January Japes


Dove Stones, Longendale, Mossley - DLM. Sunday 31st January. 19 miles from Dove Stones. Leader: Steve Clark.


As we gathered in Dove Stone Reservoir carpark we shared our various weather forecasts.  13 people with 13 different views on what the weather was going to be: “light showers”; “clearing by midday”.  Curiously nobody predicted all day rain which is what we had; every time it looked like it might be stopping it started again; never too heavy but wet, wet, and wet again all day.  Didn’t stop us having a good walk though.  It had snowed overnight and the higher ground had a dusting of snow.


Setting off by the reservoir, past the sailing club we soon started the climb out of the Chew valley.  Rams Clough was the chosen for the ascent to the rim of the Chew valley.  It’s steep with a little scramble at the top and as we climbed we gradually had snow underfoot too.  A touch of Scotland on our doorstep.  Wonderful.  At the top of the climb we followed the edge of the valley round to the Chew reservoir.  Chew is the 2nd highest reservoir in the England at 1,600' (488m).  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chew_Reservoir


In mist now we made our way over the moor of Laddow Moss, east to Laddow Rocks.  Here we joined the Pennine way in the splendid valley of Crowden Great Brook.  On the descent to Crowden we found a little shelter in a minor side valley to have a morning coffee break.  Once down in Crowden, in Longdendale, we followed Torside and other reservoirs towards Tintwistle.


Once in Tintwistle we had lunch at The Stocks – a small square with some benches and a war memorial in the centre of the village.  Sue had driven here and joined us for the second half of the walk.  So there were now 14 on the walk making 13.5 on average for the walk as a whole then.  We now followed parts of the Pennine Bridleway on and off for a few miles, passing yet more reservoirs.  Judging by the weather we’d had all day the reservoirs were certainly well placed to gather plenty of water.


Passing through Staylbridge Country Park we made our way down to a conservation village, Carrbrook.  Here we visited the duck pond to allow anybody with coffee left in their flask a last chance to have a drink before we made our way back to Dove Stones.  We picked up the Tameside Trail and contoured round the bottom of the moor above Mossley to complete the walk.  We finished in day light with time enough to spare.  19 miles and 1,059 metres of ascent as recorded on my GPS.  Thanks to everyone on the walk for turning out whatever the weather forecast had to offer.



The pictures below are from Julie


 Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones. Wednesday 27th January. 16miles from Red Rock. Leader: Ken Noble.

Ready to go looking for Bones


Maybe I should have called it Dem Bones, Dem Wet Bones. However, 13 walkers  and 1 dog (on the understanding that Worthington Lakes was a no-go area) were inquisitive enough to brave the conditions and find out if they really could do a dry walk. They soon discovered they couldn't, it was raining as we set off, and we soon encountered an inch or three of water running across the track.

The walk is a very gentle one starting on the disused railway line now national cycle route 55 before ascending the steps to the Leeds/Liverpool canal. This is followed all the way to Chorley except for a section through Arley Wood.

The rain soon stopped until just before Fredericks ice cream parlour, when we had a heavy shower, so we had our coffee stop under the A6 road bridge. By the time we'd finished, the rain had stopped and it stayed mainly fine for the rest of the day.

Lunch was taken in Astley Park.

I had to change the original route to avoid a really waterlogged meadow which was ankle deep when I recced it. The diversion added a little mileage and some tarmac, but I think it was the better option. I'd lost points for too much canal walking, and now I was losing points for too much mud. The joys of being a walk leader!

We soon arrived at Yarrow Valley Country Park where toilets were available and then to Drybones, spotting a Kingfisher on the way!

After more field paths, and lost points, we crossed Chorley Road to Worthington Lakes where Hilary and Maude (her dog) had to leave us and continue along the road because dogs aren’t allowed.

Thanks to everybody for coming and I hope your bones didn’t get too wet.

Ken Noble.


click here for Ken's photos


Pictures below by Hilary 



January Jolly. Fri-Mon 22-25 Jan. Based at the Old Vicarage. Ambleside.


22/1/16 - 14 walkers gathered in the lounge of the Old Vicarage for champagne, wine & nibbles before setting off for Sheila's Cottage for our evening meal. Drinks for some after in the Unicorn Pub.
23/1/16 - After breakfast we were joined by 5 more walkers & set off in the rain through the town to join the Coffin route towards Rydal. After a brief stop at Rydal Mount we continued towards Grasmere to pick up the track up to Alcock Tarn.
As we climbed to the Tarn a notice advised us that the bridge beyond the tarn had been damaged by the heavy rains so after completing the route up we had to retrace our steps down & continue on to Grasmere via a different track.
We had lunch in the garden centre cafe & when we came out the rain had stopped. After a short walk along the road we turned up a bridleway & then up a steep track with Silver Howe looming above us. The original idea was to continue to Elterwater but with time passing we decided to turn off the track & head to High Close.
After reaching High Close we climbed steeply up to the trig point on Loughrigg Fell & then crossed the fell to join the main track that led us back towards Ambleside. Another damaged bridge meant that instead of walking through the park we had to walk along the road back to our accommodation.
The walk today was led by Dave & Alma Walsh, 19 walkers, 14 miles with 2700 ft of ascent.
24/1/16 - After dining at Matthews Bistro & then drinks & a sing song in the Unicorn the previous evening we drove to Hawkshead where we met our 2 leaders for the day, John Barker & Rosie Nelstrup along with 2 Staffordshire group members & also Les Abba who was in the area & Julie Spencer who had made the long trek up just for the day. John & Rosie are staying in the Lakes for a month!
We set off North West over soggy paths & fields to reach Hawkshead Hill. Onwards on quiet lanes we reached Tarn Hows which was barely visible through the mist. A path downhill by the spectacular waterfalls led us to our morning break spot.
A quiet uphill road led us to Tilberthwaite. From there a long ascent & then descent over the Yewdale fells via Hole Rake led us to the Copper Mines & then a gentle track into Coniston. From here we made our way back to Hawkshead via High Park Plantation, Hawkshead Hall Park & Low Park & then had a well earned drink at the Queens before driving back to Ambleside.
Again 19 walkers, over 14 miles with 3000 ft of ascent.
25/1/16 - After a great meal at The Salutation the previous evening we still found room for a hearty breakfast (pity Ellie the border collie wasn't there this year to help us out) before making our ways home. The accommodation at the Old Vicarage was up to standard as usual & although the swimming pool was not available due to refurbishment, passes were available to use the pool & gym facilities at the Salutation. Several of the group took advantage of this. We also obtained a 10% discount for two of the evening meals thanks to Leanna from the Old Vicarage.
Thanks to the drivers who ferried us to Hawkshead & back. Also good to see the usual faces & some new ones. Everybody enjoyed the weekend.
Finally thanks as always to Viv Lee for organising the weekend break.
Dave Walsh.

Click here for Ken's pictures


The pictures below are from Viv Lee.



The pictures below are from Dave.



 Spot The Hall. Sunday January 17th. 19 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott.


Lets get the groans out of the way:-

Hall aboard.

It was hall for one and one for hall,

Songs we like - Deck the Halls, Hall or nothing, Hall right now, Hall by myself, Hall eluia, anything by Hall and Oates.

The walk was a long hall for hall the young dudes (!) and we went hall the way.

There were many many more quips in this vein. A certain Michael Bushby being the main instigator but there were lots of other contributions.

15 hardy souls braved the snow and turned up at Pendleton. The first Hall was easily spotted as we were right next to the Village Hall (a cheat one really). Off along the road and past Pendleton Hall farm heading towards Mearley Hall. The snow had drifted on this track and in an adjoining field where a sheep was struggling to get out of it. Viv was just about to go over the fence on a rescue mission but this must have given the animal the incentive to rescue itself and it was away up the field! There was a small footpath diversion because of a washed away bridge but this meant we could go closer to Mearley Old Hall and see the window which had been taken from Sawley Abbey.

On through Worston spotting Hall Foot and then past Worsaw End Farm of Whistle Down the Wind fame. Morning coffee was at Downham with its large Hall and smaller, older, Old Hall. Out of Downham with Pendle looking magnificent in the snow and over to the clapper bridge. Taking some field paths (thank you to Dave for his help with the GPS here!) we made our way over to cross the A59 and join the Ribble Way near Gisburn Cotes Hall. Heading towards Sawley we saw the site of the Beat-Herder music festival and the magnificent Sawley Lodge which looks like it is nearing completion. Lunch was taken in the Abbey ruins and there was a bit of a snow ball fight after.

I confess that I wussed the next bit; the fields near the Ribble had been absolutely sodden on the recce so we took the road to Grindleton passing Bank Hall and rejoining the Ribble Way over the bridge. It started to snow despite the met office forecast of just cloud. It was just a light flurry however and did not stop our enjoyment of the day. It was obvious from debris on the fences that the Ribble had been much higher just a few weeks ago; this path would have been impossible to walk then. Passing Horrocksford Old Hall in the shadow of the cement works we continued on our merry way. Through the old Quarry which is now a sculpture trail and towards Brungerley Bridge where Ken did his good deed for the day by helping a lady over the awkward steps. Waddow Hall was spotted on the opposite bank and onwards to Edisford Bridge for an afternoon drinks and chocolate stop. Edisford Hall again on the opposite bank of the river.

It was nearly time to leave the Ribble Way, a quick look at Siddows Hall and then over the road to take the path under the railway bridge on the outskirts of Clitheroe. After crossing the A671 it was just a few fields and then we joined a track that circuited our last spot, Standen Hall. Tarmac now all the way back to Pendleton but the light was starting to fade and it was easy going. I had pushed the pace but was conscious of the short winter daylight hours. We were back for 4.15pm and I was awarded a Gold Star from Ken for being spot on with the mileage! Praise indeed. 10 of us adjoined to the adjacent Camra pub, Swan with Two Necks which had an impressive array of Real Ale. The food smelt very good too.

Thank you hall for coming and supporting this walk.

Hilary Scott.



 Please click on the link below to see Ken's photos.

Ken's photos


 Photos below by Julie Spencer.


Holcombe Revisited. Wednesday January 13th. 14 miles. Leader: Mark Reed.



27 People and one Dog,

Thank You all so much for turning out.

The walk started by taking a slight detour behind the car park eventually coming out behind the Shoulder of Mutton Pub.

Over the road and up onto Holcombe terrain proper, past Robin Hoods Well towards our first break.

The sun was shining and everyone was in good spirits. They had no idea of the Landslides, Mud, Puddles and rough terrain to come.

Teehee !!

Lunch was at Musberry Heights followed by more mud on the Rossendale way leading eventually to a Jacobs sheep farm with a double stile which was incredibly slippy.$$

Onwards past the Toby inn with a small bit of road walking which came as a bit of a relief.

Turning left off the road towards Crowthorn farm and the main route back past the Firing range and on to the to the car park.

Thank you to John for being a wonderful back marker in difficult circumstances.

Ah well, What I can say is it felt more like a challenge walk and I was glad of a nice pint of Copper Dragon in the Shoulder of Mutton.

The only problem was the journey back to Whitefield took us two hours... I kid you not !!  Due to incidents on the motorways.

Thanks again lets do it again sometime. :-)



Pictures by Mark and Hilary


CLITHEROE to CHIPPING - Sunday 3rd January, 22 miles

THE MUDNIFICENT 7!!! diehards turned up for another wet & muddy walk. We met in Clitheroe and headed towards Longridge Fell keeping to the road for the first couple of miles to avoid the sodden fields. Morning break was dry just before Stonyhurst College.The rain arrived at 11am as promised for the day, we had a welcome lunch and coffee stop in Chipping. Then once more into the now harder rain back through muddy fields and a steady climb over Longridge Fell again!!! Not much further now as the light faded to arrive at the cars about 4pm. A muddy good walk was had by all.
Kath Page.

 Off to the FellsBreak at StonyhurstStonyhurst ChurchMagnificent Stonyhurst