Walks and Thoughts

of Michael Simes

An old Man's Tale:



West Vale

Clay House


Cragg Vale



Pecket Well

Luddenden Dean

Jerusalem Farm

Catherine Slack

Stone Chair

It's Just Like Home:

Hong Kong





Marlborough Sounds


Milford Sound



Blue Mountains

Northern Beaches


A City Of Revolution:




Notre Dame

Calderdale Way Walks

An Old Man's Tale

Jerusalem Farm to Catherine Slack

(5½ miles)
After the deluge returned to Jerusalem Farm escorted by Carolyn driving along narrowed roads to the start of the next stage. There is a welcome toilet block, open even though the camping season finishes in October. Heels and ankles taut and stiff, yet to be limbered free. Walking boots just about dried up after last outing. They have now split with the hammering. What can you expect when Kiddiwinks in India get 2p an hour to stitch‘em up.

At the end of the car park at Jerusalem Farm proceed over the gate with the Calderdale Way sign and down into Wade Wood an ancient deciduous wood and nature reserve. After the bridge over Luddenden Brook bear right up into the woods. Within 150 metres turn sharp left at the first path encountered. There is a small Calderdale Way arrow sign showing the way. It could be missed easily. Keep going upwards ignoring the footpath symbol to Saltonstall. Birthplace of Richard Saltonstall the acclaimed Lord Mayor of London who bequeathed £100 worth of penny loaves for the poor.

As you progress there is a field wall just below on the left. Pass through a stone stile by a gate into a green lane. This leads to the side of a house with a conservatory above. Carry on through the gate with a yellow arrow and Calderdale Way sign. Looking back, the valley unfolds behind you. The path takes you adjacent to the farmhouse, The Hullet. Go ahead on to their tarmac drive to meet Heys Lane after 40 metres. Bear right and after 20 metres take the track on your left upwards on the signposted Public Bridleway with the Calderdale Way emblem on the post.

Approaching the peak the panorama revels itself. Perspiration cooled by rasping Moorland gusts. When you see a farmhouse about 100 metres in front turn right on to a partially worn metalled lane. You can see the Calderdale Way direction logo in the front of the wall on the right. Carry on this track for a few hundred yards until it meets Castle Carr Road. Bumped into sole walker and enquired about directions. He could not enlighten me. All these locals slog over the Way unwittingly.

Continue straight across the road and over a wooden stile with the Calderdale Way footpath marker directing you into Warley Moor. The Flyflatt is up here somewhere. It is the highest sailing club in Britain. The hills behind roll back in sequence to the humpback of the Pennines. . Follow the cairned path over the Moor. It would be easier if all the route was cairned. My heels are holding up well to the rough and tumble of the Moor. The Way begins to resemble a sheep trail. Continue down to a stream rushing with iron deposits from Cold Edge Dams. Over the wooden bridge to carefully meander through the heather and peat bogs. Proceed to the wall corner keeping near to the wall on your right. You can crack on over railway sleepers laid to avoid the quagmire. It becomes slow going as I am forced to leapfrog over the swamp from one heather tussock to another.

On reaching a farm go through the corner wall stile and turn right down the lane towards farm buildings. After about 30 metres go left towards the building once known as the Moorcroft Inn. Previously known as Peat Pitts and local for the quarry workers. A Calderdale Way post can be spotted leaning by the wall. Another post lays redundant in the yard. The Moorcroft closed in 2004, now a converted dwelling. The footpath here is disrupted by drainage work, an imperative at this place.

Follow a path for 100 metres across the field to a gate stile. Continue by the side of the wall until reaching another gate stile to the cottages at Hoyle Bottom. As directed by the Calderdale Way sign turn left along the lane. The wind turbines of Ogden rise above you, nearly two dozen of them. You can pick out the lonely moor-edge sentinel of Withens Inn built in 1862. Once the most elevated pub in West Yorkshire, now a private home. After 20 metres go right through a wall stile with a Calderdale Way post. Carry on down to the plank bridge and follow the wall uphill. I had to scramble over the wall and barbed wire to reach the other side to a stile at the front of the farmhouse, Hough Gate Farm, Go round the left side of the farm and on to the road above, Cold Edge Road by the advertising rostrum for Nolstar Kennels. Cross the road and follow the Calderdale Way sign through a gate and down a grass path between walls weaving through the old quarries of Hunters Hill. Continue downwards through a wooden swing gate, just before a direction arrow pointing straight forward. The golf course and Ogden are on your left. In front stands Mixenden Reservoir.

Keep to the path between the walls until it peters out by derelict gateway pillars. Bear left (there is a broken Calderdale Way post here) and swing right past the solitary stone gatepost with the Way sign painted on it. Carry on down to Goose Clough. Go left 20 metres along the track and turn right through the gate with a yellow direction arrow. Stopped here for lunch haunched on a large slab of stone. As the wind gusted away the clouds the sun shone to warm our cockles.

Follow the path to Stod Fold, an horticultural farm, through two stiles and the gate to the farm. Continue through farm buildings. Do not be tempted by a marked path off to your right. Carry on forward down a walled track over a brook where a Calderdale Way sign directs you to Upper Brockholes. The track becomes a metalled surface and after several hundreds of metres to the junction with Lane Head. You will have gone past Rocks Lane on your left. Just after Lower Brockholes Farm turn left through a wall stile with C.W. painted on the stone. Climb the steps between walls to the road at Upper Brockholes. Coming out at the side of Mount Zion Chapel where John Wesley preached, disturbing the conscience and trembling the soul of the inhabitants. Etched on the window the lament “Time how short-eternity how long”. Wesley had 22 siblings with ten only surviving into adulthood.

Turn left into Per Lane with the Chapel on your left. Cross over the Keighley Road (A629). The Moorlands Inn is about 100 metres on the road towards Keighley; Go down Blind Lane by the side of the former Sportsman Inn, now converted into a house. Not to be confused with its namesake nearby offering skiing, snowboarding and a carvery.

After about 30 metres the lane becomes a green track and walled path to Pavement Lane. Cross over the road and follow the path through a gate at West Scausby farm. There is an inscription warning of bulls. At this point I got lost. Retracing my steps, circling those farmsteads and clambering over wire fences. Natives informed that the Way has been sabotaged, tampered with, blocked off and patrolled by roaming bulls.

Regaining resolve I passed through West Scausby farm once again and straight across the field to a wall stile with a gate leading to the side of Upper West Scausby farm on your left. Go through farm buildings and across the field to the bushes in the corner which are concealed in the foliage. The wooden stile leads to a short ginnel on to Riley Lane. Turn left and after 5 metres proceed right down the path past North Scausby Farm. Continue through the field to a rough road, School Lane. On the wall opposite the yellow direction arrows take you to the right for about 10 metres. Turn left onto a flagged path. There is another direction arrow and C.W. sign here. At the end of the short enclosed grass way take the path to the left with CW emblem by the gate. Past farm buildings swinging to the right under power lines. Continue down the green walled lane with a large factory on your right. You will be heading towards the factory and the bottom of the tree line.

Progress over three stiles as you advance to the edge of the trees on your right, Continue along the walled path by the side of the factory on your left. Incompatible in this rural place and built for obsolescence it may not survive long. As you climb over a stile by the caravan park you can admire Holdsworth House, A Jacobean manor built in 1633 and now a hotel and restaurant. In 1964 John Lennon celebrated his birthday at this location.

Continue straight on to Holdsworth Road and turn left, walking downhill for several 100 metres until you come to a disused railway cutting on your left. Cross over the cutting and continue left up Windy Bank for about a quarter of a mile. Just after a house on your right called Brigg Royd turn right into a cobbled road, Crooked Lane. These are the steep slopes to the highest village in England. Unexpectedly cars come rattling up behind me. You may need to keep stopping to marvel at the expanse below.

Coming out on the Queensbury Road (A647) by the border between Halifax and Bradford. We have climbed over one thousand feet above sea level. Turn left and walk in the direction of Catherine Slack for about 100 metres and enter Swalesmoor Road on your right.

I have now completed the penultimate leg of my circular route. A whole day’s entertainment at nil cost. Limbs remain frisky but it will be when I stop that they will stiffen up. A reviving breather has been earned.