Sunday, 22 February 2015

Leeds to Garforth 21/02/15

8.9 miles, via Richmond Hill, Halton Moor & Temple Newsam.

The original route to the coast resumes, and a fresh trail is burned across Leeds, as per my annual plan, and a bright morning comes on with a 9.10am start, leaving the station via the City Square entrance, to make for the Bond Street - Commercial Street - Kirkgate axis across the town centre, which might be my favourite street in the city, as the history runs thick along it, whilst the throng of shoppers gradually diminishes as you pass on beneath the railway in the direction of the Leeds Minister. Onwards across the Parish Graveyard, and over the Inner Loop Roads, away from the new developments that have grown at this end of town, and on to Marsh Lane, to find the site of Leeds' first railway station of 1834, naturally located near Railway Street, which leads us on to the industrial units and terraces of Richmond Hill, with East Park Road following the deep cutting of the railways heading east. Not venturing into East End Park itself, at the old edge of the city, instead slipping onto Halton Moor road, possibly the last forgotten ancient lane in the city, and now a cycleway leads out of the city in a completed unexpected green space, rising above Neville Hill railway yard and the industrial estates of Cross Green, and grazing the bottom edge of the Halton council estate.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Morley to Outwood 14/02/15

5.4 miles, via Tingley Common & Thorpe on the Hill

An alternate route towards the coast, and a first stride into Wakefield District are needed whilst the days of February cannot offer days without gloom and drizzle, so only a modest mileage is going down as I set out from the Town Hall at 10.25am, heading down Albion Street to follow the bottom half of Commercial Street down between the mill complexes that fired the growth of this town, dropping onto the old route of Wide Lane, before leaving the 1930s council houses behind and crossing the parkland that sits aside Magpie Lane. Then it's onwards among the late 20th century closes following the rights of way that have endured so green spaces can still exist among these developments, and then it's a sharp drop down beyond Peacock Green to cross Topcliffe Beck, before rising on the broken and muddy track up to Topcliffe Farm. The farm lane offers a hard surface over to the Capitol Park East office estate, and across Dewsbury Road we meet the embankment that was once home to Tingley station on the GNR Ardsley - Laisterdyke line, where I'll be sneaking through the trees around the back of the garage and cafĂ©, to meet the enduring railway formation as it heads towards Ardsley, with the branch off from Tingley East Junction still clearly visible. Clear railway formation, with a path but without a right of way, takes me all the way to the trotting field by Thorpe Lane, and the road has to be followed up towards Middleton as the railway vanishes beneath the local Golf course.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Morley to Leeds 08/02/15

6.1 miles, via Churwell, Beeston and Holbeck

No #Hibernot to start this year, let's get straight to the action and the major themes of the season, and trails to the North and East, ventures across Leeds and the road to the Coast all demand that I set out from Morley to Leeds, where a largely unique rout can still be dug out. Starting out from the new WYMetro sign outside the Town hall at 9.50am, my path goes along Albion Street, to the top half of commercial Street, past the Congregational church and branch Library, and down through the terraces of Zoar Street to drop down to Troy Lane and Albert Road, and down the steep path to Station Road. Beyond the railway station it's up the path to New bank Street, where new development has claimed the equestrian fields seen here two years ago, and then it's out into the fields to fall and rise my way to Broad Oaks farm. A field walk leads me into the back of Churwell, and across Elland Road and to head down Old Road, the original route of the Leeds to Elland turnpike and down through the oldest part of the village before passing out below the railway viaduct to the main road and joining Millshaw, which continues the forgotten route of the turnpike across Ring Road Beeston and sharply uphill to meet the back of Beeston itself.

Monday, 2 February 2015

New Year, New Targets, New Blog

Armed with a Garmin for the
new year of trails ahead!
Achieving my target of 1,000 miles on foot before my 40th Birthday, and then exceeding it by a further 400+ miles, in 2014, in no way brings my walking odyssey to an end, for a brief look at the map shows up large areas of territory around West Yorkshire where my feet are yet to fall, and despite passing 40 and having not gained any additional good health, I'm still of a mood to continue using walking as my method of keeping fit. So 2015 brings on another walking season, and a whole new set of walking targets, notably my new goal of 5,000 miles before my 50th Birthday, in 2024, a pretty straightforward total when that would require only 3,600 miles to go down in the next decade, or only 360 miles per year, when I have already averaged 100 miles above that.