High on a hill above Todmorden in west Yorkshire lies Gaddings Dam. I’d never heard of it until last Wednesday when Caroline and Trev invited William and I to go to Hebden Bridge with them.
The main reason for the trip to Hebden Bridge was to try out the Lamppost Cafe which is owned by a friend of Trev’s. The cafe is a very dog friendly one. They even sell cakes made for dogs! Caroline’s dog, Harley, tried one and judging by the way he scoffed it up we presumed the doggy cakes were very nice! Anyway it was here that we learned about Gaddings Dam. Trev’s friend mentioned in conversation that she had been swimming in it. Our interest was peaked and so Trev suggested that we take a short detour on the way home and check it out. Caroline had actually heard about the dam but had never been there either so it was a first for all four of us.
It’s just a ten minute walk from the Shepherd’s Rest pub we were told. Well… We found the pub, parked the car and set off on our ten minute walk up a hill with the wrong footwear on and totally unprepared for what lay ahead!
Thirty minutes later we were still walking and climbing steadily higher and higher. It was at this point William asked had any of us donated to the Air Ambulance recently. Ever the pessimist his mind was working overtime and he was imagining one of us being airlifted to the nearest hospital with heaven knows what kind of injuries! The rest of us were enjoying the views.
The views were something special! England’s green and pleasant land was in evidence every which way we looked.
If you look carefully you’ll spot several rock climbers clinging to the rocks in the pic above. We were on our way to climbing higher than they were albeit in a less vertical direction.
We couldn’t have picked a better day though. The sun shone down on us and we could see for miles.
We just couldn’t see the dam anywhere! Every time we rounded a bend in the hillside there was another bend and another hill in front of us! We’d been climbing for about 45 minutes now. Trev broke away and climbed further up to see what was over the next hill while Caroline consulted Google maps. Looking at the map it became clear that we had taken the wrong track from the bottom of the hill and that the dam had to be close.
We joined Trev at the top of the hill and after a few more minutes walking, hallelujah!, we found Gaddings Dam.
What a little gem! Safe for swimming and complete with a beach. It doesn’t get much better than that in these parts.
Look at Billy’s face. I think that was how I felt too – in a good way though.
I think we deserved a rest after that climb. Caroline snapped this pic with her iPhone 5c. I like it.
Look how pretty. Harley thought he was in heaven.
It’s definitely a place we need to go back to. The boys will absolutely love it!
Imagine this place in winter though. There’ll be a completely different atmosphere then. The word inhospitable comes to mind.
Starting the descent now, down the ten minute way, and stopping for a quick picture before the going got tough.
The walker in blue on his way up looked a bit hot and sweaty. He informed us he was going up for a swim. He was about to cool off pretty quickly. We all know that water has got to be freezing even on a red hot day like last Wednesday!
Looking down, the clearly defined path going off to the right is the one we took on the way up. We’ll know better next time.
The woolly locals were friendly enough.
Stoodley Pike with its monument in the background.
What a pleasure then to finish off in The Shepherd's Rest Inn with a cold drink. A lovely pub. We’ll be going back there too!