Sunny days in August

Wednesday August 29th. Giant's Graves And a Friars Head. 14.2 miles. Leader: Chris Langabeer.


Weather: Cloudy at first, sunshine later.


20 walkers set off from the car park of the Craven Heifer PH. Named after a local Heifer which weighed 2,496 lb and stood over 7ft tall!

We passed through the hamlets of Thoralby and Stirton to arrive at the Leeds and Liverpool canal. After crossing the canal we continued along its towpath to almost reach the town of Gargrave. Here the canal was left behind to walk through Gambers wood and reach the Tudor House called Friars Head built in 1590. After a short walk uphill we arrived at the Giants Graves or pillow mounds which were built as Rabbit Warrens.

Continuing over undulating countryside with excellent views we arrived at Hetton. Lunch was taken here in a pleasant community garden. Our next objective was the hamlet of Flasby, which was reached after walking a section of the Dales Highway Long Distance Path.

From Flasby it was a steady climb to reach the summit of Rough Haw 339m. Then came a short descent and then another climb to reach the trig point on Sharp Haw 357m with more excellent views of the surrounding countryside. It was then more or less downhill all the way (marbles were rolled!) to reach the Craven Heifer, where most of the group spent a pleasant hour.

Thanks to all who attended.



Thanks to Mark for the pictures below.



Sunday August 19th. Rochdale Roundabout. 20 miles. Leader: Peter Steckles.


Twenty folks (but no canine friends) enthusiastically signed on and set off from Healey Corner in the rain.  Down the Dell, under the magnificent viaduct, past the wartime munitions complex, then via Smallshaw Brook up to Rooley Moor Road. Over some distinctly slippery stiles, then dropping down the side of Greenbooth Reservoir, to emerge at the old bus terminus in Norden at Hutchinson Road. Still raining.


We then passed the now closed Three Owls Bird Sanctuary, through Black Pits, over Paperhouse Bridge (which had to be replaced after the flash floods a few years ago). Still raining.

                                                                           Paper House bridge (not in the rain!)


We descended Naden Brook to School Lane, then crossed the fields to Bamford (where the posh people live). Bamford gave way to Queens Park for the morning coffee stop, with cafe, loos, and children's playground, with NO children. Strange. Suitable refreshed, we dropped down through Queens Park to sample the delights of one of Heywood's old mills. Mutual Mill (strangely, on Mutual Street.) Still raining.


Chadwick Lane (older than your walk leader... ;)) led through to Castleton and the first visit to Rochdale Canal. Crossing fields led to a bridge over the A627(M) which runs from Rochdale to Oldham. The bridge led to Thornham Lane and the isolated Tandle Hill Tavern, where we spotted the wonderful delights of Royton's illustrious and hard working fly tippling community. Thank you boys! We are eternally grateful for your efforts. Since reported to Oldham, who will shift it ASAP. Still raining.


Thornham Lane led to... Thornham, which gave way to Pitt Lane, which in turn led to the capped mine shaft hidden under several inches of concrete, within the trees. If one of the walkers hadn't known it, and hadn't pointed it out, it would have gone unnoticed... Stopped raining.


Farmlands and enclosed lanes led behind a working stable farm, through Thornham Jungle, which had been cleared the week previous, and which was fighting back. The stiles weren't giving in easily either, and it felt as though someone had used WD40 (or Duckhams 20-50) on the stile steps... Started raining again.


We then dropped down towards Milnrow, where we were able to take luncheon in the wonderful Ellenroad Engine House Steam Museum. We had sought permission to use their facilities, but the gentleman who had OK'd the arrangement had failed to pass on the information to the volunteers who were working today, nevertheless, they were most welcoming. Setting out tables and chairs and offering to put the kettle on. One of the chaps gave us a short description of the Museum, and opened the ladies loo for us. Marvellous hospitality. If anyone has the inclination, the Museum has a website. The engines are in steam once a month, has a cafe, and is a fascinating visit. They are also looking for volunteers, should anyone have the inclination.


We set off through Milnrow, past Hollingworth 'Academy' (Hollingworth High School as was...) testimony to the works of the ill fated Carillion (the sign for which still hangs ominously, at a jaunty angle, on the fence...). The track led past some of natures rich pickings (Blackberries...) to the Tunshill Golf Course, which can be seen from the M62 on the big climb up to the highest point on any UK motorway, just near the Pennine Way bridge over the M62). Fortunately, the weather had deterred many of the golfers, so we were relatively safe crossing the fairways.... Did I mention the rain...?


More fields gave way eventually to Deep Lane, which allowed us to drop down through Hollingworth Lake Caravan Park, which accommodates, permanent chalets, static vans, tourers, and campers... [Hi De Hi]. Still more rain and time was pressing, so we skipped the planned afternoon tea stop at the Visitors Centre, and dropped down, past the rotting Fiat 500, (which is STILL on Google Maps, for the pedantic...) to meet Rochdale canal for a second time, this time nearer to Littleborough, where we sheltered for a few moments is a salubrious tunnel under the main Manchester to Leeds railway line. Boy do we know how to show walkers a good time...


We then crossed the main Halifax road in Littleborough, though a sprawling housing estate, following Featherstall Brook all the way to Wardle. More lanes led to the strangely named Brown House Wham Reservoir, not easy to say after a couple of pints, but the assembled pack sensed the finish, and the pace intensified, as often happens when we sense our carriages. Apologies from me to those who lost contact with the fragmenting group, but fortunately some of the following walkers knew the way, and we all made it back to the waiting cars without incident.


It is a while since I walked with the Group, and it was good for me to meet up again with some lovely people. The LDWA is a really good organisation, and the East Lancs Group are a credit to the LDWA. Even the rain didn't dampen the day for me. Many said they enjoyed the walk, and were please to join up many parts of Rochdale on a not too strenuous day out.


And Liverpool won at Crystal Palace. Hi De Hi, campers.


Best wishes from Peter


Click on the link to view Peter's pictures. Did he mention it rained?




Wednesday August 8th. Middle Earth Meander. 14 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott.


Sixteen walkers met at Ribchester, signed the register, heard a brief description of the walk and set off under a very large black cloud. Luckily it was a spit and a spot only. We stopped at the Church for a group photo and then made our way up to Stydd. I had warned the group that the first hour and a half was all uphill and so it proved! Just along from Stydd, Kim was excited to find a hedgerow full of sloes. She made plans to return after the walk to collect some. We continued up hill through Duddel Hill, alongside Cutler's Hill and finally came up to the wall leading onto Longridge Fell.


It had felt breezy but the wall gave shelter and we stopped here for morning coffee much to the relief of some of the group. There were far reaching views along the Ribble Valley and over to Winter Hill and the West Pennine Moors. Over the wall and along to the top of the fell and glorious views over to Bowland, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough. We visited the trig point and then walked into the forest which seemed very gloomy after the bright sunshine and open spaces of the fell path.


Continuing at this height, we followed the forest road past Hare Hill and then tracks along to another view overlooking Clitheroe with Pendle in the background. It was time to start our descent back on the forest road where we were reunited with a missing member (the back marking process went awry!!) We made our way down across the fields and onto the road near Stonyhurst ready to walk through the school grounds. There were more very black clouds overhead now and as we came into Hurst Green the rain started.


Lunch was taken in a handy smoking shelter and bus stop and was a tad longer than normal to let the worst of the rain pass over. Leaving Hurst Green we walked to Trough House where we could hear and just glimpse the work that has commenced on replacing Dinckley Bridge. Hopefully this will be open again soon. The rain stopped as we walked this way.


From here we followed the Ribble Way to Dewhurst House and then cut across to Gallows Lane, through some fields and back to the road at Stydd. Most of the group returned to the main car park and half the group went into the local tea shop for refreshments. A very pleasant day out in Middle Earth. Thanks to all who came.






Sunday August 5th. WanderINGS. 20 miles.  4200 ft of ascent. Leaders: Dave and Alma Walsh.


After Paul had kindly completed the Register of Walkers & we had given a brief description of the walk, 17 of us set off in humid conditions. Over farmer's fields & tracks we made our way towards Windermere.

After passing a lovely stone house with superb gardens we crossed the railway line & made out way to the A591 just outside the town.

After crossing the road a path took us up to Common Wood & from there we climbed up to Orrest Head. We paused here for a quick drink & to take in the fine views of Lake Windermere.

We then followed farmer's fields to reach our morning break spot at Allen Knott. Again there were fine views of Lake Windermere.

We then joined Longmire Road a track which took us northwards. To our left was Limefitt Caravan Park, now almost all log cabins,  & the pretty village of Troutbeck & to our right the steep slopes of Applethwaite Common. We followed this track along the valley for several miles before reaching Park Fell. The ascent up was long & quite steep in places but we eventually reached the top & had lunch.

We then headed South & tackled the three tops of Froswick, Ill Belle & Yoke. A gentle downhill track took us down to the Garburn Pass & we climbed a stile into Kentmere Park.

We then had a break on Sallows, the highest Top on Kentmere Park & then wound our way over to Sour Howes. From there we took a rarely used path downhill in an Easterly direction which brought us out through thick ferns to the main track from Kentmere to Ings.

From here easy paths took us the final 3 miles back into Ings. The majority of us then had a well earned drink in the Watermill Pub.

Pity about the slow going on the M6 on the way back. Many thanks to all who attended including new walker Anthony, nice to see a new face.

Dave & Alma


Pictures below from Dave.


Click here to see Howards pictures.


Pictures below from Hilary.