The Saturday after my trip to Coniston, summer was coming to an end and while the weather looked promising I decided to get out for a walk. After my experience on the M6 the previous week I wasn’t in the mood for a long drive, so decided to head off to Rivington and get up on the moors. It looked like it would be a fine day – a little chilly and, as I found out, fairly windy high up, but conditions were otherwise good.
When I arrived at Rivington around 10 am I was surprised how busy it was. All the parking spaces along the drive up to the Hall were taken. I subsequently discovered that there were a couple of outdoor events taking place – a run and also a schools or youth event. However, there were spaces on the car park near the Hall Barn so I parked up, booted up and set off for my walk. I’d decided to start by climbing the Pike and then see how it went.
I took the less frequented route through the woods along the bottom of the Pike, climbing up to the top of the Ornamental gardens via “the Ravine”.
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 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!
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
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.
Reaching the Pigeon Tower
I made my way down through the Terraced Gardens back to my car.
The mini “early Summer” was coming to an end – cooler and wetter weather was forecast to arrive. So, before this came to pass I decided I’d get out for another walk, this time closer to home on the West Pennine Moors.
I drove over to Rivington and parked up between the barns, booted up and set off to climb up the Pike. Some work was taking place in the Terraced Gardens which had resulted in some of the paths being closed so I decided to climb up the old road to the north of the Pike
emerging near the Pigeon Tower
Rather than turning right towards the summit I turned left and set off down the old Belmont Road
and then took the path up to the top of Noon Hill
where I stopped for a while to take in the familiar views
The peat seemed to be dry after the good weather the previous week so I decided I’d head up to Winter Hill. The path over the moor up to the top is notoriously boggy but I thought I’d take a chance!
and it was dry at first but I soon hit a fairly lengthy boggy section so a little bog hopping was required, but I soldiered on and eventually hit dry ground again.
Long range visibility wasn’t great, so the Lakeland Mountains, Pendle Hill and the Three Peaks were hidden in the haze, but there were good views down to Belmont and the morrs beyond
Reading up about the murder I was surprised to discover that at the time Winter Hill wasn’t as bleak and lonely as I’d have expected. There were a number of mines up on the moor (there remains evidence of some of them if you look hard enough), a brick and tile works, an ale house and even some houses. There was what was probably a well trodden route between Smithhills near Bolton to Belmont and on towards Blackburn. George Henderson wasn’t lost, as might have been supposed, but was on his way to Belmont having enjoyed a pint or two at the alehouse on the moor. There were several people around on the moor that day who were able to act as witnesses at the trial of his murderer.
I carried on along the road past the TV transmitter
and then joined the path over the peat towards the minor summit of Two Lads
I’m curious about the name of this summit. Did it originate because of the two cairns standing there or are the cairns a reflection of the name? One story is that two young men froze to death up there, but who they were, and when it happened are lost in the mist of time, if, indeed, it happened at all.
I set off down the path over the moor to Pike Cottage
where there’s a small cafe. Time for a brew and a snack!
Refreshed I carried on along the track towards the Pike.
I decided against climbing tot he summit but carried on along the track and then descended down the steep path at the edge of the Terraced Gardens by the Ravine, which I’d first “discovered” during a walk at the beginning of the year
The Ravine is an “enhanced” natural feature, created by the landscape designer, Thomas Mawson, who was responsible for the design of the Terraced gardens. It had fallen badly into disrepair, but had been restored during the major renovation of the gardens in recent years.
From the bottom of the Ravine it was easy going back along the gentle paths through the woods to the car.
You have to make the most of any good weather during the winter months and last week, Tuesday promised to be a fine, if cold day, so I decided to get out for a walk on the moors. I had considered travelling further afield but the hours of daylight are short in January and I wasn’t up early enough to travel up to the Lakes or Dales.
I drove over to Rivington and parked up near the barns. I hadn’t decided on an exact route, but had in mind several options, taking into account how bad it was underfoot. The moors are notoriously boggy after wet weather and we’d had plenty of that recently. But it had been cold with a hard frost for a couple of nights and I had hopes that would reduce the risk of sinking into the mire, which is how it largely, at least, worked out.
I’d decided to start by climbing up to the top of the Pike through the Terraced Gardens, knowing that would be dry underfoot on the paved paths.
I branched off the main haul, which was quite busy, opting to follow a path I’d never been down before, which led tot he South Lodge
Carrying on I reached the rather stunning Ravine. I know these slopes pretty well after many years of wandering through the gardens, but I’d never seen it before. Looking at the information board I could see that it was an “enhanced” natural feature, part of the original design by Mawson, that had fallen badly into disrepair, but had been restored during the major renovation of the gardens in recent years. The restoration team had certainly done an excellent job.
I crossed the ravine part way up and snapped photographs looking up
I carreied on and climbed the hill up to the Japenese gardens with its lake, that acts as a reservoir feeding the waters of the ravine.
I carried on and took the old road, walking round the top of the Pike
and climbed up to the summit from the south – an unusual route for me.
On a sunny, if cold day, there were quite a few people on the summit. I stopped for a while for a brew and a bite to eat taking in the views. Long range visibility wasn’t so good but there were good views over the moors towards Winter Hill
and towards Noon Hill and Anglezarke.
The moors looked tempting but in winter tend to be something of a morass of wet, boggy peat. However, it was cold and the ground was partially frozen, especially on northern facing slopes shaded from the sun, which gave some support and minimised the risk of sinking too deep into the bog, so I chanced it, taking the path over the moor towards Noon Hill.
As I expected, there were some significant stretches of bog but with them partially frozen, my boots didn’t get too wet and muddy.
I stopped for a while sitting on a convenient rock to drink a hot coffee from my flask and admire the views over the moors.
I took the path down to the old Belmont road and walked a short distance along the rough track back towards the Pike before descending down a steep path towards the new road.
The road is a favourite run for motorcyclists, particularly at weekends when they zoom along at speeds well above the legal limit, but on this ocassion ti was quiet with very little traffic. I walked a short distance along the road before taking the path across the moor and headed towards the ruined farm known as Old Rachels.
After a brief rest I carried on westwards turning off down another path across the peat towards Simms, where there’s the remains of another two farms.
From there I joined the track towards Lead Mine Clough
Then down the valley besides the river and then on to Yarrow Reservoir.
along the reservoir and descended beside the overflow down to Anglezarke Reservoir. I crossed the dam and then took the track along Higher Rivington Reservoir then made my way to Rivington Village. It’s a small collection of dwellings with a couple of churches, and more of a hamlet really, but quite attractive
I finished off my coffee sitting in the sunshine in the Congrational Church graveyard. It was then only a short distance back to the car.
It had been a grand walk on a sunny winter’s day, and I’d explored a few paths I’ve never been down before despite my long aquaintance with these moors. The weather turned the next day and since then it’s been mainly wet, grey and miserable. But the sun pops out now and again and I’ll be off out again, work permitting – you’ve gt to make the most of it in the winter.
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
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
and was treated to the sight of a large flock of lapwings flying overhead.
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
and then set off again across the peat towards Hurst Hill.
After enjoying the views for a while I headed down the path towards Moor Road.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 29th March was the start of the easing off of the latest lockdown. Outdoor activity was, to a limited extent, now allowed. “Stay at home” no longer required although “travel should be minimised”.
During the lockdown I’ve been following the rules and restricted walking to routes from the front door, but I’ve been itching to get back out into wilder country and, with a mini-heatwave forecast, on Tuesday I was up early and driving the few miles over to Rivington for a long awaited wander over the West Pennine Moors. Of course, plenty of other people had the same idea, but I was hoping by choosing my route I’d be able to avoid he crowds. I wasn’t completely succesful, though.
I parked up near the Hall barn and then set off to climb up through the terraced gardens. I’d gone about half a mile when I realised I’d left a bottle of water in the car. I had a couple of litres in my bladder ( the one in my rucksack, that is) but on a hot day I didn’t want to run out, so back to the car to collect the bottle.
I reached the track which ascends the side of the hill and at the 7 arch bridge I climbed up the steps
reaching the Italian gardens where I could see my first objective – the Pigeon Tower
Climbing up I stopped to take in the view over the moors
before setting off down the old Belmont Road. A few others had the same idea but I only encountered about half a dozen people along this stretch of the walk. Most visitors to Rivi were heading in the other direction towards the tower on the summit of the hill.
Looking across to moors I could make out Spitler’s Edge and Great Hill.
On a fine day, it’s a good viewpoint too. There’s the masts on the top of Winter Hill
the summit of Rivington Pike
and good views over the moors to the north
I cut down back to the old Belmont Road and after a short while reached the modern road.
I walked along a short stretch of tarmac, taking care to avoid being hit by the idiots on their motorbikes and a sporty BMW (this is a favourite route for motorists and bikers who think they’re motor racing stars) until I reached the start of the path which would take me over to Great Hill.
I passed a muddy puddle that’s the source of the River Yarrow
and set off up the flagged path.
This route is over peat morrland and is notoriously boggy. But the flagged path makes it passable and it’s a popular walk, and on a sunny day I passed quite a few people coming the other way – possibly including a certain fellow blogger.
There’s several points on the route where flags haven’t been laid , or have sunk into the bog.
It’s a very plaeant walk along Spitler and Redmond’s Edges, with good views across the wild moorland. There was a distant hum from the M61 over tot he west, but the main sound was the song of the numerous skylarks as they climbed up into the clear blue sky.
I reached the stile at the bottom of the summit of Great Hill
and was soon on top.There were a few people sheltering fromt the wind in the shelter, but I managed to bag a seat and grabbed a bite to eat while I took ing the views.
Refreshed, I set off down the hill. I soon reached the ruined farm at Drinkwaters.
This is a popular spot to stop, have a bite to eat and take in the view, and a couple of groups of walkers were doing just that. But the old farm was looking a little more dilapidated than normal (I’ve been coming up here since I was a young teenager). Turns out that United Utilities – the company that owns the moors up here since our water was privatised – were responsible. They’d had some work taking place to create a truning space for emergency vehicles in case of a fire up on the moor and the contractors, either delibrately or accidentaly, demolished a section of wall. This has provoked outrage amongst the walking fraternity. United Utilities explanation is that it asn’t part of the contractor’s remit but as they deemed the wall “unsafe” they decided to knock it down. Not sure I believe them to be honest. They claim that they will have the wall rebuilt – so look out for pink pigs flying over the moor. (News reports here and here)
I carried on down the track reaching the Rambler’s signpost
There were quite a few people coming up the path from Chorley.
I decided on a diversion and turned north along the track across Wheelton Moor
There’s several old shooting butts along this track, reminders of when this was the grouse shooting domain of wealthy landowners. At one time, not that long ago, I wouldn’t have been allowed up here
I turned off the track and took the path down towards Wheelton Plantation
past a ruined farm and a small quarry
and entered the woods.
I walked down through the woods until, at the bottom of the hill, I reached the Goyt, the water course that links the Roddlesworth and Anglezarke Reservoirs. The path was busy with walkers, cyclists and families enjoying the fine day, with one large group of older walkers inconsideratly walking slowly and blocking the path.
It didn’t take long to reach White Coppice where I stopped and rested on one of the benches overlooking the cricket pitch.
The village is something of a honey pot so it was busy with groups of picknickers.
After my short break I carried on, taking the path along the Goyt towards Anglezarke reservoir,
where I took the path along the east side of the man-made lake.
I turned off and climbed up the slope past High Bullough Reservoir. Although the smallest of the chain of reservoirs in the valley, it was the first to be constructed in 1850 to serve the nearby town of Chorley (where I grew up). Today it’s no longer used and there was little water to be seen between the dams
A short walk along the tarmaced road and I reached Jepson’s Gate leading me back on to the fringes of the moor.
I decided to visit the memorial to the Wellington Bomber that crashed near here during the war
where there’s a great view over to Winter Hill and Rivington Pike.
I had intended to take the path through the fields down to Parson’s Bullough and Allance Bridge but I could see the path was a bit of a quagmire in places, so decided instead to walk down into Lead MIne Clough. The river here is another honey pot and there were several family groups picnicking and getting their feet wet in the cool water on what had become a very hot afternoon.
Reaching Allance Bridge I looked over the ramparts at the the River Yarrow as it entered the reservoir – no longer a muddly puddle!
A short walk up the road and I crossed the stile and took the path through the fields to the east of the Yarrow Resevoir
I carried on along the path through the woods beside the small stream and then up through the fields
emerging at Rivington village, across from the old Unitarian Chapel
It wasn’t far back to the car now, through the meadow and passing the “host of daffodils” (even if I wasn’t on the banks of Ullswater).
We’ve had a spate of pretty decent weather during September so trying to take advantage of it I took an afternoon off work last week and drove over to Rivington. I fancied a relatively easy, low level walk to wind down from work, so decided that a circumnavigation of Lower Rivington, Anglezarke and Yarrow reservoirs would do the job. I ended up extending it a little and did manage a bit of a climb and a short section on the edge of the moors.
I parked up but kept away from the crowds that cluster around the Saxon barn cutting across the fields over to Rivington village, where there was an attractive display of wild flowers on the green.
I then walked down to the dam that separates the two Rivington reservoirs, crossing it and taking the metalled path on the west side of the lake.
It was bright and sunny as I strolled down the leafy lane.
I reached the next dam which separates the Lower Rivington and Anglezarke reservoirs and, after waiting for a small group of elderly walkers climb over the other side of the stile I took my turn, and then followed the path along the shore.
Initially the path took me through fields then half a mile or so on a minor road before a turning down a farm lane and returning to walking past fields with views over to the moors.
Approaching Healy Nab the path took me through shady woodland
and then back past fields of sheep.
At the end of the track I reached the minor road from Heapy to Anglezarke, just opposite this old farmhouse. The date above the door was 1696 – but I reckon it’s been extended and modernised since them!
I decided to extend the walk a little by diverting down the narrow hedge lined lane to White Coppice, a familiar route from my teenage years when I used to walk from our home on the other side of the Nab over to Great Hill.
I soon reached the pleasant hamlet
resting on a bench facing the cricket field for a drink and a snack. It looked like there hadn’t been a match on the field for some time – no doubt due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Setting off again I took the path along the Goyt towards Anglezarke reservoir. Although it had been sunny up until now, cloud were blowing in from the east – not the usual direction as the prevailing wind is from the west.
Reaching the small Upper Bullough reservoir (this was the first reservoir to be constructed around here) I cut up on the path up the hill
emerging opposite manor farm – another old farmhouse that has undergone substantial extension and modifications.
I walked along the road for about half a mile until I reached Jepson’s Gate
and followed the path towards the moors
However, today I turned right to take the path through the fields down to Yarrow reservoir, which had been occupied by cattle with their calves and a few young bulls the last time I was walking up here.
Great views towards the moors
Winter Hill and Rivington Pike over the fields
The path descended close to Allance bridge.
I decided to take the path through the fields to the east of Yarrow reservoir and then back to my car via Rivington village.
Another good walk in familiar territory only a few miles from home.