After completing my four days of work-related training at Keldy Forest I felt as though I’d been through a wringer and hung out to dry, but very hyper, so a wee walk was in order. We flitted across to Haworth Youth Hostel as hubby wished to visit a bus open day thing at Keighley. I wandered into the local Tourist Office in the village and picked up a leaflet about a few local walks.
I opted to walk out on to Haworth Moor to visit Bronte waterfall and Top Withins. The ruins of Top Withins are reputed to have been the inspiration for Wuthering Heights, the home of the Earnshaw Family in the classic novel by Emily Brontë . Not that I’m a Brontë fan; I’ve only read Jane Eyre and didn’t like that.
I always find walking in England so different to home. The profusion of Public Footpath signs throws me and on this walk all the footpath signs were written in Japanese as well as English. I had never seen that before. The other big difference is the people. No, I don’t mean they are different, just that they are so many. I realise this walk is very popular with Bronte ‘pilgrims’ (including Japanese fans), but I think I was lucky and actually had stretches on the paths when I didn’t see anyone for several minutes at a time.
I started my walk from the top of the steep main street in Haworth passing by the Bronte Parsonage museum and the churchyard before heading out of the village. The path skirts houses and allotments at the edge of the village and out on to common grazing land before passing through Penistone Country Park.
From the park there are open views of the reservoir below and open farmland across the valley behind Stanbury.
The path rises gradually and crosses over moorland which at this time of year is brightened by the lovely tiny wee flowers on the Blaeberry – otherwise known as bilberry in England.
Ant’s eye view of the moor
The path drops slightly to the beck and just before crossing the water passes Bronte Waterfall, which today was a mere trickle,. At the meeting of the two waters is a large stone shaped like a chair. It is said Emily Bronte sat here to get inspiration for her writing.
Bronte Bridge is a “clapper” type of bridge, being supported by stone uprights. The old Bronte bridge was destroyed by a flash flood in May 1989, and rebuilt in 1990.
After the bridge the path rises up on to the open moorland and heads SW to join the Pennine way for a short distance to the ruins of Top Withins.
The ruins themselves were a bit disappointing, The’re the remains of a very average farmhouse and although they are in a remote location with excellent views of the moor there is nothing to suggest they were of any grand scale. They may seem grander and more foreboding when the moor is windswept and shrouded in mist. It was almost too good a day to be there! A plaque on the wall of the building explains the tenuous link to Wuthering Heights.
To return I retraced my steps along the Pennine Way passing through more grazing land and down to the village of Stanbury and across the reservoir.
From here is was an easy walk back up to the path I had taken earlier to retrace my steps to Haworth.
Just because I like stiles and we don’t have many up here: