My weather-delayed trip up Stoodley Pike, overlooking characterful Calderdale, was a success. Shame that a football fan had beaten me to it and exhibited to the world his newly-found skill of writing. Manchester City fans might have behaved impeccably at Old Trafford at the weekend but I was less than impressed with one of their moronic followers spraying their name on this particular monument. At least he couldn’t spoil the views over the valley and across the bleak Pennine moors.

Icon of the upper dales, Hannah Hauxwell is to feature in a new TV documentary next month (details in March’s Dalesman) so I thought I’d take a run out to Birkdale – scene of the original series in the 1970s – at the weekend.

I caught it on a good day but it still seemed bleak and unfriendly and I have to marvel at the way this gritty lady could have possibly survived here for so many years.

I drove on past the peaty fells of Stainmoor and on to High Force and the foothills of Yorkshire’s highest mountain, Mickle Fell (yes, I do still believe it’s in Yorkshire). These spectacular and lonely hills where Westmorland, Yorkshire and Durham clash were as ever a joy to behold. PJ

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