View towards Pendle Hill.
At last, a day of sunshine. We had postponed our walk for a couple of days to let Storm Imogen pass over the UK. This winter, for the first time, the Met Office has begun naming the storms. Is it my imagination or have their been more storms this year or are we just noticing them more because they have been given names? Also. why are the ‘Girl ‘storms worse than the ‘Boy’ storms?
Anyway, we set out from Clitheroe in Lancashire to do a circular walk that would take in the Ribble and the Hodder valleys.
We left Clitheroe heading west to cross the Edisford Bridge. Another hundred yards on tarmac and then we could climb a stile to follow field paths across the flat countryside.
It was very muddy and there was still some standing water in the fields. Our route description was not very precise and I suspect it was written several years ago. Looking for a stile in a field corner was one example. We found the isolated and totally redundant stile but the field boundary and wall were long gone.
We joined a minor road and followed it down to the Hodder Bridge. The nearby Hodder Court had an old VR post-box set in its wall. Well over 100 years old you don’t see many of them left nowadays.
After crossing the bridge we immediately turned left through a stile to enter woodland with the River Hodder below us to our left. This was a delightful path, well maintained and climbing up and down crossing several footbridges.
At the top of one short climb we came upon a stone cross that is a memorial to someone who drowned in the river. The plaque is missing so I have no idea as to who the person was but he/she must have been someone important.
Descending down to the river bank we found a nice sheltered spot to pause for lunch. We enjoyed watching a bird which I think was a Grey Wagtail flitting amongst the rocks on the waters edge.
We left the river bank and crossed Lower Hodder Bridge. To our right we could see the ruined ‘ Cromwell Bridge’. Time for a little diversion.
Oliver Cromwell was reputed to have crossed this bridge with his army during the Civil War ( 1642 – 1651 )
We followed the road into the village of Great Mitton where we saw a beautiful display of snowdrops in the grass verge.
There was a classic view of Pendle Hill from the bridge across the river.
After passing the pub we turned left to follow the field paths to the bank of the River Ribble. We followed the river bank upstream to pass a weir and a wire rope transporter. When the river looped off to the left we carried on along a lane to re-join the river upstream. We were now on the Ribble Way long distance footpath and we walked along this back to Edisford Bridge. It was then just a short stroll back to our car.
Only 10 miles and almost no climbing but it had been hard going in the mud.
We were back home with plenty of time for a pint of ‘Ruddles’ on the ‘Nags Head’. We had earned it !!!.