After the Walk July 2023

Sunday July 30th. North of Wardle. 20 miles. Leader: Steve Clark.


Weather: Mild at around 17C.  Windy at times.  A few short showers during the morning, largely dry in the afternoon.  People on the walk: a dozen.  

We gathered on the car park at Watergrove reservoir for the start of the “North of Wardle” walk.  Unsurprisingly we headed north from here, along the side of the reservoir before swinging right up the Pennine Bridleway running east for a while.  Peeling off the bridleway we followed a stretch of the Rochdale Way over open moorland before arriving at the rim of the Summit Gorge, where a helicopter was dropping parts for repair to the railway ventilation shafts.  Dropping down to the Rochdale canal we followed this for a short time before cutting back to walk along the main road to Walsden (a footbridge closure over the railway made this a longer section than originally planned).  A morning break was taken by a set of canal locks.  

At Walsden we turned west and made our way up to Ramsden Wood.  We then made our way up to Foul Clough Road, and beyond making for Hades Hill before skirting Middle Hill and Brown Wardle.  Dropping we could see ahead the place I’d earmarked for the lunch stop, a picnic site close to St Bartholomew church, Whitworth.  Lunch here, at 1 20 pm.  After lunch we examined the church and its magnificent gargoyles.  

Down Whitworth Rake, to cross the road and up on the other side of the valley, soon to follow the Rossendale Way.  A pair of black swans were observed on the mill pond in Whitworth.  Rooley Moor road was reached and we turned south along it before going left again and once more dropping down into the valley around Healey Dell.  We walked along the railway viaduct high above the Healey Dell nature reserve to make our way back towards Wardle, stopping by the roadside for a second coffee break of the day.  Paths and tracks were followed to the dam of Watergrove reservoir.  Crossing the dam we descended the steps to the carpark for 5 20 pm, just ahead of a band of heavy rain.  


Thanks to all on the walk.  



Click on the link below for pictures from the day.


Saturday/Sunday July 22/23rd. Hathersage Weekend.


East Lancs spent two days walking in the Peak District. Some photographs are below.



Wednesday July 19th. A Roam from Rivington. 14.5 miles. Leader: Steve Clark.


As we gathered for the start of the walk we waited for a few minutes to accommodate one of the walkers who had been delayed.  Once mustered and everyone being counted we had 19 of us for the day.  It turned out to be dry, around 18C, with sunny intervals and a light breeze.  

We walked along the banks of reservoirs, under trees, using tracks and paths across field systems to arrive at White Coppice.  From here we ascended towards Great Hill, stopping before the top for a coffee break.  Descending from Great Hill, over the usual wet moorland we crossed the A675 and arrived at our lunch stop, Hollinshead Hall (ruin).  I’d booked enough tables here to serve everybody with a place.  

The Witton Weavers Way was followed for a while before turning off into Belmont.  We followed the path to Horden Stoop and the track from there to the Rivington Terraced Gardens.  We dropped down to conclude the walk just a few minutes shy of 4 o’clock, with 14.5 miles under our belts.


Thanks to everybody on the walk for their company.  





Sunday July 16th. Room for a Pony. 18 miles. Leaders: Dave and Alma Walsh.


19 of us gathered in the car park, the weather was cool with a poor forecast. Most of us were in long trousers & rain jackets. Uphill right from the start we headed up the wooded Billinge Hill. Downhill now we followed fields to our morning break stop in Mellor. The War memorial afforded us benches & steps to sit on.

We then climbed up to Mellor Moor & had a brief stop at the topograph & the former Nuclear Monitoring Post. Downhill over fields we reached the A59 road. We crossed over & followed a pleasant track, only marred by a farm with much abandoned old machinery, to Mire Wood & Old Park Wood. The path through was slippy & brambles were rife. We emerged & came across a giant well tended lawn backing on to Oxendale Hall, definitely "Room for a Pony" at this property. Maybe it belongs to Hyacinth's sister Violet? We had lunch here viewing a huge flock of sheep being moved from one field to another by a lady on a quadbike & her sheepdog.

More pleasant fields followed with many horses before we reached Balderstone. We walked along a quiet road through the village & then more fields full of buttercups took us to Mellor Brook. A track parallel to Preston New road with views of the Salmesbury Aerodrome led us to Hoolster Hill. Here Hilary kindly dispensed a variety of sweets. More fields, tracks & a very muddy bridge took us to Pleasington old Hall. It was then a very easy stroll through Witton Park back to the cars.

Many cows today but mostly well behaved, not like on the recce when some lively bullocks forced us into a hasty retreat & diversion.


Thanks to all who attended, old faces & some new ones.

Dave & Alma




Wednesday July 5th. Not so Wet Moss. 11 miles. Leader: Mike Lee.


A group of 12 set off from Helmshore to explore the new stone causeway over Wet Moss.

Much of the promised 1300 feet of ascent came in the first mile as we climbed Musbury Tor and onto the high moorland above. A footpath high above the head of the Alden Valley took us to Bull Hill and the start of the new Wet Moss causeway. This footpath is part of the West Pennine Way and provides a higher level alternative to the Rossendale Way path below it. It offers clear views over the Ogden Valley to Cowpe Lowe and other Rossendale hills.

On reaching the start of the causeway we could see it snaking out across Wet Moss and disappearing into the distance. One veteran of the Two Crosses walks bemoaned that crossing the Moss would now be easy and it would no longer present its former challenge.

The only rain of the day started as we set out on the causeway, but thankfully stopped by the time we were half-way across. The causeway took us to the moorland heights on the western edge of Rossendale, overlooking Darwen and Edgworth. The path northwards along the heights gave us views of Darwen Tower and, for those with sharp eyes, Blackpool Tower.

On reaching Causeway Height we turned towards Musbury Heights Quarry and our lunch stop amongst the ruins of quarry buildings alongside the restored chimney. This was where stone from elsewhere in the quarry was cut and shaped before being lowered in trucks down an incline to the valley below

Musbury Heights Quarry stretches for over half a mile along the edge of the moor overlooking the Grane Valley. Stone was brought to the processing area by a narrow gauge railway running the full length of the quarry. After lunch we used its bed to walk through the quarry before descending steeply to the woods at the head of Calf Hey Reservoir.

We walked through the woods and around the reservoir before joining a path running down the Grane Valley to Helmshore. On the way we passed the bottom of the incline from the quarry above and followed the route alongside Holden Wood Reservoir that was used to take the stone onwards to the main railway line.

A short walk on a bridleway along the remains of the railway line then took us back to the start.


Thanks to everyone who came.

Mike Lee



Sunday July 2nd. Phil's Sunset Strip Walk. 17 miles, Leader: Phil Chapman.


11 walkers and an Alf met at the carpark opposite Rivington School.  We were joined briefly, after some sneaking about in the bushes, by Hilary.  Having been sworn to secrecy, Hilary didn't say a word, but appeared with birthday cake and chocolate treats for the walkers to celebrate Phil's birthday.  We had a sing to the birthday boy and then set off on our way.

Along the edge of Rivington reservoir, with a brief photo stop at the castle, then passing Yarrow reservoir to reach Anglezarke reservoir.  Passing through the surprisingly dry woods, on reaching the open fields we stopped for morning break and the first round of birthday treats.  Alf had a quick nap, whilst keeping an eye on the sheep and making himself available to assist with any pork pies that might require his attention.  

We continued around Anglezarke to do a full circuit, keeping to the paths around the waters edge, though the water level was startlingly low.  We then turned off through Limbrick, over the railway line and onto the Leeds Liverpool Canal.  We stopped by Frederick's for lunch, where unfortunately the kiosk was shut, so anyone requiring refreshment had to pop up the lane.  Yet more birthday treats were enjoyed.

We then set off up the canal towards Adlington, where we turned off the canal and followed footpaths to Adlington Park and then up to Little Scotland and Blackrod.  A final short break for sweets before our final section.  We crossed back over the railway line and then the M61 at the services, joining the Rotary Way briefly to return to the cars.

Though it was breezy at points, it was a dry day and a cracking walk in good company.  Thank you to Phil for leading us on his birthday, as we learnt, celebrated by the title of his walk.



Click on the link below for Howard's pictures from the day.