After the Walk December 2023

Wednesday December 27th. It's a Sham. 14 miles. Leaders: Dave & Alma Walsh.


The evening before the walk the BBC were forecasting Heavy rain all day & strong winds provided by Storm Gerrit. Would anyone bother to turn up in view of such a lousy forecast? LDWA members are obviously hardy souls as nine people were gathered in the car park when we arrived & it wasn't even raining,

So eleven of us and Scrappy the dog set off at 10am sharp. We had a good tour of Cutacre Country Park before heading down a track towards Tyldesley. We walked along the side of the Guided Busway to Astley St Park where we had our morning break.

Back onto the Guided Busway briefly we then picked up a grassy track & squelched our way to Colliers Wood. We then followed good tracks to Bedford Woods & arrived at our lunch stop in Lilford Park Leigh. The weather was still dry but blustery.

After lunch back on the Guided Busway path again briefly but in the opposite direction. Turning north we followed Millers Lane which took us to Atherton. The rain finally started & it was very heavy. Fortunately it didn't last too long. We had to make one diversion as the path we should have taken had turned into a lake, we were soon back in the Country Park & back to the cars.


Thanks to all who attended, and a Happy New Year.

Dave & Alma



Sunday December 17th. Christmas Cracker. 10 miles. Leader: Roger Jackson.


Thirty five people, many in Christmas Dress, and two dogs dog (the legendary Poppy the Powerful and Jake the flake) set off at 9.00 am on a surprisingly pleasant morning. We followed a series of forest paths to eventually reach the bottom of the Lower Rivington Reservoir.

Now walking along the lakeside path, having a short stop for a team photograph at Bolton Castle, and continuing on near the 'Go Ape' apparatus to hit the road crossing the dam at the top of the lake. A short walk down the road then along side of Higher Rivington Reservoir with fantastic views of trees opposite and the lake itself.

Passing Yarrow Reservoir, on the right, and then dropping down to Anglezarke Reservoir soon reaching our morning coffee / mince pie stop with a again great view of the lake below. Continuing on to the top of the lake then crossing over the dam at the top and returning down the other side back to Rivington.

On arrival we went to the Memorial Gardens at the Rivington tea room where Viv gave a short speech, remembering friends sadly no longer with us followed by a a couple festive songs which we sung a very badly (well we are a walking group not a Choir) . Then just a short walk back to the cars, with those who had booked in for our Christmas Meal returning to the Tea Rooms following a change of footwear. A good time was had by all.


Many thanks for those who joined me.




Click on the link below for Howard's photos.



Wednesday December 13th. Park the Carr. 13 miles. Leaders: Steve and Noreen Martin.


The day was bright and sunny, light winds and no forecast of rain with a temperature of 6 degrees.  Nine members started the 12.6 mile circular walk from Orrell Water Park, about ¼ mile from Orrell train station, at 10am.

After leaving Orrell Water Park the paths soon become muddy, deep in places but passible in walking boots.  We weaved our way across fields through Chair Wood, (muddy even in summer) and onto Tatlock’s Hillock before descending and circumnavigating Blackley Hurst Farm. Further paths took us down to Carr Mill Dam were we started on a circular walk of the lake.  Around a third of the way around, at 12 o’clock, we took a café break at the Dam Bar and Grill.

After lunch we headed off to complete the lap of the lake before heading uphill in to the Crank Caverns; a spooky little quarry in the middle of woods. Leaving the Caverns, it was a mile and a half on the lanes before the ascent of Billinge Hill (one of 176 Marilyn’s in England, 179m in height). 

Leaving the Hill behind us we headed across the Promised Land where the only two stiles on the whole walk are found.  From here it was all downhill back the Orrell Water Park finishing at 15.30hrs. 


An interesting easy walk but muddy in places.


Orrell Water Park - The water park is home to a vast array of wildlife over its two main lakes.  It also has day fishing and a café, although the café only opens at 10.30am

Carr Mill Dam, - A large expanse of water, once a mill pond but now hosts power boat racing and angling events. A café stop at the Dam Bar and Grill for lunch or hot drinks a must. 

The ‘hidden’ sandstone caves at Crank Caverns – a labyrinth of tunnels and caverns. Once a game reserve, quarry and WWII ammunition dump.

The highest point of the walk is Billinge Hill, which boasts as the highest point in Merseyside; great views in all directions.



Ghyll Head 2023. Monday December  4th - Friday December 8th.

A selection of photos from the trip.