I had a few places in mind to visit while I used Manchester as a base. Last night I did my research, working out train and bus times. But today didn't work out anything like I expected.
When I awoke this morning the sky was quite clear. I decided to head to Hebden Bridge. I was going to spend a couple of hours walking around there before making my way to Haworth. Then on to Keighley and maybe take the train back through Leeds.
After putting a load of washing on I headed to Manchester Picaddilly station. When I got there I couldn't find details of any trains heading to Hebden Bridge. After checking my rail app I realised that they leave from Manchester Victoria station! I couldn't work out which train to catch to get to that station so I decided to walk. Many Manchester streets are at an angle which I must admit does my head in. I kept veering off course but luckily the map on my phone helped me get there eventually. The weather was so lovely I was tempted to stop and take some city photos but the weather report was dicey and I didn't want to squander the good weather.
I caught the 9:16am train to Hebden Bridge. It only took half an hour. The first thing I noticed was a canal through the village.
And then this unusual bench and, like the other day, boots being repurposed as pot planters.
Some girls were feeding geese and goslings in a square. I took the opportunity to get some shots.
In the main street of Hebden Bridge, the Yorkshire Soap Company was blowing bubbles from the top window above their shop.
The village itself was very cute. Lots of grey stone buildings.
And an open air market.
I stopped for some morning tea from a bakery. I've noticed a particular bird a couple of times recently and one just happened to perch nearby.
Then I set off for what I thought would be a short walk. The path was beautiful and the sun was shining through the occassional cloud.
The pathway eventually led to this lane way.
But it wasn't all flat walking. On a number of occasions the path lead me either up or down steps like these.
The path followed one of the streams that fed into the river at Hebden Bridge. I decided to have a go at trying to create a misty water effect by choosing a slow shutter speed. This required me keep the camera very still. I bought a travel monopod (like a tripod but with only one leg) before leaving Australia in the hope that it would help in these kinds of situations. This was my first opportunity to try it out. The result would have been better with a tripod, but I'm still happy with it.
This part of the woods had a wonderful array of grasses and plants.
I eventually made it to Hardcastle Crags, an outcrop of rocks that you can climb.
From there I made my way back to Gibson Mill which I had passed about an hour earlier. The path took me back to the stream.
There were numerous weirs along the length of the stream.
When I made it back to Gibson Mill I immediately went to the mill pond to get a photo. I had tried to get this shot when I passed the mill on the way to the Hardcastle Crags. Just as I had the shot ready two ducks landed in the middle of the pond creating ripples that destroyed the reflection. Little pests! So when I came back this was my top priority. Afterwards I had a late lunch in the mill cafe. By this time it was 3:00pm.
Then it was time to make my way back. I decided to head to Hebden Bridge but would see how things went. I noticed how tall the streets were.
I also noticed the roots on this tree. Holding on for dear life.
In the distance I could see the end of the park containing the Hardcastle Crags.
As I walked towards Hebden Bridge the landscape opened up.
For a while the path ran along side the road which was built up with this wall. I reflected on how amazing it is that people built these structures in the middle of nowhere so many years ago.
Before getting to Hebden Bridge I decided I had enough energy left to divert to Heptonstall, a village on the hill near Hebden Bridge. It was more challenging than I had expected. The paths climbed steeply up the side of the hill.
When I first got there and I entered the village I noticed these shoes waiting by one of the doors.
The village was adorable. Actually, very similar to what I was expecting to see in Haworth. So finding it was compensation for not having made it to Haworth.
This little square was by a ruined church. The blossom from the tree looked just like snow.
After walking around the village I noticed a bus that was going back to Hebden Bridge. I seriously considered taking it as my feet were getting really sore. But then I decided to follow the path back to Hebden Bridge. It took me to the edge of the village and then this magnificent view.
The path followed along the side of the hill all the way into the valley. It was so worth the extra pain I was feeling in my feet and provided a breathtaking conclusion to my walking adventure.
I passed by these rocks on the side of the hill.
Every view was spectacular.
I eventually made my way down to Hebden Bridge.
From there I caught the 6:08pm train back to Manchester.
Although I'd only achieved a little bit of my original plan I had a wonderful day. It was great to take a slower pace and not try to stick to an itinerary.
This country is so incredibly beautiful.