All Photos Taken By Me
Please do not steal any!
A Perfect Hike - "With a perfect reward at the end!"
Todmorden was the last location to visit on West Yorkshire adventure, in 2021. Yes, we know you wanna be in Lancashire, but sod that. Some people say Todmorden is in Lancashire, but I think they're freaks. I mean, did you know in the film 'The Predator", autism technically saves the day and is considered a super power in that film? I might only be 80% right on this, but anyway, those Todmordenites, who believe Todmorden belongs in Lancashire, remind me of that plotline seen in The Predator. Truly magical stuff. Also, the dogs in that film are cool.
The town itself is very quaint, and friendly in appearance. I found myself walking around the local markets and buying bracelets, to add to my collection. The people are lovely here, despite the cronic Hot Fuzz vibe I had.
Covid wasn't a thing here. 95% of the people I came across were elderly and gave no fucks. I swear I witnessed 3 elderly people enjoying a jig to another elderly playing the recorder, just near the markets. I was the only 'smoothskin' around, and I had a mission. A mission to visit Stoodley Pike.
Stoodley Pike - "A sunny hike to the pike"
You may be asking; what kind of a name is that? Well, it's a silly name.
I don't know the background of this structure, but I wanted to see it. Just so you know, I don't research the locations I visit. I literally visit Google Maps, type in 'attractions', and look at the results in different areas. I saw a giant penis tower and I added it to my West Yorkshire adventure, thinking there's no better way to finish an adventure by seeing a giant penis that can be seen from every direction. Molto Bene. Magical stuff.
Stoodley Pike itself is bloody massive. You can see it in the image above, just on top of the huge hill, overlooking Todmorden, Eastwood, Charlestown and Hebden Bridge, but you can also see it from much further away. I could see it approaching from Halifax in some cases. Took about an hour and a half to walk there, then an hour on the way back.
I believe the structure dates back to the 19th century and was built to celebrate how pathetic France was, or something. I only learned some basic stuff about the monument while on the train. But eitehr way, seeing a monument that could have been built to insult the French was a must see in my books.
Beautiful views from the top - "This is why I bought a good camera"
The hike itself isn't too difficult, but remember to take grippy shoes, as the steep rock stairs (seen near the end) may get slippy during wet periods.
I traveled here during a mini heatwave, but I had plenty of water with me and some food, so I was in good health. I was bloody knackered by the time I reached the top though.
I am also a pretty big introvert, so realising I hardly came across anyone on my journey was incredible. I, more or less, had the entire hike to myself. No farmers, no other hikers and no annoying kids anywhere. Seriously, if you wanna escape the business of city life and just go for a knarley hike, do this one. Don't listen to any music, just take in the peacefulness of the journey and enjoy it. I went solo, by the way, and it's well worth it to the top knowing no one else was there. I made some sheep friends on the way and enjoyed a tasty lunch at the top of the hill, just before I went closer to the structure.
Once at the top... Oh it's a sight. These photos don't do it justice. It's something special at the top of the hill. Like, it's only a near 2 hour hike, but there's something spooky about being alone at the top with a giant 120 feet high stone obelisk of sorts with wind whisteling in your ear. It's probably the most 'Skyrim' thing I'll ever do. Like, in Skyrim, the game is built around you seeing stuff in the distance and immediately thinking "yes, that's my next destination" and then you spend the next few hours finding out the route there (without any mountain climbing horse glitches).
It's impressive knowing humans built this giant structure all the way up the hill. I don't think there's many other places like this around Britain, which royally sucks, because it's a lot of fun finding historic monuments on top of big hills. It's legitimately my mission, from now on, to find more monuments on top of hills. Recreating the 'Skyrim experience' is pure fun. I even contributed to the stone pile. You can (maybe) see 'Kiwi' written on the top stone.
Once you approach the monument, it gets scarier. the wind is stronger, but you'll also notice there's actually a way inside! Yes, there's a narrow staircase inside that allows you to walk all around the balcony bit, allowing for some incredible views of West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Todmorden looks like nothing from the balcony.
There's another way down, towards Hebden Bridge, but I don't think it's as safe as the route I took towards Todmorden and Mankinholes. I mean, I like steps, so yeah.
To conclude this amazing article thing on Todmorden; I'd say it's well worth visiting the town. It has a giant insult to France, looming over, just like Barad-dûr, to which (I imagine) the residents bow down to every night. Most likely as the moon hides behind it, while church bells go crazy. Wow, this suddenly turned into a mish mash of Resident Evil 4 and Lord Of The Rings. So yeah, great hike, seriously visit!