After the Walk January 2023

Wednesday January 25th. Return to Newton. 15.5 miles. Leader: Roger Jackson.


Twelve walkers and one dog ( The legendary Poppy the Powerful just back from a successful Cumbria expedition) set off from the car park in Newton in Bowland , on a cloudy and rather wet morning. We crossed the bridge then followed the river before joining the road at Foulscales, where we turned right for a short way, then up onto to Hodder fell, on route helping a sheep caught up in a wire fence, and eventually down Fielding Clough to the River Hodder. Here we had a late team photo.

Now following the river down to and crossing Burholme Bridge, continuing down a minor road and turning left down a track where we sheltered under the trees for our coffee stop. Staying on the track approaching and ascending the short but extremely steep New Laund Hill. Now heading downwards we passed through Higher and Lower Greystoneley soon reaching the 19th century Lime Lilm at Knot Barn.

Here we turned right and started back towards Newton in Bowland , passing through Lickhurst Farm to arrive for our lunch stop at Dinkling Green. Though still cold it had stopped raining and the sky was clear. We now headed up onto Whitmore Fell, through the woods , over the tops and dropped down to Hareden Farm, having some tremendous views along the way. A short road walk then over the hills behind Dunsop Bridge which again provided us with some excellent scenery before we returned to Newton.

A great days walk despite the weather, thanks to all who joined me (though must say some of the points deductions were a bit on the harsh side).




Wednesday January 18th. Whitworth Heritage Plodder Walk. 10 miles. Leader: Mike Lee.


Four people braved driving through the overnight snow to meet at the Cowm Reservoir for the Whitworth Heritage Plodder walk.

We abandoned the heritage theme and the four of us just had a very pleasant walk following the planned route in the snow and sunshine.

From Cowm we followed old lanes and the track of the Rochdale to Facit railway over the spectacular Healey Dell viaduct and almost to Rochdale. Doubling back, we walked under the viaduct and into Healey Dell, where the River Spodden tumbles in waterfalls through a deep chasm in the rock. After lunch, we returned to Cowm in the sunshine along the snow covered moor on the East side of the Spodden Valley, before dropping down to Facit and back to Cowm. 

Thanks to those who came.

Mike Lee



Sunday January 15th. A Lancashire "Spear Pole" Circuit. 19 miles. Leader: Pauline Melia. 


What a difference a day made, twenty-four little hours, brought the sun and the flowers, where there used to be rain”.  Dinah Washington, 1959


What a difference a day made, two little hours, brought the sun (no flowers yet), where there used to be lots and lots and lots of rain”,   Pauline Melia,  2023


After what seemed to be endless rain over the last couple of weeks, the forecast gave us a little bit of hope for a glimpse of sunshine and perhaps a couple of dry hours. Well… lucky we were! A beautiful day with a great group of 14 folk in a stunning area of Lancashire.

The walk started from the centre of Garstang at the side of the River Wyre, that we followed for the initial part of the route on a good riverside path. This ended as we reached Broom Hill (where we crossed the first very boggy field of the day) and Woodacre Hall. We crossed the M6 footbridge and skirted Woodacre Great Wood, eventually reaching Tithe Barn Lane. Turning right we followed the lane until we reached the base of Nicky Nook.

After a quick drinks stop and removing excess layers (it was surprisingly warm!) we took the short but sharp path up to the top of Nicky Nook (the steps are very high). The views from the top were superb as the skies had now cleared. Pausing for a few photos at the summit cairn we descended to Syphon Well and Fell End Farm (en route taking in the great 360 degree views) and turning right over a footbridge we reached the shelter and parking area at Grizedale Bridge where we stopped for our morning break, basking in the glorious sunshine.

The next section of the walk was on road for a while though this made for good going and avoided more mud. Passing the end of Grizedale Lea Reservoir on the right and reaching Oakenclough, we took a left at Stang Yule to pass alongside a conifer plantation, eventually reaching Bleasdale Tower.

This was the centre of our figure of 8 walk (as Caz pointed out, it wasn’t actually a circular walk 😊). Passing Hazlehurst and Bleasdale Circle we reached Bleasdale Church where we had lunch. Plenty of seating was available for all as we relaxed in very picturesque surroundings. Surprisingly (especially for those who had recced the route), a public toilet was found at the church…..bonus!

After lunch we continued our figure of eight route to pass the packhorse bridge back to Bleasdale Tower. Paths, tracks and fields took us to Broadgate, High Moor, Landskill (via Delph Lane) and Calder Vale. At Calder Vale, someone who shall remain nameless spotted a lovely old tractor, so a quick photo stop was made. It just had to be done!

Crossing the weir via a couple of footbridges we climbed out of the valley and reached fields that we crossed to arrive at Sullom Side. Passing a couple of farms we crossed over the M6/railway line then immediately went over a very high stile (no bottom rung!) and a steep and slippery drop onto fields that took us past the ruins of Greenhalgh Castle, into Bonds and then back to Garstang via the riverside path.

Being a clear and bright day, we were back well before the light faded. In summary a grand day out by anyone’s standards.  

We said our goodbyes and within 15 minutes of departing the heavens opened!  Count your blessings eh!


Thanks to Caz, Suzanne and Paul who joined me on November’s recce. Big thanks to Caz who (having recced again last week), did the bulk of navigation on the day.




Wednesday January 11th. Little Cracker. In My Own Back Yard. 6 miles. Leader: Norman Thomas.


23 walkers and 1 Italian greyhound.  The weather on the day before was rain, rain, rain all day, with the forecast today for more rain, but it did not arrive, thank goodness.  Little June helped me, we went here there and everywhere, the highest point was Two Lads hill.  Sorry if you missed it, but Part 2 will be in summer time, look out for it!  Most walkers had not been on many of the paths (good).

A big thank you to Little June and Mike for setting things up for us at Rockhaven, also Viv for supplying cakes etc.  I did enjoy the company and banter very much, a big thanks for helping me through it, great hugs. 

P.S. Part way through the walk one of our guys came up to me and said “you did me a life saving gift on your Christmas Cracker 2018, you mentioned prostate cancer and encouraged me to have a PSA test.  I took your advice and I did have cancer.  I have been treated and I’m now okay”  Well done Steven, good luck.

Happy walking



Please click on the link below to see Martin's account and pictures of the day.


Sunday January 8th. Boots and Brews. A Cuerden Quandary. 10 miles. Leaders: Caroline and Alfie.


A marvellous 22 met at the car park in Whittle.  A mix of new and old faces.  Alf greeted everyone as they registered to assist with his crowd control duties throughout the walk.  

We set off down the A6, turning off towards Whittle, soon reaching footpaths.  Here we met the first of the mud and sludge of the day as we set off over fields.  Two dark tunnels carried us safely under the M61 and Alf managed not to fall in the river this time.  More mud as we made our way to the canal.  On to the canal at the Top Lock for the section through to Withnell Fold.

Approaching Withnell Fold the rain started, just when we were going to have our break.  We stopped on the wall by the stocks.  Whilst they were unlocked, no one was brave enough to put their feet in!  After a damp break we dropped back to the canal, crossing over to reach the fields heading for Brindle.  

After crossing the road in Brindle, we had a break from muddy fields and had a section on quiet roads leading onto Pippin Street (which always starts me singing the Pigeon Street song in my head) Over the former Bridge of Death (now repaired) to go back under the M61 into Clayton Brook.  

The rain finally stopped as we continued back over the A6 and into Cuerden Park.  Passing the lake we then climbed up the hill to pass Cuerden Hall and reach our cafe stop of the walk.  Brews and cakes were enjoyed, along with much chatter.  Alf enjoyed a number of lovely treats, especially his pork pie and cheese sandwiches.

The final section took us through Cuerden, passing Kem Mill to take us back to the cars.

A slightly damp, rather muddy walk, but the company more than made up for the conditions!  Many thanks to everyone that came along and made it a good walk.


Caz & Alf



Wednesday January 4th. Barley-Barlick Circuit. 13.5 miles. Leader: Iain Connell.


Eight walkers attended. It’s a walk I’ve led before, with variations. Everyone seemed to enjoy it in spite of, or because of, the wet weather. Highlights were the huge sculptures, which loomed out of the murk, Barley park (the day’s only shelter), and the tanks (on a notice near the free car park): they were a WW1 secret, the name stuck. It was wet underfoot: just as well we didn’t go through the field with the water buffalos.