Wednesday May 2nd. Worzel Gummidge Wander.
14 miles from Hornby. Leader: Mary Robinson. 16 walkers and 4 dogs.
The weather forecast was for grey skies but no rain. Hooray! The last few walks have been very wet and cold affairs. True to the forecasters word we didn't have any rain and that very rare orange ball in the sky made an appearance. Hooray again!!
The car park at Hornby was already full by the time we arrived, so it was parking on the road for many of the group. At 10 'o' clock prompt Mary marched us off by the river Wenning turning right to join the Lune and along the valley to Melling. Morning break was a pleasant affair near the river bank. We then went over hill and down dale, through green and pleasant fields which were surprisingly dry underfoot given the recent rain.
We then circuited round to arrive in Wennington for lunch on the banks of the river in the sunshine. Moving on there had to be a decision whether to return to Wray along the road or to do a loop to Roeburndale. The pleasant day and good walking won, so we circuited the dale with some very eroded paths in places. We passed through some lovely woodland with the bluebells out in force. The long road back to Wray was made easier with the promise of a stop at the tea rooms. Most people treated themselves to an ice cream as the day was really quite warm. We then took a leisurely stroll through the village admiring the many wonderful scarecrows on display. The imagination of some people was very evident. There were many themes this year, the Queen's Jubilee, the Olympics, Titanic, Pendle Witches, Scott's polar expedition. Very amusing some of them were too. That just left a short walk back to Hornby, the end of a very pleasant walk and day. Thank you Mary.
Monday May 7th. Macc to Buxton Bank Holiday Treat.
14miles; Leader: Hilary Bell.
Norman’s Bob’s Smithy evening walk
Monday 14th May 2012
Bright and breezy weather on Monday evening saw ten people and two dogs heading on their way across Old Links golf course, with Norman, our leader, resplendent in fluorescent garb. We went to Barrow Bridge, crossed Smithills Dean Rd and passed an empty hall showing the initials P.A. alongside the date 1842.
Norman then took us on a free animal safari, viewing deer, rare farm breeds and llama, courtesy of Smithills Open Farm, which was hosting a school party at the time. They were enjoying a bumpy ride in a trailer hitched to a tractor and having great fun – who needs Disneyland??!!
A delightful wooded valley was then crossed to reach Smithills Hall, where we had a jelly baby stop, supplied by Norman (yes, really!). Passing Barrow Bridge chimney our attention was drawn to the special brick which commemorated the repairing of the chimney in 1996 by none other than Fred Dibnah.
We returned for welcome refreshment at Bob’s Smithy via the outskirts of Moss Bank Park and the golf course. An added bonus was the very informative discourse on old sanitaryware manufacturers of the Bolton area given by Jim – this is what happens when you get two people from the plumbing trade together!
Many thanks to Norman for his extensive preparation of the route and delicate negotiations with an irate golfer on the recce.
Wednesday May 16th 2012.
Two Rivers Walk. Leader: Norman Thomas. 15 miles and 15 walkers.
The walk started from Rivington Lower barn on an overcast and chilly morning.This was a walk up several (but not all) of the Coope's dozen summits to visit the sources of the Rivers Yarrow and Douglas. A combination of 2 of Norman 's other walks
Sgt-Major Norm made it clear from the outset that this was a bit of a toughie and a “proper” East Lancs walk and frequent cries of “get a move on” were heard from time to time throughout the walk!!
Our first objective was Round Loaf via Yarrow Reservoir and the war memorial.The paths around here and up to Great Hill were pretty indistinct and the going was slow through the bogs and tufts. However once we got on to Spitlers Edge we were on the motorway and the pace picked up again. Just before we crossed the road to climb Winter Hill we passed the source of the River Yarrow which is marked with a stone and plaque.
Now it was straight up Winter Hill with Lunch at the top to recover from the climb before traversing the summit and turning down the long track to Belmont Road. We turned off the track and followed the path which took us over Egg Hillock and then Whimberry Hill. By this time the sun was out and, although there was a cool breeze,it was turning into a lovely day with clear and stunning views over the Derbyshire and Welsh hills. It felt so remote that it was hard to believe we were only a couple of miles from Bolton.
A visit to Bolton beach had been promised and we headed there after Whimberry hill. Otherwise known as Deane reservoir, there was indeed sand at the beach but unfortunately no sun loungers and cocktails !!
From the beach we made our way through Roscow Woods and then up to 2 Lads. From here we could see our next target which was Rivington Pike with the source of the River Douglas close by. There seemed to be a spring in everyone's step now as we the end was in sight and the final part was all downhill through the chinese gardens and back to Rivington.
Thanks to Norman for leading this walk at short notice – tough but fab !!
Sunday May 20th. Bride Stones Circular.
20 miles from Hebden Bridge. Leader: Andy Griffin.
Advertised as a 20 mile walk, it finished as a 21 mile walk with over 3000 feet of climbing. 15 walkers set of from Hebden Bridge heading for Stoodley Pike via Erringden Moor. The morning weather soon improved into very good walking weather with a slight breeze and clear views on the tops. A morning stop was taken at Todmorden market where we were joined by Alma and David who got to Hebden late but walked along the canal to meet up with us. The market cafe did a good trade in bacon butties!
On leaving Tod we climbed out via Stansfield Rd, Rive Rocks and Lower Ashes Farm to join the Tod Centenary way near Eastwood Rd. We contoured across to Whirlaw before descending onto the Calderdale Way then climbing back up to the Bride Stones for our lunch stop.
The afternoon took us to Widdop via Dukes Cut (where Sue Boardman short-cutted back to Hebden). We then followed the main track through Hardcastle Crags back to Hebden. I had two new members Les and Lesley in the walk who had never walked more than 16 miles before but kept up with the pace very well. It was a terrific day and thanks to those who turned up.
Thank you to Andy Dobney for the pictures
Tuesday May 22nd. White Coppice Evening Stroll. 7pm from White Coppice.
Leader: Jake Clarke
The warm evening sunshine welcomed us to the start of Jake’s delightful evening walk from White Coppice. A combination of seventeen seasoned LDWA walkers, regular Tuesday evening supporters and people coming along for the first time headed off into the charismatic Lancashire countryside. Setting off from the “Best Kept Hamlet 1996” towards Anglezarke reservoir along the delightfully named ‘Goit’ meeting up with a small road just south of the Reservoir . After a relatively short ascent from the southern dam we were rewarded by stunning panoramic views from the summit of Healey nab. We were able see Blackpool Tower clearly visible on the horizon, the shimmering waters of the sea around Morcambe and the outlines of the Clwydan Hills in the distance.
After a short break the group meandered down towards Chorley to join the canal path which passed by Botany Bay. Continuing along the canal through Wheelton we circled round to head back towards White Coppice through woodlands and winding countryside footpaths. The route was slightly longer than anticipated and finished in the dying embers of daylight just before ten o’clock leaving seventeen extremely satisfied walkers. The new walkers were absolutely delighted and amazed at all the beauty of the area and thanked everyone for their warm welcome, they are looking forward to further walks in the future.
I’m obviously a little biased but Jake put on an excellent walk which everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy. Thanks Jake and we look forward to your next outing.
Sunday May 27th. Jump in the Lake with Afternoon Tea.
18 miles from Hale. Leader: Steve Blackshaw.18 walkers.
17-18 miles in the gentle countryside of North Cheshire. And a trig point.
Ooh-er, it’s not raining. And the sun’s shining…..perhaps people WILL turn up for today’s walk!
I arrived at the start to find 17 walkers milling around the back streets of Hale, much to the consternation of the local residents. They hadn’t seen so much on-street activity since, well, the riots of last summer? Perhaps not.
At 9.03am prompt we set off, all of us were well-plastered with suncream, wearing hats etc, such was the strength of the sun.
Walking through pleasant woodland (well I thought it was pleasant!!) we soon gained the banks of the River Bollin, it’s rippling surface dappled by the bright sunshine that flickered through the leafy trees.
There’s artistic for you. It goes downhill from here.
The route has been changed ever-so slightly. Previously we went through Castle Mill, but this time we bypassed the place and climbed away from the river bank across green fields. The climb was to prove to Norman that there were climbs in our part of Cheshire. There was a trig point too. There’s to be a commando-type raid soon, the idea being to clean up the trig point and paint it in an attempt to return it to it’s former glory. But I’ve no idea who may be responsible for that. Honest.
Heading towards Manchester Airport’s now not-so-new Runway 2, we walked through a lot of ‘manufactured’ countryside. When the runway works were approved, a condition of the development was that the Airport Authority return the surrounding area to a habitat suitable for the wildlife that was once common in the area. This they have done with great success with lots of small ponds, woodland, buildings suitable for bats and so on. It was the area used by the environmental protestor ‘Swampy’ to stage his demonstrations.
We were soon level with the end of one of the airport runways and spent a good few minutes watching planes land and take off. It’s a man thing.
Once again following the River Bollin and on airport-only roadways and tracks, the River Bollin culvert appeared. Norman was impressed….so it MUST be good. Again, wildlife is well catered for in this man-made tunnel, nesting boxes and wild-life ‘runs’ had been provided by the developers. On a previous walk through the tunnel anglers were fishing for trout – although I don’t know if they were successful.
A first lunch stop was called, and a pleasant 20 or so minutes was spent in the sunshine before we wandered of in a southerly direction, alongside Runway 2.
Our route took us through more (flat) pleasant countryside, and around mid-day a second lunch stop was called for on a green and grassy bank close to the Manchester – Chester railway line. Setting off once again, one of our group pointed out that the A380 Airbus was due to land at Manchester Airport at 12.20 – and that we were directly under the flightpath. At 12.20 precisely, the earth moved. If you’ve ever seen the opening scene from Star Wars it might give you some idea of how enormous the A380 is – absolutely huge. It’s another man-thing.
Skirting the village of Mobberley, we walked through lots of horsey fields. Two horses, separated by an electric fence, were leaning over the barrier to, er, lick each others backs. It was tragically comical to hear the loud neighs of protest when they accidently touched up against the high voltage line.
Onwards through to Knutsford – and a stop at an ice-cream shop. Very welcome in the heat.
Into the cool shade of Tatton Park’s woodland and alongside Tatton Mere. This was the body of water used by No1 Parachute Training School to practice water landings by parachute during WW2.
A very poignant memorial to the training school provided us with another photo opportunity, not just of the memorial, but also the views over the Peak District – the distinctive profile of Shutlingsloe being very prominent.
The very grand Tatton Hall (NT), once the seat of the Egerton family, and it’s equally grand outbuildings provided yet another stop – for comfort if nothing else. The courtyard was teaming with day-visitors, all enjoying the hot sunshine.
To leave the park we had to pass Home Farm which provides a picture of rural life where time has stood still since the 1930s.
Across to farmland and following a church track, we soon arrived at the main attraction of the day: St Mary’s Church, Rostherne.
Tea, coffee and scones (pronounced SCONS) were provided by the church at minimal cost to us, but more importantly we were made extremely welcome and enjoyed a fascinating talk about the church’s history.
Little is known about the early history of the church. There is no reference to a church at Rostherne in the Domesday Book but a deed dated 1188 states that a church had been on the site. Prior to that it was a site of Pagan worship – like so many now-Christian churches.
Norman insisted he show us where he used to go birdwatching by Rostherne Mere….although I couldn’t quite make mind up if he was talking of the feathered or un-feathered variety.
It wasn’t long before we once again crossed the River Bollin and we were back at our cars.
We were at the end of the day’s expedition and the sun was still very hot. I’m sure that, even with suncream, many of the group will suffer some degree of sunburn.
It was a cracking day out and thanks must go to everyone who turned up to make it such a success – especially John Bullen who arranged the Afternoon Tea bit – a brilliant idea!.
The only sad bit was that John, still suffering from South West Coast Path-itis was unable to join us. John: you missed a grand day out!
Please click on the link below to see John's photos.
Wednesday May 30th. A Sight of Skeggleswater.
14 miles from Stavely. Leader: Doug Tilly.