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Ski Club of Manchester, Late Summer Walks In Lancashire 12th and 13th September 2015

Walk: Leader David Miller
Reporter: Helen Richardson

This year’s late summer walks took us to two of Pendle area's three peaks: Pendle Hill and Boulsworth Hill (OS Map: OL21 South Pennines, 1:25,000).

Saturday’s walk was almost a ‘figure of eight’, centred on Barley, and taking in Black Moss Reservoirs to the north-east and Pendle Hill to the west.

A few minutes after 10 o’clock, eleven walkers, accompanied by two dogs, Dolly and Peddar, set off from the car park at the picnic site in Barley, where with full confidence in the BBC weather forecast, we anticipated a dry day. We first headed along the bridleway at the side of the small river Pendle Water to the hamlet of White Hough. Here we turned north east and climbed up through fields, where we were taken by surprise to see a fine black horse silhouetted against the sky, - as one walker commented, “like a scene out of Narnia”. We soon reached Hollin Top, where we had fine views over to Blacko with its hilltop tower. Quiet lanes north and then west took us to the access lane running southwest alongside the Upper and Lower Black Moss reservoirs. This lane also took us past Aitken Wood, a steep hillside which leads to a Sculpture Trail. Though doubtless worth a visit, this will have to wait for another time. It was around here that our faith in the weather forecast had its first test with a passing shower.... (but, was better or worse to follow?)

We arrived back in Barley at the other end of the village from the car park, and crossing the road, began our gentle ascent of Pendle Hill, following an unnamed stream up through farm land to Pendle House. Here the gradient and weather took a turn for the worse and we slogged up the steep but well pitched path in heavy rain. Re-grouping at the top of the gradient, in what may best be described as a ‘grey-out’, we could only imagine the elusive ‘weather permitting’ views! Maybe the misty weather was in keeping with the tragic history of the Pendle Witches of 1612, and legends around this, - though fortunately, during our walk, none was in evidence, other than onwaymark signs! After crossing the summit plateau to the trig point at 557m, we headed onward in a south-westerly direction to pick up a York-stone flagged path across Barley Moor in driving rain. The descent took us into Ogden Clough, where we took advantage of a bit of shelter from the elements and had a hasty lunch in the lee of the clough bank overlooking the stream. After lunch, the weather improved and the sun peeped through the clouds, as the route followed the upper right bank of the clough, eventually crossing the stream to the other side not far above the Ogden reservoirs, source of Pendle Water. From here we had an easy stroll back along the access road to Barley and a welcome brew at the car park cafe.

The nine of us who stayed in the Pendle area on Saturday night got together for dinner at the Alma Inn and celebrated amongst other things a ‘significant’ birthday for Steve, who generously treated us to dinner drinks—for which “many thanks, Steve”.

Sunday’s was a ‘circular’ walk from Wycoller, taking in Boulsworth Hill and LadLaw.

The nine who stayed overnight and one more walker, as well as Dolly and Peddar, met up about seven miles east of Barley, at the car park just outside the village of Wycoller in the Forest of Trawden, - which, we noted, was a bit short of trees for a forest.

Strolling over farmland and quiet lanes we wove our way generally southwest dropping down into Gilford Clough, which we then ascended to find the Bronte Way below Boulsworth Hill. After crossing the bridleway and enjoying a refreshment stop, with fine views north-westward to Pendle Hill, we had a stiff climb up Boulsworth Hill with a bit of bog trotting included. This was finally rewarded with a fine panorama from the trig point at Lad Law (517m.), where we had long views as far as Ferrybridge power station in the east, the Yorkshire 3 peaks in the north and a glimpse of the Fylde coast far to the west. Lunch was taken in the lee of a boulder outcrop on the summit plateau which, due to fine weather (that lasted all day), was a more leisurely affair than the previous day, - but we felt we had earned it! A steep descent brought us back to the Bronte Way which we followed at first easterly above Saucer Hill Clough and then north-westerly through Turnhole Clough (- it was a weekend of cloughs) down to a farm lane, which brought us past an ancient clapper bridge (that we felt duty-bound to stress test) and into Wycoller village. This has among other things another clapper bridge, an arched pack horse bridge, an ancient barn, the ruins of Wycoller Hall and a lot of ducks. Here we availed ourselves of the tea shop and enjoyed well earned tea, cakes and ice- cream. A short stroll out of Wycoller brought us back to the car park and the end of our weekend.

Many thanks to Dave for leading these walks, and to the various people who supplied us with goodies along the way. “Dave - we look forward to your leading us up the third Pendle area peak at a future date!!”

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