Green & Black

A variation on one of my favourite routes, an 11km circular from The White House on the A58.Green Withins & Blackstone Edge

A little downhill and opposite the pub, there is a short steep climb up the obvious path leading onto a level path that always has puddles on it.

The drain can be followed, but I prefer the less trod option by taking a small footbridge over the drain and cutting up diagonally on a narrow path rejoining the roman road near the Aiggin Stone to begin the loop.

Take the option to continue on the quieter section of the roman road which becomes increasingly wet and less distinct, dropping down to cross a drain to reach a clear permitted path and turn right, following the drain until a T-junction wooden signpost.

Turn right-ish and follow the clear path that wriggles south east, as the M62 motorway first comes into hearing and then view, with Green Withins Reservoir filling the hollow.

Green Withins

The path gets a little wetter and weaker before you cross a major drain and turn right onto the hard track that leads down and around the reservoir.

Turn right to follow a small drain before reaching the road and a short climb then takes you onto the Pennine Way, near the Windy Hill footbridge.

Windy Hill

With a new 800m section of stone flags this is now an even easier return over Blackstone Edge.Blackstone Edge


Still a little rusty but starting to feel a little fitter and almost ready to try a test run.



A New Year walk to the ‘Rain’ stanza stone, one of a set of themed poetry stones found across the South Pennine moors, appropriately undertaken in heavy rain and wind.

After a frustrating 2013 spent unable to run or even walk at times, I decided on New Year’s Eve that I would get out more in 2014 and rediscovered these whilst browsing the web trying to decide on a walk.  I’d originally heard about them last year but at the time walking more than a few metres was impossible so slipped from my mind.

The Rain Stone is situated in Cow’s Mouth Quarry, just off the Pennine Way about 1 mile from the A58, but we walked from The Shepherd’s Rest past Gaddings Dam.   From the main path, especially in the rain, it would be easy to run/walk past without noticing them if you didn’t know, just an unregistered lighter patch of rock in the corner of your eye.

Rain Stanza Stone

Rain Stanza Stone


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Rain Stanza Stone

Rain Stanza Stone


Be glad of these freshwater tears,

each pearled droplet some salty old sea-bullet

air-lifted out of the waves, then laundered and sieved, recast as a soft bead and returned.

And no matter how much it strafes or sheets, it is no mean feat to catch one raindrop clean in the mouth,

to take one drop on the tongue, tasting cloud-pollen, grain of the heavens, raw sky.

Let it teem, up here where the front of the mind distils the brunt of the world.

Commissioned by the Ilkley Literature Festival, written by Simon Armitage and carved by Pip Hall, there are six stanza stones, plus a secret seventh at an undisclosed location, located across the Pennine Watershed.

More information can be found in this guide.