After the Walk November 2023

Wednesday November 29th. Blackburn and Darwen Meander. 15 miles. Leaders: Paul and Jeanette Banks.


18 walkers and 1 dog attended the 15 mile walk from  Bold Venture Park in Darwen on a clear and cold sunny day.   

Bold Venture Park opened in 1889 and occupies the valley of Bold Venture Brook.  The park, which has a memorial, a waterfall, playground and a pond full of ducks, serves as a gateway to Jubilee Tower and the moors beyond.   The walk ascended through the wooded park to the moors and onto Darwen/ Jubilee Tower, an octagonal 85 feet tower built on Darwen Hill in 1898 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.  

The walk then proceeded on to Darwen Moor before descending into Roddlesworth Wood and Roddlesworth Reservoirs, where we had a chilly morning break, before making our way to Abbey Village.  We immediately left the village to walk along the Witton Weavers Way.  This took us under the M65 and on to join the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the Feniscowles area of Blackburn.   Lunch was enjoyed sat in the wintery sun at Cherry Tree.

We continued along Witton Weavers Way over Livesey and through a large new housing estate, which was open fields just 3 years ago.   Our path took us to Tockholes and we went up Weasel Lane across fields before descending via Donkey Brow to Earnsdale Reservoir, Darwen.    By this time the sun had set and the temperature had dropped below freezing point.   We then made our way back to the cars on tracks over Sunnyhurst, carefully avoiding the icy patches that had developed in the freezing conditions.   A beautiful day enjoyed by all.




Real Ale Ramble. November 24/27. Llanwrtyd Wells. 

Click on the link below to see Howard's pictures from the event. What a lovely area. A good time was had by all.


Sunday November 26th. Not Just Another Place. 18 miles. Leader: Steve Martin.


Seven members, of which one had travelled 200 miles to undertake the walk, set off on a pleasant, dry, autumn day at 8am.  

We first visited St Helen’s church the only grade 1 building in the borough of Sefton and one of the oldest Christian sites in Merseyside, before visiting the nearby St Helen’s well, probably a pre-Christian spring that in the Middle Ages turned into a pilgrimage site, especially so in the 14th century when the church was built close by. After taking the path opposite the well, we soon entered Lunt Meadows with its vast range of water birds and wildlife on the manmade lakes and ponds created as a flood plain by the Environment Agency in 2014.  Further on after touching the outskirts of Ince Blundell, the oldest settlement in Sefton, we headed to Little Crosby with it’s church and convent of St Marys. After a short coffee and toilet stop it was off to Hall Road and Sefton Coastal path with views of the Wirral peninsular and the mountains of Wales

Along the coastal path was Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’. 100 iron men set in the sands along a 3 km stretch of the beach. A short comfort break and lunch stop at Crosby swimming baths we headed onto the beach for a short distance before cutting inland slightly to visit the homes of Captain Edward John Smith, captain of the Titanic and his boss, the Chairman and Managing Director of White Star Line, Joseph Bruce Ismay.

After taking another welcome break at Crosby Marina, its sailing club and Lakeside cafe, we headed back through Rimrose Valley Country Park with its vast range of wildlife, woods and wild meadows, onto the Liverpool and Leeds canal and the Trans-Pennine Trail through Sefton Meadows part of the Liverpool Forest returning to the start at 15.30hrs.




Sunday November 19th. Down to the Valley. Boots and Brews walk.9.5 miles. Leaders: Andrea Foster and Christine Cocks.


14 of us set off in the rain from the car park at Yarrow Valley country park. We walked round the lake. Passing top lodge and the impressive waterfall over the weir, we followed the river Yarrow through Coppull hall wood and onto Coppull hall and Highfield farm.

The rain came down and the mud came up. Did I mention it was raining!

Then along Jolly tar lane and over the railway bridge into Hic bibi nature reserve for elevensies. 

After this we picked up the trail of the hic bibi stream and the stone marker for the Hic bibi well and across the A49 to Langtree Old hall farm, emerging at the solar panel farm. The footpath took us parallel to the M6 and veering right a stretch of woodland where we stopped briefly for lunch attempting (but failing) to be sheltered by the trees. 

Our refreshments stop was planned for the Alison arms pub. At this point, due to the dismal rain, the option was given to forego drinks and head straight back to the car park early following the main road. Half the gang decided to do this and I don't blame them at all as we were all dripping wet and springing leaks everywhere.

And then there were 7 of us. Inside the Alison arms there were drinks and chatter and some odd looks from the locals at the steam rising from us. Reluctantly we left the warmth of the fire and the pub and continued along our route. 

This took us by Blainscough hall and a footpath leading to an unbelievably muddy field (perhaps not so unbelievable given the rain) and over a railway bridge, then crossing the A49 again we passed Coppull parish church and picked up Coppull Hall lane to return to Yarrow valley car park by 3pm.


A big thank you to the brave souls who joined us today. Sorry about the mud and the rain but thank you so much for your company.



At Yarrow Valley Park


Wednesday November 15th. Two Counties, One Canal. 14 miles. Leader: Stephen Hindley.


11 walkers met in Earby on a damp late autumn morning and apart from a light afternoon shower the weather remained dry for the rest of the day.

Leaving on the Pendle Way we were soon over the border from Lancashire into North Yorkshire. Continuing through the grounds of Thornton Hall Country Park we crossed the B652, around St Mary's Church heading for our first of three stretches on the Leeds Liverpool canal we would walk today.

Leaving the canal at bridge 160 we proceeded towards East Marton where we joined Inglethorpe Lane Bridleway, stopping opposite Inglethorpe Grange for our morning coffee break.

Across fields with distant views of Embsay Moor we dropped down to Bank Newton and onto our second section of the canal taking us to Gargrave where lunch was taken by the river Aire.

Picking up the Pennine Way it was over more very soggy farmland heading for our third and final section of the Leeds Liverpool canal. Just after joining the canal towpath, we had a brief stop for sweets kindly provided by Hilary, after which we passed under the double arched bridge which carries the A59 over the canal.

Passing through Thornton-in -Craven we joined the disused railway line which took us back to Earby.

Thanks to all who came, hope it wasn't too wet underfoot.





Sunday November 5th. Whoop Whoop for West Lancashire. 18 miles. Leaders: Pauline Melia and Suzanne Corlett.


11 walkers met at Burscough Bridge railway station on a day that promised clear skies until the afternoon, then light rain later in the day. Given the many rainy days we’d had over the last couple of weeks, it was a decent prospect.

The walk starts by crossing the rail bridge and on reaching the opposite side, walking a short distance along the platform to a gap in the fence that is signposted to the Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust site. After a few minutes this path opens out onto a field (covered in carrots) and eventually reaches Crabtree Lane. Turning right and passing Monks Farm and Crabtree Bridge Farm we reached the canal at Gregson Bridge Farm.

We headed down Martin Lane and passed Bank Farm  to reach the strangely named Batloom. After crossing the railway line we reached the edge of Martin Mere where we followed the perimeter fence until we reached the visitors centre car park Here we stopped for our morning break..

Retracing our steps to exit Martin Mere we walked along Tarlscough Lane and took a left turn onto a track that crossed farmers’ fields over Tarlscough Moss to Sandy Way. Here we turned right to follow Rufford Boundary Sluice then left into Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve.

Leaving the reserve we crossed Holmeswood Road and taking a left, followed paths and tracks across fields (covered in leeks) and via Green Lane to the lovely little village of Sollom. Through Sollom, we reached the Leeds & Liverpool canal where we stopped for lunch.

The rest of the walk followed the canal and passed Rufford Old Hall and Rufford Marinas. The towpath eventually passed the Ship Inn where we crossed the canal bridge for the final section back to Burscough Bridge.

A good day. Mostly dry, the rain only arriving later and hardly noticeable. The route was wetter and muddier than on the recce but on sections, the drainage ditches really helped. Not so for the towpaths though that were in parts very muddy indeed. No worries though……we’ve seen much worse.