Heading Towards Christmas....

Anne waves hello Chat at the top Darwen Tower Gathering at the start Watch out for trains What a view
Blackburn Beauty Sunday December 12th 2010

22 people and 1 dog. 21 miles. Ldr : Neil Smith

In near perfect winter walking conditions Commander Smith led his troops on a brisk 21 miles round the delights of Blackburn. The frozen ground negated the mud and the sun was out to brighten the day and open up the vistas of Lancashire. The starting number was boosted to 20 when Kim arrived just on time and two more people, Helen Cavanagh and Nigel, joined the group in Witton Park.

From Jumbles it was over to Darwen Tower to inspect the recent storm damage, then off alongside Earnsdale Reservoir and under the motorway at Higher White Haigh. The route skirts the boundary of Blackburn at Cherry Tree, into the splendid Witton Country Park and up through the ancient wood to Billinge Hill which offers one of the finest views in the county.

Still the walk had many more splendours on offer with a traipse along the River Darwen to Houghton Bottoms, over the canal at Feniscowles, under the busy motorway again at Stanworth Farm and on to Abbey Village. Neil’s reccies had led him to believe that this last section along Roddlesworth Reservoir and up through the forest would be tricky underfoot in the icy conditions and this indeed proved to be the case. It was rather like a skating rink with the descending darkness adding to the fun but thankfully everyone kept their feet.

Another outstanding walk. Well done Neil and debutants Hilary Bell, Roger and Levi, John Crook’s new dog. I wonder if this new addition to the Crook household has any idea what the future holds in terms of mileage!!!!!

The Lizard Walk. Weds Dec 22nd. 15 miles from White Coppice.

7 hardy people gathered at White Coppice hoping to catch a glimpse of a Lizard. The road there had been surprisingly good but conditions or Christmas shopping kept many of the regulars away. Jake set off to the summit of Great Hill at a cracking pace. It proved too much for one of the team and we went down to six members. Spittlers Edge was next and we passed a very appropiate sign on the Rivington/Belmont Road. It was then a steep climb up to Winter Hill which was taken very slowly in the icy conditions.

There was a welcome break at the mast buildings then it was over the moor to Rivington Pike. The views were spectacular with the smoke from Fiddlers Ferry Power Station seeming to float eerily in the sky. A quick visit to the Pigeon Tower and then we wended our way down through the Gardens to the Lower Barn. Some enjoyed hot chocolate here before we made our way back along the reservoirs and over to Healy Nab. Again,it was a chance to appreciate the Winter Wonderland before making our way back to White Coppice. But Jake lost points because we didn't see any Lizards! Maybe he'll have to take us round again in the summer.

Appropiate sign At Healey Nab How many arches? Jake near Anglezarke Start at White Coppice Through the trees Towards Rivington Pike Winter Wonderland