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South Pennines

South Pennines - Introduction

The South Pennines is the name traditionally given to the Pennine area between the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales. Rolling moorland is punctuated by deep valleys which are often densely populated. Indeed this portion of the Pennines bares the mark of man probably more than any other.

South Pennines Gallery: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Looking to the top of Boulsworth Hill, the highest point in the South Pennines
The summit of Ovenden Moor backed by the windfarm
Top Withins, famous for its association Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'
Enjoying the view from Blackstone Edge
Cowper Cross on Ilkley Moor
Booth Wood Reservoir
The giant Hitching Stone on Keighley Moor
The Holder Stones above Warland Reservoir
Warland Reservoir
Crompton Moor
Eastergate Bridge near Marsden
The Rochdale Canal near Walsden
Wainman's Pinnacle on Earl Crag
Stoodley Pike
The Worth Valley from Nab Hill

It is rare to go for a walk in the South Pennines without coming across at least one reservoir while quarries, canals, mills, pylons, railways, road and even a motorway are all in evidence. Perhaps the best example of this is the area between Todmorden and Walsden in Calderdale where the valley floor is crammed full.

Away from the industrial valleys there are large sweeps of desolate moorland although once again the hand of man is never far away and the area, along with West Pennines, has become a popular one for the siting of windfarms, Coal Clough Windfarm and the Ovenden Moor Windfarm being two notable examples.

As with the Dark Peak area of the Peak District the underlying rock is mainly millstone grit (gritstone). While the gritstone does not display itself anywhere near as impressively in the Peak there are still some very scarpments on Blackstone Edge and Earl's Crag while one of the most famous and popular gritstone landmarks are the Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor. Also worh a look are the gritstone boulders on Bride Stones Moor.

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

The South Pennines also includes the area commonly referred to as Bronte Country. Centred round the Worth Valley this area is named after the famous literary sisters who lived and wrote in the area which also proved the inspiration for the setting of their works.

To the north-east of Bronte Country is Rombald's Moor a large tract of moorland that separates lower Wharfedale and lower Airedale which reaches it's highest point on Ilkley Moor. Not only does Rombald's Moor have some fantastic gritstone features, like the already mentioned Cow and Calf, it is also a fascinating place to explore for it's antiquities that include the Swastika Stone, numerous stone circles, ancient cairns, tumuli and cup and ring marked rocks.

The South Pennines is an area that I have increasingly come to appreciate over time and one that is perhaps unfairly overlooked as it is stuck between more glamourous neighbours. Not that the South Pennines is superior to the Dales or the Peak, it most certainly is not. However, it still provides some fine walking country.

South Pennines