Walk Date: 17th November 2012
Leader: J Donnelly
Eighteen ramblers set off from the Beacon Fell Visitor Centre for a circular walk . They climbed up to the trig point with its extensive views to the coast and to the North and then left the country park to follow field paths to Wood Acre and Lower Core. The weather was fine with some rare sunshine but conditions underfoot were terrible. The fields were saturated and some gateways almost impassible. Keeping to tracks as much as possible the route followed the farm track to Blindhurst and on to Bleasdale School. Here we had the unexpected pleasure of a recitation by the author of the poem Beautiful Bowland.
After a coffee break in the churchyard of Bleasdale Church the ramblers followed the track which skirts around the bottom of the fells past Vicarage Farm, Hazelhurst and Bleasdale Tower to arrive at Stang Yule. They had good views of the Bleasdale Fells and of Beacon Fell. They then turned South to follow field paths and tracks to Landskill and Cobble Hey and on to the road at Butt Hill. From here minor roads were followed down to Brock Mill and up White Mill Lane. The final steep climb up Beacon Fell was the sting in the tail of an enjoyable walk.
Walk Date: 27th October 2012
Leader: J Donnelly
On a beautiful sunny and frosty morning fif teen Clitheroe ramblers set out from the car park near the junction of the Tockholes and Belmont roads. They followed the route of the Witton Weavers Way along the track past Catherine Edge and Longworth Moor. There were fine views towards Winter Hill and Belmont Reservoir. They skirted aroud Delph Reservoir to Dimple where they enjoyed a coffee break on seats provide by the Unitarian Chapel.
The route then climbed past Dimple Hall and up onto the moor to reach the trig point and Bronze Age stone circle at Cheetham Close. From here there were extensive views in all directions. Retracing their steps for a short distance the group descended via Three Lowes to Entwistle Reservoir. They followed the path beside the reservoir and then climbed up through the trees to cross the A666. A track took them across Turton Moor to rejoin the Witton Weavers Way at Green Lowe and follow it back to their starting point.
The majority of the walk was on tracks and as the ground was partly frozen the moorland sections were not too boggy. After a very disappointing and muddy summer it was a pleasure to stride out on such a bright and beautiful autumn day.
Walk Date: 21st October 2012
Leader: B Brown
The Other Borrowdale
Clitheroe Ramblers discovered a new area to walk, when they visited the other Borrowdale.
North of Kendal sandwiched between the M6 near Tebay and the A6 lies a sizeable chunk of beautiful unspoilt land dominated by the other Borrowdale, which cuts a deep but wide swaithe through hills that are more reminiscent of the neighbouring Howgills than the Lakes to the west.
Setting off on the 9 mile walk from a side road, some 2 miles south of Tebay, the party of 13 followed an easy bridleway along the floor of the valley, on the south side of Borrow Beck, the source of which is high on the fells at the Top of Borrowdale.
The beck was crossed twice passing the farm of Low Borrowdale and then the ruins of High Borrowdale, eventually reaching some large stepping stones to cross the beck for the third and final time. Lunch was taken by the waterside and then there was some 150m of ascent up a good track known as Breasthigh Road to reach the high ground above Borrowdale Edge.
Easy walking on the ridge then followed taking in the tops of Whinash (471m), Winterscleugh (464m), Roundthwaite Common (435m), Belt Howe (408m) and finally Casterfell Hill (367m). A descent was then made to reach a path leading down to the A685, a short distance from the start point.
On rare sunny day with the autumn colours at their best and splendid views throughout, it had been a memorable day, combining a beautiful valley walk with easy walking on a ridge.
Walk Date: 18th August 2012
Leader: J Jolly
Ten of us enjoyed a warm dry walk from Pateley Bridge, with some sunshine to end the day. We set off uphill along the main street, and joined the Nidderdale Way at the ruin of St Mary's Church, which was closed in 1826 when it became too small for the congregation. Following tracks and footpaths we passed Kiln Hill Farm, which has diversified into llama trekking on their nineteen llamas. Once through Blazefield, we descended down to Fell Beck before climbing up to the awe inspiring rock formations at Brimham Rocks, run by the National Trust, and lunch was taken here. The area was very busy with children enjoying the challenge of climbing over the rocks.
Setting off again along the road, we turned off into High Wood and walking through woods and fields we arrived at the pretty village of Summerbridge where we crossed over the river Nidd. The next village was Dacre Banks where the villagers were watching their local cricket team in the sunshine. Continuing along the Nidderdale Way we climbed gradually up to Heyshaw where even more llamas were evident!! Skirting along the edge of Heyshaw Moor and passing Abraham Crags surrounded by wonderful purple heather, we came to the wonderful hidden away surprise vista at Guise Cliff, where the views of the Nidderdale valley were simply outstanding.
Walking between the heather along narrow paths, we came upon Yorke's Folly, which dominates the skyline above the valley. This was originally three shafts, built in the late 18th century and were meant to look like the ruin of an east window or church crossing. Locally known as 'Two Stoups', one of the shafts was blown down in a storm in 1893. The construction was commissioned by the Yorke family to provide employment in a recession. Leaving the moor, it was downhill all the way back into Pateley Bridge, after twelve miles, led by James Jolly. A visit to the renowned pie shop on the main street completed the afternoon, and those absent had missed a treat.
Walk Date: 8th July 2012
Leader: P Pitty
Fine views in Upper Nidderdale
A walk described in the Valley magazine was the inspiration for a day's walk by Clitheroe Ramblers in Upper Nidderdale. Setting out from Scar House reservoir car park, there was a short delay while the group negotiated a large flock of sheep which was assembled behind a gate ready to be moved off the moorland to lower pastures. A relatively level walk round the reservoir ended at the point the walkers joined the Nidderdale Way, with a climb up the valley side which provided fine views. After dropping down into Woo Gill and a steep climb up the other side, the group continued on the Nidderdale Way for a further mile, before dropping down to the River Nidd and crossing it just past New Houses. A bank by the river provided a pleasant lunch spot.
Shortly after, the route passed Goyden Pot, which provides access to a complex, but easily flooded, cave system. After passing Lumley Farm, the walkers headed south westwards towards Middlesmoor, where they rejoined the Nidderdale Way and followed the wide track uphill for a couple of miles until dropping down steeply to the car park. In spite of the exceptional amounts of rain this year, the group were very fortunate in enjoying dry weather for the whole of the walk.
Walk Date: 28th April 2012
Leader: J Donnelly
On a blustery April day, though fortunately without the April showers, seventeen Clitheroe Ramblers set out from Brinscall to make a circuit of Anglezark Reservoir. The route took them up onto Withnell Moor, where they were able to see Blackpool Tower and just make out the coast. They soon reached Drinkwaters where Round Loaf, a round barrow, and a line of bell pits, which are evidence of early lead mining in the area, came into view.
They then descended to White Coppice and followed the Goit to Anglezark reservoir. The path on the east side of the reservoir goes through woodland and fields with ever changing views of the water. Near the dam some conveniently placed picnic tables provided a comfortable lunch stop. After crossing the dam they continued round the reservoir mostly on field paths with one muddy wooded section where the bluebells were coming out.
From here field paths took then back to White Coppice where a cricket match was in progress and they were able to take advantage of the refreshments at the cricket club pavillion. The route comtinued to Tootals farm and through the fields to join the dismantled railway track which brought them back to Brinscall.
Walk Date: 24th March 2012
Leader: J Jolly
Miracle March weather for Ramble
Fifteen of us set off from Hutton near Preston, an area new to many, on a clear, warm sunny day that belied the time of year, and was very welcome. We headed south along field paths, crossing the busy A59 at Mount Pleasant farm and continued to Little Hoole. On the early part of the walk, 2 chiffchaffs, the first of the summer visitors, were singing, and there was an excellent view of a buzzard flying over and then soaring above. Skirting Much Hoole, we arrived at the banks of the River Douglas where the lunch stop was taken in the glorious spring sunshine.
There was a good selection of birds on Becconsall Marsh beyond the River Douglas, the most outstanding record was of a Great White Egret, a rare bird in the UK and a member of the heron family. There were good numbers of shelducks and oyster catchers, and a loose flock of almost 50 swans, too distant to ascertain whether they were Mute or Whooper. Lapwings were back on their breeding territories, skylarks were singing in their aerial display, whilst reed bunting, meadow pipits, teal and Canada geese were also spotted.
The warm sunshine also brought out the first butterflies - two peacocks, and a number of seven spotted ladybirds were found in the grass. A hare raced across in front of us at one point, and marsh marigolds were the pick of the early spring flowers seen.
After lunch, we walked north along the river embankment, skirting Little Hoole Marsh and then joined the Ribble Way for a mile before heading east though Westland farm fields, which were full of sheep with their spring lambs. Following a path beside Longton Brook, a great spotted woodpecker was also heard drumming, before we returned back to Hutton, a walk of eleven miles led by James Jolly which had been really enjoyable. The weather had been fantastic, with not much sign of mud either!!
Ann Jolly (with the nature reports by Ben Brown)
Walk Date: 10th March 2012
Leader: I Thornton-Bryar
Alston for Loud Valley
On Saturday 11 Clitheroe Ramblers enjoyed a 10.1 mile walk, starting from the Derby Arms in Thornley with Wheatley, where they were welcomed with traditional Walne family hospitality. This route is documented in John Dixon's Historic Walks in Bleasdale, published in 1988.
The first point of interest was Loudscales farm, built in 1856 on the site of an earlier house of 1666. Loudscales has its origins in the 10thC, its name coming from a Norwegian place-name meaning the huts by the River Loud. They then travelled up near to White Hill and onward toward Cold Coates, via Loud Bridge and Blacksticks farms. Cold Coates is relatively modern, but has some interesting historic features. Older farms passed included the 14thC Black Hall. They then took a picnic lunch just above Daub Hall, which was first recorded in 1334.
The next key farm they passed through was Hesketh End, which has a fascinating frieze of inscriptions around it, in dog-Latin, which is fully transcribed in John Dixon's book. The next sight was the 1738 chapel known both as St William of York or Lee House. The group then climbed to Higher Burks house, once apparently known and the Dog and Pheasant Inn. They then saw Jenkinson’s Farm, before descending through Little Town Farm, which has the well-known dairy, and back to the Derby Arms.
Walk Date: 19th February 2012
Leader: P Pitty
Thirteen in the group proved to be a lucky number for the Clitheroe ramblers who enjoyed glorious, day long sunshine for their February walk from Longridge.
The walkers followed the route called 'In the Footsteps of the Romans', featured in one of the six Longridge walks leaflets, which took them from the Civic Hall in Longridge to Ribchester, and back via a more northerly route. The first part of the walk headed south eastwards between the Alston reservoirs, then to the Ribble Way at Stubbin's Nook, which was followed to Ribchester. En route, a sunny bank overlooking the Ribble provided a good spot for the morning coffee break. Once through Ribchester, another sunny bank just past Ashmoor House was an attractive lunch location.
The walk provided many opportunities for observing historical features, including Hothersall Hall, the Bobbin Mill near Buckley Gate, the Old Smithy and the Written Stone, all described in the leaflet. The lovely weather also enabled the group to fully appreciate the fine views, towards Pendle Hill on the eastward section and the Fylde plain and Beacon Fell when heading west. Lambs out in the fields were a delight to see, as were the mass of snowdrops and crocuses in the church yard of St Wilfrid's in Ribchester.
On two occasions the route described in the leaflet had changed slightly through official diversions, which gave rise to some discussion about the issues involved in diverting rights of way.
The final stretch of the walk followed the line of an old railway through a park and then via Willows Park Lane to the Civic Hall.
Walk Date: 4th February 2012
Leader: J Jolly
“Brief Encounter” with the snow
Fourteen brave souls met at Carnforth station on a day that had forecasted snow on every channel you looked at!! The arrival time gave everyone the chance to visit the cafe and Visitor Centre exhibition about the 1945 film "Brief Encounter" starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson, which was filmed at the station.
As the train pulled out of the station it was snowing, but it had turned to rain by the time it arrived in Lancaster for the start of the walk back to Carnforth, led by James Jolly.
Leaving the station we passed through the castle grounds and the remains of a Roman fort to get to the banks of the River Lune, which we then followed for half a mile before turning off and going through Newton, to join the well frozen Lancaster Canal. After another half mile, we reached the Lune Aqueduct, designed by John Rennie in 1797, to carry the Lancaster Canal over the River Lune. The Aqueduct has been the subject of a large investment programme, partly covered by Lottery funding, to preserve the Grade 1 listed structure.
We then followed a track northwards to Ancliffe Hall before turning east to Cote Farm and then north, walking alongside the M6 before crossing it on a footbridge and arriving at the village of Nether Kellet. Crossing the motorway again, we took country tracks back over to the Lancaster Canal on the outskirts of Crag Bank, and after walking along the towpath for a short while, then crossing over the main West Coast mainline railway, we took to field paths again for the final leg back into Carnforth. The walk had been ten miles and fortunately, there had been a very hard frost, otherwise the walk would have been extremely boggy in places!!! (The waterlogged fields were frozen over.) Oyster catchers, curlews and lapwings had been spotted on what had been a very enjoyable walk and we were all very relieved to be able to drive home safely without any snow.
Walk Date: 7th January 2012
Leader: J Donnelly
On a damp and windy day thirteen Clitheroe Ramblers set out from Sawley to walk the Ribble Way to Gisburn and return via Rimington. There has been so much rain during the last six weeks that the fields were often waterlogged and it was hard work to cross them. The first section through Dockber Farm was on tracks and the group were able to make good progress. In fact most of the Ribble Way to Gisburn was reasonable except for Steep Wood. This well named path down to the river was very slippery and great care was taken during the descent.
From Gisburn the route crossed very muddy fields to Eel Beck. Every step was an effort. Fortunately a kind passer by allowed us to eat our sandwiches on his terrace when we reached Rimington Lane. We decided to stick to the minor roads for the next couple of miles and were able to stride out past Rimington Bridge and along the back road around Rimington village.
At Newfield Barn we took to the fields again and descended to cross the beautiful old stone bridge at Swanside and climb up to cross the A59 with care. Our return to Sawley took us past the ruins of Sawley Abbey. Although the conditions were far from ideal we had fresh air, exercise and a sense of achievement.