Gisburn to Weets Hill, Sunday, 23 November 2014
Leader Penny Pitty
'Weather front over Pendle'
Weets Hill was the destination for thirteen members of Clitheroe Ramblers when they set off from Gisburn on a Sunday in November. The weather promised a dry day with the possibility of sunshine, so the rather damp conditions underfoot did not deter the group. The route followed field paths through Moor Laithe farm to join Coal Pit Lane, which provided a clear track towards Weets summit. A coffee stop just into the access land provided sufficient encouragement for the final stretch to the trig point, from where there were great views, taking in Pendle Hill, Longridge Fell, Beacon Fell, Parlick, Ingleborough and round to Fountains Fell, with Barnoldswick visible below us. To begin with, the return route followed the path back down to a lunch break at our original coffee stop location. During the whole of the walk up to this point, there was a tantalising strip of blue sky to the west of us with a striking band of cloud forming its eastern edge. As we continued downwards, via Howgill Lane and Cross Hill Lane, the weather front slowly shifted with an increasing promise of the sun breaking through. For the final stretches of the walk, which took us past Eel Beck farm and Westby Hall farm, the sun finally shone, giving the green pastures a brilliant glow.
Beacon Fell, Saturday 8 November 2014
Leader Valerie Grooby
Despite the poor weather forecast, 12 ramblers joined Valerie for the walk from Beacon Fell. Unfortunately there was a challenge event taking place that day, so the main Beacon Fell car park was exceptionally busy, and half the walkers had to park on another car park, somewhat delaying the start of the walk. We dropped down the hill southwards from the visitor centre through a number of farms to reach the river Brock. The stiles on this section were very slippery but luckily we had no falls. We followed the course of the Brock up to Brock Mill picnic site, where the choice of seats, as Nan said, was between wet and wetter. Soon after leaving the picnic site, we were rewarded by the sight of three roe deer, which seemed reluctant to move away from our route. The rain eased off as we continued up the river, at one point climbing up to Snapes Rake Lane and through the scout camp and back down steep steps to the Brock, until we eventually climbed up the slope to open fields, where we put up lots of game birds. This was the most exposed part of the walk and luckily the rain had stopped so we had fine views of Fairsnape. Reaching the road at Wickin Barn, Valerie sat on the stile and insisted on a brew stop for a few minutes rest before climbing up to the Trig point on Beacon Fell, where we enjoyed the extensive views, before the descent to the car parks.
“The Other Borrowdale: The South Ridge - 19th October 2014
Leader Ben Brown
There are two Borrowdales in the Lake District - the well known Cumberland Borrowdale near Keswick, drawing in walkers and climbers and the “Other Borrowdale” otherwise know as the Westmorland Borrowdale, which is quiet and deserted. Most walkers don’t even know these hills exist. Borrow Beck, which flows into the River Lune at the bottom of Borrowdale, rises high on the fells at the top of Borrowdale in the backcountry that is dismissed with the broad title of “Shap Fells”. These hills are more reminiscent of the Howgills than the Lake District and share the same sense of peace and quiet.
The valley runs roughly east to west, from the A685 near Tebay to the A6 between Shap and Kendal. Containing the valley are two parallel ridges, one to the north and one to the south. Two years ago, Clitheroe Ramblers walked the North Ridge. Today we walked the South Ridge.
Starting from near Low Borrow Bridge our party of 8 hardy walkers followed an easy bridleway along the floor of the valley, on the south side of Borrow Beck. The beck was crossed twice as we passed the farm of Low Borrowdale and then the ruins of High Borrowdale following the valley bottom almost to the A6 near Huck’s Bridge. The easiest part of the walk was then followed by the hardest. Leaving the valley there was a very steep climb of 600 ft in just over half a mile into the mist and rain, draining our energy and requiring frequent stops to catch our breath.
The first of the triple summits of Ashstead Fell (455m) was finally reached, and just beyond this point lunch was taken in a sheltered spot by conifers, for a brief respite from the wind and rain. After traversing the final and highest summit of Ashstead Fell (470m), a grassy path led down and then up to Mabbin Crag (482m). Just after leaving this summit, there was a small rock step about 10m high to downclimb, which proved interesting for those not used to scrambling! The path got steeper going down between trees on both sides and a stone hut was located, which was the waymark to find the narrow break in the trees to reach the next coll. Half way up the next slope, a faint path led off heading direct to the summit of Castle Crag.
The wind had been gathering speed for some time, but by the time we reached Castle Crag (478m), it was ferocious and we were almost blown over a few times. We wondered if Hurricane Gonzalo had arrived a day early! With the wind at our backs, we were blown down Castle Crag, across Whinfell Common and then a wind assisted climb up to Whinfell Beacon (472m), the final summit of the day. After a brief stop for refreshments in the shelter, we descended to the Repeater Station to pick up the public footpath to take us back into the valley and return to the cars.
We had seen the autumn colours at their best in the valley, but the views from the South Ridge were restricted by low cloud and mist.
The 10 mile walk, with nearly 2000ft of ascent had proved quite challenging in the conditions, but was completed in less than 5 hours.
Morecambe Bay Crossing 21st June 2014
It was a lovely warm and sunny day when an enthusiastic group of members and friends enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience, crossing the sands of Morecambe Bay from Arnside to Kent's Bank. Our leader was Cedric Robinson, the Queens Guide for more than fifty years. Following our disappointment in 2013 when the walk was cancelled owing to poor weather conditions and safety issues, fewer of us chose to join the outing. However, those who booked this trip, which supported Galloway's Society for the Blind, were rewarded with a bright sunny day and wonderful views up the Kent Estuary towards the Lakeland Fells. The eight mile route involved the difficult crossing of areas of soft sand and several channels of running water, one of which was thigh deep!! Please note the state of Valerie's shoe, almost lost in the sand!! All-in-all this provided an exhilarating day's walking where everything went to plan, and the atmosphere amongst us was up-beat throughout. On the return journey the coach stopped at Thorpeys of Garstang where we all enjoyed a much deserved and very tasty fish and chip supper. What a great day!
Whitby Weekend 7th - 9th June 2014
Thirty one of us enjoyed a weekend away in Whitby, and walked a total of forty miles, along coastal paths and through inland areas, all led by Frank Pearson. The first walk on Friday was eight miles in the Goathland area, where we were lucky enough to see a Black Five steam locomotive.
The second day, we caught the bus to Staithes and walked the 12 mile coastal path south, back into Whitby, with wonderful scenery and views. The weather was wet for the latter part of the walk, but the rain was not heavy, and did not spoil our day.
On Sunday we caught the bus past Robin Hoods Bay, and walked 10 miles north, back to Whitby, in glorious sunshine all day. We met a man who was cycling the coast of Britain, and also a party of ladies who had walked 33 miles that day from Middlesbrough, both for charity.
The final walk was in the area of the Hole of Horcum, which was on the journey home, and we parked at Levisham station on the Goathland to Pickering heritage railway line. Frank organised a fine view of the steam train down in the valley on our morning coffee stop!! The weather was mixed with some sunshine, but also some rain, but everyone enjoyed the day.
The weekend had gone very well, the only downside was the fire alarm ringing in the hotel after midnight on the last night there. Some ramblers were downstairs in their PJ 's straight away, some took their time and got down to reception just as the all clear was given, and some never left their beds!!
Pilling Walk 17th May 2014
Leader: Bob Burton
Below are photos from the walk from Pilling on the 17th May.
Railway Weekend Walks May 2014
Leader: Ben Brown
Our railway themed May Bank Holiday weekend walks consisted of a high level linear walk across the South Pennines, starting in Calderdale using a normal rail service, a disused railway line in the Peak District and the route of a heritage railway in West Yorkshire.
On the Saturday, 15 of us set off from Todmorden railway station, on a 10 mile walk, climbing steeply out of the town on the Calderdale Way and onto the Pennine Way, passing the Warland, Light Hazzles, White Holme and Blackstone Edge Reservoirs. After crossing the busy A58, we had lunch on Blackstone Edge Moor, above a disused quarry. From here we soon reached the Aiggin Stone, a medieval guide stone for travellers some 600 years ago, marking the summit of the Roman Road. Then onto the summit of Bl;ackstone Edge (472m) with the ordnance survey trig point perched on a huge boulder. A descent was made to the Broad Head Drain and the route then continued over Clegg Moor before dropping down to Hollingworth Lake and Littleborough, for the train back to Todmorden.
On the Sunday, 9 of us travelled to Hadfield in Derbyshire for a gentle 9 mile walk on the edge of the Peak District, the first half of which was along the route of the old Woodhead Railway (Manchester – Sheffield Great Central Line). Passenger trains were withdrawn from this line between Hadfield and Penistone in 1970 and the complete closure took place in 1981. The Longdendale Trail was followed along the course of the dismantled railway line to just short of the Woodhead Dam, returning to Hadfield along the reservoir paths beneath the slopes of Bleaklow and Black Hill.
On the Monday, 24 of us travelled to Oxenhope, to visit the Keighley and Worth Valley Steam Railway for another 9 mile walk. This branch line was originally opened in 1867 with its main purpose to provide coal to the local mills. British Rail closed the line in 1962 as a result of the Beeching axe, but it was reopened by volunteers in 1968 as a steam heritage railway recreating the atmosphere of a country branch line in the 1950s. From Oxenhope station we followed the Railway Children 's walk via Haworth station to Oakworth station, famous for its role in the 1970 film production, "The Railway Children" The next station on the walk was Damens, the smallest station in the UK. Up to this point the trains always seemed to be one step ahead of us. Here at last, we arrived on the station platform ahead of the train, in time to see WD class 2-8-0, No 90733 with 7 coaches steaming through the station on its way to Keighley. This locomotive was built in 1945 for the War Department and had only a short working life on Dutch and Swedish railways.) Lunch was taken soon after this beside the railway and after another "miss", Midland Railway
0-6-0 Class 4F No 43924 was the next steam engine to be seen as it passed over a level crossing, with the cameras again snapping away. This locomotive built in 1920 was the first of many locos to leave Barry scrapyard . Just before Ingrow West station, we crossed the A629 and walked over a bridge overlooking the dismantled Great Northern Railway line from Keighley to Queensborough, which used to pass through Ingrow East station near to this point. We climbed steeply up to Hainworth, from where the Worth Way was followed high above the Worth Valley, with another steep pull up to and over Brow Moor before descending to Oxenhope Station. Here the railway enthusiasts in the group were able to visit the Exhibition Centre, where 5 ex British Railway steam locomotives (from the London Midland, the Western, and the Southern Regions and a Standard Locomotive) were awaiting restoration, as well as a collection of carriages including some luxurious Pullman coaches. The weather was good throughout the weekend walks with plenty of sunshine and no rain.
Days out in the Dales
7th April 2014
Great views, interesting ravines, historical sites and glimpses of wildlife rewarded members of Clitheroe Ramblers on a number of walks in the Yorkshire Dales in March. Only a relatively short journey away, the Dales offer a wealth of different walks, with good, well signed paths, and feature regularly in the Group's annual programme.
On a dry and quite warm Sunday in the early part of the month, a group of 17 walkers set off from Burnsall, following the Dales Way along the river Wharfe, then heading east to Howgill past the campsite to reach Skyreholme. The route then broadly followed Skyreholme Beck, passing Parcevall Hall gardens, to a lunch stop just after evidence of old mine workings. After lunch, the group tackled the intriguing ravine of Troller's Gill, said to be the home of trolls, boggarts and other malicious creatures. The dry weather of the preceding few days meant it was passable for walkers, and the group were joined by a couple from Lincolnshire who were visiting the area, and were delighted to be guided back to Burnsall. The route back took the walkers past Hell Hole swallow hole, along a short stretch of road, and over Appletreewick Pasture, with views back to Simon's Seat. The final stretch followed Kail Lane back to the Wharfe, past various signs promoting the local campsite as a venue for viewing the Tour de France when it comes through the area in July, to the car park in Burnsall. Some excellent ice creams from the kiosk there completed the pleasure of a fine day's walking.
The Dales Way also formed part of the route for a group of 18 Ramblers when walking from Grassington the following weekend. Setting off in a northwards direction, the walkers passed the site of a medieval village, and evidence of old settlements, finally reaching Bull Scar, where, after a bit of a scramble, they descended to Conistone for a welcome sit down and coffee break. Leaving Conistone, the group tackled the climb up Scot Gate Lane and Bycliffe Road, hampered by the rising wind, but enjoying views of Kilnsey Crag. A lunch break provided further views over the moors and Gill House, before heading south back through an area of shake holes and mine shafts, finally reaching Yarnbury, which was probably the centre of lead mining that went on from the 15th century till the 1870s. The party then followed paths across fields to Tinklers Lane, looking down over Hebden and the River Wharfe, and finally to Grassington, where sheep with their lambs were grazing in the more sheltered fields. It made a welcome change for the walkers to complete the walk with clean boots and dry clothes.
A rather longer walk than the previous ones, which were of about 9 miles, was on offer the following weekend, when a group of four tackled a 13 mile high level walk starting from Gearstones on Blea Moor Road, near Ribblehead. Again the weather was favourable, mainly sunny with just the occasional light wintry shower, so even though the route remained above 1000 feet for the whole walk, reaching 1700 feet at its highest point, there were excellent views of the Three Peaks. The group followed the Dales Way in an easterly direction to Oughtershaw, with a lunch stop by the River Wharfe. They then left the Dales Way and followed a footpath to Greenfield Forest, continuing through Langstrothdale in a westerly direction. Greenfield Forest is one of four red squirrel reserves in the Yorkshire Dales, and the party were fortunate to see a red squirrel quite close to the footpath. They left the main path through the forest soon after High Greenfield and took a rough path through the trees and across Access land to Ling Gill Bridge on the Pennine Way, following this back to the start point.
The final weekend walk in March, of nearly 11 miles, started from Skirethorne Lane in Threshfield, when 19 Ramblers followed a route through the Wood Nook Caravan Park to Bordley, a medieval township. Turning southwards, the group reached the area of The Weets where lunch was taken in some hollows out of the wind. From there, the route descended south eastwards to Winterburn Reservoir, a compensatory reservoir for the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. A further ascent of 300 feet took the walkers over Boss Moor, and then down lanes to the start point. Again, the weather was dry, though with a cool breeze, and although the sun never quite appeared, the songs of curlews, lapwings and larks provided a springtime chorus of birdsong to lift the walkers' spirits.
Future walks during April and May are mostly within Bowland and areas to the west and south of Clitheroe, and include the summer programme of shorter walks on Wednesday evenings, starting from local villages and car parks. For more adventurous walkers, an ascent of Silver Howe from Grasmere in the Lake District is also in the programme. Walk details and other information about Clitheroe Ramblers can be found at www.clitheroeramblers.co.uk