Pennine Way Stage 3 runs from Standedge to Calder Valley. It’s a short 11 mile day with a worthwhile mile long detour to Hebden Bridge at the end. Highlights of day 3 include a pub halfway, several flat reservoirs sections and finally, Stoodley Pike viewpoint.
The day starts with an easy climb to the Standedge summit. On a clear day you’ll witness sweeping views of the surrounding towns, cities and valleys.
Most Easterly Point of Lancashire
Between Standedge and White Hill you’ll pass a significant boundary marker. An interesting fact is the most easterly point of Lancashire is actually slightly further east but the marker has been put on the Pennine Way so more people will pass it.
The second trig point of the day is White Hill. As a matter of fact, this is probably one of the easiest trig points you’ll reach throughout the whole Pennine Way. So easy, that you won’t feel like you’ve climbed to reach it. As you head down towards the M62 motorway, there may be a snack van which is always a welcome sight on the Pennine Way.
Panoramic Manchester View
You could see Manchester during the Pennine Way, Stage 1 and Stage 2. We’re now on the Pennine Way, Stage 3 and can still clearly see Manchester. Are we making any progress north? Thankfully, these will be the last panoramic Manchester views as we are making progress north.
West Yorkshire Boundary Marker
Shortly before the M62 motorway is a West Yorkshire boundary marker. Welcome to West Yorkshire, you’ll be here for the rest of Stage 3 as well as Stage 4 and part of Stage 5. The truth is, you’re going to be in Greater Manchester until you pass Blackstone Edge. Lastly, the West Yorkshire boundary marker is a good place to take your photo.
Did you know the M62 is the highest motorway in the UK? What’s more, the Pennine Way Bridge crosses the M62 at its highest point, 372 meters altitude.
It’s a short climb from the M62 summit to Blackstone Edge. Eventually, you’ll reach the Blackstone Edge Trig Point at 472 meters. I stopped here for a sit down and a drink whilst I worked out which cities I was looking at. On a clear day you can see Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Bolton, Stockport as well as Manchester. All of these are surrounding by beautiful green hills. Time to move into West Yorkshire which is famous for its sweeping green hills.
The White House Pub, Blackstone Edge Reservoir
After descending Blackstone Edge, you’ll arrive at Halifax Road. The Pennine Way follows Halifax Road for a few hundred meters where it passes the White House Pub. I cannot think of a better time to enjoy a pub lunch than half way through the Pennine Way Stage 3! Take a break here, enjoy a cold drink and a good meal before walking it off on the flat reservoir section of the day. Adjacent to the White House Pub is the first reservoir of the day, Blackstone Edge Reservoir.
Light Hazzles Reservoir
On a calm down, be sure to appreciate the sky reflecting in the reservoir. The second reservoir you’ll pass is Light Hazzles Reservoir. Avoid walking on the hard path and try keeping to the grass, your feet will thank you at the end of the day!
The final reservoir of the day is Warland Reservoir. I was lucky to experience strong blue skies with puffy white clouds reflecting in the water. Additionally, I recommend you look out for wading birds which are common around these reservoirs.
You’ll see Stoodley Pike long before you reach it. However, when you do reach it you’re almost at the end of the Pennine Way stage 3. It’s downhill into the Calder Valley from there. Stoodley Pike was built in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War and is 37 meters tall. Finally, Stoodley Pike is incredibly picturesque and I’m sure it will tempt you to get your camera out on more than one occasion.
After passing Stoodley Pike it’s time to head down into the Calder Valley which marks the end of the Pennine Way Stage 3. Enjoy the downhill because tomorrow starts with an uphill out of the other side of the valley.
Where to Stay in Calder Valley?
The Calder Valley gives you many options on where to stay. I walked a mile off route to Hebden Bridge which has supermarkets, cafes, restaurants as well as good value accommodation. You’ll also find camping or B&B options in Mankinholes and beside the Pennine Way. If you wish to continue a little into Stage 4, there’s a friendly campsite at the top of the hill.
Pennine Way Stage 4 Calder Valley to Ickornshaw