October Occurences



Wednesday October 3rd. Plan A: Two Peaks. 16 miles from Horton-In-Ribblesdale. See report for Actual on the day.

Leader: Neil Smith.



12 walkers arrived for the start of this walk on what turned out to be a very wet day. Unfortunately only 7 finished due to unforseen circumstances, which I will elaborate on shortly.


We set off in a south easterly direction heading out of Horton-in-Ribblesdale to pass by the churchyard and cross the bridge over the beck. From here it was a steady climb to start the ascent of Pen-y-Ghent. After re-grouping near the gate to the Pennine way track we made the climb to the summit in very windy and wet conditions. Not too much time was wasted at the top before the descent.


It was in the process of turning off the north facing track to turn to the west that Don Watson had a drastic slip breaking his left ankle (heard by Norman and Don alike!!!). This was approx.11am and the mountain rescue were called, giving an ETA of 30-40mins. Don was made as comfortable as possible, and given some expert attention from Nancy (thanks for that Nancy).


Fortunately for Don the first responce vehicles could be seen in the valley in less than 30 mins. After some ETONOX to ease the pain he was strapped up after assessing his injury, and duly put slowly on the stretcher; taken to the landrover ambulance and on his way to the hospital by 12.10pm. Many thanks to the Clapham Mountain Rescue personell for their quick and rapid response to this unfortunate incident.


At this point we were down to 10 due to Alistair joining his dad in the ambulance, then we were the magnificent 7 because Bernard, Jim and Nancy were assisting in getting Don's car home for him.




It was decided it was too late now to attempt the full walk so we checked out the new path that has just been completed linking up the Pennine way going into Horton and the Pennine way coming out; then joining the Pennine way heading due north towards Old Ings. From here we turned back south passing through High and Low Birkwith, before heading for Selside. The intention was to head up from here to Sulber nick but the rain was coming down relentlessly again so we headed back along the road to Horton, to complete a very wet, windy and dramatic outing. Approx.12m achieved.


Thanks to everyone for coming and assisting in Don's accident, especially Lynne Harness who made the trip from Barnsley.



Thanks to Terry for the pictures.


Sunday October 7th. Alternative Clarion House Way. 10 walkers.

23.5 miles from Coldwell. Leader: Fred Stubbs.


The Alternative Clarion House Way turned out to be 23.5 miles. Through East Lancashire's beautiful countryside & on occasion not so beautiful places with several startling contrasts. The day was sunny and quite warm for the time of year. The ground as one would expect after all the rain, was very wet and muddy in places. 10 walkers zipped round at a brisk pace.
We visited the Nelson ILP Clarion House for a late lunch break and passed by the former Clarion Houses of Colne and Burnley. A late afternoon stop at Slater's ice cream shop in Nelson saw most of us partaking.
We welcomed a new member John from Cheadle Hulme. The walk leader received a call just as we were starting off from a member who could not find the start. We arranged to wait ten minutes but the member called back to say he would give it a miss (we don't know who this was). It's a shame he missed the walk.


Wednesday October 17th. Heritage Trail Stage 4.

Please see seperate write up under heading on main menu.


Sunday October 21st. Bollin Valley Way. 25 miles from Macclesfield.

Leader: Steve Blackshaw. 17 walkers.

Macclesfield to Partington following the River Bollin

The Bollin Valley Way (famous for following the River Bollin) is a 25 mile path roughly following the course of the River Bollin. The route starts at Macclesfield Riverside Park and finishes in Partington where the River Bollin empties into the Manchester Ship Canal (famous for moving Manchester closer to Liverpool). The route is varied, following riverside paths, field paths, quiet lanes. And boggy, muddy fields. Well they were boggy and muddy today.

17 LDWA walkers gathered in Partington at 8am this morning. There should have been more, but some forgot, others had changes of plans, some just couldn’t be mithered….oh, and one was poorly. Hope you’re better soon Nancy, we missed your company today. We boarded a coach that would take us to Macclesfield…where we would walk back to Partington. Logical or what?

The journey to Macclesfield wasn’t without excitement….or delay. The coach ground to a halt in a queue of traffic, a queue caused by an errant doggy that had escaped from a dog spa.

Well this IS Cheshire which, I understand, is famous for pampered pooches.

It’s a little known fact that the East Lancashire section of the LDWA have amongst it’s membership an elite and highly trained group of dog catchers. It was fortunate indeed that this group just happened to be on board this very coach. With military precision the group sprang into action, and in a very short time the doggy was caught and returned to the rather fraught dog spa lady.

I would tell you who made the actual doggy capture….but modesty forbids. Anyway there’s probably something in the Offishall Secrets Act which would restrict me admitting to being the captor.

Only slightly delayed, we bailed out of the coach just after 9am –just in time to meet up with Pat (from the Backpackers Club) and her two doggies. Pat lives just a couple of minutes away from our start and she’d decided to join us for the leg into Prestbury – famous for having residents with far too much money.

There was a compulsory photo-call before setting off on the return journey to Partington in a lovely sunshiny spot.

Although the sun was shining brightly it was very cold, the grass was quite frosty. Heading west (which, for those of you who are paying attention will note isn’t East) across fields and footpaths. Prestbury appeared all too quickly and we bade Pat farewell as she wandered off on an alternative route back to her house in Tytherington.

En-route to Wilmslow, the Bollin Valley Way winds it’s way through the grounds of some very grand properties as well as farmland – some of which is home to some very strange animals. Well they appeared strange to those who don’t live in Cheshire.

The temperature rose steadily, by 10.30am outer layers were being shed – it was simply too hot in the bright sunshine. Stomachs were soon rumbling so a butty and coffee break was called on the crumbling banks of the Bollin.

Suitably refreshed, loins were girded….then it was onwards to Wilmslow, still following the River Bollin.

The trees were well on the turn, their colours quite spectacular – made all the more beautiful by the day’s bright sunshine.

Entering the Carrs, a 70 acre Wilmslow park, there was a pleasant reminder of Henry Boddington (famous for Boddington’s fighting bitter) and his connection with the area.

The Carrs is made up of a mix of woodland, sports grounds, playgrounds, open grassland….and even little hilly bits, just for Our Norman. Sadly Our Norman (55) wasn’t able to join us on this walk due to his hair-care duties.

Leaving the Carrs behind, Manchester Airport was our next significant landmark. At 12:25 (5 minutes late!) the enormous A380 came into view. We shall need to speak to Emirates, this tardy attitude to time-keeping simply will not do.

When Manchester Airport’s Runway 2 was built, the River Bollin posed a problem….it was in the way. Inventive engineers designed and built a huge culvert to allow the river to continue on it’s way unhindered.

Even the flatlands of Cheshire can play host to a trig-point, at Castle Mill, famous for an outdoor swimming pool (now filled in), Enid Blyton, George Best and, er, a rather tired looking trig point. 

Stomachs were rumbling once again, so another butty and coffee break was called at a pleasant grassy spot adjacent to Hale golf course.

Rick had been suffering from a nasty cold and he had decided to leave the main party in Hale and then walk home, about 3.5 miles. Our route took us away from the Bollin for a short time, and passed the start-point of our ‘Jump in the Lake’ walk at Bank Hall Lane. You can read about that walk here. We bade Rick farewell and carried on fearlessly.

The surviving members of the party continued on their merry way towards the most dangerous section of the route – the crossing of the A56. Fortunately the crossing was successful and the 16 survivors continued unscathed.

Beyond the A56, the Bollin Valley Way follows a permissive path towards Dunham Park, famous for deer, being a park…and FAR more importantly, it’s connections with the very excellent Dunham Massey Brewery. The path is tough going whether it’s wet or dry. Wet and it’s boggy, dry and the hard ground is lumpy – chewed up by cattle.

The hot weather had caught many unawares and a good few members of our expeditionary force had run out of water. The Swan with Two Nicks (famous for serving very well kept Dunham Massey beers) appeared in the nick of time.

That’s very funny don’t you think: ‘Swan with Two Nicks ‘…’nick’ of time…?

Oh never mind.

Anyway after a pleasant 10 – 15 minute stop we continued on our merry way, leaving the area by following the cobbled track that goes under the Bridgwater Canal and then to field paths towards another pub, The Vine (Sam Smiths), and famous for bitter at £1.47 a pint. I can see a pattern developing here. Anyway, we didn’t stop at The Vine, honest. No, really, we didn’t.

Warburton marks the end of the Bollin Valley Way, although strictly speaking the river travels further, entering the canal at Bollin Point. The village of Warburton used to boast two pubs, sadly only one remains – The Saracen’s Head, famous for, er, Saracens. And appearing on Time Team when the TV team excavated half of Moss Brow Farm across the road from the pub in a fruitless search for bits of ancient Romans.

There were some relics though, including an old MG sports car that had seen better days.

The end of the walk was now tantalisingly close. Just a few more field paths, a bit of tarmac, and then we were confronted with a ‘Bollin Valley Way Closed’ sign.

We say ‘Pah!’ to your sign.

Fortunately we’re rufty-tufty long distance walkers and a mere ‘Path Closed’ wasn’t going to bother us! In fact this sign has been here for over a year. The ‘closure’ caused by a short section of path collapsing towards the canal. I think most of our party can swim…so we carried on regardless.  No attempt has been made to carry out any repairs to the path, so we made no attempt to find an alternative route.

Tit for tat. Innit.

The Manchester Ship Canal, shipless today, hove into view and we followed it’s course towards the end of the walk, back in lovely rural Partington.

We very gingerly crossed the very dangerous Redbrook Bridge (famous for crossing over Red Brook).

According to the Bollin Valley Way website, this bridge is in a dangerous condition and is another reason for the closure of this section of the route. It looked pretty good to me, supporting even my excessive weight with ease.

At 5.45pm we arrived back at our cars, 8.5 hours after we set out from Macclesfield. Allowing for breaks we probably walked at around 3.35mph, not bad for a large group. The route was nominally downhill although there were plenty of little ‘ups’.

Everybody seemed to have enjoyed the walk, it’s a good route and is well-signed. The ground varied from good, dry paths / tarmac, to gloopy bogs and very muddy bits (lots?). I suppose yer average walker out for a bit of a wander wouldn’t do much more than 8 – 10 miles of the route in one go, that in itself would make for interesting walking…without the sore knees and sore feet!

Interestingly, we recced the route exactly 12 months ago – to the day…..and the weather was identical too.

Well I think it’s interesting even if you don’t.

Distance: 25.5-ish miles in about 7.5 hours of walking

Distance SHOULD have been 25 miles…but ‘a little loop’ was introduced mid-walk to avoid some unnecessary tarmac. We probably put an extra half mile on.

Thanks to everyone who came and didn’t complain. In fact thanks to those who DID complain too. The East Lancs LDWA are a great bunch….but don’t tell them I said so. Thanks to Transport Manager John Bullen, to Steve & Viv who first dreamt up the idea, to my Mum and Dad…..

It was a good day out, a nice route, brilliant company, and glorious weather.

Anyway I’m off to bed, all this typing is tiring!

John Jocys

 Please see link below for John's photos.



Wednesday October 24th. Settle down for a good walk.

14 miles from Settle. Leader: Neil Smith. 20 walkers.


The weather looked a little gloomy when our group gathered at the car park in Settle and headed off towards Giggleswick. However once we got up on to the hills the weather brightened up and the day improved even more when we arrived at the little hamlet of Feizor (seemingly in the middle of nowhere !) to discover that Neil had factored in a coffee/bacon butty stop at the cafe there!

Suitably refreshed we made our way up to Smearsett Scar where we had super views over the surrounding countryside. Although Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough were shrouded in mist, this did not faze our fearless leader who produced his camera to show us a photo of the same 2 peaks( without the mist) taken from the same spot two weeks earlier.

Down from the Scar we walked to Stainforth Force where we sat by the waterfall to eat our lunch. Here Neil had even arranged for the salmon to be making their way up the River Ribble and attempting to leap up the waterfall at the very time we were eating ! What organisation !

After our stop we crossed over the Settle / Horton-in-Ribblesdale road , walked through Stainforth Village and made our way to Catrigg Force which is probably a more impressive waterfall than Stainforth. We climbed up from here back on to higher ground and walked on to Brent Scar, Attermire Scar and Sugar Loaf Hill returning through Upper Settle to our starting point.

The weather had been kind to us - we even saw the sun - and despite the soggy summer it was, for the most part, reasonably firm under foot.

Thank-you Neil for a very enjoyable walk.

Julie Wightman.


photos by Howard.


Please click on link below for photos from Terry.






 Please click on the link below for photos from Brian.





Thank you to you all.


 Sunday October 28th. Introductory walk from Conder Green. 11 or 15 miles.

Leader: Norman Thomas. 29 walkers and 1 dog


As we drove up the motorway having looked at the dire weather forecast it seemed that the day could be ok as we left the rain behind in Bolton and the skies brightened - temporarily. 29 people gathered in Conder Green apparently ignoring the forecast too. There were quite a few new faces including some of Norman's neighbours, as well as many of the regular walkers. There were even two people from across the border on the White Rose side! Norman handed out some leaflets about the walk and set off to Glasson. A quick stop was made there visiting the toilets, the ones in Conder Green having been recently badly vandalised. I wonder if those responsible could explain WHY?

A quick stop was made at the topograph on the outskirts of Glasson where Norman pointed out the terrific views to be seen on all sides (not) and we then made our way to the coastal path - into a howling wind whipping up the sea. It was a real breath of fresh air! These conditions had not deterred some windsurfers who were speeding across the bay. A stop at the Abbey and then round the point past the caravan parks and the salt marsh lamb farm. The sheep were on the shore keeping out of the way of the high tide. Turning inland, morning break was taken at Cockerham church, trying to keep out of the wind and the now steadily falling rain. Through Cockerham and over the fields, very wet and boggy in places, to the canal.

Lunch was taken at the junction of the Glasson branch with the main canal. Here some members left the walk to cut back along this to Glasson. They were either wimps or very sensible depending on your point of view! The main body of walkers carried on through the rain which was not to stop for the rest of the walk. We passed some ducks who were beautifully lined up on some decking but came rushing over looking for food as I stopped to take their picture. Luckily Viv had some unwanted biscuits to save the day. We left the canal at Aldcliffe, passing a very patriotic kerbstone and crossed a few fields to reach the cycle track which took us straight back to Conder Green. The Breath of Fresh Air book was duly signed in the Stork by many walkers. This is a lovely route, shame about the weather on this day, I hope it didn't put the newer members off.