Autumn blows in

Sunday October 29th. The Clarion House Way. 23 miles. Leader: Peter Smith.

Clarion House Way


Thirteen walkers representing East Lanc’s LDWA, set out from Nelson Centre at 8.30am with confidence high, for a great days walking in the beautiful Pendle and Burnley Countryside, with sunshine all day firmly forecast.
Making our way down Carr Road to the L&L Canal, we followed the towpath to Swinden and crossed Bull Home playing fields and into Barrowford.
Following Pendle Water from the Heritage Centre up to the Water Meetings and climbing up through Huddlestone Wood and out onto the top overlooking the top end of the Hidden Valley (Sabden Valley)
Dropping down into Roughlee via the stepping stones, then up onto the ridge of Padiham Heights overlooking the peaceful Hidden Valley again, with good viewing either side over to Pendle Hill on one side and across the Pendle Valley with views of the local towns and hills beyond. 
At Noggarth Top we dropped down into the Hidden valley crossing the fields, for our first refreshment stop at the wonderful Clarion House with all its history, wonderful volunteers and their hot drinks!
Continuing up to Newchurch and further up the valley to the road above Higham, dropping down through fields to the village and across the busy fence by-pass.
We were now on the Pendle and Burnley boundary, coming down the track from Higham with good viewing again up and down the Calder Valley.
Down at the river by Pendle Hall Farm, we followed the lefthand bank to our lunch break at the attractive bend in the river near Moor Isles, enjoying the sound of the river and of course the warm sunshine with our well earned refreshments.
Passing by the Burnley sewage area and over the bridge crossing Pendle Water, through the Lower Manor Housing estate and onto the L&L Canal towpath again and on through Burnley to the old Bank Hall Colliery site to Hesandford.
Onwards now towards the second of the three Clarion Houses, Burnley’s at Roggerham Gate, with the group keeping together well and making good time.
Following the River Brun through Rowley Woods and then Swinden Water through the beautiful Houghton Hagg Wood with it’s Trees of Oak and Birch, we came out at Lee Green Reservoir at Roggerham.
Crossing the road and onto the track to what was Burnley Clarion House, hidden away in the trees and sadly empty and in disrepair.
Following the track round and up to Sweetwell Farm, we again had good viewing across to Pendle Hill and the peaks of Ingleborough and Penyghent, while looking down onto the lovely wooded valley of Thursden.
It was with this scene we had our final refreshment stop, before dropping down and crossing Thursden Brook, climbing up to Halifax Road and continuing across fields to Coldwell with open clear views in every direction.
Over the the moor to Little Moss Wood, Slitterforth Farm, Shelfield Lane and up to the third and final Clarion House, Colne’s now a private dwelling.
Crossing Knavehill and picking up Crawshaw Lane to Catlow Hamlet, we crossed the road onto the track for Nelson, passing Southfield, down to Walverden Reservoir and out into the streets of town.
Picking up Railway Street and at Vernon Street bearing left to see the Independent Labour Party building associated wth the Clarion Socialist Movement.
It was then a quick decent down Thomas Street, under the railway underpass and back to our starting point.
Leader: Peter Smith. (Pendle)

Wednesday October 25th. A Loaf and Five Fishes. 15 miles. Leader: Norman Thomas


23 walkers took part today including 3 well behaved dogs.  The weather was wonderful, a bit of a breeze but not a drop of rain.  I decided to do the walk in the opposite direction, it made it a tougher walk I think. 

We made our way through Upper Settle climbing for nearly 2 miles including Sugar Loaf Hill.  It was very windy on top so we decided to have our morning break a little further on at the old second world war tank training range.  Then onwards past Attermire Scar and Victoria Caves.  We dropped down to the scenic Catrigg Waterfall in full force, I have never seen it in such a wonderful state.  Down to Stainforth and then to Stainforth Foss, the river Ribble was too powerful to see the salmon leaping up although Viv saw one and Barbara saw two.

After lunch we made our way upwards towards Smearsett Scar but it was windy so we contoured round it.  After this I decided to put a extra few miles into the walk in view of the wonderful weather and good company.  We walked through some woods that in Spring have a lovely display of bluebells (people come from miles away to see them). Onwards to Feizer Hamlet and then we dropped down near to Settle and picked up the Ribble Way to walk into the town.

Well done everybody.

Thanking you, Norman

Pictures below from Paul.

Pictures below from Geoff.

Pictures below from Caroline.

3 pictures from Hilary before her camera battery gave out. Thanks to all the others who came to the rescue!

Chris and Norman were ON TIME!

The Group outside SettleInnovative use of Wellies




Wednesday October 18th. Whitworth Skyline. 13 miles. Leader: Peter Steckles.


21 walkers and three dogs set out from Healey Corner to sample the delights of the Whitworth Skyline - Clockwise. 200 yards later we stopped and waited for Norman and Chris who had been delayed by traffic on the motorway. And then we were 23!!! I thought Norman would be pleased...


Up the steps to join the disused Bacup Branch line, we turned and crossed the iconic Healey Dell viaduct over the River Spodden. Soon, after passing the site of Broadley Station we left the Bacup Branch line and passed up through the hamlet of Prickshaw. Climbing steadily, we joined Rooley Moor Road (formerly know as Rowley Moor Road) and more latterly known as Cotton Famine Road, because workers in Rochdale supported the American attempts to abolish slavery, themselves suffering badly. The workers themselves had to be supported by the Government of the day (possibly to stop rioting as the men could not feed their families) and so they were paid to cobble Catley Lane (as part of Rooley Moor Road was once known) and some of the work-creating projects included “…improvements in Catley Lane”.


A long and steady climb led to a small sink hole, where morning coffee was taken, and where Norman (who was late remember...) criticised the choice of venue as being 'not up to the usual standards of the East Lancs LDWA Group coffee stops... No pleasing some people...


As the air was getting decidedly nippy, (as we Brits are known to remark) we dropped down the track which led us into the magnificent Lee Quarry where the current owners, Lancashire County Council have set up a series of mountain bike trails and tracks. As well as providing mountain bike trails it offers an opportunity to understand the natural and industrial heritage of Rossendale. Parts of the site are classed as a Geological Site of Scientific Interest.


1887-1889 - 64 blocks of stone from Lee Quarries were used to build the four masonry pier foundations of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I'm certain that Norman was aware of this, as I understand he had the contract for the plumbing on that job...


We wound our way through the quarry, passing the place where the walk leader fell from his bicycle in March 2017. Was there any sympathy...? No! most of the group laughed out loud (LOL to the younger members of the group...). Ah well.


We dropped down the tarmac to rejoin the Bacup Branch Line, and we took luncheon at Britannia in the car park with seating for all. The lunch stop venue was again questioned by Mr Thomas who said that the group were used to better lunch stops than on a main road next to a bus stop... There is no pleasing some people.


We were soon on the road again as it was getting even colder, so the climb up the oddly named Market Street through a couple of farms and finally up to the ridge which forms part of the Rossendale Way was welcome. Crossing the wobbly ladder stile, we noted a transistor radio wired to the fence, which was only able to be tuned in to receive Radio Lancashire, but sadly, not Radio Yorkshire. Sorry Ken. :)


The final part of the walk was described as Marble Rolling Terrain, but as we all know, descents that will propel a marble all the way back to the cars are merely a figment of Norman's fertile imagination, so we negotiated several waterlogged sections of moorland, and some less than efficient gates before arriving at the service road for the Crook Hill Wind Factory (11 Turbines). Here we took afternoon tea, but not before the indefatigable Norman criticised the venue (despite the shelter from the biting wind, and the many rustic seatings for the weary traveller, and his lateness at the start...) No pleasing some people.


We skirted Hades Hill and Brown Wardle (rather than going over them...) to pass Lobden Golf Clubhouse, rounding Rushy Hill before passing Healey Stones on our right. To avoid crossing the main Whitworth Road on the dangerous corner, we turned left just before Ending Rake, to cross the road more safely, and arrived back at the luxuriant toileting facilities at Healey Corner, where carriages awaited.


23 set off and 23 returned. An attrition rate of 0%. 13.7 miles according to Mr S Nav. We were blessed with the weather. A tad nippy in parts, but watery sunshine and no showers all day. Thanks to all who turned out - even Norman!!!


Peter (the lone diner at the Christmas Meal organised by Mr Thomas...)


Click here to see Peter's pictures.


How to climb a stile - the East Lancs way.


Sunday October 15th. Roundabout Ringheye. 18 miles. Leader: John Jocys.


An East Lancashire LDWA production…

Ringheye – the old name for Ringway, the site of Manchester Airport

I collected fellow East Lancashire LDWA member and fellow ceilidh band musician Rick, AKA Long Suffering Rick, at 8.30am and we trundled off to meet fellow members of the LDWA in darkest, deepest Hale.

This was my turn to lead a walk for the East Lancs LDWA. I’ve done very little with the LDWA over the last couple of years and the Roundabout Ringheye walk was my mea-culpa.

Eleven LDWA members gathered at the appointed time to endure my idea of fun….well, one of them. My absence from the LDWA scene was made very apparent (to me) – I only recognised 5 of the walkers. I really need to get out more.

The weather forecast wasn’t brilliant: gloom followed by deeper gloom. At the least the gloom was forecast to be dry.

How wrong the forecasters were, we enjoyed warm sunshine virtually all day – I was more than glad I’d decided on wearing shorts.

The route was based on the ‘Jump in the Lake’ walk from a few years back – although there were some significant differences.

The walk coincided with the Manchester Half Marathon, held just a few miles north. Rather than setting off at bang on 9am we waited 5 minutes for any latecomers who may have been delayed by the road closures.

So, at 9.05am we wandered off, westwards, crossing the River Bollin and then following the very well-surfaced farm track to Ryecroft Farm, adjacent to the M56.

It was here that we turned South-West, crossing the M56 and following a mix of tarmac and footpaths to the very pretty village of Rostherne.

At Rostherne we followed a concessionary path (not marked on the OS map) that took us close by Rostherne Mere. This was as close as it’s possible to get to the mere, it’s situated in a nature reserve with very restricted access.

From Rostherne we headed directly to the Home Farm entrance of Tatton Park by way of the dead-straight church path.

This was a leisurely 18 miler so we stopped for a good 20 – 25 minutes at Tatton Hall….where they serve rather nice coffee and cake. Rather nicely expensive too.

Tatton Park was used extensively in WW2 for parachute training, the nearby RAF Ringway, now Manchester Airport, was home to No1 Parachute Training School. It only seemed right to include a visit to the training school’s monument, close to the landing zone in the park.

Long Suffering Rick and I had been at Tatton Hall on the previous Friday evening, playing a ceilidh. We’d notice signs warning of the rutting – deer might not take kindly to us marching past their love nests. Care was to be taken.

As it happened the deer were generally away from our route so there wasn’t a problem. Even for Alma.

Leaving the monument, we walked south, keeping to the western shore of Tatton Mere to exit the park at Knutsford.

A gentle wander through Knutsford, home to General Patton’s HQ in WW2, is always a pleasant experience.

Our lunch stop was in Knutsford’s park. Conveniently vacant benches overlooked the lake – filled with Canada Geese and other birdies.

Rick has been suffering from a poorly foot so he’d chosen this point to bale out. A train would whisk him backfrom Knutsford to Timperley in double-quick time. Rick went one way and we went t’other, north-east towards Mobberley.

This next section was made up of a mix of tarmac and soggy fields.

The Plan was to follow quiet lanes to the east of the airport rather than following the unofficial and clarty, slutchy footpath that runs (?) alongside Runway 2. A last-minute change of plan was made after a lengthy (about 20 seconds) discussion with Frank – we would follow the runway mudbath. This shortened the route slightly but had the advantages of a) testing the grippiness and waterproof qualities of our footwear, b) allowing us very good views of aircraft taking off.

Leaving the side of the runway we joined the Bollin Valley Way as it took us UNDER the runway and west-ish on the final leg of the walk.

The last couple of miles were very gentle indeed (they probably needed to be after visiting that trig-point), a pleasant riverside walk back into Hale and our cars.

We were done, dusted and finished by 4pm = a 7 hour bimble. We took 3 very leisurely breaks – this was a gentle 18 miler, not an eyeballs-out race. It was good.

Thanks to everyone who turned up, I hope you enjoyed it – I certainly did. I almost enjoyed Michael’s jokes….well maybe not.

18 miles / 960’ of ascent + lots of sunshine and laughs.  



Click here to read John's blog and look at the pictures of the day.


Wednesday October 4th. Whalley and Beyond. 14 miles. Leaders: Dave and Alma Walsh.


With apologies from three of our regulars, a still good turnout of 18 walkers met at Spring Wood c.p despite the poor weather forecast. Unusually we were not represented on the canine front, Maude at home with her mum & Kipper & Fudge on holiday in Cornwall.
We climbed the hill through the golf course & then took a particularly muddy path through a wood before a rocky track & some fields led us past Wiswell Wireless Station. A local farmer told us to be careful of marauding rams but these were not to be seen. Heading East over fields we walked to the village of Sabden & had a coffee break next to the War Memorial.
From the village a track took us up to Calf Hill & then on to Churn Clough Reservoir. It had now started to rain. Over fields we reached a track which led us back to Sabden. The wind & driving rain was now in our faces. Luckily the rain stopped as we reached the village & we had lunch in a park area which had plenty of seating & picnic benches.
After lunch we walked southwest along pleasant tracks & quiet minor roads through the Read Park area & then crossed the A671 & A680 to follow the River Calder for a while before a short climb up to Whalley Banks & then a drop down into Whalley. The usual track by the Weir was closed for improved flood defence work, so we followed the main road through the village back to the cars.
Nine of us called in the Gamecock pub for a drink before the journey home where Norman confided he had been on some tracks he was not aware of, & he knew the area "like the back of his hand"

Dave & Alma



Sunday October 1st. A Tower & Two Pikes. 17 miles. Leader: Ken Noble.


9 walkers left Todmorden on a damp Sunday morning to walk 17.2 miles around the hills and valleys of West Yorkshire with approx. 3,300ft of ascent.

The morning became brighter and revealed views across the valley to our second “Pike”, Stoodley, but by mid afternoon, the rain started and the wind picked up, true to the forecast that morning.

The first “Pike” is a war memorial on Smeakin hill near Peckett Well and the tower is the church tower at Heptonstall, where Michael showed us the location of Sylvia Plath's grave, American poet, novelist and short story writer who comitted suicide at age 30.

From Todmorden we had a long climb to Keelham Heights before descending Hippens Clough to Hippens Bridge.

We descended further, to the bridge near the chimney of Lower Lumb Mill before the ascent to Heptonstall and then to the wat memorial “Pike”.

After a few undulations, we descended to Hebden Bridge, only to climb to Stoodley Pike.

A steep descent brought us down to the Rochdale Canal which we followed back to Todmorden.


Click here for Ken's pictures.

Click here for Steve's pictures.

Thank you to Barbara for the pictures below.