We were back in Lancashire Hill country for a 8 mile walk around Dean Clough Reservoir.
Starting from a lay-by at grid ref SD716323 we followed a footpath signposted York Road which led us down to Dean Clough Reservoir. We were only a few miles from the motorway and the urban sprawl but we had views of the distant Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland.
We joined the bridleway which we followed to the end of the reservoir. We did not cross the dam but followed a track heading northeast across some marshy ground towards Sunny Bank. We met a track ascending from a white cottage and climbed up through woodland to a road junction at Moor Lane where we turned right. Just before a T –junction we climbed a ladder stile and headed across fields aiming for a stile by a stock pen. A metalled bridleway seemed to be leading to a beautiful house but this was avoided by following the yellow signs which led us through trees and down a steep bank with the town of Whalley ahead of us. We turned right to pass the cottages of Whalley Banks before taking a path down to the River Calder. After crossing the brook by a slab bridge we climbed up to an information board and a seat. It seemed an ideal place to stop for lunch. We had just sat down when it started to rain again.
Suitably refreshed we set off along a path through Bowley Scout Camp. In the field was a huge unoccupied tent. We ought to have taken advantage of this shelter to have had a dry lunch. We crossed Deans Bridge and followed an enclosed lane uphill to a stile on our left. Passing through this we climbed towards another stile on the skyline which brought us to Shawcliff Lane. A few hundred yards down this lane and we were back at the white cottage where we could retrace our outward steps. At the dam we turned left to walk along the top of the embankment and skirt the edge of the woodland back to the car. This was by far the wettest section of the walk. Had we known how bad it was we would have kept to the bridleway along the other side of the reservoir.
On our return journey we got caught in a violent storm on the M65, thunder and lightening with torrential rain. We crept along at 25 mph but a few miles later on the M6 the roads were dry. What is happening to our British weather?
It had only been a short walk so we were back in Crosby by 4.30 with time for a beautiful pint of Ruddles while we reviewed the day.