he dog and I have been for a stunning walk this morning. The sun was out (weather seems to have a large effect on my mood these days - or maybe I'm just more aware of it), the wind was up, and the clouds traced huge shadows on the hillsides. Again, that familiar feeling came of how small I am compared to the environment around me - small and insignificant. There is always a security in knowing that the world does not centre around me and my life. The world goes on regardless.
We followed a stream up into the moors, crunching through a thin layer of snow which had fallen overnight, and emerged into a broad U-shaped valley, with several dead trees still standing, and some lonely stoops (old stone posts) punctuating the grassland.
The tour headed over the heather to Dove Stones, and our light passage upset many distant grouse, with their indignant calling as they flew off (Listen here). Their calls always make me smile! After some difficulty finding a path, we reached Dove Stones, and discovered a raised, basin-like valley (Hey Slack Clough) with Lad Law (517 metres) facing us on the other side.
We walked round the basin, and reached the trig point of Lad Law, the top point of Boulsworth Hill. The view stunned me. We could see over to the snow covered Yorkshire Dales, Pendle Hill, and to Winter Hill above Bolton. Stopping for a break and some bread, the wildness reenergised me.
We took in Gorple Stones above Widdop Reservoir before heading back to the car three hours after we had left it. The snow and hail clouds that we had seen to the West finally reached us when we were 500 yards from the car - perfect timing!
I have done a lot of walking of late, but this walk was one of the best I've done for a long while. It was taken from Christopher Goddard's brilliant book: The west Yorkshire Moors which I have mentioned before.
Goddard, Christopher (2013): The West Yorkshire Moors: a hand-drawn guide to walking and exploring the county's open access moorland; Jeremy Mills Publishing Ltd