Ambles in April

Sunday April 28th. The Dambusters - In memory of Bob. 20 miles. Leader: Dave Walsh.


This walk was in memory of our Walking friend Bob James who sadly passed away in April 2018. Bob had devised & led this walk for the club on 3/9/17, the last walk he led for the club.

Sixteen of us set off from Heatherdene Car park at Ladybower Reservoir & followed the road to the Ladybower Inn. The path around the back of the inn led us upwards with fine views of the reservoir where we had a group photo. A further short steep climb brought us to a crossroads of paths.

From here a gentle upwards path took us past the rock formations of Wheel Stones, Salt Cellar & Cakes of Bread before having our morning break at Lost Lad. The sun was out & we found a sheltered spot. We then started dropping down to Derwent Reservoir & had a minutes silence for Bob at 11am.

On reaching the edge of the reservoir we followed it South & came across Information boards by the dam of how it was built & the training that took place during World war Two by the Dam Busters squadron.The old black & white film of their exploits made in 1955 & which was filmed here is well worth watching. We took lunch at the Fairholme Visitor Centre. We were not yet half way around the walk but with a café, toilets & seating available it was decided to eat lunch early. There were plenty of other people around taking advantage of the fine weather after the previous day's deluge. 

After lunch we followed the service road on the other side of the Reservoir in a northerly direction. At Ditch Clough Plantation we turned South West & followed a steep track through the woods & on to the moor to Alport Castles. We then turned South east & followed the escarpment over Rowlee Pasture with magnificent 360 degree views, down to Woodcock Coppice.

Our afternoon break was taken here in the warm sunshine & jelly babies & liquorice allsorts were dispensed. It was all downhill from here over pleasant fields with an abundance of Spring lambs, past Crook Hill & Crookhill Farm to the A57 road.

Along the road over two viaducts we made our way back to the car park for an early finish.

Thanks to all who attended & to Bob for devising such a good walk.

Dave Walsh

The pictures below are from Dave

The pictures below are from Jane. 



Wednesday April 24th. The Road to Wigan Pier. 10 mile Plodder Walk. Leader: Ed Husband.


Ed Husband led a group of 11 on this 10-mile walk, in fine weather.  Rain had been forecast for the afternoon, but fortunately did not arrive until the early evening.

From Haigh Hall, the route was initially south, down Sennicar Lane, crossing the Leeds Liverpool Canal, and continuing west through the cemetery and past Giant’s Hall and Standish Lower Ground to reach the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The canal was followed to Wigan Pier, stopping for lunch, and continuing past a series of locks to Top Lock, and then back to walk through the grounds to Haigh Hall. At the visitor centre there was ice cream, coffee and beer to suit all tastes.




Monday April 22nd. Spot the Hall. 16 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott


Sixteen walkers turned up for this ad hoc walk on a glorious Bank Holiday Monday. I hadn't reccied the walk recently but apart from a couple of "brain freeze" moments (thanks to Dave Walsh for his help there) we managed to complete the walk without getting lost.

There were plenty of Halls to spot and after the cheating one of Pendleton Village Hall we made our way out of the village up to the site of the old Pendleton Hall, now a farm. Along the track to Mearley Hall, closely followed by Little Mearley Hall. We went to admire the window purloined from Sawley Abbey but were unsuccessful in gaining access to the farmyard to look at an old date stone. 

Making our way over the fields we came to Worston Hall and also passed Hall Foot nestling beneath Pendle Hill. Circuiting Worsaw Hill we walked through Worsaw End of Whistle Down the Wind fame. The morning coffee stop at Downham yielded three Halls and an open coffee shop which was gleefully patronised by many of the group. A climb out of Downham and over to Sawley Abbey via the old Pack Bridge.

We joined the Ribble Way at Sawley and passed Bank Hall on the climb out via the road. Onto the banks of the river and a lunch stop on a bluff with sun and shade available. There were a lot of family picnics along the river today, many of us commented that we hoped they took all their litter home with them, probably a sad hope. Along in front of Horrocksford Hall with the looming concrete works behind it. A much better situation for Waddow Hall where there seemed to be an open day in progress. 

Edisford Bridge was incredibly busy but we queued for ice creams and drinks, it was too nice a day not to. There used to be Edisford Hall across the river here, this was a leper colony at one point. Turning off the Ribble Way we walked by Siddows Hall and then made our way back towards Pendleton passing Standen Hall hidden behind a high wall. Some of the group took advantage of the open pub, others were mindful of possible traffic problems and made their way home.

Thanks to all for coming, I hope you enjoyed the day.




Wednesday April 17th. Dunnow where Bowland is. 14 miles. Leader: Robert Lowe.


Number on walk: 12

Weather: Sunny


We started the walk from Newton, and set off across the fields to eventually reach Croasdale House. More fields to regain the road at Hawkers, and then over Merrybent Hill. We crossed the Hodder over the tall footbridge near New House, and then descended towards Stocks reservoir, where we stopped for lunch in the picnic area. After lunch we continued to follow the path round the east side of the reservoir until we reached the overflow and dam. The field paths then led us past Hammerton Hall back to Slaidburn. We then followed the field paths alongside the Hodder to return to Newton. 



Thanks to Don for the photos.




Wednesday April 3rd. Life's a Beach. 13 miles. Leader: Don Watson.


Sixteen walkers met at the Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre car park for a scheduled 14 miles walk.

On arrival we noticed the charges for parking over six hours was £5, so I told the group not to get their tickets until 10 am giving us chance to do the walk in less than six hours and  within the £3 parking charge.

Plan B was to shorten the walk by omitting the Summit Trail towards the end of the walk and carrying on along the canal to get us back in time. This was agreed by one and all to save a parking fine.

We left the Visitor Centre and made our way towards Littleborough through Ealees Wood where we left the track and progressed upwards to Owler Hall and onwards to Lydgate.

We then walked on the quiet Blackstone Edge Old Road for a short while and then on the track up Cowberry Hill to the White House where we stopped for a few minutes to have a quick drink and group photo after the lengthy climb.

We then joined the Pennine Way, walking northwards passing the Cow Head rocks. We soon reached Light Hazzles Reservoir and Warland Reservoir, where there was a flurry of sleet and hail.

Within five minutes of skirting the reservoirs, we took a left turn on to causey stones down to the half-way point of our walk - Gaddings Dam or more popular known as Todmorden Beach. In the summer time the sandy beach is full of people sunbathing or swimming. But, alas, today the inclement weather conditions prevented us changing into our swimming costumes, so we just had lunch and thought about sunny days!

After our refreshments we descended past the Basin Stone to join the Pennine Bridleway where brand new finger posts had been put in  place. We followed the bridleway undulating until a steep drop down to the Rochdale Canal at Bottomley Lock.

From here we walked along the tow path towards Summit where the canal is the highest broad canal in England. This is where we would have left the canal for the Summit Trail if we had not been concerned about getting back to the Visitor Centre in time. From here it was downhill as the locks proved as we passed the ruins of the old Fothergill and Harvey works.

Because of the easy tow path walking we soon reached Littleborough, where Nick left us to catch his train back home to Preston.

The rest of the party walked back up the Ealees Valley and back to the car park in good time so as not to get parking tickets.

Thanks to all walkers who joined me today and I hope you enjoyed your day on the beach and in the Pennines.