After the Walk July 2022

Sunday July 31st, Yorkshire and Back. Joint walk with West Lancs. 22.5 miles. Leader: Neil Harwood.


It was a very miserable start to the day at Hurstwood. The clouds were low and it did not look like it would change soon. But we started off in good spirits and headed north to the Gorple Road via the Hurstwood Reservoir. The unique landscape around here of “hushings”, remains from searching for limestone, looked vey eerie in the low cloud. We then headed east and after only two and a half miles from the start we reached the border with Yorkshire.

Shortly after this we came off and descended to the Upper Gorple Reservoir. Unfortunately, the grass on this section was long and wet from the nights rain and impossible to avoid as it frequently overhangs the path. And so our soggy start to the day began! The next section up to the disused property called Raistrick Greave was similarly wet with huge ferns in parts so by the time we got to Reaps Cross our boots were full of water. Not a great start – spirits were sagging and the photos from here show this!

But the clouds were beginning to clear and we could now begin to see the views including the Lower Gorple Reservoir just below. From Reaps Cross there is a very short climb up to the trig point on Standing Stone Hill, but I still have not seen the Stone! Down to the Pennine Way, with its welcomed flagged path before we descend into Hebdendale via Clough Head and the National Trust car park for Hardcastle Crags. On to Gibson Mill for caffeine and toilets, but it is too early for lunch.

We follow the river path, now re-open after repairs, up the valley, which is a beautiful section of the walk. It is the better alternative to following the valley on the other side via the Crags, in my opinion. We then begin to climb out of the valley and eventually exit the woods back on to the moors. At 12.30pm we stop for lunch overlooking the valley.

We are only 9 miles in so 13 to go and I am beginning to worry about how long this will take. But we pick up pace with some road sections up to the Widdop Reservoir. We skirt around the reservoir the long way via the Pennine Bridleway and the Burnley Way to give views across the valley. Another road section and back into Lancashire. Shortly after we come off the road and turn NE to follow the good grassy track and then path to the top of Boulsworth Hill and it’s trig point at the point called Lad Law. At 517m high it is one of only seven points above 500m in Lancashire and it gives some of the best views around. And it is now dry and the sun is shining across Colne and Pendle Hill in the distance. We have a quick rest after the hard climb and then it is a steep descent to the Pennine Bridleway/Bronte Way. We turn left and begin the return back to Hurstwood, six miles or so away.

We leave the PBW in the Thursden valley but continue along the Bronte Way and a lovely section along Thursden Brook. The last but short climb of the day gives us more stunning views as we are now in full sunshine. The last section of the walk is a welcome stroll along a track and then quiet roads to Swinden. One final detour off the road takes us past Lee Green Reservoir into the woods through which Swinden Water flows. We then look out the stepping stones across the stream to follow the path into Worsthorne, a village familiar to many from past LDWA walks. One final section of the Burnley Way takes back into the centre of Hurstwood. It is 5.30pm, so a respectable time of 8.5 hours for a 22 mile walk. I need not have worried after all. Hopefully, that initial wet soggy hour or two is now a distant memory. Time to go and listen to the Lionesses on the radio and then watch them clinch victory in extra time!



Sunday July 24th. A Round and a Cross with the Rylstone Cowgirl. 22 miles. 3250 ft ascent. Leader: Pauline Melia.


On a better than forecast morning I arrived at Embsay reservoir to see that plenty of folk had turned up for a full day’s outing in the Yorkshire Dales. Hopefully the walk would meet their expectations - no pressure Pauline… pressure!

Within a few minutes from the reservoir we got the legs going as we started to climb through bracken up Deer Gallows Plain onto Embsay Moor. It was tricky navigating as the path was really difficult to see but with a little help from my friends we eventually emerged onto open moorland. The views started to open up here and this was going to be the theme of the day – beautiful vistas over glorious Yorkshire (don’t tell anyone I said that!).  The going became much easier now as the path was clear and our climbing had finished for a while. On our way over the moor we came across two very well made shelters which would have been ideal for a morning break but being a little early we just had a drink, admired the workmanship including the living roof and well made table and seating within and got on our way.

Enjoying the easy navigation we made good time and soon we could see Rylstone Cross in the distance.  When we reached the path near the cross, some chose to climb the high stile and ascend to the cross itself, being a great photo opportunity by anyone’s standards.

We took our morning break at Watt Crag, where we found ample seating amongst the rocks and boulders. The skies had cleared during the morning and we were now enjoying sunny spells with a gentle breeze. Perfect.

Our next destination was the lovely village of Thorpe on our way to Linton. At Linton we took a minor detour so we could sit alongside the falls for lunch. I decided on a slightly longer lunch than usual – why not, given the glorious scenery. Suitably refreshed we walked into Linton village which was surprisingly quiet - though we weren’t complaining.

The route then took us on a variety of terrain including gloriously open fields and meadows, enclosed tracks and woodland to Cracoe and then on to Rylstone village where we took a short break at the side of the duck pond. Moving on we walked through Hetton (where we joined the Dales High Way) and then Flasby. A long ascent soon faced us – onto Flasby Fell and then up Sharp Haw. Once again the climb was worthwhile as the 360 degree views were superb.  Descending from Sharp Haw (it had got quite windy) we followed a long clear path through farmland, fields and inquisitive livestock – via Hagg Farm, Oddacres then up the road back to the reservoir past Good Intent!

A great day out was had by all, including those who were experiencing their first and second LDWA walk. An outing that definitely warranted the early start and the drive.

Thanks to those that helped with the recce, those that put me right when I went slightly off course on the day and big thanks to Dave who added the finishing touch to what I thought was already a good walk title with the nod to Glen Campbell!  





Wednesday July 20th. A Bit of Mining History. 12 miles. Leader: Andrea Foster.


Nine of us met by the lake at Three Sisters. There was a brief 'speech' on a bit of mining history of the area and why it is called the Three Sisters Recreation area and then off we set. 


The weather forecast man had promised drizzle and this would have been welcomed after the heat wave over the last few days. However there was not a spot of rain and although still warm a strong breeze made the walk very pleasant. 


The route including aspects of walks 4 and 5 of the Jubilee legacy walks available to view and download from Wigan councils website with the canal connecting the two together.


We followed the path away from the lake at three sisters and round the side of the racetrack, up the hill where from the top views took in Wigan and Rivington in the distance and the surrounding area. From here it was down the hill and a very flat walk through into Viridor woods.


Crossing over the A58 and continuing through the other side of Viridor woods we went under a railway bridge and across a field and small lake where two large swans left us in no doubt as to who was boss. Sneaking quickly pass them we continued and came out at an old run down pub called Dover lock, sadly to be demolished due to a recent fire. Here we met the canal and a small 'speech' followed regards the building of the Leeds Liverpool canal.


The route then followed the Leigh branch of the Leeds Liverpool canal passing the Plank lane swing bridge and the recently built new flats and houses at Pennington wharf. 


Around 12 noon we stopped for drinks on what is known as the 'Pennington flash bench' and took in the view from the canal over the lake.


We then dropped down from the canal with another little 'speech' regards Pennington flash mining history and then walked to Pennington flash. Work is currently underway to build a new visitor center and cafe here. Temporary toilets were available here along with a butty van and an ice-cream van for which we were all glad of. There were plenty of benches by the lake to have our lunch which we enjoyed while taking in the wildlife of the area.


After lunch our route back followed a slight different path round the lake and connecting back to the canal at the swing bridge and back through Viridor woods appreciating the large wooden sculptures and Three Sisters again using different paths. We had hoped to return to Three Sisters in time before the cafe there closed. Sadly we missed the boat. However some kind ladies inside the building must have seen our disappointed looks and came out with free cold drinks for us to help ourselves to. What guardian angels.


We clocked 12 miles in total.


Thanks so much to everyone who attended.

Regards Andrea Foster 



Sunday July 17th. Spring in Lakeland Loop 3. 17 miles. Leader: Nick Halford.


19 and Poppy the dog met at Staveley village hall for the third and final loop of Lakeland Group's 'Spring in Lakeland 50'.

We set off south in warm and hazy weather, by road and field, but mostly empty tracks to Underbarrow, and our morning break at All Saints church. Gradually we turned east, passing many large trees uprooted in last autumn's storms, until confronted by our only real ascent, a climb up to Scout scar, then north along the edge of the scar to our lunch spot at the topograph, with excellent views across the lake district and beyond, everything in sight identified by etchings around the ceiling.

We zigzagged down to Kendal high St, and as the temperature had now risen to decidedly hot, bought ice creams and more water. Avoiding extensive flood defence works we still found the River Kent, where at the water's edge Caroline helped bandage the cut paw of a grateful Welsh collie. We followed the Kent closely upstream to Burneside, taking yet another break as the temperature was telling.

The path had become the Dales Way, but still along the beautiful Kent with its goosanders and dippers, all the way back to Staveley.


Saturday July 16th. Spring in Lakeland Loop 2. 16 miles. Leader: Roger Jackson.


The Spring in Lakeland 50 is a LDWA event consisting of three different loops all from Staveley in the South Lake District, this is the second loop.


The weather forecast was for a warm morning ,getting hotter throughout the day.  Our party of seventeen people set off , weather as forecast from Staveley Village hall .

After a short walk down the road we climbed to the top of Craggy Forrest and then followed the high path along the top eventually leaving the forrest and going through a series of fields to reach Littlewood farm. Next we headed up to Potters Tarn and on to Gurnal Dubs for our morning coffee stop. Surprisingly nobody was tempted to have a quick swim.

Now bearing left over the main Potter fell to meet a track, in places overgrown with ferns, dropping down to Bridge End in the Longsleddale Valley. Here we turned left through a series of fields generally following the river. On reaching the bridge at Hollin Root we crossed the river and went right along the road a short way to our lunch stop by the church with toilets, seating and shade available which was greatly appreciated as it was now getting very hot.

Now refreshed we retraced our steps and continued a little further down the valley, then turned left to ascend onto Green Quarter Fell following on to Staveley Head Fell and dropping down back to Staveley by track and minor road arriving back around 3.45 pm where some of us had a pint in the Hawkshead Brewery , whilst others enjoyed a coffee in Wilfs cafe next door.

Many thanks to all who joined us.




Click on the link below to see Caz's photos



Friday July 15th. Spring in Lakeland Loop 1. 18 miles. Leader: Roger Jackson.


The Spring in Lakeland 50 is a LDWA event consisting of three different loops from Staveley in the South Lake District, this is the first loop.


The weather forecast was for a cloudy morning with some rain, getting warmer throughout the day and more so for the rest of the weekend . Our party of sixteen people and one dog (the legendary Poppy the Powerful) set off , weather as forecast, from Staveley Village hall, in intermittent light rain.

We followed the road past the railway station , crossed the A951 and branched right to Join the Dales Way (DW), following a series of fields and tracks to reach Crag House. Still on the DW across a couple of fields then on a minor road for a short time before turning sharp left to Nag End and over more fields to then leave the DW turning right on a track towards Windermere.

We passed a house with a wonderful garden before crossing the railway, traversing a small woodland and heading into Windermere. We crossed the road in front of the Train Station and followed a woodland track to Orrest Head where we had a water stop with fine views in all directions. Now heading down we passed Crosses Farm and eventually reached our first lunch stop ( part of the leaders imaginative two lunch strategy) in the Oriental Garden at Holehird ( the event checkpoint on this loop) with toilets and coffee machine available.

Suitably refreshed, now came the hard bit, we followed the Lorraine Road ( actually track) on the long climb up to the top of the Garburn Pass at approx 1500 ft, having our second lunch as we started to drop down the other side.

It was now getting rather hot as we followed the track all the way down to Kentmere where we again stopped for a short water break. From here we followed the high fell over Whitside End and Mickle Moss, with the River Kent far below on our left, to eventually returning to Staveley for about 5.15 pm and a welcome pint in the Hawkshead Brewery.

Many thanks for all who joined me and for putting up with this leaders eccentricities.




Click on the link below to see Caz's photos.




Wednesday July 6th. A Summer walk round Winter Hill. 12 miles. Leaders: Christine Cocks and Isobel Graham.


The group consisting of twenty walkers and three dogs, Alfie,  Freddie and Lola  

We set off from the car park in a westerly direction. Soon we arrived at Scout Road which we walked along for a short period before making our way up to Dean Mills reservoir. Although unnamed on the OS map it is a sizeable stretch of water located on the southern slopes of Smithills Moor. It was once a pair of smaller reservoirs constructed in the late 18th century to serve a water-powered mill in the valley below. The only remaining sign of its past link to local industry is an old sluice mechanism on the banks of the water. 

Leaving here we walked up towards the TV mast via Dean Ditch and stopped at the Trig point for a short break. From here we walked downhill to Wards Reservoir, known locally as the "Blue Lagoon". Again this was constructed over 100 years ago to power the Rycroft Works in Belmont.

Following our first lunch break in a park in Belmont we made our way to the "Pigeon Tower" via Belmont Road. The four storey tower was commissioned by Lord Leverhulme for his wife and completed in 1910 as part of his Rivington Estate. Having fallen into disrepair it was only restored to its former glory a few years ago and is now open to the public once a month. 

The group continued to Pike Cottage now named the "Pike Snack Shack" where we had our second late lunch break.

Leaving here we continued through Wilderswood, the Memorial Forest and onto Matchmoor Lane, arriving back at the car park at 3.30pm.      .

The weather wasn't as good as  forecast but thankfully the rain wasn't persistent and was light. 

A big Thank you to everyone who joined us today. We hope you all enjoyed the walk.

Christine and Isobel



Tuesday July 5th. A Stroll around Rivington Terraced Gardens. Leader: Hilary Scott

14 people met to learn a little more about the history and renovations of the Terraced Gardens. We visited the different areas of them: the Dell, Japanese Garden, Kitchen gardens, the great lawns, Bungalow site, Pigeon Tower and Italian lake. I think most people came away with more knowledge of this place that they have walked through so many times. 

Thank you for coming.