So, onto the second day of our moorland meanderings. We drove from the YHA into Haworth, finding Jus & Cat’s B&B immediately (in stark contrast to the 45 minutes it had taken them the previous night. They waxed lyrical about how nice the Olde Apothecary House (or some such name) had been.
Our first top of the day was some distance away, made all the longer by a navigational altercation with the limited access junctions of the A56, which were clearly not designed with the needs of baggers in mind. Eventually, some incredible navigation on my part through residential streets using a national-scale map took us to a layby, slightly further north than the parking area indicated on our OS map print-out.
I wasn’t looking forward to this one at all – it looked like a there-and-back-again slog across dull moorland. And so it turned out to be. We walked north on the road for a couple of hundred metres (past an interesting-looking track down into National Trust-owned woodland), and turned left up a track to the moors. It passed through what once might have been a small quarry but was now filling up with rubbish, and eventually emerged onto the grassy flanks of Bull Hill, which felt less steep than the map contours suggested.
The top of Bull Hill is owned by the military and shown on the map as a danger area. Red flags were flying around the perimeter, indicating that the military were carrying out exercises and it was dangerous for the general public. Despite this, we met a group of cyclists coming out of the “danger zone” (on a footpath rather than a bridleway, but as they were friendly we’ll forgive them that). Fretful Jus was all for turning back completely as soon as he saw the flags, until I pointed out that they did after all seal off only a portion of the hill, and a faint grassy path ran over the hill just outside the danger zone. Despite this, it was a nervy Justin that followed us onwards. Cresting the flat hill, the trig was just a few dozen yards into the danger zone on our left.
Bull Hill itself though was not our target. The summit at 418m was higher than Scholes Height, ahead of us, and a sub-marilyn to boot. However, the unitary authority boundary only runs across the shoulder of the hill at 410m. As it runs across the 415m high summit of Scholes Height, it’s the lower hill that’s actually the unitary top. We therefore followed the red flags and accompanying repeated danger signs down the far side of Bull Hill and into the wide, boggy col between the hills.
Leaving the path, we soon had to veer to the left to avoid the deep gouges and surrounding boggy areas of a stream and its tributaries scything through the peat. Beyond this, though, the col was remarkably dry. The rough grass slowed us considerably, although it was a lot easier than the terrain on Rough Hill the previous night. Eventually we reached the summit of Scholes Height, which was marked by a solitary wooden post. The views were restricted by the featureless grassy plateau that surrounded us. It was all very anticlimatic.
We returned from whence we’d come, briefly diverting to take a path around the base of Bull Hill rather than over it, passing through a very barren area on the way. Both Jus and I complained of sore feet, and on returning to the car discovered that we both had extensive blistering on the back of our ankles. It seemed strange considering that I’d walked 17 miles the previous day with no problem whatsoever. At any rate, it meant I had to downgrade to walking shoes for the rest of the day, whilst Justin adopted a more Victor Meldrew “I don’t believe it” approach.