Autumn Wanders

Lunchtime Chat Will Anne and Bill sail away?
A Hebden Hike. November 15th.

Hindsight is a great thing. Twenty miles over moorland in November with a 9.00am start was always going to be a squeeze. Add in a late start and loosing three people (oops!) something had to give and so the walk became a 17.5 miler in lovely sunny weather.

A very healthy twenty one walkers set off ten minutes late heading towards Heptonstall; then visited Eastwood, Colden and Crows Nest Wood before having a morning stop outside the Stubbing Wharf PH on the Rochdale Canal towpath.

We then followed the canal before climbing to Lumbutts via Mankinholes. Picking up the Pennine Bridleway to Gaddings Dam where lunch was taken and the decision to cut-out a section due to the time. After lunch the walk continued onto Stoodley Pike where those who wanted to climbed up to take in the view before continuing back to Hebden.

As for loosing walkers (a first for me) I can only apologise again. I had stopped to regroup where the Pennine Way crosses the Colden Valley. Unfortunately three members had turned left off the path after seeing other walkers and followed them after loosing sight of our group. Thanks to Bill and Bob for going back to find them. Steve Clark acted as a back marker for the tricky bits from then on. No harm done thankfully.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the walk and thats all that matters really...

Lady and the Tram, Sunday November 22nd. Easy Introductory Walk. 13 miles. Start 9am, finish 2pm. 17 walkers and 2 dogs

East Lancs has been offering an easier walk on a Sunday for those who wish to try a longer distance but are hesitant about 20 miles. When thinking about this walk for the winter programme I decided that the promenade walk from Blackpool to Fleetwood would be an ideal winter's day walk. Flat, no mud, easy navigation, what could possibly go wrong?????.....

I should have had an inkling back in September when we paid a visit to the illuminations and realised that the designated car park was closed and becoming a new tram depot. Never mind, there's plenty of off street parking at that time of year. Two weeks before the walk, it was announced on the local news that the trams were stopping for five months due to the track being relaid. Never mind, there's a replacement bus service. I didn't recce the walk as why would you need to when all you are doing is walking along the prom? Aargh, who stole the prom??? The afore mentioned works meant that some sections in the first few miles were closed. This meant that we had to navigate between the sand (sorry about the water hopping and quicksand down there!) and the land side of the busy road. Still, we saw some very classy shops(!!!) and resisted the temptation to detour into Tussuards, the Tower and various other delights. Once we passed North Pier though, the way was clear for us to stay on the sea side and watch the incoming tide.

Morning snap was at Bispham and we wandered on with the tide coming in fast now. Cleveleys saw the lunch stop, the sea air was making everyone hungry. Some even bought ice creams on a freezing November day! Rain clouds gathered as we headed towards Rossall and this bought the shower of the day as we neared the point. The sea was coming to high tide; a brisk wind was whipping up the waves, and it was magnificent to watch so long as you were quick enough to dodge the spray off the breaking waves! Everyone enjoyed this part, nature provides spectacular sights.

Rounding the point meant calmer waters with less wind and the rain stopped. There was a fishing competition on Fleetwood beach, there were more people and tents than at bank holiday. There was even a body board surfer in the sea catching the waves. Someone even madder than us!

There was a waiting bus as we entered Fleetwood and some returned to Starr Gate immediately. The rest of us looked for a cafe, the one by the ferry was deemed to be unsuitable and Cafe Royal was chosen as it looked more upmarket. There was no cappucino for Tom and Jan though, and we missed the bus we wanted to catch because it took so long to sort out the change for the bill. Oh dear, more points deducted for me. I think I might have the record for minus points here? No, Barbara assures me that the Tosside walk won that due to the mud.

So, did we like to be beside the seaside. Yes we did! A brilliant day out despite the various challenges. It was good to see some new faces and some we haven't seen for a while.

Along the prom Anyone for the Big One? Coming into Fleetwood Footprints in the sand Start at Starr Gate Taking me taking you... The raging sea Wandering along