Easter Happenings

Downham Village Gathering at Pendleton Leaving Pendleton Village Leaving Worston The Ribble at Edisford Bridge Will anyone fall in today?
Friday April 2nd. Spot the Hall. 15 miles from Pendleton. Start 9.30am, finish 15.50pm. 18 walkers and 3 dogs,

A bad weather forecast didn't put the hardy off as we gathered at Pendleton. We were lucky as there was a couple of very light showers but the rain didn't start in earnest until we were in the cars returning home.

This was a circular walk of Clitheroe passing through some of the lovely villages and spotting 14 residences with the title 'Hall'. Some were grand, others not so grand but it gave more interest to an already lovely area. From Pendleton we made our way to Worston and stopped to look at the medieval Bull Ring (no shops like Birmingham!). After passing Worsaw End farm where 'Whistle Down the Wind' was filmed it was then a short stroll to Downham, lovely as ever and a coffee stop.

Sawley Abbey came next and then we picked up the Ribble Way (quickly crossing the still closed part without meeting the landowner!) to have lunch on the banks of the Ribble. The river was our companion for the next few miles as we circuited Clitheroe; the first smell of wild garlic was in the air and a few daffodils were dancing in the breeze. After Edisford Bridge we turned back towards Pendleton where the only disappointment was that the pub was shut! No after walk drink today. There was a discussion about the length of the walk, Tracklogs measured it as 15 miles, Fred's pedometer showed 17, but all agreed they had enjoyed the outing.

Sunday April 4th.Where are the Pillows? 20 miles from Gargrave. Start 9am, finish 4pm. Leader June Reeder. Number on walk - 22 breathless souls!

On a beautiful day 22 people set out from Gargrave, along riverside minor roads and tracks to join the Pennine Way for a short distance before following field paths to Bank Newton. It was off then onto a very pleasant bridleway to Coniston Cold, looking both ways to cross the busy A65, and then across fields and along a minor road to the beautiful hamlet of Bell Busk and the ruins of an old silk mill. We picked up another bridleway to the outskirts of Airton then on to Kirby Malham and Hanlith. A treat was in store as we followed the River Aire for a short distance downstream to pick up a path through to Calton and on beyond Cowper Cote Farm to the inspiring hamlet of Winterburn. The chapel in this quite beautiful little enclave dates from 1703. It was made a Grade 2 listed building in 1954 and sold in 1980 to be converted into a dwelling for some highly fortunate family.

The delights kept coming as we tracked along a wooded valley, already bedecked with a carpet of wild garlic and hints of the spring still to come. Emerging on the banks of Winterburn Reservoir we circuited round to the far side and on to yet another bridleway to pass the quite stunning 1590 Tudor gentry house of Friar’s Head. This building has a remarkable history having reputedly been a 12th century hunting lodge for the Abbots of Furness Abbey – what a “country retreat” that must have been! After the dissolution of the monasteries a long dispute ensued over Friar’s Head between its tenant under the Abbey, the Proctor family, and the Earl of Cumberland who wanted his own tenants in. The main dwelling house was built by Stephen Proctor around 1590 and it has survived the centuries in wonderful condition to be the most prominent example of a late Tudor gentry house in the Dales. This Mr Stephen Proctor must have been a remarkable man as he also built nearby Fountains Hall in 1610 with stone taken from the dismantling of Fountains Abbey. Our little history lesson on this walk was continued as we passed Brockabank, another 17th century farmhouse.

As we headed back towards Gargrave through Eshton we passed the prehistoric “pillow mounds” which give this walk its name. They are thought to be Bronze Age graves although another school of thought is that they were constructed for the breeding of rabbits.

So there we are – a great day out! When Strider comes out put a note in your diary of any walks June may be leading – that is if I twist her arm up her back to put another one on!
Away we go Down and up (again!) Friars Head Lunchtime Lunchtime More lunchtime Round the Reservoir Starting off along the river Wall stile - one of many! Yet another wall stile