October Outings

Sunday October 28th. Earby a circular around Earby. 20 miles. Leader: Pauline Melia.


On a beautiful crisp morning, having remembered to turn their clocks back the night before, 22 enthusiastic walkers gathered outside the Anchor Inn at Salterforth for a walk around the beautiful hills, tracks and paths of the Lancashire / Yorkshire border country. It was really pleasing to see a number of walkers from other LDWA groups. This was Pauline's first walk as leader, which was probably why she was hiding behind a Halloween mask !


The group set off along the Leeds and Liverpool canal , greeting the cyclists, runners and dog walkers along the way. At Mill Hill Bridge, the route sets off across the first of many fields , over a footbridge and ahead through a farmyard to reach the A56. Over the road and via a stile, fields and stream, eventually reaching Lancashire Ghyll which was the old county border prior to the reorganisation of 1974. Past the Ghyll the group eventually reached two farms at Oxenards and Throstle Nest.


During the morning, the temperature varied wildly. One minute really chilly, the next positively balmy. A couple of stops were made to add or remove layers as required. It really did heat up on the ascent to Great Edge via an old quarry. The views from the top were spectacular and this was to be a theme of the day...big skies and huge vistas with excellent visibility.


The route continued via fields, lanes, tracks and paths to Hawes Farm, then dropped down to Black Lane Ends pub where the morning break was taken. As the pub is haunted, we didn't linger longer than needed !


Refreshed, the group set off via the Pendle Way and eventually reached Harden Clough, Bleara Side, Salt Pye Farm and Bent Hall. Up yet another hill....then another....passing houses (one with a giant chess set in the garden) Proctor Height Farm came into view. Turning left along the main road and then right along Dodgsons Lane, the glorious panorama ahead made the slog worthwhile. Via Oak Slack Farm and a plantation of heathy looking young trees, eventually Booth Bridge Lane was reached where the group stopped for lunch in the sunshine. Lovely !


The lane climbs to the A56 at Thornton in Craven. Bearing right and after a couple of minutes or so left along a lane onto the Pennine Way, a really dark cloud approached and it looked like it was going to get very wet. Luckily it passed by ...to much relief. After quite a few fields, stiles and gates the route reached the Leeds and Liverpool canal again. Turning right along the footpath to the double arched bridge , a left turn brings you to St Peters Church at East Marton. Following the path uphill from the church the group met the A59 at the Cross Keys Pub.


Up the road from the pub, past the gigantic tree and bench proudly displaying the Yorkshire rose, the route bears right along a track to Ingthorpe Grange, then yet another hill and over stiles reaching Gledstone Hall. Bearing left to Skelda House, the A59 comes into view. At the road and then over a stile , field paths bring you to Bentha Plantation. Via Stock and Gilbeber Hill, across large fields and through a farm, the canal footpath joins  at Greenber Field where a right turn takes you back to the Anchor Inn.


Quite a few of the group visited the pub for some well earned refreshment, reflecting on a great day and some glorious weather.


Pauline would like to thank everyone who helped her with her first walk as leader....both on the recces and on the day. She might even volunteer to do it again ! 






Wednesday October 24th. Settle down for a good walk. 14 miles. Leader: Neil Smith.


At the appointed start time of 10am only two people had joined Neil at the Settle car park. There was a flurry of late arrivals as we had all been on a magical mystery tour of the area due to roadworks and a huge diversion up to Skipton. So, it was 10.30am before thirteen walkers and two dogs were able to Settle down for a good walk. Thanks for waiting Neil.

Leaving Settle we joined the Pennine Journey path to climb up to the limestone scenery. There was a still breeze but the views were far reaching and glorious in the main.  Morning coffee was taken at Feizor and then we climbed again to eventually reach the trig point at Smearsett Scar. It was too windy to linger for long so it was downhill to make our way to Stainforth Force.

This was to be our lunch stop and the main reason for stopping here was to watch for Salmon leaping upriver. They didn't disappoint today, I think at least a dozen were spotted by various members of the group. It is a very popular spot for Salmon spotting and many other people were here too.

After leaving Stainforth Force Neil assured us that we only had one more climb and then "you could roll a marble all the way back". Hmmm. We walked into Stainforth itself to cross the Beck by the stones (a few took the path round), visited the lovely clean loos and then started to climb up. And up, and along, and up, and along, and up  - you get the picture....Obviously Neil has been very well trained by Norman in the art of telling the group what they want to hear, not what's actually going to happen!

We walked along Brent and Attermire Scar and then turned to take the Dales High Way back to join A Pennine Journey and descend into Settle.  Some members went for a welcome drink, I was anxious about the return journey and set off straight away. However, Neil gave us an excellent route back which avoided all the road problems. Thanks Neil. You are forgiven for the "marble"!


Thanks also to Neil for stepping in for Norman as he continues his treatment. Incidentally the ascent was shown as c3000 ft.






Sunday October 14th. 4 Canals, 3 Trails, 2 Rivers, 1 Pyramid. A semi-circular circuit of South Manchester. 26 miles. Leader: Michael Bushby.


The walk's places and experiences in numbers:


4 canals - Bridgewater, Manchester Ship, Rochdale, Ashton 

3 trails - Bridgewater Way, Cheshire Ring Canal Walk, Trans-Pennine Trail

2 rivers - Tame, Mersey

1 pyramid - Stockport Co-op building


16 - good folk who met up at Sale Water Park

6 - hours of rain and drizzle from the start until just after lunch

2.5 - hours of improving weather to the finish

1/2 - marathon that was taking place simultaneously

2 - water parks, Sale and, near the end, Chorlton

1 - largest industrial estate in Europe (Trafford Park)

2 - Premier League grounds (United and City)

79AD - date of Roman settlement of Castlefield, which was named Mamucium

21/5/82 - opening date of Hacienda, the UK's most culturally significant club of the past 50 years

1/4 - Manchester's Gay ..., Canal Street

3 - number of locked gates that prevented us going through Piccadilly tunnel as intended

1 - National Cycle Centre 

Umpteen - Canada geese, thankfully none aggressive today

1785 - year of opening of Moravian Settlement in Fairfield.  Earliest Protestants fled from Bohemia and now find their community used as a location in shows such as Peaky Blinders and Sherlock

n30 - half of m60 followed parallel-ish after lunch in Debdale Park

1 - person who passed the church where he got married (Ron - St Agnes, Gorton)

1 - Giant's Money Box, the name local kids gave to a big slot in the railway bridge approaching Reddish Vale.  They used to stand underneath, expecting huge pennies to drop through, apparently.  How gullible!

11,000,000 - bricks in Stockport Viaduct (ta, Paul), the largest viaduct in the world when constructed in 1840, and still one of the biggest brick constructions in the world

2.38 - length in minutes and seconds of Frankie Vaughan promotional song for Stockport that I tried to re-create as we strode along its streets.  This is proof to the sceptical members of the group that it does exist. Life-enriching stuff! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdw_OCvy0WY

2 - much litter and rubbish, sadly

0 - stiles, 0 style either!

800' - ascent

26.05 - GPS measurement I'm taking as mileage for the walk.  Get in/fist pump!


Immeasurable - the amount of pleasure had by all!?




PS  Watch out for a full circuit of Manchester, hopefully next Spring.



Wednesday October 10th. Wyre we doing this walk. 14 miles. Leader: Neil Smith.


20 walkers and 2 dogs met in glorious sunshine at Dolphinholme Methodist Church. After admin and talk we set off down the road to join the Wyre Way in Lower Dolphinholme. All was going smoothly as we crossed the fields and through Mark Holme Wood to stop at Abbeystead Pumping station for morning coffee. A very modest memorial here commemorates the 16 people who lost their lives in an explosion on a visit to the station in 1984.

Leaving the station, we came to the wall that should have given us access to a bridge across the Wyre. Here, we were met with Arras fencing and one solitary sign pointing to a footpath diversion. No clues as to where this diversion was, so, after much scratching of heads and clambering about on the slopes of the weir we made our way through Abbeystead itself to cross the river at Stoops Bridge.

From here we followed the banks of the Marshall Wyre passing the magnificent Abbeystead House tucked in amongst the trees. It is rumoured that the Queen likes to visit here but no corgis were spotted today. There was some road walking along the Trough of Bowland road up to Tower Lodge where we turned to climb up the hillside. A short steep pull was rewarded with a lunchtime view of the magnificent scenery still bathed in bright sunshine. There was a fire burning on a hill, a controlled one we hope!

After reaching the top of Hind hill, we descending to the tiny hamlet of Tarnbrook. This was once a Quaker stronghold and famed for the making of hats. The more observant amongst the group will have spotted one of the many stone markers in this area with a hat on it. The only sign of activity today though was a farmer with a truck full of sheep and a gaggle of geese who watched us pass through.

The return to Abbeystead was made by following the Tarnbrook Wyre and passing at the back of Abbeystead House into the hamlet. We had to retrace our steps due to the bridge closure and then made our way up the hillside under the shadow of the Church to pass Lentworth House and back onto the Wyre Way at Long Bridge. Neil wisely chose this route rather than walking along the road back to Dolphinholme and a walk always looks different from the other way!

After the return to Dolphinholme a few of the group had a refreshing drink at the Fleece with its small community shop, the only one for miles around.

Thanks to Neil for stepping in to lead this walk and good luck to Norman as he begins his treatment.



Click here to view Howards pictures.