A long hot summer


Sunday August 4th. Dales Way Part 3. Ribblehead to Sedbergh. 17 miles

Leader: Geoff Halliwell. 22 walkers.

Heavy rain accompanied our journey up the M6 to pick up the coach at Sedbergh but we needn`t have worried as the weather improved throughout the day, giving us glorious sunshine with only the occasional light shower.
Twenty two took the coach back to Ribblehead to start the walk where Hazel joined us to make a total of 23.
After a brief moorland crossing we descended into beautiful Dentdale, passing beneath Dent Head viaduct and following the river Dee all the way to lunch at Dent village. Here a few took the opportunity to explore this quaint dales village with it`s cobbled streets, impressive church and whitewashed cottages.
After lunch we continued alongside the river Dee before climbing out of Dentdale and dropping into the Rathsay valley with fantastic views of the Howgill fells, before arriving at Sedbergh.
All agreed it had been a great day`s walking  with the final part into the Lake District yet to come.


Thanks to Howard for the pictures on the link above.

Thanks to Geoff for the pictures above


Wednesday August 7th. Fairies and Pharaohs. 14 miles.

Leader: Norman Thomas. 20 walkers and 2 dogs.



Fairies and Pharaohs” – what a name for a walk! It certainly attracted a different kind of clientele. All the club’s top fairies turned out. As Norman led us off from the start at Fairy Glen and into the woods he instructed us, “Say Good Morning to the fairy”. There were that many about you looked around and thought “well which fairy do I say good morning to?” All that is of course a little joke and I’m sure everyone has taken it in the spirit it was intended! 


This is just a fabulous route and one of Norman’s very best. The rural and agricultural countryside round Parbold is just a pleasure to walk. There is so much to take in and marvel at. Fairy Glen was a delight, emerging into Appley Bridge , across the Leeds/Liverpool canal and up into Beacon Country Park – the perfect spot for our mid morning break; toilets and an abundance of picnic tables. From there we dropped back down to the canal towpath and off to Parbold. The new café and ice cream parlour (highly recommended!) saw Norman change his lunchtime plans. We went off through the lovely little village, onto Stony Lane and up the incline to Hunter’s Hill with its magnificent views of the Lancashire Plain – Liverpool Bay , Southport, Blackpool and the Lakes. We pulled Ken Noble’s leg that it was no wonder he left Yorkshire to come and live in Lancashire with views like this! (We did however ask him to keep it quiet as we don’t want anymore of them coming over – he and June within twelve months of each other is quite enough thank you very much!).


The highlight of the walk was still to come with Horrock’s Hill and the site of Doreen Viney’s late husband’s John memorial bench. We all had a minute or two here to reflect on what this meant but John’s view from there is just wonderful.


A couple of miles to the finish and off we went to the Farmer’s Arms – the perfect end to a perfect day for what must be the best bunch of people ever to circumnavigate Fairy Glen!       




PS from Hilary. Ken clocked the distance on his gizmo as 13.98 miles, he said it had broken his heart to tell Norman that his mileage was spot on - that must be a first!!!!




Thanks to Howard for the pictures above.


Thanks to Terry for the pictures above.




A Wander on the Wirral                                                        Sunday August 18th 2013

16 persons and two dogs                      21 miles                        Ldr : John Bullen



Driver Barbara and travelling companion Norman wandered up the Wirral, they wandered down the Wirral, they wandered across the Wirral and they ended up in……. Chester which isn’t on the Wirral. When they eventually (9.05am) arrived at our meeting place of Hooton Barbara blamed their confusion on the Satnav system. As Norman emerged from the passenger side red-faced, rather sheepish and had the road map in his hand it was hard to ignore the suspicion that the Satnav in Barbara’s car is a talkative, ex-plumber from Horwich who has never been known in seventy years to admitting being wrong about anything!


We picked up the excellent Wirral Circular Trail from Hooton, the first stop being the quite marvellous preserved railway station at Hadlow Road . It is maintained as the station was in the heyday of steam trains, even down to the station cat being asleep on the chair and the station master’s bacon and eggs already laid out for his breakfast. Leaving the disused railway line which is now a superb cycleway, walkway and bridlepath we headed for the Dee estuary coastline and entered the quite unique old resort of Parkgate. Now famous for birdspotters, Nicholls ice cream and superb old buildings this was once (around 1800) an important dock and high class resort. The composer Handel waiting to embark for Ireland stayed in what was then the George Inn (now the Ship Inn) and here it was that he composed The Messiah. Perhaps his boat was delayed for weeks by unfavourable winds and when finally it was announced ready to sail that glorious line, “Halleluiah” came to him! The next town of Ness was the birthplace of one Emily Lyon who became Lady Hamilton. This is indeed an historic place.


We hugged the coastline for another four miles before turning back onto and along the old railway line Wirral Way . After Parkgate we dropped back down to the riverside thus creating a walk which is in essence a flattened out figure eight. The afternoon delight was calling at the recently opened Lorraine’s tearooms at Burton Manor in the picturesque old village of Burton – there is not a better afternoon tea to be had for many a mile and the service was second to none. Reluctantly we had to don our rucksacks again and continue, heading back to our cars along some very pleasant country lanes through a horseriders’ paradise judging by the number of stables.


I apologise (again) about the mileage (21 as opposed to the 18 I said it would be). All I can advise for my walks in future is that “x” equals the mileage I advertise but the walk will actually be “x plus three”!! I think those people who said they weren’t going to come along because it was “too far” meant they know about my mileage miscalculations and they weren’t referring to the travelling distance!


It was great to see the Clarke brothers, Tony and Steve, out on this walk after an absence which could be measured in years. After their constant caustic remarks and biting sarcasm we can only hope it is even longer before they turn out again. Only joking lads join us again in another six or seven years but give us advance warning of which walk it will be!              


Thanks to everyone who came along – we had a great day and the weather was extremely kind. A big thank you also to the Wirral Countryside Service who had been along with a strimmer just a day or two before.






Wednesday August 21st. Moor Perambulations.


Leader: Julie Wightman. 22 walkers and 2 dogs.



 14 nautical miles or, if you insist, just over 16 miles.


Before departing the Boatyard car park at Riley Green, the usual pep talk was given with participants warned to expect the odd question (with prizes forcorrect answers) along the route.

This obviously generated a greatdeal of excitement and provided an ideal diversion from the uncertainty over the length of the walk! (see above)


From the Boatyard we headed west along the Leeds-Liverpool canal passing Withnell Fold before going across the canal at Bridge No 85 and heading up to the Blackburn /Chorley Road. Skirting Highfield Golf Club our next destination was Brinscall Hall (yoga or willow sculpture anyone?)

It was then down The Goit towards White Coppice. At this point the walkers were informed that Sir Norman Howarth. born in 1883 in said White Coppice, won the Nobel Prize in 1937  - but for what? The correct answer was arrived at by a process of elimination – it was chemistry.


Up and down Great Hill (height 381m – here we got the right answer to the wrong question!), lunch break at Hollinshead Hall and then up on to Darwen Moor and the Jubilee Tower (height 85ft– John Crook won prize for coming closest at 87ft) .Bythis time the sun was shining and it was nearly downhill all the way – round Earnsdale Reservoir and following the Witton Weavers Way through Tockholes towards and then under the M65 on to Stocksdale Lane. We were on the home stretch now as we turned left at Shawes Farm and made our way back along the canal to the Boatyard.


The walk ended in fine weather.(contrary to the forecast)  Ken confirmed the mileage as 16.5 and I confessed that I had planned the walk on the computer using nautical miles which are, of course, longer than “ordinary miles”. My explanation that this was because we had walked along the canal was met (somewhat unkindly I thought ) with a certain amount of derision!!


Enjoyable walk with good company.


Julie Wightman.




Pictures by Don and Hilary




Monday August 26th.  In Search of Slater's Icecream.
20 miles from Foulridge. Leader: Ken Noble. 25 walkers and 2 dogs
This walk visits most of the points of interest visited on my Face in the Rock walk, but from a different direction.
On a beautiful sunny morning, 25 walkers & 2 dogs (including Debra & David, new members from Merseyside and Mark's 15 year old son) left Foulridge Wharf for a short walk along the Leeds/Liverpool canal before starting the climb up Weets Hill, picking up the Pendle Way en route.
Paul's dog Bailey had a confrontation with a cat as we reached the road to Barnoldswick. Alma was very heroic putting herself between them and getting the cat to retreat under a parked car. Bailey suffered some scratches to his nose, but recovered well.
We had a short coffee stop at the trig point on Weets Hill, then continued on the Pendle Way for a short distance before eventually leaving it to descend to Malkin Tower Farm, then passing close to Stansfield Tower, also known as Blacko Tower.
We had lunch at Barley where toilets and seats are available.
After lunch we followed the track past Lower Ogden Reservoir to reach Upper Ogden reservoir where we had a steep climb up and over Driver Height to Well Head Road.
After a short walk on the road, we dropped down to Bull Hole Farm where John Nutter allegedly had two cows killed by Pendle witches.
From here we climb to the ridge for an easy walk to find Slater's Icecream! I think most of us were successful in our search!
The walk continues along the ridge before dropping to join the Pendle Way again at Pendle Water, which we followed to Barrowford.
Here we leave the Pendle Way again to reach the Leeds/Liverpool canal which we followed back to Foulridge Wharf.
Thanks to Terry for the photos.
Mark has also kindly sent some photos.