Blackstone Edge (472m)
The trig on Blackstone Edge
I parked in a large lay-by by the Blackstone Edge Reservoir on the A58. Not that I could see the reservoir as the moors were shrouded in thick mist. I started walking at 9.50 am by walking along the A58 for a short distance before taking a track that followed alongside an enclosed beck. The track turned into a boggy path that ascended the waterlogged moor before reaching the old packhorse road. This was well made and rocky in place and was altogether easier going. At the Aiggin Stone I followed the Pennine Way up to the top, the landscape consisting of typical south Pennine gritstone. I could hear skylarks and lapwings but couldn’t see them on account of the fog. The trig appeared out of the gloom, sitting atop a gritstone edge, and it was a simple little scramble to reach it. Blue sky started to appear and the mist began to thin and then I saw a nearby block of gritstone that was higher than the trig. It looked hard to climb, too hard for me on my own without a rope and I had to descend without reaching the actual summit. I retraced my steps to the Aiggin Stone and then descended on the so-called “Roman Road”, except that it is a medieval road. This was very well made but it was taking me in the wrong direction so I took a path that led back towards the A58 and the Whitehouse pub. From there I followed a path alongside the road and reached the car at 11.30 am, 1 hour 40 minutes after setting out.
Freeholds Top (454m)
I then drove to the top of the Todmorden-Bacup road, the A681, on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire. I parked at a large lay-by and started walking at 12.20 pm, alongside the road. I soon reached the Rossendale Way and followed this along a track, that became a path and then disappeared in the wet, boggy moor. It was a case of following the fence line towards the top, although the incline was slight and I felt I was hardly climbing. Despite this views opened up to Todmorden, Stoodley Pike, Hoof Stones Height, Pendle Hill, Hail Storm Hill and the northern part of the Peak. A clear path emerged from the bog and this climbed towards the summit, although I had to climb over a gate to reach the trig. The ascent took 1 hour 5 minutes and I spent a pleasant half an hour on the top eating my lunch. The descent rout followed my route of ascent at first, before I dropped down to a track called Limer’s Gate. I followed this to the Rossendale Way a short distance from the road. Walking back along the A681 I bumped into Eric, a fellow bagger, who was on his way up. The Marilyn bagging world is indeed a small one. After a chat I walked to the car, reaching it at 3.10 pm.
Ilkley Moor (402m)
I parked the car in a car park near the Darwin Millennium Garden in Ilkley, at the foot of Ilkley Moor. It had clouded over by the time I started walking at 4.40pm along a broad track. There was a confusing number of paths and it was difficult to know which one to follow. As I climbed views opened up to Ilkley, Round Hill the hills of the Yorkshire Dales near Skipton. I eventually found that the path I was on was taking me away from the summit and so I set off on a direct line for the trig point. It was hard work walking in the deep heather, even though the moor was quite flat, but there was a feeling of wildness about the moor. I had a view over towards a city that I assumed to be Leeds, and over to the Lancashire moors and I reached the trig at 5.45 pm. It was raining by this time and I didn’t stay long as darkness was looming. A path took me on a more direct descent and when this turned in the wrong direction I continued the same line “off piste”. This took me to the road below the moor and so to the car park. The whole walk took a total of 1 hour 40 minutes.