I’ve taken my time writing this up. When I retired from my main job at the end of February last year I was looking forward to a life of leisure, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I’m really only part retired and I’ve found that I’m working more than I intended and it’s certainly got into the way of keeping up to date with WordPress. Still, better late than never.
So, the second day of the year was a Bank Holiday, with New Year’s Day being on a Sunday. With a promising weather forecast it was time to get the boots on for the first walk of the year. I suspected the roads would be busy so decided on a local walk up on the West Pennine moors. It seems that a good proportion of the local population had a similar idea.
I was a little later than normal setting out and when I arrived at Rivington the ample free parking was ram jam full with some cars parked rather foolishly and dangerously near the two barns. Reading social media posts that evening it was clear that other popular areas like the Lake District were also heaving with reports of bad traffic and difficulties in parking.
I turned round and set off back towards Horwich and parked up on the road between the town and Rivington High School. I don’t usually park along here and, as a consequence, I ended up taking a new route up to the top of the Pike. I wasn’t originally going to take in the top of the hill but given where I’d parked I changed my plan, deciding to take in the top of the hill before heading further north to Anglezarke.
I booted up and set off down the track by the side of the school and began to climb up the side of the Pike on a path I’d never taken before.
Reaching the Terraced Gardens I started to climb up to the summit via the Japanese Gardens
It was very busy on the way up to the summit, mainly families out on a fine Bank Holiday Monday
Although it was sunny, the air temperature was low and there was a cold wind blowing from the west. I was glad I was wearing my down jacket.
There was quite a lot of cloud and some rain falling to the south west over towards Cheshire and North wales
But it was finer to the north and east
I could see a couple of walkers on the path over the moors towards Noon Hill. I considered following them but the ground was soft after the recent thaw and I expected it would be somethig of a quagmire so deided against and instead headed back down fromt he summit and on to the Pigeon Tower
I descended down through the Gardens
crossing over the Seven Arch Bridge and then took the track that descended gradually down to the Belmont Road car park (also full) and then made my way down the road, past Moses Cocker’s
and then, having left the crowds behind, onto Anglezardke Moor
making my way to Old Rachel’s and then on to HIgher Hempshaws.
I carried on heading north on the farmer’s track. I’d intended to carry on towards Lead Mine Valley and then make my way past Yarrow Reservor and then along Rivington lower Reservoir back to the car. But the light was good and I fancied staying up on the wild moor for a little longer, so ended up turning up the track towards Redmond Edge, braving the bog, and then followed the ridge to Horden Stoops.
As climbed, views opened up to the Lake District mountains, the Bowland Fells, the Yorkshire Dales and Pendle Hill. Long range visibility was very good.
Reaching the Belmont Road there was a short stretch of tarmac to walk before I turned off down the rough track of the old Belmont Road back towards the Pike
Reaching the Pigeon Tower the light was beginning to fade. The sun would be setting soon
I descended down through the gardens to the bottom of the hill via a circuitous rout. There’s a myriad of routes but I’ve been walking round here since I was a teenager so am unlikely to get lost! So I made my way back to the car. There were quite a few people making their way up the hill. I assumed that they were going up to watch the sunset. I was tempted to follow them, but I’d had a long walk. Tile to head back home for a brew.