August, please can the sun come out to play?

Wednesday August 31st. Lancashire Trail Part 4. 13 miles. Leaders: Chris Langabeer, Norman Thomas, Ian Pickup.


20 Walkers and 1 dog assembled at the Nick of Pendle car park to board the coach for the journey to the start of the walk at the Clog and Billycock Hotel near to Witton Park. The route took us past Westholme Senior School, through Airley Farm to cross the A677 and reach the village of Mellor.

Then after a short climb we reached a trig point on Mellor Moor and the now abandoned Royal Observer Corps Nuclear Attack monitoring post.If there had been an attack 3 men would have been sealed off from the world to report events to central government. ( for more details see 

From here the route passed through undulating countryside to arrive at the village of Wilpshire. Next came  a steady climb to reach Wilpshire Moor  and Golf Course.

 Lunch was taken here with its fine views of the surrounding countryside. It was then onwards to descend to Dean Clough Reservoir. Then after a short section on a minor road we had a steep descent to cross the River Calder and enter the historic town of Whalley.

As all walkers know,after a decent usually comes a ascent. This one was  to Springwood car park, then on to Clerk Hill before a more gradual ascent to reach the Nick of Pendle and our cars.

Most of the group drove down the hill into Sabden to have a drink at the White Hart, whose website says that it is open from 12 till 11pm weekdays. Unfortunately for some reason the pub was closed. Most of the group went home but several members found a pub that was open and had pleasant after walk drink.

See you all on the last section of the trail: Nick of Pendle to Thornton in Craven on September 24th.


Wednesday August 24th. Midgehole Meander. 14 miles. Leader: Mark Reed


Thank You very much to the 14 Walkers who turned up at Midgehole Car Park.

After a bit of a kerfuffle over parking, (well the price has gone up to £5!!) we manged to get some free parking for National trust members who didn’t have their badges with them. (Note to self:  Remember to mention free parking for Trust members next time)

Anyway, setting off in good time and lovely weather we followed the river to Gibson mill taking a photo on the stepping stones on route.

Passing Gibson mill we continued along the river before rising sharply upwards towards Walshaw  passing Horodiddle onto Wadsworth moor.

Here we had a discussion on the merits or otherwise of grouse shooting as we passed a number of butts. Great views of the surrounding area; it was beautiful.

This brought us nicely to Walshaw Dean Reservoir where we stopped for elevenses. However we were driven off quite quickly by those pesky Midges and not Midgets as my pal John insisted.

Approximately 3 miles later passing along the Calder Aire Link we stopped for lunch at Widdop Reservoir, where again we were driven off more quickly than we would have liked by those Damn Midges.

After lunch a further climb to cross Shuttleworth moor brought us nicely alongside Gorple Upper and Lower reservoirs.

Finally onto the Pennine way for a couple of miles before turning off back towards Gibson mill.

Here we stopped for refreshments, one or two members taking advantage of the great food and drink on offer and recuperating before the last trek back to the car park.

Thank You once again to all that took part. I really enjoyed your company.

Lets do it again next year !!





Sunday August 21st. The Lunesdale Wander. 19.5 miles. Leader: Norman Thomas.


21st August 2016 - Lunesdale Wander

(or it could be re-named ‘A man of stile’ or ‘Nobby Stiles’ or ‘Tarmac Tommy’)

We had 16 brave souls and 4 dogs; the weather driving up was bad.  Two local girls who walked with us told us on the car park before we started the walk that the day before they had had a storm of storms and the Lune was in flood. 

We set foot from Hornby to Loyn Bridge which has been repaired after last years storms.  We then walked at the side of the River Lune, the path was very testing indeed.  We reached Arkholme then towards where a bridge had been washed away, so we had to walk on the road for some way.  Onto Priest Hutton then Capernwray to a small café (a little gem) for lunch.

Making our way to Over Kellet bypassing another washed away bridge, we had wonderful views, no rain and a little sunshine and we arrived at Aughton mid afternoon. Then it was road walking for a mile to bypass part of the Lune path that had been washed away.  We arrived back in Hornby at 5pm.  The walkers enjoyed the day and found it a bit of a challenge with the flooding and many stiles.

Thanks to all the walkers and a big thanks to Howard and Neil (the head gardener) for recce-ing it with me twice.



pictures from Hilary


Wednesday August 17th. Monastic Way 5 Re-visited. 14.5 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott.

Ten people and 1 dog became pilgrims for the day on an ad hoc walk. It was a glorious day and surprisingly (to me at least) the majority of the group had not done the original walk so the day was new to them.

Leaving the now closed Shaw's Arms, the Ribble Way was followed for some time. It was lovely by the water, green fields and lots of birdlife on the river. Morning coffee stop was at Brockholes visitor centre and then we climbed up to and through Red Scar woods. The next stretch did involve a touch of road walking and the noise of the M6 motorway accompanied us. Over some fields and then up the original Pilgrim's track to Ladywell, an oasis of calm in which to eat lunch.

Leaving Ladywell and the Monastic Way, the route became my nostalgia walk, passing my old house, school, and various other memorable (to me) places. Through the centre of Preston and into Winckley Square where the planned route through was impossible due to upgrading works. Never mind, we walked into Avenham Park and by a majority vote went to the Continental Pub for a cooling drink in the heat of the afternoon. From there it was a mile or so back to the cars alongside the River Ribble with a breeze coming off the water to make it a very pleasant end to the walk.

I gained full marks from Bernard for the quality of the break stops; praise indeed. Thanks to those who came.



 Wednesday August 10th. Looking for Humphrey. 16 miles. Leader: Geoff Halliwell.


Fourteen people enjoyed this wonderful walk in the Grange over Sands area.
Starting from the town we climbed steeply to Hampsfell Hospice, where great views of the bay and the Lake District hills were to be seen. After a short stop admiring the view and the hospice we were informed by an educated passer by that the ancient Greek inscription above the  east facing doorway translated to "Rosy Fingered Dawn". After a number of crude remarks about the aforementioned Dawn, we continued the walk, dropping down to the beautiful village of Cartmel. A quick brew stop allowed some of the group to take a look inside the Priory church before we crossed the racecourse and headed to Cark. Once there, we left the Cistercian Way and headed to the coast to pick up the Cumbria coastal footpath.  Lunch was enjoyed on the path, before a slight detour was taken inland to visit the Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding factory (puddings 50 pence each, a great bargain taken advantage of by many in the group !! ). 
We then continued onto Humphrey Head where we saw a number of Peregrine falcons patrolling the sea cliffs. Afternoon break was taken on the headland overlooking the bay with great views towards Arnside and Silverdale. Incidentally, legend says that Humphrey Head was where the last wolf in England was killed.
The final few miles took us to the lovely village of Kents Bank before heading along the promenade back into Grange over Sands. Total mileage was around 16 miles. Thanks to all those who came.
Geoff Halliwell.
Thanks to Geoff for the pictures.

Sunday August 7th. Stanza Stones Trail Part 5. 18.5 miles. Leader: Ken Noble


11 walkers and 1 dog left Bingley once again on the penultimate walk to find the Stanza Stones. Today we saw two stones, the Dew stone and the Puddle stone.

We had a nice easy start along the Leeds/Liverpool Canal, passing Bingley 3 rise locks, opened in 1774 and refurbished in 2007. Further restoration work, costing £3.5 million was carried out in 2015 when the gates, each weighing 4.5 tons were replaced as part of a maintenance programme. In a few hundred yards we arrived at 5 rise locks, the steepest locks in England. Then came a 3 mile walk along the canal before starting the ascent to Rombalds Moor which Ilkley Moor is a part of.

Soon we saw the Dew Stone, actually two stones standing side by side, and we stopped here for our morning break and a practice session of the Yorkshire Anthem, Ilkla Moor Baht'at! Next on the horizon after Black Pots farm are the Doubler Stones, allegedly the meeting place of witches centuries ago.

When we reached the northern edge of Ilkely  Moor, we turned east and then started singing the full version of Ilkla Moor Baht'at, eventually passing the Noon Stone. It wasn’t noon yet, but we kept going and soon we were heading south, then southwest to our lunch stop at West Buck Stones.

After lunch, as we followed the wall to Whetstone Gate, it got a little wet under foot in places. One of us has a tendency to find bogs and sink into them, so I was particularly careful not to repeat the experience here!

Soon after passing Thimbles Stones, we found Puddle Stone, the fifth Stanza Stone, then on to the Twelve Apostles stone circle.

Now we left the Trail to make our way back to Bingley following the Dales Way Link to Shipley Glen. As we were passing Raines Farm, Hilary became so fascinated with a robotic lawn mower that in her haste to get a photo of it, she fell into a ditch! Luckily she wasn't hurt and treated us all to a good laugh!

After dropping down to cross the glen, a steep climb up to Gilstead, followed by another descent, we followed the Leeds/Liverpool canal back to our cars.

Although it was quite windy on the moor, it wasn't too cold and even  though the sky looked heavy at times, it stayed dry with some sunny spells.

Thanks to all who came on the walk.


Click here for Ken's Pictures


Pictures below from Hilary

Wednesday August 3rd. Plodder Three Parishes Walk. 13.5 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott


Well, apparently I ended this walk on 120 minus points, (I was going for a record 180 minus points but the group was kind to me).

14 Plodders and 2 dogs met at Calder Vale to walk to Three Parishes in the Bleasdale area following a route promoted by the Forest of Bowland section within Lancashire County Council. The description clearly says the length to be 12 miles but this was disputed by the various electronic gizmo's that were present on the day - points lost there.

Leaving Calder Vale we headed up to Kelbrick farm, onto Bank farm and then descended to Oakenclough. A section of tarmac (points lost) took us past the remote primary school and then it was over Rough Moor and onto Bleasdale Estate passing a large section of felled forest. The plan was to use a lovely wall as a backrest for morning coffee and enjoy the superb views over Lancashire, but a heavy shower of rain (points lost) kept us moving to the shelter of some trees.

Moving on we walked nearly to the foot of the Bowland Fells, turning away before we had to ascend. Here, (by group consensus) we made a visit to Bleasdale Circle, a prehistoric site of some importance. Bernard suddenly realised that he had approached the circle from a completely different angle on a previous occasion but he was excited that he knew where we were! The information board about the circle is further down the road near the Primary School and we stopped to read this.

Tummies were rumbling and it was now past one 'o' clock but I wanted to reach Waddecar Scout camp and a shelter for lunch. On the way we paused to watch modern day sheep herding with a quad bike mainly doing the work previously done by the sheep dogs. Luckily the weather cleared and we were able to sit in the ruins of an old barn, it wasn't warm enough to paddle in the river though.

The gizmo's helped me on the next stretch as I had failed to find the correct footpath out of the Scout Camp on the recce - thanks to those who helped. We came onto a rough road which was awash and impassable at one point, not what you expect at the beginning of August. Ground conditions had been muddy in places and there was plenty of damp boggy places in the fields - points lost. However we encountered a really bad section on a wall stile into a wood and within the wood itself - more points lost. It had been fine on the recce - honest!

On the boundary of another field we passed a Thirlmere Way Gate and Bernard was set an observation test to see if he noticed this. He did - at the last minute - but I'm afraid Bernard, Don and Phil all had a senior moment by insisting that they had not been there before. A few hundred yards further on in Cobble Hey Farmyard there was a collective 'lightbulb' moment when they remembered the cafe and that they had in fact been there before. I had said that Ice Cream was available at Cobble Hey but it was closed so yes, points lost. I did hand out sweets to try and redeem myself.

Shortly after this the heavens opened with a vengeance. We were only about 20 minutes from Calder Vale so it then became my fault that we got wet, as we would have been back before the heavy rain if we hadn't visited the Bleasdale Circle. Hey ho, there's just no pleasing some folk is there? We descended into the small village, much quieter now the mill appears to have closed. It was the last remaining cotton mill in Lancashire and the sound of the working looms could easily be heard in the village. All is quiet now and the car park empty. What a shame.

Most people did call for a reviving drink at the Roebuck pub on the A6 and I think I might have been forgiven as all said they had enjoyed the day. Thank you for coming.