A hot day at Ulverston.

On Sunday I was out with my local Rambling Club when we visited Ulverston. We were in the middle of a heatwave and at 10.30 am the temperature was 26 degrees and predicted to get much warmer. I decided to take it easy and do the C walk. A steady 7 miles walked at a sensible pace with plenty of rest stops.

The John Barrow Monument.

We walked through part of Ulverston to Ford Park and then followed a path leading up to Hoad Hill. On the summit of Hoad Hill there is a monument to John barrow who was an explorer and naval officer who had links to Napoleon. He was born in Ulverston.

We did not go to the top of the hill but we could still enjoy the views over the estuary and across Morcambe Bay.

We now descended along field paths to Newlands bottom and on to Broughton Back. We managed to find some shade in Stones Wood where we paused for lunch. There had been a lot of stiles along the way.

From here we picked up the Cumbria Way which we followed back to Ulverston. The path went via several farms and across fields but was not as well way-marked as I had expected.

We had taken it east and were back in Ulverston by 4.15 pm with plenty of time to enjoy some liquid refreshment. A couple of pints of Wainwrights Bitter at The Mill went down very well. I was thirsty.

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Bamford with CRC

Last weekend I was out walking with my local rambling club when we visited Bamford in the Peak District. I did the C walk, an easy stroll along footpaths and quiet roads.

After the recent spell of very hot and dry weather we were told to expect a bit of rain. Maybe the odd shower !

We left Bamford and followed a lovely footpath along Bamford Clough to reach a lane that shirted Bole Hill. It started to rain, time to put on our waterproofs.

We were keeping up a steady pace but had time to pause and admire the view over the Hope Valley.

We walked round Dennis Knoll where we met some interesting characters.

We now headed south towards Thorpe Farm. The rain was pouring down and we were all getting soaked.

The final stretch was across the golf course and we were so glad to reach the Anglers Rest where we could begin to dry off.

Jean and Lin had led the wa;lk and despite the terrible conditions we had enjoyed the day.

A steady 6.6 miles.

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Orrell Water Park and Billinge Hill

My walk this week was to Billinge Hill which at 587 feet is the highest point in Merseyside.

We started out walk from Orrell Water Park where there were two small lakes and a recreation area. We headed south towards Longshaw . We passed a bird feeding area where some feeders had been hung. They were very popular with lots of Coal Tits, Blue Tits and Long Tailed Tits.

Some of the paths were very overgrown and I think a machete would have been more use than a walking pole.

We then started to climb up through woodland towards Billinge Hill known locally as Billinge Lump.

The Beacon on the summit of Billinge Lump.

We enjoyed our lunch sitting by the beacon and admiring the views. Although visibility was not good we could just about make out the docks at Seaforth and the Cathedrals in Liverpool.

Admiring the view.

After lunch we followed paths to Mountain Farm, Higher Pimbo and back to the water park with plenty of time for tea at the cafe.

It was an easy walk with plenty of wild flowers to see along the way.

Purple Loosestrife and Crimson Clover.
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Loggerheads, mid week walk.

Gwyneth led the mid week walk at Loggerheads. Starting from the visitors centre we crossed the footbridge and then followed the Leete Path towards Devil’s Gorge with the River Alyn on our left.

The Leete Path.

Devil’s gorge.

After a couple of miles of easy walking we left the path and headed into the village of Cilcain.


After a short but very steep section of road walking we followed a path that led us round the lower contours of Ffrith Mountain. After a couple of tricky downhill sections we were back on the Leete Path getting back to the visitors centre just before the cafe closed.

A nice cup of tea finished off a very enjoyable walk.

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Bakewell, a Sunday ramble

Last Sunday I visited Bakewell with my local Rambling Club. I did the B walk which promised to be a steady 9 miles.

We had one amusing moment on our journey there. At some roadworks there was a sign .

Cat’s eyes removed. A few yards further on was another sign – The Mice are pleased !!!

The Lock Bridge.

At the start of our walk we crossed The Lock Bridge over the River Wye. Better known as “The Love Lock Bridge it is adorned with hundreds of padlocks or Love Locks.

We now had a steep climb up through the woods heading towards Carlton Pastures before being able to stride out across the golf course.

We also had time to pause and admire the view.

We descended towards Haddon Park and then followed a [path alongside The River Wye. The undergrowth was so dense that we could hardly see the river even though it was only a few yards away.

We then followed field paths and were surprised to see a light aircraft parked in one of the fields.

We crossed more field where the crop was almost waist high.

We reached a farm and a field full of sheep. It was very noisy. Baa, Baa. all the sheep and lambs seemed to be bleating. Apparently earlier that morning the ewes had been sheared and just let back out into the field. They were trying to locate their lambs. The lambs did not recognize their mothers after the haircut !

We were back in Bakewell in plenty of time for a pint or to do some shopping. The Bakewell Tart seemed to be popular, or maybe the Bakewell Pudding. Which is best. Why not try both.

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Cuerdon Valley and the River Lostock.

Gordon and I led the mid-week walk at Cuerdon Valley near Chorley.

We parked at the visitors centre and walked down to the picnic area. We then made a slight diversion to visit a large pond which is home to a wide range of birds. We enjoyed watching the geese and their young.

Returning to the main path we headed south on a good path alongside the River Lostock. There were lots of wild flowers and I saw a solitary Common Spotted Orchid.

Common Spotted Orchid.

We crossed a road and then continued on passing several ponds before reaching Whittle-le-Woods. Here we were able to enjoy a leisurely lunch sitting on benches round the cricket pitch. We then headed for Dawson Lane before changing direction and heading back to rejoin out outward route.Our walk had one “sting in the tail” A short but steep climb to avoid any road walking. When Gordon and I did the recce last month it was easy, but just a few days ago the farmer had cut the hay in the field. We had to lift our legs up high to avoid tripping.

It was a fairly easy walk of just over 6 miles. Although the area is surrounded on three sides by motorways we still had the impression of being out in the countryside.

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The Roaches with Crosby Rambling Club.

Last weekend I was out walking with Crosby Rambling Club when we visited The Roaches. The gritstone edge of The Roaches forms the western boundary of the Peak District overlooking the Staffordshire and Cheshire plains.

The name ‘Roaches’ is probably derived from the French ‘Roche’, meaning rock and the area is noted for its weird rock formations sculptures over the centuries by the wind and rain.

I chose the ‘B’ walk, a steady 8.5 miles starting from the visitors centre at Tittesworth Reservoir.

We walked across fields heading towards Windygates and the coll between The Roaches and Hen Cloud.

Crossing a minor road we began our climb up towards the ridge along a good path.

We now had a beautiful three mile walk along the ridge where we could admire some of the stunning rock formations and look down on the reservoir where we began our walk.

We passed the mysterious Doxey Pool before reaching the trig point at 1658 feet.

We then began our steady descent towards Roach End.

It had been most enjoyable walking in the sunshine, even more so as this was the first time that I had done this walk when it had not been pouring with rain.

After our lunch stop we headed for Clough Head and on the Turners Pool. Field paths and farm tracks brought us back to Meerbrook and the Lazy Trout Pub where I could enjoy a well deserved pint before our journey home.

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My walk this week was at Marshside just to the north of Southport.

Botanical Gardens.

We started our walk at Southport Botanical Gardens and after walking through the gardens we followed a path through woodland and quiet roads to reach the Marshside Nature Reserve. From here we followed the Sefton Coastal Footpath enjoying the views across the salt marsh and trying to identify some of the birds.

Sefton Coastal Footpath

We reached a road and a sign informed that we were now crossing the border into west Lancashire. After a few hundred yards we reached the entrance to the Ribble Estuary Nature Reserve. Nearby was the Criffel Boulder. The boulder was unearthed when the pumping station was being built. It is made of Criffel Granite and is normally found in Dumfries, Scotland. It is believed that this boulder was carried down on a glacier during the last ice age. 18000 years ago.

We walked along a high embankment giving us excellent views across the estuary.

There were lots of wild flowers. Some of them that I was unfamiliar with such as this Bush Vetch.

Bush Vetch.

After a just over a mile we turned right to follow a path between fields to reach another path which led us back to the Criffel Boulder.

It was then only a few hundred yards into Crossens where we caught the bus back to the Botanical gardens where we had parked our car.

Approximately 5.5 miles but with plenty to see.

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Along the Mersey way.

My mid-week walk started from the village of Hale. The village is famous for being the birthplace of John Middleton, better known as the Childe of Hale.

The Childe of Hale.

John Middleton was born in 1576 and grew to a height of Nine feet three inches. He was a servant and bodyguard of Sir Gilbert Ireland. When King James I heard about the giant of Hale Village he invited both men to attend court where John was presented to the king. A wrestling match was arranged between John and the King’s champion which John won dislocating his opponents thumb.

The King presented John with a payment of £20 which was a huge fortune in those days. Unfortunately during John Middleton’s journey home he was robbed of his winnings.

A statue of The Childe of Hale stands in the village . He died in 1623 and his grave lies in the nearby churchyard. It bears the inscription ‘Here lyeth the bodie of John Middleton the Childe nine feet three. Borne 1578 Dyede 1623.

Leaving the village we walked along Within Way towards the banks of the River Mersey. In the 15th century this was the site of Hale Ford and the crossing was used by troops during the Civil War. The crossing was theoretically possible until the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1887 which changed the outline of the shore on the Runcorn side. We could appreciate the views across the field with the Runcorn Bridge in the distance.

We followed a good path along the Mersey Way to reach the lighthouse at Hale Head.

We followed the Mersey Way until we reached the perimeter fence of Liverpool Airport, a great place for plane spotting. From here we walked along the access road and then had more road walking back to Hale Village. It was still interesting to see the thatched cottages along the way.

A steady six miles and we were rewarded with refreshments at the Childe of Hale pub in the village.

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A stroll to Stoodley Pike.

Stoodley Pike.

Last weekend I visited Hebden Bridge with my local Rambling Club when we walked up to Stoodley Pike taking in a short stretch of the Pennine Way.

Stoodley Pike stands 121 foot high and it dominates the skyline above Todmorden sitting on the summit of Stoodley Pike 1300 ft.

The monument was designed by a local architect, James Green in 1854 and was completed in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War. The monument replaced an earlier structure which was built in 1815 to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. This collapsed in 1854 following a lightening strike and years of weathering.

We started out walk in Hebden Bridge and immediately began a stiff climb through woodland,

A stiff climb.

It was then fairly easy walking as we followed field paths and good tracks to approach the Pike from the east.

Heading for Stoodley Pike.
Stoodley Pike Monument.

I have visited here several times but today was the first time when it was not raining. Visibility was marvelous and we had plenty of sunshine although it was very windy.We left the monument and headed South along the Pennine way towards Withens Gate.

Along the Pennine Way
Withens Gate.

We now dropped down steeply on a paved path to reach the outskirts of Mankinholes where we saw some interesting statues.

The start of the descent.kin

We now walked along a track known as the London Road which followed the contours of Stoodley Pike before heading back to Hebden Bridge with plenty of time to enjoy a pint of bitter.

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