#63 – Rishworth Moor from Ryburn

'Blackwood Edge Road' heading towards Rishworth Moor

After the ‘buzz’ and drama of “The Spine” it was time to head back to business as usual.

This walk could have been a big mistake.  A look at the map for Rishworth Moor shows several ‘drains’ that feed the reservoirs on this high section of Pennine moorland.  Drains? Reservoirs?   That all sounds like a bit of a watery theme then!  Well, not on this walk it wasn’t.  We had left Shipley on a normal, grey January day, but as we gained height on the drive over, we realised that there was a snow line, and though our objective for the day was modest enough, it was sure to be up in the white stuff.

Ryburn Reservoir (in less than ideal light conditions for photos)

Pennine walking is a bit of an acquired taste, usually involving boggy and peaty uplands separated by deep valleys.  Today’s route didn’t really have any severe ups and downs, and the cold meant better going on frozen mud rather than liquid mud.  We set off from Ryburn Reservoir with good conditions underfoot but terrible light for pics.  Passing the impressive house of Upper Cockcroft Farm we took the track to Pike End to hit Blackwood Edge Road.

Upper Cockcroft Farm - modest country retreat (but sadly out of my price range!)

Heading from Pike End to Blackwood Edge Road

Where I come from, a road is usually wide enough for a car and has a hard surface.  Blackwood Edge Road was mostly the width of a horse, and under warmer conditions would have been a mire rather than a path, but the freeze allowed good progress.  However, if it wasn’t really a road, why could I hear heavy traffic?  The answer became obvious as the M62 motorway came into view 1½ kilometres away.

Near Dog Hill, heading down towards Green Withens Reservoir

By the feeder drain to Green Withens

Our gradual height gain levelled out at about 412 metres, our highest point of the day – no problems with the altitude today, then!  The frozen path led us down to one of the drains feeding Green Withens Reservoir, with a view across the reservoir towards Blackstone Edge where we had walked in warmer weather in mid October (blog post #49). A coffee stop was kept short to avoid getting too chilled, then it was off again.

The author and ‘Mist’ ready to go again

Chris near 'Warm Withens Hill' in slightly less than warm conditions

Our route took us in a loop just below the edge of Rishworth Moor, taking in the inappropriately named (in the conditions) Warm Withens Hill.  From there another drainage ditch headed down towards Ryburn Reservoir – after the empty, snow-covered moor it was quite a contrast to be back amongst stone walls and pylons.  From there we took the path through the woods at Ryburn Reservoir, looking more like a Scottish Loch in the winter conditions

Stone walls and pylons

Ryburn Reservoir

Not the most exciting day out, but an interesting one.  I’ve looked at these hills many times from the M62 Motorway, and I’m gradually building up a picture of what’s up there in all that high moorland – a load of snow, apparently!

Rishworth Moor – ‘Mist’ enjoying the snow

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
This entry was posted in 4. Northern England and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to #63 – Rishworth Moor from Ryburn

  1. maenamor says:

    Great write up Paul looked a fun day out for all… 🙂


  2. stan bonnar says:

    great paul, that’s the very ‘bleak british moor’ i was thinking about in my text – where violet gets lost.
    loved the photo ‘near dog hill’ (- with dog). by the way, next time you’re passing upper cockcroft farm, do drop in… we’d love to see you!



    • “….do drop in… we’d love to see you!”

      Hahaha…. I wondered who the rich capitalist git was who owned that. Could we rent the East Wing from you?
      And keep Violet off them Yorkshire moors – bleak isn’t in it!


  3. stan bonnar says:

    i didn’t say we actually lived in the farm house. but we could rent you a bit of the coal bunker! (if you didn’t mind sharing!)

    violet… to late, she’s already wandering about out there…!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s