Part III: Hebden Bridge to Edale via the Peak District National Park
The last section of this gargantuan national trail begins at Hebden Bridge. No sooner will Big Dave have left Hebden Bridge that he will begin the steep ascent from the valley of the River Calder to the prominent monument on Stoodley Pike.
Once the monument is reached the trail descends to the Calderdale Way which passes high above the village of Mankinholes, before passing a series of reservoirs and crossing the A58 road and then forging onwards along Blackstone Edge.
Once he reaches a long footbridge by Windy Hill, he will have to cross the M62 motorway, then the A672 and the A640 (very scenic!). Having left the tarmac behind him the route follows a series of gritstone edges which coincide with the Yorkshire – Greater Manchester border until it reaches Standedge.
From Standedge, the route descends into the Wessenden Valley, and more importantly crosses the northern boundary into the Peak District National Park. From there it’s uphill across the Wessenden Head Moor, ever upwards until it reaches the summit of Black Hill on the border of Yorkshire.
One cup of partially boiled Yorkshire Tea later, it’s off downhill at a steady pace into Derbyshire along a side valley past Laddow Rocks towards the village of Crowden. Crowden will be the last habitation that Big Dave will see for at least 16 miles as he crosses the dam of the Torside Reservoir strikes out for Longdendale.
Once there, the trail ascends to the summit of Bleaklow, a high, largely peat covered gritstone moorland. Then it’s another downhill, from Hern Clough and along Devils Dike, until the path comes to, and crosses, the Snake Pass Road continuing to the plateau past Kinder Downfall, the tallest waterfall in the Peak District.
Following the western edge of the Kinder Scout plateau and down from Kinder Low, the trail comes to Jacob’s Ladder; a steep path that descends to the southern edge of Kinder.
From there the Pennine Way finally comes to an end with a swift pint of mild in the Nag’s Head in Edale... probably followed by a couple of slower doubles of Jameson – 268 miles of the Pennine Way behind him.
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