Merry Christmas!!! I hope everybody has had a fantastic time over the festive period, and you’re looking forward to the New Year!

So this week in the UK we had Monday and Tuesday as Bank Holidays, thanks to Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year. My sister-in-law took this opportunity to come along with me for a wild walk in Hebden Bridge, a delightful small town nestled in the Yorkshire Pennines. We took Leo and Max with us and trudged just over 8 miles along the Rochdale Canal, farmland and woodland, with a couple of stops along the way!

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Apologies for the delay in getting this blog post out to you. Yesterday was quite a long day, and what with seeing family and friends over the Christmas period, getting some time to sit down and write up the walk has been a bit of a challenge, so please bear with me this week!

Another reason for the delay is that some of my photographs from this walk are a little different, and so need a little more attention before they go out. My husband bought me a GoPro HERO 5 for Christmas, so I’m just getting to grips with how it all works (part of the problem is that I need to upgrade my software on my Mac to work with Quik, the GoPro software, and the internet connection out in Farnley Tyas isn’t quite what I’m used to!).

In and amongst all of that, I’m packing my ski stuff to go to Austria on Friday. We’re going to St Anton for the New Year so, unfortunately, no walk next week! Unless there’s a total white out of course… But that’s not looking promising at the moment!

Anyway – hectic, hectic, hectic. Let me tell you about the walk we did yesterday.

Sippy and I set out from Hebden at about 11.00 yesterday morning. It’s quite a trek to get there – even though it’s not far in terms of distance from Huddersfield – it takes about 45 minutes to get there. The weather was fairly mild but with a bit of a chill in the wind. The walk was fairly strenuous though, so I did end up undoing my jacket for the hills!

We set off along the Rochdale Canal tow path in Hebden Bridge, towards the Stubbing Wharf pub (which we came back to later for food). Continuing along the tow path, we eventually turned right up a set of steep stone steps in the hillside towards Blackshaw Head, and the Great Rock. On the other side of the valley you can see Stoodley Pike, a 19th century monument, visible along the length of the valley between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

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The route flattened out slightly, once we reached the top and crossed sheep fields (dogs on leads) and a fair few stiles which were not dog friendly! I had to carry the dogs over a few! Sippy, my sister-in-law, is not a great fan of dogs, and was certainly not prepared to carry all 35 kg of muddy Labrador over a stile. Leo was not helpful with this either – he didn’t even try to find a way around, just sat there and waited to be carried!

We passed through Blackshaw Head and headed towards Colden, where we stopped for a quick drink in the New Delight Inn. We weren’t planning on stopping here, but after a couple of hours of steep trails, a small Merlot on a bank holiday seemed appropriate.

From here we followed the Hebden Bridge circular route (signposted in red) along to Heptonstall, calling in at The White Lion for a drink. Heptonstall is a quaint village with cobbled streets, just two pubs (both of which looked nice) and a large churchyard, home to Sylvia Plath.

We dropped down the steep hill back to Hebden Bridge to complete our walk, just as it was getting dark. We threw the dogs in the back of the car after a quick towel down and a bowl of water, then headed along to the Stubbing Wharf for some well-earned food and a bit of a rest!

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So this was a walk of hills (total climb: 1313 ft), weightlifting (carrying dogs over stiles) and multiple pubs! We covered just over 8 miles and it took about 4 hours (although this obviously depends how long you stay in the pubs!). This has been one of the more strenuous walks that I’ve done as part of Wild Walks with Wine, but very enjoyable! There are plenty of different walks to do in and around Hebden Bridge, and you really are spoilt for choice in terms of places to eat and drink! I would definitely recommend heading out this way for a day out with the dogs!

I will publish the walk and the write up of the pubs as soon as I can, but I’m struggling for time a little this week – apologies! I’m going to try and get cracking with the GoPro footage – fingers crossed!

If you’re planning on getting out and about while you’ve got a few days off over Christmas, don’t forget to check out some of the walks and pubs I’ve already visited!

One thought on “Boxing Day… but not actual Boxing Day

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