September Serendipity

Wednesday September 20th. Piethorne Revisited. 14 miles. Leader: Roger Helliwell.

15 walkers and 2 dogs left Littleborough to revisit Piethorn Reservoir and two others. A kingfisher was spotted on the canal shortly after the start of the walk.

The weather remained fine all day and the route included some interesting historical buildings as well as good moorland stretches and the reservoirs. Hollingworth lake was visited too on the return stretch. The walk was slightly longer than advertised so a short cut was taken to keep near to the original mileage.


Click here for Steve's pictures.



Saturday September 9th. Abbeystead Circular (Wyre Way Part 4) 19.5 miles. Leaders: Hilary Scott & Caroline Tennant.

Well, never let it be said that East Lancs LDWA don't have jolly good value walks. This was the walk that just kept giving and giving....

Firstly, it was over the advertised mileage, an extra mile an a half. Next, we had jolly good weather. The forecast all week had varied between very bad and horrendous but on the day we had 3 showers, none of which lasted more than 10 minutes. Most of the group walked in T shirts and it was warm in the intermittent sunshine. 

Finally, we won the Dave and Alma award for the muddiest and wettest underfoot conditions of the year so far! What an accolade! Caroline and I are truly honoured...... Apparently they didn't get as muddy during the whole two weeks of the coast to coast walk!

Ten intrepid walkers and 2 dogs met at Abbeystead ready to complete the Wyre Way. There has been a lot of rain this week so I expected wet ground conditions but we learnt during the day why the Wyre can flood further down the valley. The water coming off the fells was incredible, from all angles, trying to make its way to the river along our path half the time! The Wyre Way loops around Abbeystead itself so we walked through the wood to come out below the outfall from the reservoir. The noise and water were incredible to watch. Over the bridge and up to the pumping station where an explosion in 1984 killed 16 and injured 28. From here we walked along a cart track to stay off the wet field and then over the river again. A minor navigational error at this point meant a retrace of steps until we found the ascending path and it was upwards through a wood.

Shortly after, we left the Wyre Way to make our way back to Scorton picnic site where we had walked to on the previous leg. The recce had taken us along some very bad unwalked paths so we decided to use the road instead for part of this. To be honest this was welcome today, a respite from the muddy conditions. After morning coffee at Scorton it was back along the Wyre Way passing through Sunnyside caravan site and Dolphinholme. We rejoined the outward leg at Mark Holme wood and managed not to misplace ourselves on the way back. Dave did have a mud slide in the wood though, he must not have been able to resist!

Walking through Abbeystead and back to our cars for lunch. Brenda decided that Paige and Ruby needed an early bath and left us here but the remaining 9 were going to battle on to the end.

The final part of the Way goes out onto the fells. There doesn't appear to be one source of the river as one part of the loop follows the Tarnbrook Wyre and the other the Marshaw Wyre. These are both fed by numerous small streams on the fells. It was suprising how quiet it was out on the fells, lovely and peaceful with a lot of sheep and game birds. A feature out here were many stone WW waymarkers with animals, birds, flowers and even a hat carved into them, a lovely different way of signing.

It was a climb up to the road at Tarnbrook and a further climb out on the moor/fell finally beginning to drop down near Tower Lodge. The Way follows the road here but a side concessionary path provided a respite from the tarmac. The final part back to the cars was notable for the view of Abbeystead Hall itself. A beautiful building with many gables and windows.

Well done to those who completed the Wyre Way today:-

Dave and Alma Walsh, Michael Bushby, Jackie Peakes. It's been an adventure from coast to fell.

Hilary and Caroline.


Wednesday September 6th. A Breath of Fresh Air. 12 miles. Leader: Norman Thomas.

Just 2 days after my birthday, we had 11 walkers and 3 dogs.  Going up to Glasson it rained very hard but when we arrived the rain had passed and it was a fine but windy day, fresh air indeed but the sun came out several times.

We made our way to Glasson Dock and onwards to the rebuilt Plover Scar Lighthouse, the builders have made a super job of rebuilding and repainting it. We went onwards to the parachute club but it was closed because of the wind so we continued on to the church grounds at Cockerham where we sat at the side of the gravestones.  Dave Shep said he was getting to like graveyards!

We continued on to the fields of maize, very amazing and I lead the walkers safely through to Galgate canal junction (I made a point here to cut the walk short by 3 miles) due to me having a poorly back after competing with my 3 year old great granddaughter Esme on the parallel bars in Pennington Park last Thursday!  Neil also had a bad ankle, he had just finished the coast to coast walk on Saturday, well done to Neil, Howard, Alma, Dave, Julie and Frank.

We arrived at Conder Green 1 hour early so we decided to go to the Stork Pub and sample a beer or two and sign the Breath of Fresh Air book.

A big thank you indeed to the walkers that helped me celebrate my 78th birthday.

Thanks a million, Norman



Sunday September 3rd. The Dambusters. 19 miles. Leader: Bob James.


Many Thanks to the 9 who met at Heatherdene Car Park on the southern end of Ladybower Reservoir. Though free parking exists on the eastern side of the Viaduct these places are quickly taken up by the early bird walkers and Mountain Bikers so it seemed best to meet in the Car Park to get everyone together and make use of the very good facilities on offer.

I originally recce'd this walk in Spring when the new born Lambs were out playing amid the Daffodils. Well worth another visit at this time of year, when the sun is shining. The Weather today was overcast with a definite autumnal feel about it though thankfully the rain stayed off until later in the afternoon when most of the walk was completed.

I gave the walk the name 'The Dambusters'  as our central aim was to take in the Derwent and Howden Dams which were used as Training Targets for the actual Dambusters Raid of  May 16th - 17th May1943,  later immortalised in the film, by the same name, which filmed at the very same location, in 1954; starring Richard Todd as Guy Gibson.

From the Car Park we made our way to the LadyBower Inn. The path around the back of the Inn leads to a steep ascent giving views across the valley towards Win & Lose Hill and the Ridge towards Mam Tor.

 At the top of the (20 minute) climb we came onto Derwent Edge. Following the ride northwards we visited rock formations named Cakes of Bread and Salt Cellar due to the similar shapings. Our 1st official stop was at Lost Lad Cairn displaying the copper dial pointing out the various hilltops and locations across The Peaks. From here we followed the long descent towards Abbey Bank which gave further photo opportunities looking down towards Howden Dam. On reaching the service road south to Fairholmes Visitor Centre where a good crowd took advantage of the Café, Shop and Toilet facilities. 

Sadly the Museum on the Eastern Tower has been closed since 2016 after the proprietor, Vic Hallam died. My understanding is that discussions are on-going between his family and the Water Utilities about what happens next. Until a decision has been reached the Museum – containing memorabilia from the Dambusters Raid, remains closed.

Moving north along the service road we reached Howden Dam before swinging east and the tackling the steep ascent up to Alport Castles. This viewpoint offers spectacular views across the A59, Snake Pass road, once looking across to the Mam Tor Ridge. A great site for birdwatchers with a Hide permanently established for the more ardent twitchers.

Turning for home we moved south easterly along the ridge path over Rowlee Pasture, alongside Hagg Side Wood and then the decent down over Bride-End Pasture to the Via Duct.

Dropping down towards the Viaduct on the A59 for the final stroll back to Heatherdene Car Park. Both Garmin carriers agreed that the walk touched over 19 miles so my apologies for  my outdated measuring – using cotton thread laid along my OS map which led me to believe it was 'only' 18 miles. Happy to lay this walk again if enough hands are put into the air.


Thank you to Barbara for the pictures