At the weekend I was out walking with Crosby Rambling Club. It was our Christmas walk and right from the start some of the ladies were in party mood. It was the silly hat season.
I joined the ‘A’ party led by David on an energetic circuit taking us onto Longridge Fell.
We left Hurst Green and headed North West following Dean Brook. It was very muddy and we had to watch our step.
We continued uphill to emerge from the woods and then followed a succession of field paths. Yet more mud and other obstacles.
We has a short section of road walking but had to slow down and heed the ‘Warning Sign’ carefully keeping our eyes on the ground.
Photo by Roger Tolley.
After climbing yet another stile we were on open fell and heading towards the conifer plantation.
Reaching a dry stone wall we climbed over the wall stile to take in the views of Bowland. The view stretches from Morecambe Bay to the Three Peaks although we could not see much today as it was quite dull.
We turned east to head for the trig point at the summit of Longridge Fell. It was hard going and very muddy.
After a short break we turned south to descend through the trees to emerge onto a road near Chilsey Green farm. Turning left we had a couple of hundred yards of road walking before heading across fields to Fell Side Farm and then downhill towards a wooded gully. I don’t think this path, if you could call it that, had been walked for months except by cows who had made deep imprints with their hooves. We were almost glad to join a road for a bit of mud free walking. We reached the gateposts of Stonyhurst College and followed the path to cross in front of the college.
Stonyhurst College and the surrounding area has strong associations with JRR Tolkien. Tolkien’s son studied at the college and Tolkien stayed in the area whilst he was writing Lord of the Rings. A couple of bird statues reminded me of the ‘Liver Birds’ but a close up revealed that they were quite different.
We now headed south to meet the River Ribble and follow the Ribble Way back towards Hurst Green.
We were almost back when we caught up with some of the ‘C’ party. It had been a hard walk but they were still smiling.
After a quick change we were off to the Shireburn Arms for a glass of the local Bowland Ale. It was then back on the coach and a short journey to the nearby Newdrop In where we had our Christmas meal.
I chose Chicken Liver pate and Roast Duck for my main course, followed up with a generous helping of Christmas Pudding. Of course I had to accompany this with a nice glass of wine. A bottle of Monte Real Rioja Grand Reserve seemed to do the trick.
Back on the coach after an excellent meal some of the ladies tried to start some carol singing but by the time we reached the motorway all was quiet except for the sound of gentle snoring.
1449 ft of ascent
Time 5 hours.
A wonderful day.