Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 14 May 2022

Saturday 14 May 2022 - Burnley parkrun #439

Another Saturday... another parkrun, today's 5km effort being at Burnley with Seb and Jacob. Seb's mum Louise missed out due to a leg injury, but she kindly took the top (Seb is holding his phone, not Jacob's hand!) and bottom (Jacob stole my cap) photos.

We came from Timperley today, and used the Towneley Park car park rather than the usual layby. From there it's a slight uphill walk (note the hall in the distance) to the start, but the run starts down this hill. It's a fast course despite having to climb the hill twice more - luckily it finishes at the bottom of the hill.

We were all happy with our times, not that it's of any great consequence - full results are here.

Then we met Kate, recovering well from her chemoradiotherapy, in a local Starbucks. She was even able to try a little of our coffee, through a straw, once it had cooled down.

Friday 13 May 2022

Friday = Isabella Day (9)

Another day with a happy child.

"Granny's slippers fit me just fine, as I forgot to bring mine with me"

Battered cod, peas and sauteed potatoes. "All gone...where's my banana?"

Thursday 12 May 2022

Tuesday 10 May 2022 - Cicerone Lancashire Walk 28: Holcombe Moor from Ramsbottom

                             The River Irwell in Ramsbottom - spot the heron!

I tried to set off on this walk last Tuesday, on a foul, rainy morning. So I bottled out when I reached Ramsbottom Station and found other things to do. Anyway, I discovered the free parking at the station, and parked up again on a much more promising day.

Mark's route crosses the Irwell near a weir, and heads through an industrial landscape before crossing a field and looking back towards the noxious smells of a recycling plant.

Ahead, beyond feeding starlings and a small footbridge and stile, the path veered right, next to a slabstone fence leading towards Stubbins. I was teased by signs denoting the route of the Irwell Sculpture Trail - as usual I could spot no sculptures.

Looking back along the slabstone fence

After re-crossing the river, the path formed a ginnel that splits an avenue of gardens, then it continued alongside the river on the right and a meadow on the left.

The path, now described as the 'Rossendale Way', emerged at a road after a metal kissing gate, passed under two bridges, and started its relentless rise up onto the moor. Spring greenery and bluebells dominated as I climbed above the last houses of Stubbins.

Climbing through the woodland, I missed a path to open moor on the right. My route through Buckden Wood was just as good, if not better, and I emerged at the point shown below onto a minor road where a right turn soon had me back on track by way of a path to the left.

This path led inexorably uphill onto Holcombe Moor.

Readers who take part in the East Lancs LDWA's 'Two Crosses' walk may recognise the 'Naughty Corner' checkpoint, where stalwart supporters of the event congregate to feed the passing participants tumblers of sherry, whisky, port, etc. You get the picture...

My path continued past signs proclaiming a military zone, and ubiquitous yellow topped posts heading towards the Pilgrims' Cross.

I eschewed the path and headed 'cross country' to the 418 metre summit of Bull Hill, taking care to avoid the hosts of ground nesting birds. Someone has fixed a topical picture to the trig point. Russian troops are wreaking havoc in the Ukraine; this summit is in the middle of a military zone.

From the trig point, the nearby Peel Monument appears as a pinprick on the horizon.

A faint path leads down to the Pilgrims' Cross, a monument erected in 1902. According to Mark Sutcliffe the ancient routes of Lancashire were often marked by wayside crosses, and it is thought that there has been a cross here since as far back as the 12th century, when it would have been used by pilgrims making for Whalley Abbey.

Today, a small stone in memory of 'Bob' has been placed on the cross.

The 'Two Crosses' route heads directly towards the Peel Monument over Harcles Hill and through a bog. Mark's route follows a marked path, scoured by tyre tracks, across the western flank of the plateau before descending to a pleasant path that heads towards Taylor's Farm.

Today's paths were quite popular - I must have passed about a dozen walkers. Before reaching Taylor's Farm I passed a box housing Visitor Guides. Empty.

The terrain to my left became increasingly steep and unlikely to house a footpath. However, before reaching Taylor's Farm, an obvious steep thrutch led up towards the monument. Looking down, perhaps there isn't the impression of steepness that one encounters on the ground! Feel free to comment in due course, BC!

The steepness didn't last for long, then a gentle ascent on the 'West Pennine Way' led to the impressive structure that lords it over Ramsbottom - the Peel Monument. It was built in 1851 from local gritstone (there is still an operating quarry visible across the valley) costing £1000 raised by public subscription to mark their gratitude to Sir Robert Peel for his role in repealing the Corn Laws that had artificially inflated food prices whilst depressing demand for the industrial goods produced in the local mills.

A worn path, the usual route of ascent to the monument, led me rapidly downhill with views over Holcombe to Ramsbottom.

The Shoulder of Mutton in Holcombe could provide a good pit stop on a day when more time is available and you arrive after opening time.

Beyond Holcombe's church, a steep road leads down to the fleshpots of Ramsbottom, where I found a good bench on which to enjoy my lunch, before heading back to the car, and onwards to dog walking duties in Bacup.

Here's my route - about 12km with 400 metres ascent, taking me 3.25 hours including 30 minutes of breaks.

Another nice walk, courtesy of Mark Sutcliffe.

Wednesday 11 May 2022

25 and 26 February 2006 - A Weekend at the White Lion Inn, Cray

                                      Saturday morning view from Cray

A 'Famous Five' Weekend at the White Lion Inn, Cray

Saturday 25 February 2006

Andrew, Richard, Jenny, Sue and I had reached the venue without incident on Friday night, and Debbie confirmed we were actually booked in this time.* 

Neil and Liz Piper, Andrew's friends, joined us at 9:30 for a 'walk of two halves'. 

Ready to roll - Sue, Liz, Richard, Neil, Jenny and Andrew

This route was a change of plan driven by Andrew's poor recovery from a cold and his desire for an easy day. So the first half was mainly downhill. Near Hubberholme, Richard spotted a kingfisher sitting by the river. We watched for some time. There were also dippers and mallards. Sunny periods, but a sharp northeast breeze, so three layers including Rab fleece were handy.


Heading on from Hubberholme towards Starbotton

We had started our meander at 9:45, and we stopped for lunch at 12:30 to 1pm by the Wharfe beyond Buckden. Then from 1:30 to 2:15 we loitered in the pub at Starbotton. We could have sat outside in the sun when we arrived, but soon a light mizzle pervaded the air, and from our cosy position before the fire we could see our boots, left outside, slowly moistening.

Andrew and Liz decided to walk back up the road. The rest of us, perhaps foolishly, decided to go via Buckden Pike. Neil, a local living in Thoralby, led the way when Richard became uncertain in the driving sleet.

The strong wind blasted us and again I was reminded that my yellow craghopper waterproof with its flimsy hood that blows back in wind really needs replacing. It was a relief to bear left by the wall up to the summit, and even more so to reach the summit after a real slog through the snow, ice and mush of the deeper marshes.

From here we quickly descended to Cray, via some slippery icy sections, to reach the pub at 5:15, so whilst Naismith would have taken five and a quarter hours, we walked for six and a quarter.

Our route - 21km, 680 metres ascent

Neil and Liz went home to change; the rest of us adjourned for showers etc, before reconvening for more champagne and dips etc - last night these had been in Andrew's room - to celebrate Sue's 39th birthday.

More progress at eating the birthday cake provided by Andrew was also made, then a convivial evening with good food and company.

Sunday 26 February 2006 

A sunny morning outside the White Lion

For Sue and my joint birthday walk from Grassington we were the Famous Five plus Don, Liz and Gary (expected) and also Mike Pope and his brother-in-law Roy - making a very surprise appearance!

The weather was good again, with sunny periods, as we ambled north up the Dales Way before turning to reach Kelber.

There were only a few people around. This was my route and it didn't help when I left the map behind after a pee stop. After recovering it, we progressed easily to a lunch stop at Yarnbury. 


This is near home for Roy, who (like Neil yesterday) knows the area well. Andrew was tired so returned to Grassington by road, whilst the rest of us carried on via Mossy Moor Ridge and Edge Top, around Hebden, then back pleasantly to Grassington beside the Wharfe. We got briefly misplaced at Ratlock Hill and Roy's GPS came in handy. 

We passed a cow that was sporting a fine set of false teeth!?

Kayakers were playing by the bridge in Grassington. 

A nice tea shop was found after some of the party had dispersed.

Note - there is free parking at Hebden. Set off 10:15, half-hour lunch, 3:45 finish, so 5 hours walking (Naismith four and a half).

Our route - 19km, 400 metres ascent

*Unlike our previous visit, when the organiser had forgotten to book our room!

Footnote: This entry has been extracted from a 2006 diary to accompany the images which have not been looked at until now! The route details are from memory - not necessarily correct!

Second Footnote: Here's an extract from Conrad's 2016 posting (see comments):

Well today I parked up at Buckden on a thirty-car sized car park that didn't exist in 1960 and paid £4.50 for the privilege. My mission was to walk a previously un-walked section of  the Dales Way. To make this more worthwhile I climbed up onto the high ridge on the western side of the dale and followed, mostly on faint but decent paths, passing  Birks Tarn teeming with gulls and other water birds, to the trig point at Horse Head and beyond. There was a great top-of-the-world feeling up there. I descended to Beckermonds and connected to the Dales Way following the Upper Wharfe downstream, through sheer delight back to Buckden.

I saw nobody until I was on the Dales Way path, then casual walkers were abundant, and cars were parked on the road across the river  with families picnicking and playing in the tempting pools of the Upper Wharfe. Strangely the dale is called Langstrothdale. Back in Buckden the place was busy with many walkers and visitors and the car park which was empty at 9:00 am was full. I called into the tearooms (back in the 60s there was just a village shop). The proprietor has been in the village for many years and we reminisced about the characters we had both known. Jacky Beresford was a local always found in the Buck Inn;  we used to buy him a pint and get him going with stories of giant trout caught in the river. Jacky operated a school-run business using an old hearse. Then there was Major Horner, notorious, bad tempered landlord of the White Lion at Cray, a mile or so up the road. He once attacked some customers who had caused him some annoyance with a claw hammer. I have tried to research that story which was well publicised at the time, but with no result, but I did find this extract from a nostalgia article in the Craven Herald:

The White Lion was also in the news as its landlord and eight local farm workers were caught drinking when police walked in at 11.30pm. With licensing hours a hot topic today, it is interesting to note that in 1955 last orders was at 10pm with the premises to be vacated 10 minutes later. Major Horner, the landlord, was fined £3 and three of the drinkers fined £1.