Marvelous March?

Wednesday March 27th. Chorley with a bit of Deja Vu. 11.5 miles. A Plodder Walk. Leader: John Holland.


12 Plodders including  birthday boy Donald Watson and 1 dog walked round parts of Chorley today, starting off from the Spinners in Cowling down to the Leeds to Liverpool canal and turning right to walk up the canal to Frederick's ice cream shop on Bolton road.

We then went down the road to the path leading up to Duxbury golf course, then down on paths to the river Yarrow following it through beautiful woodland to Yarrow Valley Country park where we stopped for our first lunch break.

Onwards then out of the park and up to Miles Standish way, back down to Bolton road and then back onto the canal via Hoggs lane. Left and down the canal to Bagganley lane bridge, over the bridge and up through fields to Healey Nab via a steady climb through Nab wood.

A second lunch break (I do spoil my walkers) then down to Heapey fold lane with lovely views of Anglesarke Reservoir, Winter Hill and Rivington Pike. Back to the Spinners via Back lane  and Bibbys farm.

The weather was cool when we set off but the sun came out and made it a pleasant day for a our 11 and a bit mile plodd.

Back at the pub I got 11 thumbs up and a wave off the dogs tail so a job well done I think. 11 of us had a drink in the Spinners which rounded off a lovely day with great company.


John Holland. 


John's photos are below


Hilary's photos are below


Sunday March 24th. Settle for a Peak. 23 miles. Leader: Neil Smith.


On a bright but slightly chilly spring morning 18 walkers set off from the start point to head out on the road to pick up the Ribble way towards Stackhouse.

From here we started the first climb of the day walking on firm grassy ground initially before muddier but again firm ground to Feizor. We were now on enclosed wall tracks to reach Austwick, where on reaching Thwaites lane we stopped for our first  break of the day, where fortunately we were still enjoying the last of the sunshine.

The break was taken here because after a short section of undulating track we were then on a very stiff climb up Long lane to eventually reach a stile which took us down to the track that leads you through Trow gill; but from here we took an alternative route over the tops to avoid it. We still arrived at the same stiles that lead you to Ingleborough where, before we started the climb we had a quick look at the entrance to Gaping gill.

We then started the steady climb to little Ingleborough where the wind got Stronger as we ascended. Whilst waiting to regroup after this first section we took the opportunity to drop down in a hollow to reduce the impact of the now Siberian wind!. We then continued to an extremely well sheltered spot just below the main summit to have our quick lunch break, with everyone wanting to move off quickly again to get warm.

We then descended the main 3 peaks track that leads to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, where on reaching Sulber Nick we took the track to the right that would take you to Clapham, but then turned off again to the left at Sulber gate to cross over to Moughton Scar and the afternoon break, before continuing on the  walled track to Wharf.

A little bit more ascent brought us to the track that led us past Smearset Scar and a point where waterproof clothing had to be worn. This slightly spoiled the last section of the walk from Little Stainforth (where we observe the Salmon leaping in Oct) to walk back along the Ribble Way to Langcliffe and cross the footbridge over the river to complete the last section back into Settle at 5.15pm.

With everyone confirming that they had enjoyed the walk of 22.5 miles with around 4000 ft of ascent. (Some GPS variation here)

Neil Smith


Click here to see Howards's pictures.




Wednesday March 20th. The Kingfisher Trail. 12.5 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott


16 walkers left Philips Park ready to make their way to Jumbles. The Kingfisher Trail follows river courses in the main and is a waymarked route. Walking through Philips Park bought back memories of a few misspent youths as a very popular night club used to use the old Hall buildings. These are all disused today, a sad sight to see. 

Turning into Drinkwater Park we walked under the magnificent Thirteen Arches bridge, again disused with many trees visible on the old railway track. Crossing the Irwell we followed its banks under the busy M60 and along to Clifton Country Park. Keeping to the river bank we could see across to Giants Seat Wood and the garden centre. After circuiting the sewage works we arrived in Ringley and made good use of the Church wall to have our morning coffee. The cloud had lifted and it became a lovely warm day, perfect walking weather.

Crossing the main road we followed the old Bolton Bury canal along a newly restored towpath to Nob End. The old flight of locks is still visible but restoration plans seem to have stalled. Moving into Moses Gate Country Park we followed the trail which was now by the Croal as the Irwell was left behind at Nob End. Over another main road and alongside the gravel pits at Darcy Lever.  Crossing another road and behind the Farmers Arms to make our way to Leverhulme Park. We had two people slip on a stepped incline at Gorses steps, that made everyone else hang on to the handrail!

I had made arrangements to have lunch at Bolton Environmental Resource Centre which houses the Wildlife Trust that sponsors the Kingfisher Trail. It was a good move as there were tables, toilets and hungry ducks to feed! Viv even managed to fit in a spot of shopping for a garden bench. Leaving here we walked through Seven Acres local nature reserve where I nearly managed to get us lost by trying to follow an incorrect waymarker. Luckily the mistake was quickly rectified and we continued along near Bradshaw Brook. After crossing Thicketford Road we walked through some industrial units and then made a short detour up to Firwood Fold. This small hamlet was where Samuel Crompton, the inventor of the Mule used for spinning cotton was born, indeed you can buy his old house for £140,000 if you've a mind to do so!

Onwards through Longsight Park and over the road at Bradshaw to walk opposite the cricket club. A quick sweetie stop and onwards up the valley towards Jumbles passing the Bradshaw Hall housing and the fisheries. We even found Barbara's David who was walking in the area and joined us for the last mile or so. Unfortunately the cafe was closed so no ice creams or teas for us today. We didn't see a Kingfisher either though we saw a man who had seen one 5 minutes before we walked past. Never mind, maybe next time. 

Thanks to all who came on a lovely spring day.





Sunday March 10th. 456. 21 miles. Leader: Ken Noble.


Only 10 hardy souls braved the weather, and one of those dropped out after 3 miles, so then we were down to 8. (One of the other walkers went back with the “dropout”) What a contrast to the day I recced it when there was wall to wall sunshine and the paths were all dry, as you will see from the photos. Today we encountered quite a bit of mud.

The route is based on sections 4, 5 and 6 of the Red Rose 50, with a link between Brinscall and Tockholes.

After the rain, then snow, things had improved by the time we stopped for morning coffee at Hoghton Bottoms, by the banks of the River Darwen. We still had a few more showers with some hail later, but we had some blue sky, so it wasn't all bad. We also saw some deer, a baby donkey and a rhea, or was it an emu?

We stopped for lunch at Mellor Brook, with some taking advantage of the benches next to the Village Hall, and the others using the bench a little further along.

After lunch we turned south to Witton Park and Feniscliffe, before a stretch on the Leeds/Liverpool Canal.

After a short break under the M65, we soon arrived at Tockholes and then the other part of the link back to the cars.



Click here for Ken's photos.



Wednesday March 6th. Three Villages Heritage Walk. 12 miles. Leader: Barbara Shelton.

On a day that turned out better than the forecast would have us believe, fifteen hardy hikers and three dogs headed off on this 12 mile walk. OK there was a bit of rain from time to time, but hey, no worries!

The walk was devised by Glenys Bucknell on behalf of the Rural Sub Group of Colne Connected, to encourage visitors to the relatively unknown countryside around the three villages – Foulridge, Trawden and Laneshaw Bridge. It also includes the better known Wycoller Country Park and village. On this occasion I decided to reverse the route described in the leaflet – makes a change and gives you different views.

So off to Laneshaw Bridge it was, via the aptly named ‘Watery Lane’ which is undergoing some serious improvement work, so we had to dodge round the perimeter, directed by some cheery workmen. There was a short break before reaching Laneshaw Bridge with its public loos and attractive war memorial garden with benches. Before we knew it we were arriving at Wycoller for an early lunch break (and the café was open – mega wedges of cake were purchased!). People who hadn’t been before, including the newly-early-retired Louise, found it quite charming. The ruined hall, reputedly occupied way back by a branch of the Hartley family of jam making fame, is said to be the inspiration for Ferndean Manor in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. There are also public loos near the duck pond.

Heading steeply up out of Wycoller through the woods, we took field paths and lanes to Trawden for another break (bit of a leisurely stroll today!) at the Jam Pan at Poets Corner. The pan was found in a field near Wycoller and is purported to be the one used by William Pickles Hartley of Colne when he started up his jam making business in the 1870s. A quick competition was held with the stunning prize of a jar of Hartley’s jam – won by Christine, so I was able to shift a one pound weight from my rucksack to hers!

On through fields and lanes, we arrived at Carry Bridge and followed Colne Water heading east for a bit before zigzagging our way to cross Foulridge Upper Reservoir by the causeway, pausing to admire the waders and ducks (and fishermen in waders), and so back to Foulridge. We’d spotted other birds along the way too – a Barn Owl quartering the fields, keen for food after a very wet night, and a Dipper on Wycoller Beck, on the lookout for a nesting site.

Unsurprisingly, a number of us gave some custom to a local hostelry, the Hare and Hounds, with a good range of beers and a tempting menu – worth another visit.

Thanks to all who came, and to Viv for her assistance.

Barbara Shelton.




Sunday March 3rd. Barrow Bridge (Not) too far. 21 miles. Leader: Ron Wallwork


With the prospect of a dreadful days weather ahead and a 'South Pennine' leader I was amazed at the amount of people that turned up.S.P. only get 5 or 6 on a good day, 14 today!


09.00am sharp we headed off,just starting to rain. Alma asked me if I had seen a different weather forecast than anyone else because I had shorts on !!! 


Up the steps out of the valley we made our way to the Mass Trespass stone, time to give Mike some joke material. Onwards over Smithills Moor past Winter Hill Mast we dropped down to Belmont Rd. Skirting the fields and Ornamental Reservoir we were soon approaching Belmont Reservoir. A few gentle climbs took us on to a very windy Witton Weavers Way. Taking advantage of the high walls, morning break was declared. 7 miles.


Time to put my waterproof legs on, a quick stop and we were off again. Heading North we reached Hollinshead Ruins where Hilary pointed out a Finger Post, soon to be home for an East Lancs logo.A muddy path took us through the woods on to the track up and over Great Hill. A quick gathering at the top to see Blackpool Tower.... No Chance !!!

After a steady descent we skirted Stronstrey Bank and Anglezarke Reservoir just in time  for lunch at the Manor House. Well, the field opposite. 14.5 miles.


Last lap, still raining by the way. Crossing the fields we soon reached Alance Bridge. With Yarrow our right, a few very boggy styles and paths Rivington vllage appeared through the mist. Two of the straightest boring paths through Rivington C.P. seemed to take forever. Reaching Wilderswood [2.5mls] from home ,the sweet lady brightened the day with 2 bags of welcome goodies. Climbing back up the mast road we hooked a sharp right into very dense mist, keeping close together we eventually reached the Haunted House.....even more so with the mist. A steep descent into Walker Fold soon had us on the steps back into Barrow Bridge. 4.35pm.


Thanks to everyone for their company and for turning out on such a dreadful day. Still raining by the way.


21.35 miles. c3,300ft ascent.


Ron Wallwork.