On the moors – before the heat arrived

Much of July was sunny with little rain so it was a good time to get up onto Anglezarke and take a route over the blanket bog that covers the moor while the peat was dry and springy rather than a boggy morass. So the Saturday after my mid week walk in the Peak District I decided to do just that. We’d been warned of a heat wave coming in with some very high (for the UK!) temperatures which wouldn’t be conducive for walking, so it seemed sensible to get out before it arrived.

I parked up at Rivington and then cut across the meadow to Sheep House Lane, walking a short distance down the tarmac past the Tea Room (it was too soon in the walk to take advantage) before turning on to the path across the fields
and beside the small brook (the path which had been damaged by the Spring storms had been repaired) and then up the track towards Dean Wood
Climbing over the stile I took the path across the fields towards Allance Bridge
Looking down to Yarrow Reservoir I could se that the water level was very low
This was the view down to the water from Allance Bridge. I can’t recall seeing the water level that low .
Looking over the other side of the bridge, this was the state of the inlet where the Yarrow usually enters the reservoir – it’s usually full of water and the River seemed to be reduced to a trickle.
After crossing the bridge I turned up the path across the fields from Parson’s Bullough
Eventually reaching the track from Jepson’s Gate. Rather than turn right here and follow the track towards Lead Mine Clough I turned left towards Jepson’s Gate
Joining the minor road I turned right and after a short distance I wnt through a gate and crossed onto the open access land. There was a hint of a path which soon petered out so I had to make my way across the rough and tufty ground. Luckily after the dry few weeks the ground was firm underfoot, otherwise I would have been doing some bog hopping!
Looking west over to Healey Nab (In my teens I used to live just over the other side of this modest hill) to Chorley
I carried on across the moor eventually joining the path for Hurst Hill. I turned off onto the path towards Grain Pole Hill
Looking north from the summit of Grain Pole Hill
My next objective – Hurst Hill. I retraced my steps and then joined the path towards the summit.
Reaching the summit. Good views all round
Looking towards Great Hill
across to Redmond and Spitler’s Edges
and, to the south, Winter Hill and Rivington Pike
I carried on across the path across the peat towards the prehistoric burial mound, Round Loaf. This can be a quagmire but the peat was largely dry and springy underfoot wit just the occasional muddy patch. With the peat so dry there’s a real risk it could be set on fire by a barbecue or carelessly disposed fag end. But it was quiet with not many people around.
Last time I was up here the moor was covered with “bog cotton” (Cotton Grass) but there were only a few patches left on the wetter sections of the peat.
I stopped for a bite to eat and to soak up the views on the top of Round Loaf
Before setting off along the path across the moor towards Great Hill
Looking north across the moor
Some more bog cotton – a warning to avoid a boggy section!
Reaching the bottom of Great Hill I decided against climbing to the top of the familiar summit but turned right taking the flagged path towards Redmond’s Edge. I’ve no idea who “Redmond” was or what the name means and have drawn a blank searching on the web.
Reaching Redmond’s Edge, rather than carrying on along the path over Spitler’s Edge and on to Horden Stoops, I turned west down the path I’d walked up from the opposite direction a few weeks before. It’s not marked on the OS map but there’s a clear path to follow these days.
Carrying on down the path. I can’t remember the grass on the moor looking so green. Strange, considering the dry conditions of late.
Continuing along the path, which eventually joins the main track across the moor from Belmont Road to Lead Mine Clough
At Hempshaws I took the path toward the ruined farm known as Old Rachel’s
The view over to the Edges from Old Rachel’s where I stopped for a short break
Carrying on along the path I passed the waymarker that had been erected by the Peak and Northern Footpath Society
Looking south towards Winter Hill and Noon Hill

I turned south continuing along the path until I reached the Belmont Road near to Moses Cockers. After a short stretch of tarmac (fortunately not too many vehicles encountered – it can be a bit of a race track this road, especially for motorcyclists) I turned off and followed the paths back to my car.

It was a fine, warm day on the Saturday but the temperature was just right for walking. It certainly wasn’t for the next few days as the promised heat wave arrived. More a time for sitting in the shade in the garden with an iced drink which is exactly what I did!

Back on the Moors

Despite moving to part-time work at the end of February I’ve been so busy that I’ve fallen well behind with writing up what I’ve been up to. There’s definitely more to life than working and I’m trying to make the most of my increased “free time” to get out and do more stuff that I enjoy. The problem then is finding the time to write it up! I’ll have to find a solution as writing up these posts allow me to look back and remember what I’ve been up to!

So, back in May a couple of weeks after my “Hebridean adventure” I managed to get up on the West Pennine Moors for a wander. I parked up at Rivington and then made my way over past Moses Cocker’s farm

Moses Cocker’s

and then took a path on to the moor. It was a grey morning but it was still good to get back onto familiar territory to stretch my legs and breathe in the, hopefully, fresh air.

The usual locals were out and about keeping an eye on me

Views soon opened up

as I made my way to the ruined farm known as “Old Rachel’s”

I stopped for a rest to refuel as my blood sugar had dropped, and took in the views. An elderly runner ambled past. I was intrigued as he was wearing wellies rather than the flimsy shoes normally worn by runners on the moors and fells. Two female runners, wearing more conventional footwear, came speeding along a little later. I have to admire their energy and dedication but I prefer a much gentler pace where I can enjoy the scenery and spend time thinking great thoughts!

I carried on following the path to Lower Hempshaw’s

Given the recent rain, I decided I’d not carry on towards Hordern Stoops, the path is notoriously muddy at the best of times, but to follow the track northwards. Just the day before I’d read a post by Michael of the Rivendale Review who had been up on the moors and had ventured up on to Redmond and Spitler’s Edges by taking a path that branched off the track a little further along from Henshaw’s, just where it veers off left towards the ruined farm at Simm’s. I’d taken this track some years ago and found that after a while it petered out and I’d had to make my way through the heather and bracken. It was very different this time. Many other feet must have passed this way since then as there was now a clear path that carried on up to Redmond’s Edge. It was muddy in places so a little “bog hopping” was required.

Although only a few miles from “civilisation” up here it’s real desolate, lonely “wild and windy” moorland.

And being moorland, after a rainy period the peat was sodden. As I made my way towards Great Hill I was thankful for the flagstones that had been laid down otherwise I would have been walking through a quagmire. It was certainly wet as the flagstones were flooded in places and I had to navigate some muddy patches where the flags had sunk into the peat. But the going was generally good.

I climbed to the top of Great Hill and stopped for a while for another bite to eat. It was windy so I was thankful of the stone shelter.

Long rang visibility was poor, so no views over to the mountains of the Lakes, Snowdonia and Yorkshire Dales, but I could make out Pendle Hill to the north east.

After a brief rest I set off down the path off the summit towards White Coppice. Before reaching Drinkwater’s I turned off down the path towards the ruins of Great Hill farm

and then doubled back heading east before re-joining the path along the ridge and heading towards Horden’s Stoops

Coming down off the Edge I could hear distinctive peewit call of a lapwing. I stopped and watch two of the birds performing their acrobatics before flying off across the moor. A sound and a sight that lifts the heart!

Passing the source of the River Yarrow I headed west for a short distance along the Rivington to Belmont Road before joining the old Belmont Road, these days a rough track, which I followed back towards Rivington.

The view over to Great Hill, Redmond’s Edge and Spitler’s Edge form the Old Belmont Road

Reaching the Pigeon Tower

I made my way down through the Terraced Gardens back to my car.

The Seven Arch Bridge in Rivington terraced Gardens

Here’s the route (also available here)

Back on the moors again

Last Thursday it was too nice to stay stuck indoors staring at a computer screen so I decided to drive over to White Coppice and get up on the moors. My recent foray onto the Kinder Plateau had reminded me of the wild West Lancashire Pennine moors – although Kinder is higher and has more Millstone grit outcrops and rock formations, it’s very similar. I’d grown up trampling on these moors and always enjoy being up there, whatever the weather. But Thursday was a sunny day and less likely to be a quagmire underfoot!

I expected there would be quite a few people tramping up the main path up Great Hill from the hamlet so I decided on a less frequented route, up the clough (pronounced cluff), the narrow valley in the hillside, and along the Black Brook. As the water level was relatively low, followed the brook rather than the easier path a little above the water, which involved some easy scrambling, but a little more challenging than normal!

The lower sections of the brook show the influence of humans. This was an industrial landscape at one time – stone quarrying and mining for lead – and there’s still plenty of evidence of it’s history as you follow the brook.

There’s an entrance to an old lead mine in the side of the hill

After a while the valley starts to level off

and the summit of Great Hill becomes visible across the heather and bracken.

I left the clough and followed the path that took me up on tot he main path up towards the summit.

Passin the ruined farm of Drinkwaters

This is probably one of my favourite views – it brings back so many memories of walks up here when I was a teenager.

Carrying on up to the summit

It was a bright sunny day but long range visibility was poor. A pity as it’s an excellent viewpoint on a good day with views in every direction. There’s Darwen tower and Pendle Hill. I could just make out the Lake District Mountains, Ingleborough and the Snowdonia range in the murk but they wouldn’t come out in my photos.

After a short break in the shelter I descended down the flaged path

and then at the bottom of the hill took the path heading westwards.

Approaching the ruins of Great Hill farm. You don’t see many people on this path, but there’s usually plenty of sheep!

Looking across the moor – there’s Round Loaf to the far left – which is covered with heather, although the colours haven’t come across well in the photo.

A closer view of the purple heather in bloom

After Drinkwaters, at the fork, I took the path over Wheelton Moor towards Brinscall. It’s flat level path which I think was originally constructed to allow access to the moor for grouse shooting.

They don’t do that up here any more (a good thing too), but there is clear evidence that it used to take place. Here’s an old, disused shooting butt, there’s several along the side of the track

Carrying on, looking over the moor I could just make out the distinctive shape of Pendle Hill in the distance

I descended down the narrow road towards Brinscall

but before the bottom took the left turning down the path through Wheelton Plantations.

I then followed the path along the Goyt back to White Coppice

It’s a very picturesque hamlet, but again has an industrial histrory – it was originally a mill and mining settlement.

No cricket match today

Anglezarke circular

A couple of weeks ago, on Saturday, I fancied another walk, but didnt feel like driving too far, so the obvious choice was to head over to the West Pennine Moors, only 20 minutes drive from home. I reckoned the peat would be dry so I worked out a route that included going “off piste”, keeping fingers crossed that I wouldn’t get bogged down!

I parked up at Rivington near the barns and set off at about 9 o’clock. It was grey and cloudy but sunshine was promised – although it arrived later than forecast.

I cut across to Rivington village and then through the field and by the brook, cutting up the path alongside Dean Wood Nature Reserve

up to the campsite at Wilcock’s farm.

I crossed the road and climbed over the stile and followed a less well used path onto the moor. After the dry weather he going was good, although it wouldn’t necessarily be like that in the winter.

I followed the path across the moor towards Old Rachel’s, one of a significant number on ruined farms on Anglezarke Moor. At one time people lived here. It must have been a bleak setting in winter, but it was a family home. However, the farms were bought and demolished by Liverpool Corporation after the Anglezarke and Rivington reservoirs were constructed, allegedly to protect the water supply.

On reaching Old Rachel’s I stopped for a while for a rest and to take in the views

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Old Rachel’s today
and how it used to look (source Wikipedia)

and was treated to the sight of a large flock of lapwings flying overhead.

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I carried on to Hempshaws and then on towards Horden Stoops.

There was only a mini-quagmire after Hempshaws – it’s usually very boggy here – which agured good for later in the walk. I got a close up view of a lapwing flying above the moor as I neared Horden Stoops.

Then I turned north following the path over Spitler’s and Redmond’s Edges over to Great Hill. The high cloud hadn’t cleared and there was a stiff breeze and I was glad I’d brought a fleece with me.

I climber to the summit of Great Hill and then stopped for a while in the shelter out of the wind for a bite to eat.

I descended down the path towards Drinkwaters but before I reached the ruin I took the path down towards another ruin, Great Hill Farm.

I doubled back along the Bottom of Great Hill towards the Edges,

getting close up views of a curlew. It flew over head a few times and then landed on the grass not far from the path. I must have been close to its nest. I tried to get a close up with my phone – this is the best I could do

Reaching the stile at the bottom of the path up to the top of Great Hill I turned onto the open moor and more or less followed a path over the pet heading towards Round Loaf. It was squidgy in a few places, and the path wasn’t always easy to trace, but it was generally OK.

There was plenty of bog cotton blooming

I stopped for a break on top of the tumulus

Winter Hill and Rivington Pike across the moor
Looking back to Great Hill

and then set off again across the peat towards Hurst Hill.

Looking back towards Round Loaf and Great Hill
The cairn on Hurst Hill

After enjoying the views for a while I headed down the path towards Moor Road.

Looking towards Healy Nab

Joining the road I walked along the tarmac for half a mile or so past Manor Farm

until I reached Jepson’s Gate where I took the path that headed back towards the moors.

The cloud had begun to disperse and is was getting hotter, especially in the sun.

I joined the path that cut across the fields towards Parson’s Bullogh and Allance Bridge.

The Yarrow at Allance Bridge

Reaching the road, I decided to walk back to Rivington beside the reservoirs so follwed the road a short distance before taking the path along Yarrow Reservoir.

Looking over Yarrow Reservoir towards the moors

I cut down the path down past the overflow (which, given the dry weather of late, wasn’t flowing) and then crossed the dam to join the path along the north side of Lower Rivington reservoir.

I crossed the dam between the two Rivington reservoirs stopping to watch the dingys sailing on the water of the Upper reservoir.

I follwed the the lake side path back to the Saxon barn and then up the road to my car.

The route

Winter Hill, Belmont and Anglezarke

Since the easing of lock down I’ve managed to get in a few walks, although I’ve been slow writing them up as being glued to the computer for most of the week means I’ve been reluctant to spend more time on it in my free time – I’d rather be out walking or relaxing with a book or film. But I’m going to be less shackled to the keyboard over the next few weeks so time to catch up!

I had to visit a clinic on the west side of Bolton a couple of weeks ago. This gave me an excuse to take the rest of the day off and drive over to Rivington on what was promising to be a decent day for a walk. I’d worked out a route up over Winter Hill, down to belmont village and then back over the moors.

I parked up on the drive up to the Hall barn, donned my boots and gear and set off. It was still during the school holidays so it was busy with families out for the day, but I’d picked a route to avoid the crowds who were mainly heading up to the top of the Pike. I skirted the bottom of the hill and then took a less frequented path and then a track on the southern boundary of the gardens.

I avoided the summit of the pike and walked down the track towards Pike Cottage where I planned to take the path up to Two Lads and then on to Winter Hill.

Looking over to the top of the Pike
There were a few people coming up and down the old road but it was still fairly quiet.

Reaching Pike Cottage I discovered that since I was last up here a snack bar had opened up. A good excuse to take a break with a brew and have a bite to eat and take in the views over to the Pike and across the South Lancashire Plain.

Time to set off again. I went through the gate and on to the path across the moor towards Two Lads

Looking back to the Pike

and on to the mast on top of Winter Hill

There’s Two Lads, a subsidary summit of Winter Hill, ahead.

There’s various theories as to how this little lump gets its name, but there’s two “lads” there these days, in the form of a couple of substantial cairns.

After a short stop to take in the views I set off over the moor towards the summit of Winter Hill. Fortunately the peat was reasonably dry so not too much clag to have to navigate!

On towards the TV mast – the cage is for maintenance workers – I definitely wouldn’t fancy going up in that!

I made my way across the top and then took the path that would take me down the east side of the hill and on to Belmont, my first time down this way.

It had turned into a lovely afternoon and as I descended there were great views over Turton Moor. Long range views were excellent and I could make out Pendle Hill, the Yorkshire Three peaks and, on the horizon to the north west, the Lakeland Fells.

Looking down to Belmont.

It was an enjoyable descent – not too steep (which is hard on the old knees these days) and with excellent views.

Towards the bottom of the hill I turned off onto the path that would take me to the main road and then on to Belmont village. It’s a small settlement that grew up around the cotton industry with a mill, dye works and other factories. When I was researching my family history I discovered that some of my ancestors lived there for a while, although I don’t have any connections there these days.

The stone cottages, which would have been home for workers in the mills and other factories, look attractive all cleaned up and, no doubt, would cost a packet to buy. I wonder whether any of my ancestors lived in one of them?

I turned up by the Black Dog pub – still shut due to the lockdown

and had a mooch around the graveyard of the Victorian neo-Gothic St peter’s church wondering whether I might find a gavestone for one of my ancestors. A slim hope of course as they would have been too poor to have a memorial.

I carried on towards Ward’s reservoir which was drained a number of years ago for safety reasons

and then crossed over the road on to a path that runs across the moors, heading west towards Anglezarke. I could hear the cry of a curlew and saw a lapwing and a couple of oystercatchers. Unfortunatly they’d flown off before I could snap a photo with my camera which I had to dig out of my rucksack, my phone camera not having an adequate zoom.

Arriving at Horden Stoops, I took a short diversion up the path towards Spitler’s Edge to take in the views northwards over to Great Hill and across Anglezarke,

and, in the other direction, over to Winter Hill

I’d orinially planned to take the Old Belmont Road along the bottom of Winter Hill and back to Rivington, but it was such a lovely afternoon that I decided to carry on west across the moor

The peat was reasonably dry and the going was good until I approached the ruins of Higher Hempshaws farm – it’s nearly always a quagmire underfoot here and it was true to form as I gingerly hopped across of clag trying to avid my boots becoming submerged in the morass.

I decided to stop for while in theruins. It’s always a good place to stop and sit, take in the view and contemplate life.

Someone else had had the same idea and was just setting off again as approached. As you do we said hello and exchanged a few words that chaned into a chat swapping stories about the moors and their history. Suddenly he changed subject and produced a leaflet from his pack. Turned out he was a Jehovah’s Witness and had decided to take the opportunity to try to convert me. A lost cause I’m afraid as I gave up on religion when I was about 13.

After a short break, I set off again, crossing over the young River Yarrow and following a path I’ve never taken before heading west towards another ruin known as “Old Rachel’s”.

There’s several ruined farms up on Anglezarke and the other nearby moors. It must have been a hard life up here, especially during the winter, but the farms were home for their occupants. However, they were all demolished at the beginning of the 20th Century by Liverpool Corporation as themoors are in the catchment area for the reservoirs at Anglezarke and Rivington they constructed.

The ruins of “Old Rachel’s

Looking back towards Spitler’s and Redmond’s Edges from “Old Rachel’s”

Looking over to Winter Hill

I carried on across the occasionally boggy ground until I reached the minor road near Wilcock’s farm. This old building certainly isn’t a ruin

There’s stables nearby (I passed a field of horses before I hit the road) and there’s also a small tidy looking campsite by the farm house.

Just past the farm I turned down a path that runs above Dean Wood – a wooded gulley that’s a protected Nature Reserve – and which took me to the end of the Yarrow Reservoir, ner to the dam. I carried on following the path through the woods and back to Rivington Village

A short walk across the fields and I was back at the car.

A decent walk – more than 10 miles with all my little diversions.

Return to the Moors

Like most people – but unlike a certain Gollum like Government advisor – as best as I can I’ve been sticking to both the letter and the spirit of the Government’s requirements and advice to try to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. That means I’ve been working for home and sticking to local walks in the Plantations, respecting best I can “social distancing”. However, since last week we’ve been “allowed” to travel further for exercise and as Wednesday was a hot and sunny day, I decided to bunk off work during the afternoon, drive 7 miles over to Rivington and get out for a walk up on the Moors.

The car parks around Rivington were jammed, to say the least, but I avoided the crowds around the “honeypots” and rather than head up the Pike, which would have been heaving with people, set off down a quiet path heading towards Anglezarke.

I took the path to the east of Yarrow reservoir, passing only a handful of people

and quite a few sheep

including a number of a black breed (not sure what they were).

At Allance Bridge, rather than take the track up Lead Mine Clough I cut up the track up across the rough fields

with great views over the moors

and towards Winter Hill.

Over the stile onto the open access land.

Passing more sheep.

I cut across the peat, covered with cotton grass, heading towards the modest summit of Hurst Hill. With all the dry weather we’ve had while we’ve all been locked down the ground was dry (it’s usually a quagmire) but as there wasn’t a definite path the going across the rough ground was hard work.

Reaching the summit I stopped for a chat with a couple of other walkers (keeping 2 metres apart), one who lived very close to the house where I lived during my teenage years.

Long range visibility was poor

but there were good views over the moors

My next objective, along a more definite path, was Round Loaf, a prehistoric (Late Neolithic or Bronze Age) bowl barrow burial mound, which is a Scheduled Monument.

There’s a number of prehistoric relics in the area, including Pikestones, a collection of stones that used to be a Neolithic burial mound, which is only a short distance away.

Climbing to the top of the tumulus there were good views over the moors to Rivington Pike and Winter Hill

and, in the opposite direction, towards Great Hill.

I had a number of options of routes to follow but I decided to make my way back over the rough peat towards Lead Mine Clough,

where I crossed over the river and then cut across on the path heading east.

I walked a short distance along the track used by the local farmers towards the ruined farm known as “Sims”

and the took the path towards Rivington

Looking back.

I crossed the young River Yarrow

Looking back again.

The path took me across rough ground and then through a field of horses before I reached the road.

It was only a short distance to the start of the path I’d walked along earlier on the east side of the Yarrow Reservoir. I retraced my steps back towards Rivington, passing the dam where there were a few small well separated groups sun bathing.

I took the path back to Rivington village, past the Chapel and then across the fields back to my car completing a 9 mile circuit.

After being restricted to walking through woodland for the past couple of months it had been good to get up on some rougher, open country. I’ll definitely be back up on the moors again a few times over the next few weeks.

Great Hill in Winter

Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy at work and not had much opportunity to get out and about. The last two weekends have been awful with Storm Ciara and then Storm Dennis sweeping in bringing high winds and torrential rain. So plans have had to be postponed. However, a couple of weeks ago, before the storms, I did manage to get out for a walk up on the moors. I drove over to White Coppice, on the outskirts of Chorley, and set off towards the moors to climb up Great Hill.

It was a chilly, grey winter’s day and very wet and muddy underfoot. But it didn’t rain and some broke through from time to time. In any case, it’s always good to get out on the moors. They might be bleak, but I like bleak.

I passed the cricket pitch – no matches there for a while yet!

and then took the path along the Goyt towards Brinscall

On and up through Wheelton Plantations

until I emerged onto the moor

There’s a rough track across the moor, so I didn’t have to wade through mud towards the ruined farm at Drinkwater

Looking towards the summit of Great Hill from the ruins

A short climb and I reached the wind shelter on the summit where I stopped for a brew from my flask

I took the path down in the direction of Spittler’s Edge and then cut across the foot of the hill towards another ruined farm

No sheep up on the moor at this time of year. They’re all down in the fields.

I managed to take a few atmospheric shots with my phone.

I’ve never been to Howarth, but I reckon the Brontes’ “wild and windy moors” aren’t much different than up here.

Looking back towards the top of Great Hill as I descended down the very muddy path towards White Coppice, trying to avoid the worst of the slutch.

Looking over towards Anglezarke Moor

Reaching the bottom of the hill, I took a short diversion up the brook to look at the old mine workings

Rather than go straight back to my car I decided to add on a couple of miles or so to my walk by diverting through Black Coppice towards Anglezarke reservoir

There’s Waterman’s Cottage

Looking across the reservoir towards the cottage

I followed the road along the bottom of Healy Nab heading back towards my starting point. Looking back over towards the moors – the cloud was starting to clear.

The sun was out when I reached the village, it’s rays lighting up the stone of the old cottages

Back at the car I changed out of my muddy boots and trousers (fortunatelyI keep a spare pair in the boot of the car) and set off back towards Chorley and then onwards to home.

A good day on the moors.

A walk around Rivington

The August Bank Holiday weekend was forecast to be a scorcher so I was determined to get out to make the most of what was likely to be the best weather for some time. But it was a Bank Holiday and I certainly didn’t fancy sitting in a lengthy traffic jam on the motorway. I also didn’t want to miss seeing the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final which was taking place at Wembley on the Saturday (I wasn’t going down to London but wanted to watch the match on TV, even though our biggest rivals were playing). Any road, with a little thought and planning I managed to devise a couple of routes that would allow me to get out on the hills which avoiding these problems.

On the Saturday morning I was up reasonably early and was soon heading out to drive the short distance to Rivington where I parked up on the car park up near the school. I’d decided to head up to the top of the Pike and then work my way back down and follow a route along the Yarrow and Rivington reservoirs back to the car.

Despite having been up the Pike many, many times I managed to find a path up through the terraced gardens I hadn’t followed before.

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I reached the top of the Pike. There were a few other people up there, but it would get busy later on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend.

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Long range visibility wasn’t so great, but I had a view down to the reservoirs

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and, in the opposite direction, over to Winter Hill (the path over the peaty moor looked rather glutinous after all the recent rain – glad I hadn’t decided to walk over there today)

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and looking over Anglezarke Moor to Great Hill. On a good day I’d have been able to see as far as Pendle Hill and the Yorkshire Dales, but not today.

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After a short rest I set off back down the hill, walking past the Pigeon Tower, recently restored – and a good job the volunteers have done too.

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Looking down towards Yarrow Reservoir.

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I followed the old road down the hill. It was very rough to say the least.

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I walked past the Hall Barn and then cut across the fields to Rivington Village where I stopped for a brew and a bacon butty at the village cafe. Refuelled, I took the path from the village over towards Yarrow Reservoir which I circumnavigated.

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Looking across the reservoir towards Winter Hill and Rivington Pike

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Looking down to Anglezarke Reservoir

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I took the path down beside the “waterfall” (the over flow from Yarrow Reservoir)

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and then crossed the dam between the Anglezarke and Upper Rivington Reservoirs.

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I followed the path southwards along the west shore. Looking across I could see Rivington Pike

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Reaching the dam, I crossed over and then took the path along the east shore of Lower Rivington Reservoir, diverting half way along to take a couple of photos of the “Saxon Barn” (officially Great Hall Barn). As I’d expected, although I hadn’t seen too many people up to now on my walk, the car park and cafe at the barn were heaving. A lot of people drive over here, park up stop for a brew and then maybe take a short stroll. But most don’t stray too far from their cars.

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Back on the path, I eventually reached “Liverpool Castle” – a folly based on the original Liverpool Castle (which no longer exists) by Lord Leverhulme, the local lad “made good” (he founded Lever Brothers, now part of Unilever) who used to own the land round here and created the Terraced Gardens.

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It was a short walk back to the car park where I changed out of my boots and, after stopping to fill up the car on the way home, arrived back in good time to watch Saints get stuffed in the Challenge Cup Final – so a great day all round!

Anglezarke Circular

The beginning of the week after my rather damp (but enjoyable) break in Borrowdale, the weather changed becoming bright and sunny. Unfortunately I couldn’t take more days off work but I did manage to finish work early on the Tuesday so that I could get out for a walk. Despite the long days, I didn’t have time to drive up to the Lake District, so decided on a walk up on the West Lancashire Moors, starting from the pleasant hamlet of White Coppice near Chorley.

For a while now I’ve had it in mind to complete a circular walk around Anglezarke Moor and the long hours of daylight meant that was going to be possible.

After parking up my car I walked past the cricket pitch

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and then started the climb up towards Great Hill

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Looking back towards White Coppice, Chorley and the Lancashire plain.

At the top of the brew, the summit of Great Hill came into view

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A couple of locals were keeping an eye on me

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I walked past the ruined farm at Drinkwaters

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Looking across the moors to Winter Hill in the south with it’s TV and communication masts

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I soon reached the summit

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and stopped a while for a snack and to take in the views. It was a little hazy so the longer range views weren’t so good, but I over to the east I could see Darwen Tower and just about make out Pendle Hill

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and there were no problems seeing Winter Hill and Rivington Pike

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On good days it’s possible to see as far as the Lakes, the Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia and the Irish Sea, but not today.

I set off along the paved path across the peat covered moorland heading south to cross Redmond Edge and Spitler’s Edge. When I used to walk over these moors as a teenager, this would have meant crossing a quagmire, even after a relatively dry spell, but some time ago the “engineered” path was laid, making this a much drier experience.

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The cotton grass (“bog cotton”) was coming into bloom

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Heading towards Spittler’s Edge

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Crossing the Edge

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Just before the Belmont Road, I turned off and started to head in a westerly direction over Anglezarke Moor

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passing the ruined farm at Hempshaw’s

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I continued across the moor

Looking back towards Redmond’s and Spitler’s Edges

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and across to Winter Hill

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Eventually, I reached Lead Mine Clough

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climbed the hill and then took the path towards Jepson’s Gate

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A short walk along the quiet road to Manor farm

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and I took the path across the field and then down to Higher Bullough reservoir

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I then took the path southwards along the much larger Anglezarke Reservoir

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Crossing the road, I followed the path parallel to the Goyt (the watercourse that connects the Roddlesworth and Anglezarke reservoirs back towards White Coppice

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Plenty of evidence of the industrial activity that took place on these moors many years ago

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Arriving back at the cricket field

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I headed back to my car for the drive home.

A fine 12 mile walk, making the most of a fine afternoon.

A walk around the “little Lake District”

The weather over the last few weeks has been up and down – some days warm and sunny and then a return to winter. Last Friday came at the end of an unseasonably warm week. I was able to finish up work early and get out for a walk so I decided to drive the few miles over to Rivington and go for a wander around the reservoirs.

With its string of reservoirs and moorland hills, when I was young my mother would refer to Rivington as the “Little Lake District” and although the lakes are man-made and not as large as those in Cumbria, and the hills aren’t as high and rugged, it’s a fair point.

I parked up on the car park near Rivington High School and set off for a walk that would take me around the chain of reservoirs that stretch from Horwich over to the bottom of Healey Nab near Chorley, The route wasn’t as strenuous as my walk up on St Sunday Crag the week before, but it had plenty of interest.

I headed over to the replica of Liverpool Castle

A good view over to Rivington Pike

Following the path along the reservoir

with a short diversion to have a look at the Great Hall Barn

I crossed over the dam that divides the Lower and Upper Rivington reservoirs

and then took the path along the west shore of the lake. Unlike when I was here on a misty morning a few weeks ago, there was a good view over to Rivington Pike and Winter Hill

Carrying on along the quiet country lane

At the end of the Upper Rivington reservoir I crossed the road over the dam and took the path along the west shore of Anglezarke reservoir

The route veered away from the lakeside for a while, but not too far.

Looking over to Anglezarke Moor and Great Hill

Diverting from the reservoir for a while I took the path up towards Healey Nab, passing an old, flooded quarry

up through the woods

When I was a teenager we lived in at house at the bottom of the hill, on the other side, and this was my stomping ground. The trees were young then, but some 40 odd years later they’ve grown to the extent that they block the view over the town.

Heading back down towards Anglezarke, this used to be a favourite view in my youth (the photo doesn’t do it justice)

I passed the flooded quarry we knew as Bluewaters

and then made my way back to the shore of Anglezarke reservoir

I crossed over the dam to the east shore, walkng along a short stretch of road past Waterman’s cottage

and then took the path through the fields along the eastern shore

Part way along I cut across the path past High Bullogh reservoir (the smallest in the string of the man-made lakes it was the first to be created)

and climbed the hill emerging on the road opposite High Bullough farm

After a short walk along the road I reached Jepson’s Gate

and took the path through the fields and on to the moors

I passed the monument to the aircrew that died when a Halifax bomber crashed on the moors near here during WWII

and then descended down the hill to Lead Mine Clough

I followed the path down the valley to Allance Bridge, until I reached Yarrow reservoir. I then took the path through the fields on the the east side of the reservoir and then along the small river

eventually emerging at Rivington village. A small group of buildings, it’s a hamlet, really – but has two churches!

I cut across through Lever Park up to Rivington Hall Barn

I walked round the back of the barn and took the path through the woods

and after about another mile was back at the car park.

A good walk on a beautiful afternoon! And after a 20 minute drive I was back home. Time for a brew!