Ad Hoc Social Walks

Wednesday August 26th. Middle Earth Meander. 14 miles. Leader: Hilary Scott.


You know what they say about the best laid plans.....

Following the biblical rain of Tuesday we arrived at Ribchester car park to find it flooded. Luckily there was room at the back and we decided not to risk not buying a ticket even though it was a paddle to get to the machine. Luckily the rain had stopped and we set off towards the river - to find the first path completely flooded as well. Never mind, a quick backtrack through the streets and onto Stydd passing the two Churches and Alms Houses there. Up to Duddel Hill and onwards towards Cutler's Hill unfortunately disturbing a barn owl who was having a snooze in an open barn. Continuing upwards we passed a fairy door to reach a wall where we had morning coffee with glorious views over the countryside. 

Up to the summit to see more glorious views over to Bowland and beyond. Along the ridge detouring round fallen trees and down the forest track to reach Kemple End. From here we walked to Stonyhurst which one member of the party had not seen before. Into Hurst Green where the smoking shelter was useful for lunch as there was a light shower here. 

Down into the valley where we detoured to see the new Dinckley Bridge over the Ribble. It's very posh indeed though it should be for over a million pounds for a footbridge! I had all my fingers crossed at this point as we were on the Ribble Way for a few miles, and the river was very high....Luckily we managed to clamber over the debris and circumvent bits of flooding. It must be down to Norman's jungle training. Leaving the Ribble Way we crossed fields via Lower Dutton to arrive back at Ribchester with very muddy boots. The ground was very wet indeed but no one would believe you had been out if you went home with clean boots would they? That's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it. 

Four of us rounded off a super day with a visit to Potters Barn for drinks and cake, half price courtesy of Rishi. 

Thanks to those who came and to Barbara for the pictures. 




Tuesday August 12th. Walk from Sabden. 12 miles. Leaders: Paul and Jeanette Banks.


Two members of East Lancs joined Paul and Jeanette for a 12 mile walk in the Ribble Valley on a roasting hot day.


We walked over Read Old Bridge and Sabden Brook over to Read via Read Hall and Read Nursery.   We had a socially distance morning break on a old tree trunk by the River Calder.  Up over Whalley Nab, through Whalley Banks and Billington to Whalley.  We had great views of the expanding Village of Whalley Viaduct.  We walked further along the River Calder where we had a lunch break before crossing the railway line and heading into Wiswell.  We took the newly refurbished path through Deer Park Wood and back home.





Tuesday July 28th. Cafe Link Walk. 12 miles. Leader: Barbara Shelton.


This walk does what it says on the can, so let’s get it out there right away that we visited three cafes altogether, and parted with some cash at each – supporting the local economy, as Viv would say. Luckily the weather was mostly ok so we could sit outside and keep Poppy the dog company.

Five of us and Poppy headed off from Nuttall Park, Ramsbottom to immediately ascend Jacob’s Ladder and on up to Grants Tower – got to work those calories off in advance! We were on the Village Link route, which we followed to Nangreaves and  Walmersley where we had a break at Falshaw’s café (great bacon butties, cakes and coffee) Then on to the Irwell before leaving the Village Link to head for Burrs Country Park and our second refreshment break – a kiosk only on Mondays & Tuesdays but drinks and cakes were to be had. We picked up the Kirklees Trail after passing through Brandlesholme, and admired the Totty Snake – over 3,000 painted stones and pebbles, a community effort which it is hoped will break a world record.

Before long The Hub café at Greenmount leapt out at us and beckoned us over – who were we to resist? Lucky we’d stopped as there was a real downpour as we were about to leave, so we sheltered under the awning.

So that was three cafes in 7.5 miles – time to crack on with some serious walking. Reaching Holcombe Brook, we headed up through Redisher Wood to the famous steps, installed on the Two Crosses route and funded by East Lancs/LDWA, The Ramblers, Bury Council et al. It ain’t half steep, but so much better than the treacherous muddy slope it once was.

We contoured along above Saplin Woods and on up to Moorbottom Rd, then it was an easy marble-roll down through Holcombe village back to Ramsbottom to complete the 12 mile route. Some of the group (no names, no pack drill!) indulged themselves further by visiting the pub. This could get to be habit-forming!

Barbara Shelton




Sunday July 26th. Walk from Sabden. 16 miles. Leaders: Jeanette and Paul Banks.


4 of us enjoyed a 16 mile valley walk on Sunday 26th July.  


We walked into via Read Hall through Read and dropped into Sabden Village for our first coffee break.  We walked down Sabden Valley to the Hamlet of Spen Brook and lunched at Newchurch in Pendle - famous for the Demdike family of the Pendle Witches who lived there in the 17th century.  We ate in St Mary’s Church grounds under the ‘eye of god’ and next to the Nutter (witches) family grave. We returned via Sabden Fold and Churn Clough Reservoir to the Nick of Pendle.  





Tuesday July 21st. Pendle Walk. 17.5 miles. Leader: Roy Davies.


The walk started from Barrowford and we left on the Pendle Way before bearing south west over Brown Hill. The walk continued via Black Moss reservoirs to the base of Pendle Hill. Taking the steps up to the Pendle Hill trig point we then  followed the path down to the Nick of Pendle. At this point we headed back via Churn Clough reservoir and Ogden reservoirs to Barley. Here the cafe was still open so we stopped for welcome refreshments. Suitably refreshed we returned to Barrowford via White Hough.


The weather was kind to us throughout the day. The walk was 17.4 miles long (my estimate of 14 miles was a little out!!!) and there was almost 3,000 feet of ascent.






Wednesday July 15th. Rivington walk. 14 miles. Leader: Steve Clarke.


The walk was undertaken under a grey, overcast sky.  Drizzle and some light rain were the order of the day; however, it was mild at around 14C.  Six of us set out at 10 o’clock and walked by Anglezarke on our way to White Coppice.  From here we ascended to the top of Great Hill but now in the mist we didn’t linger.  Dropping down we crossed the A675 to arrive at Hollinshead Hall (ruin) and had our lunch stop there.


Familiar paths were followed to Belmont Reservoir, crossing over the reservoir dam and into the village of Belmont.  On the way we’d had to negotiate a way round a herd of cows with many young calves and an enormous bull, a potential source of great danger.  From here up to Hordern Stoops and along the horrible surface of Belmont Road to the Pigeon Tower, descending to our cars near Rivington Bottom barn.  We all declared it hadn’t been that bad after all.  14 miles and 560 metres of up and down.  





Click here to see pictures from the day.


Saturday July 11th. Mytholmroyd Walk. 14 miles. Leader: Iain Connell.


We meet Iain at the car park of the Good Shepherd church, Mytholmroyd.  Coffee at the café on the bridge, Jo’s Place / Riverside Café before setting off just before 10.  Walk along wooded paths on the valley side roughly parallel to the Crag road.  Swap to the other side of the valley at Crag Vale and ascent to Withens Clough reservoir where we break for elevenses.  Continue up and then across to Stoodley Pike.   Now above the Calder valley and drop down to have a lunch stop just passed a ford.  Cross the Rochdale canal at Eastwood and generally follow the Pennine Way to Blackshaw Head and then down into Colden Clough. 


Take a few minutes by the recently repaired stone bride across Colden Waters.  Follow the spectacular path above the Colden valley to the outskirts of Heptonstall.  Drop to a busy Hebden Bridge and then follow the canal back to Mytholmroyd.  Tea, coffee and cake at the Blue Teapot.  I can personally recommend the individual sticky toffee pudding cake. 


The weather was dry, overcast but with a few sunny spells.  We recorded 14 miles and c2,500’ of climbing. 


Thanks to Iain for an interesting and enjoyable walk.






Click here to see pictures from the day.




Wednesday July 8th. A Lesser Known Winter Hill. 12 miles. Leaders: Paul and Alison Wadsworth.



The limit of 6 people per walk dictated by the Covid19 guidelines meant that unfortunately 2 people were left disappointed as we had 8 people wishing to attend the walk. The 6 lucky walkers enjoyed a dry calm day, although the recent downpours left some of the underfoot a little damp and muddy.


From Abbey Village we followed the 3 Roddlesworth reservoirs to Hollinshead Hall and then picked up a short section of the Two Crosses followed by a short section of the Anglezarke Amble across Darwen Moor, before turning left and then right to approach Darwen Tower by the wide stoney track.  During a short refreshment break we were able to celebrated Steve & Sue's recent engagement with individually wrapped lemon drizzle cake kindly provided by Julie. We then descended to Earnsdale reservoir and into Sunnyhurst Woods. Leaving the woods we rose via Darwen golf club to pass over the lesser known Winter Hill before dropping into Tockholes and passing 2 lovely churches before returning to the start. The walk was 12.2miles with 1720ft of ascent.


With the opening up of pubs and restaurants at the weekend there was the old / new opportunity (taken by some but not all ), to enjoy a drink at the Hare and Hounds before heading for home.

Paul and Alison.



Tuesday July 7th. A Walk from Ramsbottom. 16 miles. Leader: Roy Davies.



From Ramsbottom we went to Holcombe Brook then into Redisher Woods. From there we climbed on to the ridge which took us towards the assault course before dropping into the bottom and then climbing up to Holcombe Moor. From there to Ellen Strange marker stone, Robin Hood’s well and then lunch at Irwell Vale. From there we climbed up to Waugh’s well and then followed the Rossendale Way downhill before turning left to cross two fields to reach the Edenfield/Rochdale Road. Turning left and later right down a track we crossed onto Harden Moor then Grants tower and back to Ramsbottom. The rain largely kept off until just after 2.30 but it then turned pretty wet for most of the rest of the way. As well as the local places of interest I was able to tell  the group the stories of three tragic deaths that occurred in the past on our route. These were Ellen Strange, the lady murdered in Helmshore a few years ago by a love rival and the man killed by a steam train at Irwell Vale when trying to cross the tracks in his vehicle. 





Sunday July 5th. Walk from Sabden. 18.5 miles. Leaders: Jeanette and Paul Banks.


We had a lovely walk from home in Sabden over the Nick of Pendle (not up Pendle Hill) to Chatburn before dropping down onto the Ribble Way at Grindleton, passing through West Bradford and Clitheroe to Whalley and Sabden.  We had a mostly dry day with a few short showers and sunny spells.  The walk was 18.5 miles approximately. We ended the day with a brew and cakes (socially distanced of course!)



Wednesday July 1st. Here Drink I. 14 miles. Leaders: Paul and Alison Wadsworth.


Hallelujah, after more than 100 days of lockdown we were finally able to enjoy an East Lancs social walk, albeit with reduced numbers and subject to UK and LDWA covid19 guidelines. Thanks to Hilary for supporting our proposal of how to get the group meeting again by proposing a 2 week trial, and to Yvonne for accepting the challenge.


We set off from Adlington on a cloudy but dry and warm day via a disused railway and canal to the moated 12th century Arley Hall and then via Arley Woods to skirt the top of Worthington Lakes. After skirting round the deer at Wrennalls Hall we proceeded to the White Crow but of course could not partake of any refreshments, well maybe next time! Rising through Holt Farm we proceeded to the Hic Bibi Nature reserve where we enjoyed a socially distanced refreshment break. Next was the headstone at Hic Bibi well / spring, where legend has it that Oliver Cromwell stopped to drink as he chased the Scots though Wigan after the battle of Preston. He named the well 'Hic Bibi' which translates from Latin as 'Here Drink I'. Onwards up the old Roman road – Hic Bibi Lane, before a right turn to pass Coppull parish church and then Coppull Hall before crossing the disused mines and slag heaps heading back towards Adlington. The final approach to Adlington passed the sand quarry and crossed the old landfill site where methane gas is now collected and used to generate electricity. The final stretch used part of the Adlington Circular walk to return home.

Paul and Alison