Still busy May

Over the hill Quiet Animals Rossendale ruins Scout Moor Windfarm Time to pray? Water on the way
Red Rose Way Part 3

Holcombe Brook to Baxenden

23 people.

The Red Rose Way is really coming into its own now as this was quite a stunning section. Officially, that is by the book, we were down to do 13 miles but our leaders Chris, Ian and Norman were not letting us off that lightly and added a couple of miles on. We think this was intentional but you never know with this lot. They give a very good impression of “being lost but pretending we know where we are” most of the time so it could have been accidental.

The climb out of Holcombe Brook was simply charming with a series of lodges encased in small wooded valleys ablaze with bluebells. Then it was on to a route we all know only too well, the Two Crosses, up to Peel Tower. A choice of route is offered here and we took the upland option utilising part of an old track running from Bury to Haslingden. From here we met up with another “old friend” of East Lancs members, The Rossendale Way. Musden Valley retains its character despite the numerous eyesore quarries and we were ready for our butties when we reached the ruins of Rushey Leach.

Reservoirs, farmyards and moorland views dominated the early afternoon but it made for an interesting and enjoyable descent into Baxenden. The Bay Horse where we left our cars being shut, we headed back to Holcombe Brook and gave the Hare and Hounds our custom. We were glad we did as they have an impressive array of real ales on pump. In fact Barbara is probably still in there!

Well done again and thanks Chris, Ian and Norman. Watch out everyone for the next section – Baxenden to Whalley - that should be a stunner. It is down in the schedule for Wednesday June 16th. Book the coach with Chris on 01204 694386.


Sunday May 23rd.

Leader. . . . .Howard Smith

Start 9.00am Finish 5.00pm. 20 hot miles.

This was my first walk as group leader and I was praying for good weather all week, so on the drive to Ribchester up the M61 with the car thermometer reading 20 degrees at 8.00 in the morning we knew we were going to be in for a hot day.

22 of us set off from Marles Wood and followed the river Ribble over Dinckley Bridge and then on to the picturesque Ribble Way, unfortunately we lost Deb's boyfriend at this point, he had to turn back due to feeling unwell.

The remaining 21 of us continued up to Winckley Hall Farm and beyond to Cromwell's Bridge also known as Devil's Bridge. Legend says that it was used by Oliver Cromwell during his march from Skipton to intercept the Royalists at the Battle of Preston in 1648. Morning break was taken on the banks of the River Hodder before following the footsteps of J R R Tolkien (author of the Lord of the Rings) on the Tolkien Trail towards Stoneyhurst College.

Norman gave us a little history lesson on this magnificent building which dates back to the 13th Century. As well as its links to J R R Tolkien, another literary figure associated with the college was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the setting for his book The Hound of The Baskerville's was Stoneyhurst College itself.

We all managed it over the golf course unscathed before the long hot haul up to Longridge Fell. The hard work was worth it as we had lunch from one of the view points with fantastic views of Chipping, Parlick and the Three Peaks.

The sun was relentless as we trudged over the ridge to the trig point some 1149 feet above sea level and then down the forest track towards Crowshaw house. We parted company with Bernard at this point, he found himself a shorter route through Hurst Green and back to the car park. That's 2 down, only another 19 to go!!!

We had a short respite from the midday sun as we meandered through Duddel Wood with bluebells and wild garlic in abundance before finally leaving the wood for open pasture and down to Stydd Chapel and the Almshouses. This curious building was constructed in 1728 under the terms of John Shireburne's will; Shireburne of Stoneyhurst instructed that he had wished to found and build " a good Almshouses on his estate at Stydd for 5 poor persons to live seperately therein".

I was worried that I would lose another 5 people here but with a promise of a pub stop we all made it to the Ribchester Arms for a much deserved cold beverage. It was very tempting to stay in the pub but with only a mere 3 miles left to walk we all managed to make it back to Marles Wood, although a little hot and bothered.

Thanks to everyone for making my first led walk so enjoyable and I am looking forward to the next one!!
Almshouses at Stydd Cromwell's Bridge Dinckley Bridge Lovely Ribble More bluebells Near Hacking Ferry Norman explains about Stonyhurst Splendid Stonyhurst Start at Marles Wood Up we go!