The weather forecast promised a brief spell of dry weather and maybe even some sunshine before another low swept in from the Atlantic. We took the opportunity to fit in a short walk on the Lancashire Moors.
Our starting point was the beautiful village of West Bradford situated just a few miles north of Clitheroe. We parked by the side of Bradford bridge which spans the River Ribble and walked back up through the village. Our route then led us across fields generally heading north to reach Moor Lane. Looking back with could see the cloud capped Pendle Hill standing out above the cement works.
Beyond the barn Moor Lane changes to a green track and some we began the steady climb onto the moor. It was easy walking although a little damp underfoot and we were soon onto Bradford Fell. The track swung to the right and we headed towards Grindleton Forest. It was now slightly more than damp and we had trouble trying to find solid ground.
At the edge of the forest we reached the highest point on our walk 1066 ft /325m. We stopped here to admire the view and to eat our lunch in the shelter of an old dry stone wall. Growing on the wall were some beautiful lichen. They had pale green cup shaped stalks and bright red fruiting bodies. I tried to take some photos but the red bits were only about 3mm in diameter. I wish I had got a macro lens with me.
We now headed back towards West Bradford over waterlogged fields. Our walk description was not very clear and some of the gates we came to only had signs on one side. Unfortunately not the side facing us.
Our walk was only going to be about 6 miles and we were looking to extend it slightly. We plotted a route heading east towards Grindleton. We would reach Green Lane, head south and our final stretch would be the riverside path along the Ribble. The only possible obstacle in our way would be West Clough Brook. When we reached it we had to descend a steep ravine using some wooden steps that were covered in rotting leaves. It was very slippery and we had to be careful. At the bottom we had to “step across the tiny brook”.However today it was a raging torrent 20 ft wide and two feet deep. The ‘stepping stones’ were well under water and the bank had been washed away. There was no way we could get across with dry feet and if we had fallen in it could have been difficult to regain our footing. The only option was to retreat. We reached the outskirts of the village at three o’clock and considered doing part of the riverside walk. However it would be dark in another hour so it was back to the car. Best save it for another day.
We only did just over 8 miles but it seemed more like 12.
Back home we called in at the Nag’s Head. We had all stiffened up on the journey home and hobbled into the pub like four old men (not far from the truth). Half an hour later after a pint of Ruddles we had all made a miraculous recovery.
Another adventure with Les.