I do have a soft spot for the eastern edges of the Pennines, those outside the parts usually classed as the Yorkshire Dales. A few weeks ago I had an enjoyable walk to Stoodley Pike in Calderdale and last weekend I made my way over the intimidating minor road from Trawden to Hebden Bridge for a short stroll around and above Widdop Reservoir. I watched some climbers testing their wits against a slab of rock – never really understood that sport: I was able to take the path around and get to the top while Spiderman was still only halfway up, clinging on to a square inch of millstone grit by his finger nails. Cheery cyclists clattered by while I enjoyed great views all round. Further down towards Hebden Bridge the winding road overlooks Hardcastle Crags, that dramatic wooded valley which reminds us of a time when all the dales and hillsides looked just like this ancient remnant.

During the week I headed out to another corner of the county where the landscape is much underestimated… the Holmfirth area. The busy little town is as famous now for its TV connections as it once was for its market, sheep and textiles and sure enough as I arrived so did a busload of Summer Wine enthusiasts who lined up like jostling paparazzi to take photos of Sid’s Cafe. High above and encasing Holmfirth are the brooding Pennines, criss-crossed by ancient roads once used by the jaggers and packhorses; now many of the deep and remote valleys are utilised by the water suppliers for reservoirs. Another enigmatic district of our fabulous county.

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