Brontë Running

What a lovely day it’s been. Our training plan suggests 10 miles today. We planned to repeat the Haworth run Kath did on Wednesday. We woke up early, made porridge and took it back to bed. After getting up and pottering about for a little bit we set off to walk to the station. We had a bit of a discussion about what miles to count for this adventure and decided that it’s about time on our feet and a decent striding out sort of walk would count. After a mile and a half we arrived at Keighley Station and proudly presented our local resident’s passes at the Worth Valley Railway ticket booth. If you’re local, buy yourself one of these, they’re a fiver and give you 50% off tickets.

On the way up to Haworth the train was a diesel locomotive and the carriages were more commuter train than sociable and fun seats with a table. We got a seat right at the front though and it was lovely just making our way out of Keighley, to Ingrow West (what happened to Ingrow East? Does it exist? Did it ever?), to Oakworth via Damems. Just after  Damems we stopped for a little while – not quite sure why. Possibly because there were a couple of blokes working on the tracks. We arrived in Haworth, waved the train off and nipped to the Ladies’ Room. I’m never quite sure whether I’m allowed in a Ladies’ Room.

We walked through Haworth Park and up Haworth Main Street (which those of you not local may have seen as it was part of the Tour de France in 2014) and turned left towards the Brontë Parsonage and then started run/walking as we got on a track and through a field just beyond it. My hay fever is not yet under control and my chest felt quite tight and I was struggling to breathe properly. It required focus. That didn’t really change all the way round so I think I probably appeared a bit grumpy at times. I wasn’t it was stunningly beautiful and glorious and I loved it. I just found it even harder than normal!

So after the field there is a short stretch of road which is a steady pull up a slope and we ran/walked that, crossed the road at the end of that section and then made our way along IMG_8940a track hugging a dry stone wall separating a field from Haworth Moor. It’s a well signed route to Brontë Waterfalls and beyond to Top Withens. It’s what you might call undulating. Honestly, I don’t think the hills on the initial stretch are too bad really – certainly not if I could actually breathe. I’m looking forward to having another go. The terrain isn’t too technical really but there were a few bits where I needed to concentrate and it was good to practice and just keep moving. I’m happy with how that went.

We reached the Waterfall – it was a little trickle really. We didn’t take a picture but Kath 31084267_961162334063915_7898002905209241600_ndid on Wednesday  (so here is hers!) and instead we got some on the little stone bridge which led us on our way to Top Withens. As we made our way up here I started to feel a little flakey. I had a bit of tailwind but I think maybe not IMG_8934enough. As we were close to Top Withens I felt a little faint, had some more tailwind and started feeling better. We walked a bit further and then picked a spot to sit for a few minutes and drink in the beauty of the moor. I was trying to spot the grouse – they were there, I could hear them grumbling but I couldn’t see any around us.

After a few minutes we walked up to Top Withens and spent another minute or two in the ruins and looking around. Somehow I don’t imagine Emily and her sisters walking the moors in weather like this. It’s never warm, sunny and dry when I think of them – it’s always wuthering. Always. The Killjoy society (as Kath called them) have added a plaque to Top Withens to inform us all that it is not Wuthering Heights:

We then started to make our way back down. I felt much better, a little rest and more

IMG_8957tailwind had obviously worked wonders. We jogged down the hill – good practice and pushing out of my comfort zone a bit on the steeper bits. On Wednesday Kath did an out an back run but we decided to do a loop instead and head back via Stanbury. The track from Top Withens towards Stanbury is a very runable track with no real technical sections. There are some stones and some loose gravel but it was easy to pick a route, even for me. I tried to run the downhill and run/walk the flat. We must have been around 5 miles in by now. Once we were off the track we ran/walked the road until we got into the village – the road through is narrow and there isn’t really a pavement so we walked. Once the road widened we started run/walking again.

IMG_8956I briefly wondered whether we should do a tiny detour to go visit my grandma’s grave at Stanbury cemetery but I didn’t want to. It felt like it was pointless; she lived and breathed  this landscape, being out in it and enjoying it as we were seemed somehow more appropriate than giving a nod to the grave stone. So we turned right and ran along the reservoir. We chose a more gradual climb back up by turning left along a track and then we were back on the edge of Haworth and retraced our steps through the field, down the track to the Parsonage. 7.61 miles of gorgeous Brontë country.

We stopped in the Haworth Steam Brewery for food and couldn’t resist a cheeky half – I think actually it was the name of the beer that persuaded Kath that she really had to try some – it’s ‘a good pint’ apparently.

Refreshed we made our way down Main Street and had a look in a few shops. I was surprised. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Haworth and the shops are so much better

Sociable Shadows

than I remembered! There’s Mrs Beighton’s Sweet Shop which is just scrumptious. We saw some lovely things and witty cards in Wave of Nostalgia, some gorgeous artwork and more witty things in Hawksbys Gallery. And then we went to see our friend Sián at her shop Sian Alison Designs where she sells amazing jewellery made with local flowers. I absolutely love her forget-me-not designs but have a look at her Facebook page or if you’re local pop in – the pink heather stuff is lush too.

IMG_9006We walked back through Haworth Park. There seemed to be an abundance of small pug like dogs about today and we had just commented on how the noise of their laboured breathing would get on our nerves when a lad of about 8ish walked past one and exclaimed in a broad Yorkshire accent: ‘They make like they’re dying’. We burst out laughing and were still giggling on the platform as we waited for the train back to Keighley. The return journey was on a steam train with a buffet car so we had another sneaky beer as we watched the familiar landscape choochoo past. In Keighley we watched the steam loco change ends and then popped into the supermarket to get milk, some salad and also a  banana for Kath to eat on the way back. Another 1.5 mile walk and we were home.

A little over 10 and a half miles done today. Year to date – 210.27. And my April mileage is sitting on a very very satisfactory 65 miles, highest monthly mileage so far this year and there’s still a while left! Happy Running!


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