It was a pleasant September day as we headed for Haworth and Bronte country for a 11km Saturday walk.
I parked the car in the first car park I found in Haworth and walked over to the pay and display machine. It suddenly occurred to me that this might be the car park that has been in the news for wheel clamping. As I approached the ticket machine an elderly man approached and asked if I wanted to buy his book.He said he was also the car park owner. I asked if he was the Haworth car clamper who has been in the news, and he said he was, but that it was all blown out of proportion and he hadn’t clamped anyone for years!
Anyway, my wife, who is an avid reader, bought his book for £10 because he said all the money went to charity and if we displayed the book in the car windscreen we could park for free. I read the sign next to the ticket machine and noticed that the sign said cars must be parked in the bays or they would be clamped. I checked and sure enough I had parked correctly.
Anyway. with boots on, we set off with map in hand past the Bronte Parsonage nearby and followed the path towards cemetery Road which lead eventually from the road to a walkers path towards Bronte Waterfalls. A lady dog walker we chatted to said that we should cover up as there were a lot of midges – we have the bites to prove she was correct !
The path to Bronte Waterfalls is a little rough in parts but the waterfalls themselves are not the most spectacular I have seen but its a pretty spot. On the way there you can see Lower Laithe reservoir on your right. At Bronte Waterfalls we then crossed a small bridge and there is a short steep climb to the top where you can look back on Bronte Waterfalls and fabulous views beyond. It’s probably a good 30 minute walk from here to Top Withens, which you can see in the distance on a hill.
The views from Top Withens are great and we sat on a bench next to the ruins of the old house that was once someones house and are said to have been the inspiration of the novel Wuthering Heights.
Heading back down the hill we joined the Pennine Way and it was a pleasant walk down to the village of Stanbury. After the village turn right and cross the dam of Lower Laithe Resevoir and then left near the water treatment works and back to Cemetery Road and then it’s just a short walk back to the Parsonage in Haworth.
Overall, the walk is about 11km and it took us 3.5 hours.
After a well-earned coffee and cakes at The Stirrup in Haworth village we walked back to the car park. It was when we entered the car park that I noticed there were several annoyed car owners. At least 3 cars had been clamped for parking outside the bays and their owners were remonstrating with the clamper. Our car was not clamped. I went over to talk to the clamper and he said our car was fine. The car owners had to find £90 to have the clamp released and they were not at all happy !
As we headed back to Leeds feeling good about our walk we couldn’t help feeling sorry for the clamped car owners who had by a matter of inches fallen foul of the infamous car clamping rules at Changegate car park.