July Sun and Walks

Saturday July 29th. Finding the Shard. (Wyre Way part 2) 19 miles. Leaders: Caroline Tennant, Nick Halford, Hilary Scott.

 

8 walkers, Maude dog and Alf dog met, along with the local Zumba ladies, at St Michael’s Village Hall.  We set off South away from the river Wyre passing curious alpacas, over fields and a first crossing of the A586, to reach the Wyre flood bank.  We followed the river through Cartford with its toll bridge and some curious, but well mannered, cows that listened to polite requests to let us pass without incident.  Meeting the A586 for the second time, we diverted to avoid walking along its very noisy pavement.  Quiet roads bought us to Elswick and morning break.

After the reviving break Alf dog decided to have a moment in a field of long grass, running in circles at 100mph for the groups and his own entertainment.  Passing Thistleton we began to get a taster of what was to become known as ‘the Wilds of the Fylde’.  Nettles, thistles and brambles were to become our companions, but first we had to reach Shard Bridge over the Wyre’s many channelled flood plain.  The group managed to cross without anyone landing on their face (unlike me on the recce!) Many thanks to Alma for being channel announcer.

Following our crossing of Shard Bridge, where we joined up with part 1, we stopped for lunch, some bad jokes (sorry, too awful to be repeated) and Alf staring unsuccessfully for left overs.  Some grey clouds came along, but sailed off without raining on us.

Our route then took us along the Wyre Way.  Sploshing through the first section, before meeting more ‘Wild Fylde’.  We were forced to make a minor diversion along a mildly overgrown path to Town End to avoid a completely impassable overgrown section.  A lonely way marker could just be spotted in the midst of the greenery.

Passing through a very muddy churned up field we were met by very curious cows who took an unsettling interest in us.  They allowed us to pass, but then decided to follow us.  Politeness did not work with these cows and stern words and cow wafting were required for us to eventually pass unscathed.

Afternoon break and sweet stop was taken in the shade of Rigg’s Wood before we battled through the final and probably worst section of thorns, stings and prickles.  After a final rub down with Dock leaves we continued to the last section of riverbank that took us into St Michaels and The Grapes pub for a refreshing drink.

Thank you to Hilary for correcting me when I decided to take us on alternative routes (AKA The Wrong Way) and also thank you to all those who came and made it such an enjoyable walk, despite being attacked by the undergrowth at regular intervals.

Caroline Tennant 

 

 

Wednesday July 26th. Chipping off the Old Block. 15.5 miles. 900 ft of ascent. Leader: Roger Jackson.

 

On a wet and misty day twelve intrepid LDWA members set off from Chipping car park. The basic route was out to Drinking Green then returning via Longridge Fell.

Turning left in front of the local church, we descended a narrow lane to a small settlement around Berry’s chair factory which is housed in an old cotton mill. On passing an attractive mill duck pond, we picked up a path on the right and headed across fields to Birchen Lee, then continued, mainly across fields, towards the charming hamlet of Drinking Green, taking our morning coffee stop on the hill before
dropping down into the village itself..

Continuing on the track to Lower Greystoneley and shortly after crossing a stream, we came across a restored limekiln, a great photo opportunity to show East Lancs LDWA members behind bars. Next we headed up onto Longridge Fell via the very steep Jeffery Hill, including a diversion round a new farmers electric fence blocking the route, to be rewarded with our lunch stop whilst enjoying a fantastic view of the Vale of Chipping.  Now on the fell, we ascended to the top of Spire Hill. A quick photo and then into the forest, down as far as the main track then back up again.

We descended a steep hill off the fell and had our mid afternoon break, then finally crossed a series of fields  and along the road back to Chipping, where the walk finished at 4.20 pm.
 
Roger.
 

 

Sunday July 23rd. Ken's Kitchen. 18 miles. Leader: Ken Noble.

 

9 humans and 1 dog came to do the walk this time. Last time there were three, so a 300% increase!Perhaps that's because Abigail wasn't there, as in storm!! Whatever the reason, we set off with the sun shining warmly. The forecast was for a shower at 1pm. It actually came a bit before that, but if you blinked, you missed it. By the time the wimps among us had got into their raincoats, it had stopped. I think there was no more than 50 tiny drops of rain altogether. The sun came out again, so it was off with the coats before we cooked.

The morning break was taken at a children's playground, so obviously some couldn't resist having a play!

So far it had been easy walking and with more than 5 miles done, some were getting perturbed about when the 2,800ft of ascent was going to start. I'd already told them there was a sting in the tail.

We soon started our first gradual ascent to the highest point of the walk and we had lunch at the “Dinner Stone” with views over the Tame valley as far as the eye can see.

Afterwards we dropped close to Diggle reservoir before climbing to the top of Rocher Brow. 500+ ft in half a mile.

From there it was mainly downhill, passing “Sugar Loaf” and below “Oven Stone” to the Obelisk and “Pots and Pans. After a short break to take in another wonderful view, we began our final descent to the finish.

 

Ken.

 

Click here to see Ken's pictures.

 

 

Wednesday July 19th. Brock and Beacon. 13 miles. Leaders: Hilary Scott, Nick Halford.

Regular walkers with East Lancs will know that often a theme can be debated/discussed at various points in the walk. There were two recurring items on this walk:- the first (look away those of you with a nervous disposition) was tick removal and the various implements that can be used; and then there was the case of Bernard's quest for food.....

Anyway, 12 walkers and Maude gathered at the small hamlet of Inglewhite ready to plod our way over many fields in this part of Lancashire. I was put under strict instructions from Don to be back for 3pm as thuderstorms were forecast for that time. Bernard had not brought much for lunch in the vain expectation that there would be a convenience store in Inglewhite but such delights have never made it to this corner of the world. There were offers of a spare banana, chocolate biscuit, granola bar etc but he said that he should have enough to manage. I believe the co-leader did promise a visit to the cafe at Beacon Fell....

Off we went over a few fields and made our way to the Brock Valley. In a steep wood the first mention of ticks and their removal was made with Norman producing his card complete with magnifying glass. There was then a pleasant riverside walk to Brock Mill which proved a good spot for morning coffee. There was a wind which took the edge off the increasing heat and there was shade along the riverbank. Off along Brock Bottoms then turning along before the ascent to Beacon Fell. Ken did a sterling job in righting a sheep which was stranded on its back and she trotted off with her lamb. 

We climbed to the trig at the summit of the fell - a few of the group had not been here before - and there were fine if hazy views over the countryside. It was then down the fell to the picnic spot at Carwags completely missing the visitor center with its cafe - sorry Bernard. Here the discussion on tick removal was in fine fettle, various implements were produced and I can assure you readers that should you ever be unfortunate enough to get a tick, there are plenty of people in East Lancs ready and willing to come to your aid.

From here it was a return over many fields to Inglewhite. This is cheese making country so there were plenty of dairy cattle around. The sun did keep trying to come out, luckily the wind was taking the edge off extreme heat. We passed some very well kept farms and property plus a few in the process of building/converting.

Although we were not back for 3pm the promised thunderstorms had not arrived so I escaped the wrath of Don! All the group stayed for a cooling drink at the pub, it was very pleasant to sit outside. As for Bernard, he decided to order Bowland Beef pie (we had seen the local butcher delivering before we left that morning). Alas, he was informed that the chef was on his break but if he came back in an hour he could order food..... It just wasn't his day and he made do with crisps and nuts. Food parcels will be gratefully accepted.

Thanks to all who came and especially Nick who had to point me in the right direction quite a few times!!

Hilary

 

 

 

Wednesday July 12th. Red Rose 50 Part 3. 13.5 miles. Leaders: Norman Thomas, Chris Langabeer, Ian Pickup.

 

Weather: Hot and Sunny


Due partly to the late arrival of 2 of the leaders! 21 walkers eventually left Entwistle Reservoir car park for the journey to the start of the walk at the Clog and Billycock hotel.
After the customary speech by Norman, and Bernard informing us why the war memorial in Darwen was shaped as a Spitfire Plane. The walk started heading down hill to pass Westholme Private School. Then came a short climb to pass a small estate of very expensive homes.
The walk continued through Witton Park and on to walk along the towpath of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. After having a late morning break we arrived at the village of Tockholes.
Then came a long steady climb to reach Darwen Tower where lunch was taken. Here several members of the party climbed some more and ascended the steps to reach the top of the tower.
Onwards, we crossed Darwin Moor to reach the A666. From here it was an easy stroll alongside Entwistle Reservoir to reach our cars. Most of the group then spent time in the Chetham Arms at Chapletown.
Norman, Ian and myself would like to thank everyone who came on the walk, and hope you can all make it for the last section of the Red Rose 50 walk on August 9th.


Chris

 

Thanks to Tracey for the photos.

 

Sunday July 2nd. A Chunk of the Pendle Way - Pt 3. 21 miles. Leader: Michael Bushby.

 

This was the third instalment of The Pendle Way, the leg that was intended to complete the 45-mile loop of witch country.  However, when I reccied it I realised that sticking to the original plan would mean a seven o’clock finish so I re-routed the last bit through the mean streets of Nelson, lopping off 5 or 6 miles.  Luckily, none of the group of 11 were diehard completists, so didn’t moan about the missing section.

There was cloud cover as we left Barrowford, but this lifted and provided us with perfect walking conditions.  Via Foulridge Reservoir, we hit the Pendle Way/Pennine Bridleway just the other side of Kelbrook and followed good tracks and paths to Laneshaw Bridge (where a sign indicated “Alma Inn”, but we all thought she was away in Germany).  Also, a big horse in a field provided an opportunity for the best knock knock joke ever: Knock knock – Who’s there? - Maybe it’s a big horse - Maybe it’s a big horse who? - Maybe it’s a big horse I’m a Londoner!

Lunch was taken in the sunshine at the Wycoller picnic tables then we headed south alongside the beck in the direction of Howarth before skirting the base of Boulsworth Hill.  Thanks to the West Yorks interloper, Tim, for his smatterings of local knowledge and risk assessment.  And to Dave S for re-living his many treks in the area. 

Just as we climbed the final hill, the dope fumes from a car gave passive smoking a new meaning.  Maybe it affected the vision of some people because they swore they saw two guys dressed in Knights of the Round Table outfits on the edge of Marsden golf course.  Weird!

Contrasting landmarks for the last mile or so: the Nelson abattoir then the first few of Barrowford’s locks.  It was a smashing walk of fine scenery, with views of the Dales, Pennines, Winter Hill and magnificent Pendle, in my opinion the finest hill in the world. 

Michael

Click here to see Julie's pictures.