Golcar, once a weaving village now the outer suburb of Huddersfield, was our starting point. The only way in or out of Golcar is a hill, so we were soon climbing quite steeply, out onto the moorland within 3 miles, joining the A640 which has little traffic. We stopped at Buckstone to admire the misty view, on a clear day with the right wind condition, this is a favourite spot for paragliding - but not today.
Over Saddleworth Moor and the long descent down to Denshaw. A short dogleg got us onto Wham Road and narrow lanes, known as Heights, for obvious reasons. Our destination was the 250 year old stone pub Th’Heights, the quintessential moorland pub, hard of access, next to the church which, as it is Heritage day, was miraculously open.
Suitably fortified we descended the precipitously steep road to the edge of Delph. So in one mile we were sitting for our next beer, thirsty work is cycling in t’hills. A rather slow lunch, speedy service is not a speciality of The White Lion.
Round the other side of the pub we found another climb which took us up onto the A62. For us locals it’s Yorkshire flat, for the offcumdons from the East it’s another hill. By now the mist had burnt off.
At the top, where the Pennine way crosses, we were all assured that from now until near the end neither hills nor Yorkshire flat will be found. We sped down hill and took a very sharp left to Standedge and Tunnel End where the Huddersfield canal goes under, for 3-4 miles, the hill we just descended.
After a general look around, we set off along the canal on what must be the prettiest canal path in UK.
With its countless locks, the descent is quite steep for 5 miles. We stopped in Slaithwaite for the Handmade Bakery, surely England’s best, where they are running a course on bread made with wild yeast. Back along the towpath.
We took the decision to take the optional route, carrying then pushing the bikes up through the steep woods and Ginnels, a precipitous ascent in a very short distance to be back in Golcar for tea, coffee and cakes.
In total we climbed 2660 feet in a 26 mile ride