Thursday, 22 September 2016

Days Out in Yorkshire with Yorkshire Water: Haworth Moor


The Bronte sisters and I have been longtime companions, my favourite book is Wuthering Heights and has been since I first read it aged 16 over 35 years ago. My degree thesis at uni was titled "Gender Roles in the Novels of the Bronte Sisters," and my eldest daughter boasts two of their names as her own. Not a third though because that might be considered overkill.
So when Yorkshire Water invited us to explore some of the 72,000 acres of land the company owns across Yorkshire as part of the new Enjoying the Land campaign, it seemed entirely appropriate to take up their challenge by walking the same paths that the Brontes walked across Haworth Moor.

As part of Enjoying the Land, Yorkshire Water has produced a free outdoor adventure pack  and a series of four free reservoir walk packs covering walks around Yorkshire Water reservoirs set in stunning Yorkshire landscape and through the county's national parks.
The walks are ranked from a one boot gentle stroll to four boots for the more intrepid adventurer. The Haworth Moor walk is ranked as a four boot walk for the experienced rambler. We are not experienced ramblers but we did it anyway, at least most of it.


The 4.8mile Haworth Moor walk is to the south west of the Bronte's famous home village through Penistone Country Park and passing Low Laithe reservoir going on towards the Bronte Falls and the ruined farmhouse Top Withens, believed to be the inspiration behind Cathy and Heathcliff's childhood home in Wuthering Heights.


It's a walk that starts gently enough meandering high along the moors and giving stunning views of a Yorkshire that was, thankfully, bathed in sunshine.





But nearing the Bronte Falls, the ground underfoot can be wet and slippy, even in hot sunshine and the gradients get steeper.


But we forged on to Bronte Falls. After all, if Charlotte Bronte could make it to the falls, in the depths of November, after the snow, and wearing a dress: So could we in sneakers and jeans.

From Charlotte's letters, November 29 1854: 

When we got half a mile on the moors, Arthur suggested the idea of the waterfall; after the melted snow he said it would be fine. I had often wished to see it in it's winter power, so we walked on. It was fine indeed; a perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful.


Not so torrential this September but a faint trickle after a dryish summer. Still a beautiful spot nestling in a valley with the Bronte Bridge leading over the tumbling, rock filled stream towards the steep climb to Top Withens.



We didn't go on up the hill though, we rested and picnicked and enjoyed the sun and the gurgle of the stream before turning back the way we had come, leaving Top Withens for another day and better boots. The one when I can do my very best Kate Bush impression without disturbing the tourists.

And that's the delight of Yorkshire Water walks, they're free so you don't feel compelled to do more than you need to do in the time you want to do it, and they're open all year round, so you can do it when you want to too.

And we'll be back to see the Bronte Falls in full flow, just as soon as I find a crinoline.

Yorkshire Water has a vast range of free outdoor activities, not just walks, but cycling routes, pony trekking, fishing, and sailing. Parking is also free. So get out there and start Enjoying the Land.

This post is in collaboration with Yorkshire Water but all words and opinions are my own.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Parenting Firsts: The Ones They Don't Warn You About.

The first few years of a child's life are marked in a series of milestone firsts ... the first tooth, first word, first steps, first day at school. But parenting firsts don't stop there, as your child grows into a teenager and, lo, in adulthood there will be many more firsts.

Those firsts they don't warn you about in the parenting manuals....

Monday, 12 September 2016

Days Out in Yorkshire: Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales.


Thousands of visitors have trodden the country paths linking Bolton Abbey station with Bolton Abbey itself since the railway first reached Wharfdale in 1888, and it seems an awful lot of sheep have been using them too. And not in a good way.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Days Out in Yorkshire: Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.


Regular readers will know that a couple of members of the Quirky Kook family are huge fans of heritage steam railways and consequently days out are mostly geared around or towards sating their desire to hear whistles toot, wheels clack and the chuff, chuff, chuff of the engine. 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Realistic Parent of Teens' Summer Bucket List.

The long school summer holidays stretch invitingly ahead with acres of empty days crying out to be filled with family fun. This year though, instead of putting together a bucket list which invariably gets torn into pieces and chucked in the bin after three days of resistant apathy, I've finally succumbed to the reality of what teens really want from a summer bucket list ...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

It's Not EU. It's You ... A Letter of Resignation

In the aftermath of the EU Referendum there's been an unseemly rush of political resignations, the England manager threw himself on his sword (though he probably missed), even Chris Evans got the hint. So in these most tumultuous of political times, I say if you can't beat them, join them. This is my letter of resignation

Dear Sir/ Madam

It is with regret that I tender my resignation as Chief Optimist, part-time Idealist and fully fledged member of Hope.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Eton Mess, A European Union Dessert


Take two old Etonians. Remove the heart from one and the backbone of the other.

Add a handful of Farage, pre-marinated in lager and false bonhomie.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The York Cat Story

Despite living in York for several years as a student in my early 20s, it wasn't until my eldest daughter went to study at the same university I'd been to, that I discovered the story of the York Cats and the York Cat Trail.

The Cat Trail is a walk through the streets of the city centre spotting the Cats of York, the many cat sculptures hidden and not hidden at all in and on various buildings, roofs and windows.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Martin Parr, The Rhubarb Triangle and Other Stories at The Hepworth, Wakefield

Recently I've developed a passion for street photography taking shots of people about their everyday business and documenting the odd, the strange, the unusual or just the beautiful sights to be seen while I'm out and about. Sneakily I've been using my phone camera because well, it would just be too embarrassing to point a camera at someone in the street, wouldn't it?
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