The second morning of our little camping trip to Hebden Bridge we drove across the town to Hardcastle Crags. Read about our first day visiting Stoodley Pike here. I had looked at the map and spotted a car park and a route that looked promising. Unknown to me Hardcastle Crags is owned by the National Trust. The car park is therefore free to members. I didn’t have my membership card with me, and neither of us had any money. We left a note in the car and hoped that we’d be OK seeing as the car park attendants were not there yet. Anyway, Hardcastle Crags is a beautiful wooded valley with the 19th century Gibson Mill at it’s heart.
Our run headed up through the wooded valley, slowly climbing all the time. With tired legs we walked the steeper sections and ran the flatter bits, passing the Mill and plenty of other visitors. After a couple of miles we climbed out of the wooded valley and turned east up and over an unnamed hillock, admiring the views from the other side of the valley.
We weren’t in any rush as we ambled beside an old stone wall, before we came across an old derelict farm building. If you had plenty of spare cash I’m sure it would make a great holiday home, as long as you had a 4×4 to get there. Helen wanted to go inside to have a closer look, but it was my turn to be the sensible one, so I suggested that it probably wasn’t entirely safe.
The path then dropped steeply down onto a busy little bridleway, with walkers and mountain bikers. At a gate three older men on e-mountain bikes passed us. I loved seeing this, as it would be unlikely that any of them would have been able to enjoy cycling these hills without the battery powered oomph. I know that one day both me and Helen will be riding e-bikes.
From here the trail was downhill for almost two miles as we returned to the car park. Helen had a very big smile as she loves downhill running. Both me and Nelly struggle to keep up with her once she gets into her stride.
Just under 5 miles with a little less climbing than the previous day, but another great run. As a bonus, the car park attendants looked like they had only just started work and hadn’t reached our car, so no ticket. Back at the campsite and we enjoyed a full vegetarian breakfast at the Honesty Box Cafe located in the campsite.