|Haigh Road, Rothwell Haigh.|
|The Rothwell Whale Jawbone.|
|Field Walking to the M621 crossing.|
|Walking through Belle Isle's Green(!)space.|
|Belle Isle Circus.|
|The Middleton Railway terminus, and South Leeds Stadium.|
Cross Flatts park, Beeston, with Igloo!
The scene of my earliest walking exploits?
|Holbeck Cemetery, Beeston.|
|Elland Road, from Beggars Hill.|
|Even when memorialised, Don Revie seems underappreciated.|
I suspect it's all a bit busier down here on game day, but with Leeds playing away, the throng of fans is absent as we pass under the M621 via the white, yellow and blue underpass to leave the football world behind and pace on through the industrial district of Lowfields, where only the Jump Inc trampoline park seems to be doing any business today, catering to those with indoors tastes, as we run out to meet the A62 Gelderd Road, squarely between the two railway bridges. A path leads us up and under the contemporary line between Leeds and Doncaster, where two bridges carry only on line, and then meet passage around and over the line since lost from Farnley & Wortley junction to the Holbeck Viaduct, the L&NWR's formation since filled in by car park and factory yard but still clearly visible to these eyes, left in our wake as checkpoint three is hit ahead of schedule on the A58 Whitehall Road. Peek at the footbridge over the former railway yards by the Huddersfield & Manchester lines before taking the passage over it by the Dragon Inn, and taking note of the former Farnley & Wortley station before we start the press on into the suburban spread of Wortley itself, and it's hard to tell where all its divisions lie, as I'm pretty that the rising Dixon Lane is too far east to be in Lower Wortley. So trying to pick pout where we are becomes a challenge as any evidence of vintage is sought among the many semis, again taking time to find the less icy side of the road, finding an ancient sort of corner around Green Side, and the church of St John the Evangelist. Over the Green Hill Road junction we run into Upper Wortley proper, and the extensive clearance and replacement of the terraces in the 1960s has left us with a rather undistinguished district with too many unpretty low rises, with only the Golden Fleece inn and the old police station providing any immediate interest while the eye is naturally drawn to the distant tower of St Bart's Armley. Meet the crossing of Tong Road, rather suddenly, and the rising passage of Whingate leads us on past the colourful Commercial Inn and the terraces of outer Armley, passing over the wide bridge across the railway's metals to Bradford and on past the shadow of the former school buildings (I assume) that dominate the skyline above the terraces around Charlie Cake Park. Pass the end of Armley Town Street before Hill Top Road indicates we ought to have met the top of the West Leeds and Upper Armley hillside, not getting any notable views in either direction before we meet the Traveller's Rest inn at the summit.
|The lost Holbeck Viaduct branch, between A62 and A58.|
|Ascending the steep and icy Dixon Lane.|
|The Golden Fleece, Upper Wortley.|
|The Old School, Whingate.|
|The Traveller's Rest, and Green Hill house, Upper Armley.|
Steep and slippery going, as the suburbia resumes down Green Hill Road, meeting another former workhouse, Bramley Union's, which is now occupied by St Mary's hospital, a unit still very much in operation, and located to the picturesque Armley Cemetery, again ripe with atmosphere beneath the fall of snow, once to be found well beyond the edge of the 19th century city. Pressing on to meet the Church of the Venerable Bede, and the only point in the day when I need to check my map to confirm that I do have to go down the snowbound passage aside it to cross over the A647 Stanningley Road, taking my life in my hands as the fourth and final timing point is met, early again. Push downhill, past the edge of the Wyther Park as Houghley Road leads us into a leafy corner around the RC church and school of Christ the King, before abruptly ending and sending us into a presently in-green and in-leafy passage down Houghley Gill, a landscape groove that has clearly survived the growth of Bramley's estates and suburbs, to form another natural lung that all districts should have. Descending carefully through the snow, I'm reminded of a drunk walk that I did this way back to Burley in 2002, from a friend's house in the Musgraves, which ought to stand as another of my formative walking experiences, fondly recalled as we negotiate our way along icy pavements through the Raynvilles at the western edge of Greater Bramley. Meet Wyther Road, to pass over the icebound Leeds & Liverpool Canal, and take a detour into the industrial park around the site of the former MR Kirkstall station, to meet the railway's Goods shed that is still extant, and home to a used Jaguar dealership, before joining the tangle of familiar tangle of paths at Kirkstall Bridge, seen here before as the sole passage over the River Aire and the railway, where the Brewery flats, the Bridge Inn and the retail park don't need any more description. From the A65 Kirkstall Road, we do need to take a detour, past Abbey Mills and up Norman Street (past where other friends once lived in the Vesper terraces), so a sneak can be made from Morris Lane and into the yard of St Stephen's Kirkstall, as this is one of those churches that can only be seen when the trees surrounding it have been stripped of all their leaf cover. From there we meet the Vicarage terraces and the outer edge of Student land, where Station Parade does not lead to the station, and the concluding steps have to be made via the edge of Kirkstall Lane to roll up at Headingley station at 2.35pm, rising to the platform having crossed 18 previous trails and achieving my circuit in the allotted time, whilst also beating the onset of chills and celebrating NO FALLS on my first snow and ice walking day since April 2013!
St Mary's hospital (former Bramley Union Workhouse),
and Armley cemetery.
|Houghley Gill, a secret green(!)space hidden in Bramley.|
|Wyther Road and the icebound Leeds & Liverpool Canal.|
|The former MR Goods Shed, Kirkstall Bridge.|
|St Stephen's, Kirkstall, only visible in Winter!|
5,000 Miles Cumulative Total: 3150.5 miles
Up Country Total: 2874.9 miles
Solo Total: 2894.2 miles
Next Up: Back in the City again, as Spring approaches. Maybe?