Christmas is a-coming - are any geese getting fat?

With a new month, I've decided to reverse the order in which walk reports are displayed so that the most recent is at the top of the page, and as the month develops, the older reports will drop down the page. Hope nobody objects. (Gordon)

Seaside Shuffle, Sunday Dec 29th 2013

Leaders : Tom & Jan Baddeley, 10 walkers, 3 dogs, 13.3 miles

The perfect Winter day for walking, crisp underfoot to start, temperatures in single figures all day but no wind, snow or rain and beautiful bright sunshine. Where would you like to be on such a day? “Beside the seaside, beside the sea!”

Tom and Jan, now residents of Cleveleys, agreed to put this walk on for us to show people round their new “home town”. What a treat it was! Starting in the lovely Wyre Country Park (well worth a visit in its own right, especially for bird-watchers) we walked alongside the Wyre Estuary at Skippool to blow away those Christmas cobwebs. High tide was at eight so the water levels of the river and the sea were sadly down all day.

Continuing across the golf course we came into Poulton where we had a break at St Chad ’s Church, famous for its breathtaking crocus display come February time. Navigating a slightly muddy track, our next major landmark was the massive and over-powering Norbreck Castle Hotel, venue for many televised top snooker competitions.
Now we managed to get some sand between our toes, or rather on our boots as it was far too cold to paddle in the sea! We walked along the beach to Cleveleys where we had lunch, bathed in beautiful sunshine.
Leaving Cleveleys we proceeded towards Rossall School where we turned inland, first crossing the old Fleetwood to Poulton railway line and then onto  where we had parked our cars at Wyre Country Park .
What an excellent day out – thank you and well done, Tom & Jan!
Happy New Year everyone!

John Bullen

Photos - Tom Baddeley

Lancashire Monastic Way Part 1.  Upholland to Parbold. Weds Dec 18th. 13 miles.

Leaders: June Reeder/Hilary Scott

Despite a truly horrendous weather forecast, 10 pilgrims and 2 dogs gathered in Upholland ready to follow the Monastic Way. Others had sent apologies that they were unable to attend due to illness and poor Peter got stuck in traffic on the M60. We set off down the road to our first Ecclesiastical port of call and were joined by Ken who had been having fun negotiating his way round unfamiliar Lancashire countryside.

The walk starts at Upholland Priory Church of St Thomas the Martyr which dates from the 14thcentury and was founded by Benedictine monks. Little is now left of the attached monastery but by a great stroke of luck the church was open. We were able to go inside to look at this lovely building and were given a very informative leaflet by the church warden. Bonus points for the leaders!

This was not to last….

We made our way over to Dean Wood for a lengthy trek through it. Of course the ground underfoot was rather soft – or maybe just a tad muddy? As we emerged at the other end we were definitely on minus points and the walkers nice clean boots were all a lovely shade of brown/black.

Nothing daunted we reached the Leeds-Liverpool canal at Gathurst and paused for morning coffee at the junction of canal/railway/motorway. Pressing onto Parbold we pointed out the car park for the next leg and started the return journey.

There are two diversions from the Way off the canal stretch but we visited these on the way home. The first was the cross marking the site of medieval Douglas Chapel. Bonus points from Norman for this. He had never seen this cross despite walking in the area many times. The second was Prior’s Wood Hall dating from the 16thcentury which is thought to be associated with Upholland Priory. This was where we ate our lunch.

After lunch it was up, up and up to Ashurst Beacon where we still had reasonable views despite a strengthening wind. Descending from the Beacon we circuited through lanes, paths and woodland to come out opposite Beacon Country Park. It may have been a little muddy in places. We made our way to the lane which runs past the derelict Catholic Seminary and returned to the cars for approx. 3.30pm.

We were on minus 20 points due to the mud! However, the weather God had been kind, there was no rain, only a slight shower, a great contrast to conditions later that evening.

Hilary Scott




Norman’s  Annual  Christmas  Cracker, Sunday Dec 15th

58 people and 3 dogs. Leader Norman Thomas

Another year and another revised route for Norman’s cracker walk, it was a prompt 9am start on a bright but cold and windy morning, 50+ people set off in festive dress from the approach road to the Rivington Upper Barn : there were a few late arrivals but they soon caught the rest of us up to make the 58 strong march up to the Pigeon Tower. We had a short stop to re-group then onwards we went up to Rivington Pike, from where we snaked our way around and up to Two Lads for another brief stop accompanied with the odd chocolate or two. The wind was biting so we didn’t hang about for too long. We left two lads and made our way to the road that leads up to the mast, then changing direction at this point and turned right downhill and through Holdens Plantation. We were ahead of our planned schedule by now so Norman opted for another short break to kill some time. We then had a muddy trek up to Walker Fold Road and down to the Bob’s Smithy inn for an early but much welcomed lunch stop.

Hot pot with mushy peas and Betty’s homemade cakes and mince pies were on the menu and after a very filling hour and a whip round for one of our Norm’s charities we parted company with some of the group and the comfort of the pub and made our way over the old links golf course to Barrow Bridge and up to Coal Pit Road and beyond to Bolton Beach. Norman insisted we had a minutes silence at this point for all the past East Lancs members who are sadly no longer with us.

We marched onwards trying to walk off some of the hot pot and back towards Winter Hill mast and down to St George’s Lane, Roger was then given the honour of judging the best hat/festive dress competition which was shared equally between Kath, Chris and Barbara. Photo opportunities over, we skirted the lower paths of Rivington and exited at Rivington and Blackrod School and then over to Liverpool Castle ruins for a much deserved drink stop.

Daylight fading, we made our way back to the cars before the rain started. Thanks again Norman for another Cracker of a walk : the weather was kind to us again, so here’s to next year.

Merry Christmas one and all


Click for photos from Howard (on Picasa) 


36 degrees (Wednesday Nov 27th)

Update - photos now uploaded. The walk report is on the November page.



North Turton Trail, Wednesday Dec 4th

On a bright, cold morning 11 walkers and 5 dogs set off from the Jumbles Reservoir car park off Chapeltown Road and went along the reservoir through Turton Bottoms, over the pack saddle bridge, and on to the Wayoh Reservoir. Passing the Strawbury Duck on Edge Lane we followed the path to the heron statue on the Entwistle Reservoir where we stopped for a coffee break. Along the way we noticed one or two of the fir trees had already been decorated for Christmas. There are usually about 25 to 30 trees decorated by people in memory of loved ones and wishing walkers and passers-by all the very best for the festive season.

We then crossed the main A666 Blackburn Road to pass the ruin of Whewell's Farm from where George Whewell set out to Bolton in 1651 to execute the Seventh Earl of Derby during the Civil War.

Lunch was taken at Lyons Den but, as the wind was starting to blow cold, we didn't stay too long. The wind dropped as we came down a path along to Catherine Edge and across Turton Moor to re-cross the A666.

The sun got quite warm as we passed behind the forests on Greens Arms Road, on to Cheetham Close and down the track past Turton Tower. It was starting to get dark as we made our way back to the car park finishing at 4.45pm. The guide book says that the walk is 13 miles but one or two on the walk said that it was 16.9 miles but everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Special thanks to Kath Page who invited us back to her house for tea and cakes, which were very good.

John Crook


Fair Trade Way - Kendal to Bowness, Sunday Dec 1st, 15.5 miles, 21 walkers & 3 dogs

Leaders Dave & Alma Walsh

Conditions were dry, mild & cloudy as we gathered at the lake front at Bowness. Our transport bus was on time to take us to Kendal town centre and we set off at 9.20am.

After a group photo at the Town Hall, we made our way up Allhallows Lane and Beast Banks to Brigsteer Road. Uphill all the way to cross the A591 and then entering the Lake District National Park at Bradleyfield. At the top of the limestone slopes we gathered at the mushroom toposcope which offers fine views all around including Morecambe Bay.

We then moved on to Cunswick Scar and after a brief coffee stop we dropped down to the Crook road. Tracks over farmers' fields led us to Ratherfield Lane. On through Rather Heath to Ashes Lane. After passing the caravan site we re-crossed the busy A591 before reaching Staveley for our lunch stop. Plenty of seating here in the park and the sun came out.

From here we followed the Dales Way with two good slopes on roads before heading west over fields to reach a track just below School Knott which runs north to Windermere and south to Bowness. We turned south and reached Bowness at 3.20 pm, still with plenty of daylight left.

Dave & Alma Walsh

Photos by Peter Steckles and Howard Smith

More photos here