Does it get hotter than this July?

Wild and Wilder, Wednesday, July 29th

On what was the best day for some time, 21 walkers and a dog met at Moss Bank car park to see what was Wild & Wilder about this walk.

The name originally came from the wildlife park that used to be near Moss Bank and is still shown on the OS maps, and Wilder’s Moor.  I explained that I’d made up the walk from footpaths which had never been walked by me. The hope was to take other walkers, who said it was their backyard, on rights of way that they didn’t know about.  In that respect it was mission accomplished.

One reason why some of the paths hadn’t been walked became apparent quite quickly. They were overgrown with long grass and thistles with some hidden stones in places. At one point, Norman took a small group away from the planned walk because he said the path was too bad! He didn’t tell me, or the people he took what he was doing, so I had to reprimand him after he caught us up. I should have given him 50 lines. “I must not harass the walk leader”.

We had our morning coffee stop at Two Lads cairns from where we could see over to Blackpool Tower, and then it was down to Rivington Barn on more paths not known by many of the walkers for lunch.

After lunch we walked along the side of Rivington Reservoir to Liverpool Castle and had a brief stop to allow a John and Joanne a quick look before skirting around the north of Horwich and heading up to Mountcliffe Stone Quarries. It was all downhill from here (apart from a little climb from Barrow Bridge car park to Pendlebury’s Farm. Now all we had to do was get past the bull and his cows and calves. I’d had a little difficulty with the herd on two previous occasions, but today, we passed without difficulty.

After the walk, a few of us went to the Ainsworth Arms for a quick drink.

Thanks to everybody for supporting the walk and to Hilary for a wide selection of sweets.

Ken Noble


Beyond Halifax, Sunday July 26th, 20 miles

Sixteen Happy Valley walkers set off in dry weather from West Vale near Halifax, headed into the woods and across the River Calder. Before long we were on the Halifax arm of the Calder and Hebble Navigation where tourist boats were doing their thing. We headed north and were soon enjoying panoramic views over Halifax from Beacon Hill, where our leader, Karen, pointed out various landmarks, including the famous Piece Hall, currently undergoing major restoration. It’s a Grade I listed building dating from 1779 and the work is due for completion next year.

Swinging east then south the route took us via field paths and lanes to Southrowram and on to Elland Park for lunch. A light rain had come in by then but we picnicked on the grass under the trees which gave us shelter. Then it was down to another section of the canal and on towards a golf course. Skirting round, we passed Hollins Hey Clough, crossed and recrossed the M62 before heading west along Turley Cote Lane, up to Holroyds Wood and Stainland.

We had a treat en route when we got good views of a substantial herd of fallow deer with young in a field by a large house at Hollywell Green, and the mewing call of buzzards was heard in the woods at one point, almost above our heads.

Dropping down through Shaw Park we might have thought we were nearly back but there was a Last Tango to be done in Halifax, with a few more undulations, around the golf course, over to Black Brook and finally back to the car park. The café, where I believe some people partook of breakfast before the start, was unfortunately shut, but Viv and I had compensation for this when we spotted a kingfisher on the river behind the car park.

Well done to Karen for stepping into the breach to lead the walk, and to the walkers who were new to the East Lancs group – hope to see you again soon.

Barbara Shelton

Photos by Barbara


Midgehole Meander, Wednesday July 15th

On a bright sunny morning 18 of us and a dog met at Midgehole car park, We were just about to set off when he who shall not be named called to say he was going to be late !!
So when Pete did eventually arrive and the group photo had been taken all 19 of us set off.
Walking along the river following Hebden Beck we passed Gibson Mill and onwards through Ingham Woods.
Turning off and upwards towards New Laith Farm and Walshaw Lane, I had estimated a 20% loss of members on this high dodgy path, but I found that to be an acceptable loss. Fortunately everyone survived after all I didn't want to put a damper on the day !!
Onwards and ever upwards we crossed the moor and eventually stopped, overlooking Walshaw Dean Reservoir for elevenses.
Setting off again onto the Pennine Way, we arrived for lunch at Widdop Reservoir where we had a lovely stop in between the rocks and a smashing view.
The next target was Upper and Lower Gorple Reservoirs, passing by and picking up the Pennine Way again. Onwards through Clough Head car park and back to Gibson Mill where we had ice-cream and sweets  Thanks Hilary!
Short trek back to the car park and the end of a great day with great company.
Approximately 14 miles and 1850 ft of ascent.
Thanks for coming everyone.

Photos from Mark Reed here

Mark Reed


3 Feathers Part 2, July 11th

On a beautiful morning, 16 people met below the White Horse of Kilburn to start the 2nd Feather. Most had come quite a distance, with a few living locally and a couple staying Friday night at a nearby YHA.

We left the car park and climbed the steps at the side of the White Horse, so heart and lungs were working overtime straight from the off! We were soon above the White Horse and looking over to the Yorkshire Dales in the hazy distance.

Soon we were in Cold Kirby, and had a photo stop by St Michael’s Church. From here we walked north to Hawnby and around Hawnby Hill to have our first short stop of the day at about 10:45.

Soon we were heading east with Bilsdale Transmitter prominent to the north. Shortly after crossing Bilsdale we started to swing in a more southerly direction, and after another short break at 13:45, we had a bit of road walking to do before entering Ashdale Plantation for the 2 miles to Helmsley and the café stop at a little after 15:00.

Now we were heading west and on the home straight! With the nasty A170 behind us, we had our last short stop just before the descent into Cockerdale Wood.

All that was left was a 1.7 mile road walk with a sting in the tail of a 0.5 mile ascent back to the car park.

Thank you Julie for all the cake!

Well done to all 16. See you on 19th September.

Ken Noble

Photos include a selection from the recce

Photos from Julie Spencer


Garstang Circular Walk, July 1st

Photos from Mark Reed - link