Wheelton to Hoghton

Walk Leader: John Clarke

Number on the walk: 14

Distance: 11.5 Miles.

Weather: Sunny day

After dropping down a short track the group joined the tow path of the Leeds to Liverpool canal which they followed in glorious Lancashire sunshine to the old boat yard at Riley Green. A little used path was then taken through to the Royal Oak Pub at Riley Green. Despite a number of protests the group didn't stop at the pub but went along the lane by its side into the fields overlooked by Hoghton Tower where a much needed refreshment stop was made. The group continued through the fields across the access lane to Hoghton Tower then joined the path to Hoghton Bottoms from which the beautiful vista of Longridge Fell, Wolf Fell and Parlick could be seen.
The group crossed the railway and dropped past the old quarry managers cottages into Hoghton Bottoms where it passed under England's highest railway viaduct which spans the River Darwen at that point. The river was followed to Pleasington where the group climbed up out of the valley and made its way through the grounds of the now demolished Sun Paper Mill back onto the canal where lunch was taken.
Post lunch the group followed the canal to Ollerton Fold where it climbed up to the hamlet before taking the path south to Withnell Fold. They continued through Withnell Fold eventually dropping down by the side of the Thirlmere Aqueduct viaduct before rejoining the canal and following it back to the start point.
Thankfully the day was blessed with some lovely sunshine which really showed off a beautiful part of the county.