to me that all the things our recent ancestors built were beautiful as well as performing their intended job, so much public works structures now seem to be just bland and functional.

Enclosures on the North side of Stanbury.

Sheep feeding.

On the Bronte Way, the signs are bi-lingual, English and Japanese ? I didn't see any Japanese literature fans hiking up the moor today.

There are clear paths all the way up to Top Withins, but today they are all frozen solid, its one sheer sheet of ice from Stanbury almost all the way to the top and impossible to get a grip on. I walked off the path all the way up which made a simple morning's walk into a much harder slog, the snow near Top Withins was up to mid thigh height in places.

There is a little stone bridge called, surprise surpise, Bronte Bridge, but that was covered in a slab of ice as well and I didn't fancy it so had to ford the stream a bit further up.

Two weeks ago I was slogging across fog bound Rombald's Moor when the horizon was five yards away, today the weather was cold and crisp and clear and the views were stunning. This is the view up to Top Withins.

And this is looking back down South Dean Beck towards Lower Laithe.

The ruins of Top Withins farmhouse, you would have to have been a hardy soul to be a hill farmer up here.

There were quite a few people up at the farmhouse and they all seemed to be walking on the Pennine Way, I like to walk solo a lot of the time so I pressed on up Delf Hill in knee high snow, no-one else had been up the path here. I soon lost the path when snow drifts became thigh to hip deep, but ploughed on anyway until I found the trig point. this was a challenging bit of hiking and I'm paying for it with a sore knee this morning.

Then it's a slippery walk back down the icy paths to Ponden Reservoir.

Ponden Mill used to be a large soft furnishings shop with a restaurant, but has been closed and empty for some time now.

Lunch, a pint of Black Sheep bitter, pork steak on sweet apple mash with bacon, leeks and creamy pepper sauce, very nice indeed.

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