Skelmersdale Rambling Club




Strenuous Leader : No one at present
O/S map(s) will be provided and also walk notes from previous visits.
Leisurely Leader : Dave Hatchard     Distance : 6.00 miles
After first making our way to the Visitor Centre we will then leave Uppermill and travel north on the old railway to Diggle, We continue on tracks and footpaths to Dean Head climbing gently all the way apart from a short steep climb on final stage. We turn west then south along Harrop Edge with views on both sides from hill top ridge before steeply coming back down to the start of walk.
Easy Leader : Jackie Gudgeon     Distance 5.00 miles
A short climb out of town brings us onto a disused railway line (Tame Valley Way) which we follow north to Ryefields where we join the Pennine Bridleway (lane) to Diggle. At Diggle we will join the Huddersfield Narrow Canal southwards until we reach Grandpa Greene’s Luxury Ice Cream Parlour where we will stop for tea or coffee, or ice cream! If it is open. We then continue to follow the canal for a nice easy stroll back into Uppermill. Some uphill on the stretch from Uppermill to Diggle but very easy walking on the way back.


Uppermill is one of the largest of the Saddleworth villages. It lies in the valley bottom and is an unspoilt settlement which dates from the 18th century. It is dominated by an impressive railway viaduct, beneath which runs the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which links the Ashton Canal with Sir John Ramsden’s Canal in Huddersfield. Construction of the canal took place between 1794 and 1811. The full length of the canal is 21 miles, passing through a short tunnel at Scout (near Mossley) then via 32 locks up to Diggle where it enters the summit tunnel at Standedge. This tunnel measures 3 miles 418 yards, and is followed by a descent of 493 feet at Marsden through 42 locks to Huddersfield.

From the late 18th century onwards, woollen mills were being constructed in the small tributary valleys to the east of Uppermill as well as along the River Tame itself. Also a number of cotton mills were also established. The southern half of the village was largely owned by the Shaw family who lived at St Chad's, close to what is now the village playing field. The car park at Uppermill is on the site of the Victoria Mill, constructed in the 1860's and closing in the 1930's after a life when it was mainly a cotton spinning mill. The Saddleworth Museum, founded by Lord Rhodes, is housed in what was once the mill's gas house. Running alongside the museum is an attractively restored section of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, with boat trips on offer. There are numerous craft and gift shops in Uppermill, along with tea rooms and pubs. The village is particularly busy at the weekends.

Uppermill hosts several festivities each year, the highlight of which is the Saddleworth Folk Festival. The Brass Band Contest and the Beer Walk take place at the end of May. More cultural in its origins is the Rush Cart Festival at the end of August, when teams of Morris Men arrive from all over the country to compete in pulling a rush cart with a jockey sitting on top. The route takes them through the local villages where the dancers stop to show their dancing skills.

Saddleworth Church is situated about a mile to the east of Uppermill. The present church, dedicated to St Chad, is a largely Victorian building, although there is evidence to suggest that a place of worship existed on this site as far back as the 12th century.

The Uppermill folk must be a hardy lot to attend the annual Remembrance Day Service at the Pots & Pans War Memorial - there are several paths to the top but no vehicle access




Strenuous Leader : Jimmy Need     Distance : 8.00 miles
We set off from Slaidburn and make our way to Hammerton Hall and from there over to Bridge House Wood which could be our lunch break. After this we go to Stocks Reservoir and walk for about one and a half mile on the circular route. We then head up to Ten Acre Hill and from there we make our way back to base for some well-earned refreshments.
The conditions were very testing on this walk after the recent bad weather so what it lacks in distance it makes up for in stamina required.
Leisurely Leader : Peter Denton     Distance : 6.00 miles
Our walk today is in the top end of a leisurely walk. with a total of 550ft of climbs. There had been a lot of rain in the preceding weeks so there will be some road walking to avoid the worst of the wet land in the second half of our walk.
We leave the village on the road toward Towhead. We leave this road on a Bridleway that takes us down to where we cross the River Hodder. We then follow the footpath up to Hammerton Hall, and on up to Ten Acre Hill from where we head down to Gisburn Forest with some stunning views of the hills over and around Stocks Reservoir. At the bottom sits a little place of rest where we can stop for a rest before we then head up towards Cocklet Hill to a picnic area, and if the weather is kind to us we could have our butties here. We then head up to Stony Bank and to Meadow Top. Finally we head back down to Slaidburn, via road or pasture and meadow. Have a lovely day walking in Mother Nature’s finest.
Easy Leader : Cynthia Prescott     Distance 4.50 miles
This walk starts from the car park, cafe and toilets with a stroll up through Slaidburn and then a pleasant woodland walk just above a stream. There are a number of ladder stiles and stone stiles as we move on up over farmland and up to a footbridge. As we progressed we found it became muddy so we head back on a quiet country lane with good views.


The important village and ancient sheep farming settlement of Slaidburn sits in the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It lies at the head of the River Hodder and Stocks Reservoir. Markets were once held at the top of Church Street by the old village cross, the base of which is now built into the side of New Hodder Bridge. Stock and cattle fairs have been held in the village since 1294, and in the 17th century cattle fairs were held four times a year.

The village once had a smithy, a wheelwright, a tannery and a corn mill. Past industries have included hat manufacture, shoe and dress making and, in the 19th century, hand-loom weaving was carried out in the little community of Mount Pleasant at the top of the village.

The 'Halmote' or Chief Court of Bowland was once held at Slaidburn. The court room is still preserved and is located above the Hark to Bounty Inn with access by way up the outside steps. Inside one can view the original oak furnishings of benches, dock and witness box, along with the timber-work of the ceiling. Permission to view can be obtained from the innkeeper.

St Andrews Parish Church, anciently known as the Wanden or Warden Chapel, was first mentioned in 1120 when Hugh de la Val granted the monks of Kirkstall Priory 'some interest in the Church at Slaydeburn'. The tower is early English in design, but it has been subject to reconstruction many times. The massive angled buttresses were added when the west wall was rebuilt in the 14th century. Above the main west window are two highly decorated image niches. Sadly, the figures are long gone. The three-decker pulpit is an attractive creation from the early Georgian period (1740). In three tiers, it combines the parish clerk's seat, a lectern, and a pulpit. The clerk would lead the responses from the lowest stall. These lofty pulpits became necessary when high box pews became fashionable.

Built into the fabric of the north interior wall of the nave is a rather friendly stone head. This is one of many Celtic stone heads that are found in the north, and points to a pagan origin for the site.

The famous Roman Road, Watling Street, which went from Manchester north to Carlisle, passed just to the west of the village in what is now known as Hornby Road. The proximity of this famous road probably helped to make Slaidburn important.

The tiny hamlet of Dalehead, with its fine 17th century houses at Stocks and Rushton Grange, has now disappeared beneath the great expanse of water known as Stocks Reservoir. The old church that stood at Dalehead was the only building to avoid a watery grave. It was taken down and rebuilt in 1938 further up the valley. The graves were removed and now lie in the present churchyard.

The Witches of Pendle are remembered by the Lancashire Witches Walk.

Many famous and influential people have come from Slaidburn. One was Thomas Sanderson who emigrated to the US where he and his sons became prominent cattle farmers and politicians in places like Wisconsin and Nebraska. They knew Buffalo Bill. Robert Parker became a well-known and top lawyer working mainly for gentry in Yorkshire. Tempest Slinger, what a great name, was another top lawyer who worked in places like Lincoln’s Inn in London. Finally, James Radley was one of the first aviators.




Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 10.00 miles
Today we visit The Shire in search of Hobbits. From Hurst Green we go through Higher Deer House, Stock Bridge and Fell Side Farm to climb onto Longridge Fell (the highest point of the walk 306m, 1004ft) for some great views. Then Kemple End, on to admire the splendour of Stonyhurst College and then Lower Hodder Bridge. From here we follow the Ribble Way and Tolkien Trail back to Hurst Green, braving rampaging sheep on the way!!!
Please note it was extremely muddy on the recce so parts of the route have been changed from what I had originally planned.
Leisurely Leader : Joan McGlinchey   Distance : 6-7 miles
Joan has been unable to do the reccee mainly due to the weather being poor whenever she had planned to do it. So, it is going to be a bit of a combined effort. She will do the main part of the easy walk but add extra to it, such as going further on up to the view point.
EasyLeaders : Cynthia Prescott & Hazel Anderton   Distance 4-5 miles
Note: We have been promised some coffee or tea at the Bayley Arms near the community car park as we thought that there is no café in the village. From the pub the walk starts with a pleasant walk through woods, near a stream and along good paths and tracks. After a short section along Longridge Road we head down a track to Bayley Hall and through what was the farmyard. We see the remains of the moat, or maybe it is a Ha Ha seeing that the Hall is up on a hill, and then walk down through a little glade to a footbridge and then head up to the church and back to the village. The walk is generally some gentle ups and downs but has a steeper climb towards the end of the walk. There are only a few stiles but it is likely to be muddy after the recent poor weather.
The planned walk is only 4 miles but if it is a nice day Cynthia will lead another mile for those who wish through the grounds of Stonyhurst College which she says are very pleasant.


The village of Hurst Green lies on the north side of the River Ribble, between Clitheroe and Ribchester. It was visited by Oliver Cromwell and his army of Ironsides in August 1648. They camped at nearby Stonyhurst Park as he passed through to take on the Royalist army at Walton Bridge near Preston.

For many years the main industry here was farming, but the village’s prosperity began to grow significantly when Sir Nicholas Shireburne (or Shireburn) of Stonyhurst Hall ensured that his tenants were taught the skills of spinning and weaving, even keeping rooms in his hall for “as many as could spare time from their families to become proficient”, Nor did his generosity stop there for he provided everyone with yarn and looms “whereby the countryside around began to prosper and the village became full of busy little mills, rows of workers cottages, and the sound of rushing water”. Nowadays the main source of income is farming, tourism and employment at the college.

Stonyhurst College originally belonged to the Bayley family and later to the Shireburns. In 1592 Sir Richard Shireburn began to build a new house here which was to remain the family home until the death of Sir Nicholas, the last Shireburn, in 1717. The mansion subsequently fell into disrepair, and in 1794 it was handed over to the Society of Jesuits. Stonyhurst has since then, been considerably extended, and is now one of England’s most eminent public schools. The many priceless treasures in the college museum include the embroidered cap of Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), Catherine of Aragon’s religious robes, and a cloak of Henry II which was later worn by Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold (1520). Much older than any of these however, is the 7th century copy of St John’s Gospel – the oldest surviving English bound book. The magnificent west front is flanked by the beautiful St Peter’s Church, built in 1832-5 and modelled upon Kings College Chapel, Cambridge. Some of Stonyhurst’s famous ex-pupils include the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the actor Charles Laughton.

It was near Hurst Green in around 1826 that a certain John L McAdam, an engineer famous for his roadmaking ideas, invented a road surface named ‘tarmacadam’ in his honour, or tarmac as it is better known today.

Longridge Fell is the most southerly named ‘Fell’ in the country. Its summit stands at 1148 ft. The extensive plantations consist mainly of sitka spruce, larch and lodgepole pine, and provide an ideal habitat for the shy roe deer. Birds to look out for are sparrow hawk, kestrel, short-eared owl, and tawny owl.




Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 10.00 miles
Once again Carole will step in at the last minute to be leader as no one else has volunteered. She has not done a reccee but she has routes in mind and the decision will be made on the day after discussing it with the group and dependent on the weather.
Moderate Leader : Dave Hatchard   Distance : 8 miles
From Ingleton we head along Oddies Lane travelling for about two and a half miles to Grid 705749 (this part of the walk is a leg burner) equivalent to walking up Parbold Hill but we have plenty of time and we will do it slowly. We then turn left and continue for another one and a half mile to Grid 693759 crossing a foot bridge by the ford. During the planning this area was very boggy. We now make our way to Turbary Road about a mile over the moor Grid 684768. We then travel to Tow Scar Road Grid 676763. We continue past the radio mast to Grid 690751 Then travel 1 mile back to Ingleton. There are about 3 stiles, one a bit tricky, but there will be enough of us to help everyone over. Some of the walk involves crossing fields and depending on the weather will determine how muddy we end up. We may alter the walk.
Leisurely Leader : Joan McGlinchey   Distance : 5 miles
Although this walk does not have the usual miles for a leisurely walk it is not an easy walk as it has lots of steps up and down. It can be dangerous during wet weather. People with bad knees should think twice. If you think that you can manage it, we will be taking it at a slow place so that we can enjoy the surroundings as the waterfall valleys boasts some of the most spectacular waterfall and oak woodland scenery in the UK, truly encapsulating nature at its best. As well as the toilets in town there are toilets at the start, the end of the walk and at the halfway point along with a refreshment centre. There is a cost of £6 but it is worth the money, and there might be a possibility of paying less as we are a group on a coach.
Easy Leaders : Cynthia Prescott & Hazel Anderton   Distance 4 or 5 miles
We have a choice today of two walks.
The four-mile walk has been recceed. There is more climbing than usual for an easy and there are stepping stones over the river but the scenery is varied with some lovely views. After leaving town we walk a short section just above the river then make our way up past some old quarries, and then go along a short stretch of road before going onto fields. We pass the toilets and refreshment centre at the top of the waterfalls valleys and then make our way back down to town on a track and a lane.
The alternative 5-mile walk has not been recceed but would be a much flatter route over fields. We will use tracks and a small lane to avoid going over some fields as fields and walls mean stiles! Quite a few of them. We will return to town not along the river but near it and then a bit of road walking. Which walk we do with depend on who is walking and what the weather is like.


Ingleton, an attractive little Dales town under the magnificent outline of its famous mountain, and close to the spectacular waterfalls, is an excellent walking centre. It is well supplied with shops, cafes, pubs, while Ingleton Community Centre has a small Information Point. The town was a staging post on the important Leeds-Kendal packhorse way, then later on the busy Keighley-Kendal turnpike. By the late 18th century its annual fair was noted for leather and oatmeal. Industry came in the form of textiles including a huge woollen mill. Water from the River Doe powered cotton and woollen mills. In the market place, opposite the Halifax Building Society, is the ancient bullring, where the bull was tied before being baited by dogs, last used for this purpose in the 19th century. Further along the High Street on the left is an attractive, late 17th century cottage.

The road from Ingleton to Hawes passes White Scar Cave. Here the visitor may penetrate half a mile under Ingleborough. Discovered in 1923, the cave has two underground waterfalls, wonderful coloured stalagmites, stalactites, and grottoes. St Mary's Church, at the top of the village, suffers from the threat of subsidence, as the result of having been built on a mound of glacial drift. Only the Norman tower, somewhat restored, survives from the original structure, which has been rebuilt at least three times. Inside the church is one of the finest Norman fonts in the West Riding, carved with figures of Mary, Jesus, the Three Magi and the Tree of Life, as well as scenes of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem and the Massacre of the Innocents. The font has had a chequered history. Under Cromwell, it was at one time used for mixing whitewash and mortar.

Ingleton Glens forms part of a private estate. The footpath through them is not a right of way, and a small charge is made for entry. The entrance to the Glens is at the bottom of the village, below the huge disused railway viaduct that carried the former Ingleton-Tebay line. A walk through the waterfalls is easy to follow, but more lives have been lost here in recent years than anywhere in the Dales under or above ground. The gorges are steep and the current swift, and to fall in is to risk almost certain drowning. The paths however are well made and perfectly safe with care. A lot of work has been recently done to make the paths and steps safer.

Above Ingleborough village looms the great bulk of Ingleborough Hill, at 2373 ft the third-highest mountain in Yorkshire. It is one of the hills to be climbed in the 'Three Peaks Race' along with Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent. Ingleborough's limestone mass is riddled with great caves and extensive potholes and is topped with the remains of an Iron Age fortification, possibly a Brigantian stronghold. The tiny church at Chapel-le-Dale, St Leonards, is particularly lovely. The Lakeland poet, Robert Southey, wrote in 1847 that "A hermit who might wish his grave to be as quiet as his cell, could imagine no fitter resting place". Ironically in the 1870s, nearly 100 navvies perished from accidents, illness and disease in the building of the Ribblehead viaduct and Blea Moor tunnel on the Settle-Carlisle railway line and were buried in an extended graveyard at Chapel-de-Dale. A marble plaque in the church commemorates the deaths and a booklet tells of tales of tragic deaths.




Strenuous Leader : Malcolm Chamberlain   Distance : 11.50 miles
This walk takes 5 hours and climbs 480 m or 1500 ft and the first climb is steep – please bring plenty of water.
We head northwest out of Coniston on the Cumbria Way through Back Guards Wood to Yewdale. From here we start to climb, through Harry Guards Wood, taking the Uskdale Gap to the top of Holme Fell (317m); some parts of this path are narrow, rough and steep. If the weather is clear, then we will get good views of Coniston Water and across to Lingmoor Fell and Langdale. We then descend to Oxen Fell High Cross and climb up the path to Tarn Hows, where there is an ice cream van and toilets. From here we descend to Boon Crag Farm (more good views) before one last short climb through Guards Wood and back into Coniston.
Moderate Leader : Pamela Chamberlain   Distance : 8.70 miles
We head northwest out of Coniston on the Cumbria Way to climb through Guards Wood and Tarn Hows Wood on pathways, some of shale, and make our way to Tarn Hows. There is a moment to take a quick break before we walk around the water and head downhill via waterfalls. This path is narrow (1 person at a time), slippery and will take some time to complete. At the bottom of the waterfalls we will walk via Yewtree Farm to Shepherd’s Bridge and make our way across fields of sheep before one last short climb through Back Guards Wood and back into Coniston.
Leisurely Leader : Peter Denton   Distance : 5.00+ miles
Off we go! We pass the Ruskin Museum past Mart Crag then Yewdale Crag, we cross the road (A593) go to Yewdale Beck and then into Tarn Hows Wood. We pass Tarn Hows Cottage and go up to Tarn Hows where we lunch. We then head back down to Coniston via Hill Fell Plantation for a well-earned Cuppa or something. Although this walk does not have the usual miles for a leisurely walk it is not an easy walk as it has a long climb at the first part of the walk.
Easy Leaders : Ruth Melling &, Hazel Anderton   Distance 5.00 miles
A nice walk. After leaving town we walk near the lake side, passing Coniston Hall, as far as Torver jetty and then turn up and go past a camping site with yurts and teepees. We follow the route of the main road back to town but walk mainly on an old railway track, and only one part on a newly constructed footpath on the roadside verge. It is flat nearly all the way apart from going up to the campsite, and going down back into town right at the end. There are no stiles, and generally good underfoot on little lanes and good tracks apart from one small section which might be muddy in wet weather. Our boots came home clean. Lovely views all round often with the lake in sight. Near the jetty we saw some chemical loos, think called Lakeside Loos. Not a pretty sight looking down the pan but well maintained as the interior of the booth was clean, did not smell and hand cleanser was provided.


Dominated by the Coniston Fells, which rise to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston (2643 ft) the pretty village of Coniston is one of the most popular places in the Lake District and much quieter than Keswick or Ambleside. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon for the 'king's village'. The fells that surround it have the characteristic ruggedness of Borrowdale Volcanic rocks, yet the village itself is built on slates and shales. Despite the development nearby of slate quarries and copper mines which, in the 19th century brought the village much of its prosperity, the character of the village, which gathers round its fine church of St Andrew, remains largely unaffected. Some terraced cottages date from the mid-18th century. At that time Coniston and the whole of the Furness area formed part of Lancashire, but became part of Cumbria in the local government reorganisation of 1974. St Andrew's is a Georgian church in the middle of Coniston village. The churchyard contains the grave of the noted Victorian intellectual John Ruskin. Also, inside the church is a memorial display featuring the engine of a crashed World War II bomber with information on the rescue attempt and crew. Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin from 1872 until his death in 1900, has been described as the most beautifully situated house in the Lake District. It enjoys some of the finest lake and mountain views in England and has diverse cultural associations. The copper mines, for which the area is renowned, probably date from Norman times, but were primarily worked from the 16th century when German miners were used. The main valley rising along Church Beck into the fells is still known as Coppermines Valley, and was the scene of considerable mining activity until the end of the First World War. The ore was taken out of Coniston on a railway opened in 1859, which linked with the Furness Railway near Broughton in Furness. Now, only the track bed remains and is used as a public footpath in places. 

The nearby Coniston Water is one of the longest straight stretches of placid water in the Lake District, 5 miles long, and was used for Donald Campbell's ill-fated attempt at the world water speed record in 1967. His jet-powered boat, Bluebird, went out of control as he attempted to become the first man to break 300 mph on water, and Campbell was killed. Basically, when the boat reached a certain speed it took off as if it was an aeroplane. His body has never been found, until very recently, when remains, believed to be those of Campbell have been recovered from the lake, following the discovery and raising of Bluebird itself. The boat is now undergoing extensive restoration. A short distance to the north of Coniston is Tarn Hows, a popular beauty spot. The tarn is strictly an artificial pond created by damming a stream and a few pools of marshland. The area around Tarn Hows is now in the care of the National Trust, and was once owned by Beatrix Potter, the author and illustrator of books for children, including Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and others. She sold half of the Tarn Hows area to the National Trust at cost, and bequeathed the other half.




Strenuous Leader : Rob Rose   Distance : 10.00 miles
We come out of Hartington on Highfield Road, turn off and walk through Chapel Farm and Heathcote on to the Pennine Way. After a couple of miles on the bridle way we come off and walk through Darley Farm past the quarry and Vincent House towards Pilsbury and then head back to Hartington.
Moderate Leader : Dave Hatchard   Distance : 8.00 miles
We walk along the path to Wolfescote Dale which is well used and initially crosses open pasture before entering woodland into Beresford Dale, and we follow the River Dove southwards. At the second bridge we turn into Beresford Lane. After a short distance we take a footpath and a bridle path towards Narrowdale. We skirt the flank of Narrowdale Hill before turning east and heading towards Gypsy Bank and then steeply down back into Dovedale. We turn northwards along Wolfescote Dale, and eventually retrace our route back into Hartington.
Leisurely Leader : no leader   Distance :
Easy Leaders : Adelaide Houghton &, Hazel Anderton   Distance 5.00 miles
This is an undulating walk. From Hartington we go up past Hartington Hall Youth Hostel along walled lanes and tracks affording good views of the surrounding countryside to join the Tissington Trail for about a mile. We then go down good field paths to the village of Biggin. We continue though the village on a lane and then along a stony track as we head back to Hartington. There are several different little stiles and we need to be slim!


Like many Peak District villages Hartington was once a market town, with limestone houses, inns and shops grouped perfectly round the spacious market place with a duck pond to one side. It is a lovely village about 12 miles to the south of Buxton and very close to the Staffordshire border. Hartington lies in a grand setting, about half a mile from the river where the Dove valley opens out to the north of Beresford Dale. It received the market charter in 1203 and became an important visitor centre for the large rural population, and the past wealth and importance are shown by the impressive buildings around the village square. The wealth of the area came from cheese making and mining ironstone, limestone and lead. These days the wealth comes from tourism. Hartington is in an area of high limestone country known as the White Peak, as opposed to the Dark Peak of the moorland further north. Even Hartington village, in the gentle setting of the Dove valley, lies at over 700 ft above sea level. Charles Cotton, the 17th century poet and fisherman, was born at Beresford Hall near Hartington. He introduced Isaac Walton to the Peak and became joint author of "The Compleat Angler". Charles Cotton's fishing lodge, built in 1674, can be glimpsed through the trees across the River Dove. The area around the village is excellent walking country, and also has lots of biking trails. From the source on Axe Edge to Hartington the River Dove is little more than a stream, but once through the pretty woodlands of Beresford Dale it gets more confident and cuts a deep limestone canyon with cliffs and tors almost equal to those of the more celebrated Dovedale. This canyon is Wolfscote Dale. Weirs were constructed to create calm pools that attract trout and grayling to linger. 

The Tissington Trail extends for 13 miles from Ashbourne to ParsleyHay where it meets the High Peak Trail. Formerly the Ashbourne-Buxton railway line, the old track is now a popular path for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The railway was built by the engineer Francis Stevenson on behalf of the London and North Western Railway Company. It was a single track with passing loops at stations. Opened on 4th June 1899, the line mainly carried freight such as milk, and limestone from the local quarries to the kilns near Buxton. Today the trail offers walkers and cyclists the chance to explore the natural habitat of many different birds and wild flowers. It seems that there are many bicycles for hire to explore the trails. Stilton cheese is made at the factory on the edge of the village. This is the only remaining of seven original factories in the area and was opened in the 1870's. Genuine Stilton can only be made in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and this factory qualifies by a quarter of a mile! The impressive Hartington Hall was built by the Bateman family in 1611. It is a typical Derbyshire yeoman's house with three gables and mullioned windows. It has been a youth hostel since 1934. Also to the east of the village is a signal box of the Ashbourne-Buxton Railway, which closed in 1967 and is now an information centre on the Tissington Trail. Three miles to the north is Pilsbury Castle, now just a mound, probably on the site of an Iron-Age fort. The parish church of St Giles was built in the thirteenth century with a Saxon stone in one wall. Like all villages there is an active social life with details available in the internet for those who might wish to visit.




Strenuous Leader : Jimmy Need   Distance : 10.00 miles
We make our way from Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge via the Cumbria Way. If we have some rain we may see the waterfalls. From here we make our way to Loughrigg Tarn followed by Red Bank which should be a lovely spot for lunch.Then we go to Grasmere lake shore and from here to Hungstile Crag and finally back to Elterwater.
Moderate Leader : Peter Denton   Distance : 7.80 miles
We start our walk at the National Trust Car Park walking along the beck on to the newly restored cobbled path and skirt round the north side of Elter Water below the Lansdale Road, with fantastic views behind to the Langdale Pikes. When we reach the bridge at Force How we will get to see the falls then cross the bridge and head for Park House through the farm yard, heading for Low Colwith Water Falls, and next head down to Hodge Close. After that, we head up to Moss Ring Wood and up to Little Langdale. We are now on the last leg back to Elterwater for a well-earned cuppa or whatever takes your fancy.
Leisurely Leader : Steve Balenski   Distance : 6.50 miles
We start by heading south along Coniston Road to the Elterwater Hotel where we turn off on a gradually steepening rocky lane towards Little Langdale where there are superb views of the Coniston Fells. We continue towards Stang End then eastwards towards to Skelwith Bridge where there is a café and toilets. We finish by walking on a flat footpath back to Elterwater by the side of Elter Water lake.
Easy Leader : no leader   Distance :
Jackie may step in.


Standing at the entrance to Langdale, and with the craggy Langdale Pikes as a backdrop, Elterwater is a cluster of attractive cottages, shops and an inn. The name of the village is said to mean 'Swan Lake' in Norse, and swans do indeed grace the nearby Elter Water from time to time. Surrounded by waterfalls, volcanic crags and tree-clad slopes, the village is largely built of the attractive, local grey-green stone, and centres on a small green with an ancient maple tree. The village was once the focus of a thriving charcoal burning industry that used Juniper wood, which was especially suitable for making gunpowder. The manufacture of gunpowder came to be an important Lakeland industry during the 18th century, and the gunpowder works at Elterwater did not close until the early 20th century. 

Skelwith Bridge stands at an ancient crossing point of the River Brathay, near which today's main road forks to enter Great Langdale or to turn for Coniston. Just upstream of the village, which boasts a small slate business at Kirkstone Galleries, the river forms a number of attractive cascades, Skelwith Force. The village of Skelwith Bridge was the home of Doris and Muriel Howe, novelists who wrote both under their own names and under the joint pseudonym 'Newlyn Nash'. They wrote more than seventy romantic and mystery novels, many set in Lakeland.




Strenuous Leader : Donna Callaghan   Distance: 8.00 miles
From the car park with toilets we will make our way out of the town towards Lower Laithe Reservoir, up to Bronte Falls then up to Top Withins, a possible stop for lunch. We will continue on a narrow path along the moorland edge. Please take care here as there is a narrow ledge. We go on to Harbour Lodge, Leeshaw Reservoir, eventually leading back to Penistone Hill Country Park. An alternative return route has been planned in the case of bad weather avoiding the Moors.
Moderate Leader: Joan McGlinchey   Distance: 7.50 miles
We start our walk heading towards the museum. Then we head out of town uphill towards the direction of Penistone hill. We walk along the Bronte Way as we make our way to the Bronte falls where hopefully we can have lunch there as it is a lovely spot. After lunch we join the Pennine Way, uphill again, and head to Stanbury. We join a road and walk for a while and take a left turning into Lump Foot. We follow the road and river for a short while and start making our way back to Haworth by making our way across the fields and joining the road which opposite the one we originally went up.
Leisurely Leader: Dave Hatchard   Distance: 7.50 miles
We start the walk out of the town along Cemetery Road and onto Haworth Moor to Bronte Bridge and waterfalls, crossing South Dean Beck, then up to Middle Withins, which is a ruin, and up again to Top Withins Farm, another ruin. We will take our lunch break here. We then head back down on the Pennine Way towards Stanbury, then across the embankment of Lower Laithe Reservoir, then back up into Haworth.
Easy Leader: Dave Prescott   Distance 4.50 miles
Note: easy walkers may not wish to walk higher up the hill to the Public Toilets so we will start by going to see the town and visit a cafe. We walk up to the next level of the carpark and take the flat path which goes behind the allotments and emerges in the town at the Black Bull public house. Turn right heading down the cobbles and just around the corner you should see the Bakers and Cafe called Villette. This is where we will meet after time for a cuppa. There is a choice of cafes and there are also 2 immediately opposite. This walk is part of the Railway Children walk. It passes many of the scenes that were used in the making of the film, so you can spot the train and places you may recognise. We head down past the park to Haworth station and take the paths that follow the direction of the river and the railway towards Oxenhope. When we reccied the walk we added a section and went to Oxenhope Station but this is optional. From Oxenhope we head uphill to Marsh Lane, up past a farm and then take field paths and paths between walls back to Haworth. Most of the path is in good condition and we did not have a muddy problem. Stiles were narrow but few, good and sturdy.


Haworth, and the moors beyond, will always be associated with the Brontes, a uniquely-gifted family growing up in the emotionally repressed conditions of Victorian times. Most people remember the names of Anne, Charlotte and Emily for their literary endeavours, but there were three more children in the family, girls Maria and Elizabeth, both of whom died in childhood, and the only boy, Branwell, who squandered his many talents. The children were born in Thornton, Yorkshire, to Patrick Bronte, an Irish clergyman and his Cornish wife Maria. They had their six children quickly but sadly Mrs Bronte died of breast cancer in 1821, not long after Anne was born, and a year after they moved to Haworth. Life was a bit tragic for Patrick because all his children died well before him, yet he himself went on to live until he was about 80. After Maria died the children were looked after by an austere aunt, and their only escape lay in writing and in the exploration of the countryside around their home. Charlotte was the only one who eventually married but tragically she died not long after suffering from the same severe pregnancy sickness complaint which causes dehydration, that badly affected the Duchess of Cambridge too. No intravenous drips in those days. 

The old part of Haworth has a steep and cobbled Main Street, leading down from the church, with alleys and courts branching off it, but the village expanded in Victorian times, stretching down the hillside towards the river and railway. Once Haworth was not the pretty place it is now, instead the main road was an open sewer and disease was rife and mortality high. The four and a mile Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is one of the finest restored steam railways in the country and runs regular daily steam services in the summer, and weekends trips during the winter months. The railway was originally opened in 1867, not only to carry passengers but also to bring raw materials to the mills in the valley. The desolate moors which so inspired the Bronte sisters, rise majestically above the steep sided Bronte Falls, which tumble into Salden Beck, and was a favourite spot of the Bronte sisters A few yards down the stream is the Bronte seat which is hewn out of a single piece of rock. And high up on the moors is Top Withins, the ruin of a lonely farmhouse which is said to have been the inspiration for the famous novel, Wuthering Heights, written by Emily. 

Penistone Hill appears in Wuthering Heights as Penistone Crag, a local beauty spot near Thrushcross Grange. The quarry here provided stone for the paving blocks in the High Street, and for the dark buildings of Haworth. Looking at the now disused gritstone quarries on the edge of the moor it is hard to imagine that as late as the 1920's a hundred men hewed stone here. Penistone Hill is now an180 acre Country Park, and from the summit there is a spectacular view across the bleak open Pennines. The vicarage is now the Bronte Museum.




Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance: 10.50 miles
From the lake along Weavers Way, passing the Visitor Centre, to Lydgate. West along Blackstone Edge Rd and the Roman Rd to the Aiggin Stone where we join the Pennine Way and go south along Blackstone Edge, 472m, 1549ft, for amazing views. Keeping on the Pennine Way we cross the M62 towards Windy Hill Transmitter, then west to the Pennine Bridleway and Rakewood Rd passing under the M62 and on through Rakewood. We then go around Hollingworth Lake back to the start for a pint or a cuppa. Mainly on good footpaths and country lanes. If Carole in unavailable Dennis will lead.
Moderate Leader: Peter Denton   Distance: 7.00 miles
We start our walk from the visitor centre on to the Reservoir Way around Benny Hill around Higher Booth then cross over the M62, down onto the Pennine Bridleway and under the M62. We then head up Deep Lane heading to Milnrow and head to Belfield where we pick up the Rochdale canal. Finally we go back towards Hollingworth Lake for a well-earned cuppa or a tipple of the good stuff.
Leisurely Leader: Dave Hatchard   Distance: 6.70 miles
We leave the Visitors Centre and travel along Rochdale Way for about .75 mile then we join the Pennine Bridleway and travel to Longley Hey. We start our return journey heading towards the communication mast by Humber Farm. We then head across a few fields into Balees Wood and follow the foot path back to the Visitors Centre. There are a couple of steep hills in the walk but nothing too strenuous, and about 4 stiles. Some of the route may be boggy depending on the weather the week before the walk.
Easy Leader: Jackie Gudgeon   Distance 5.25 miles
The walk today will begin at the Hollingworth Lake Information Centre where there is a café and toilets. This is located a 5 to 10 minute walk from where the coach will probably drop off and park, so please stay with your leader from the coach and we will walk there together. We will set off along the Ealees valley to reach the Rochdale Canal at Littleborough. We follow the canal south for just over two miles to leave the towpath near Clegg Hall. We then follow a couple of field paths, then the driveway towards Peacock Farm, where we arrive at the shore of Hollingworth Lake. A pleasant circuit of the lake follows, passing a convenient café part way round, eventually arriving back at the Visitor Centre. Good tracks, canal towpath, field paths, quiet lane. Almost completely flat.


Built around 1830, Hollingworth Lake, covering 130 acres, was originally a reservoir to the north of Manchester near Rochdale, to maintain water levels in the Rochdale Canal but, in early Victorian times became known as the Weavers Seaport, a popular place for excursions with pleasure gardens, picnic parties, and boating trips. Things have not changed much as today the bustling country park has a tremendous variety of leisure activities, including water sports, guided walks, craft and outdoor activities and special events. Matthew Webb, the first English man to swim across the channel trained at the lake. Hollingworth Fold is mentioned in deeds dated 1278 where it is referred to as Holyenworthe. There are several old stone dwellings, including a Victorian school chapel, since converted to a home, and the ‘Iron Church’ which stands close to the site of the old Hollingworth workhouse. The buildings in the Fold date back more than 250 years and are a reminder of the importance of old Hollingworth as a busy centre of local activity. 

The moors and hills around Hollingworth Lake were riddled with small coal pits and quarries. The slag heaps from these mines can still be seen at Syke. Syke Farm dates from 1758, the name meaning Homestead by the River. The viaduct carrying the M62 east to Leeds now dominates the valley to the south of the lake. The motorway was completed in 1972 and is the highest in England. The rocky outcrop on the skyline to the north east of the lake is Blackstone Edge. The stone here is not black, but gun-metal coloured with substantial deposits of white silica. ‘Blackstone’ is a corruption of Blatchstone (bleached stone) edge. The Blackstone Edge Roman road is still a controversial structure. Long accepted as such, it became the subject of much argument in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The paved section appears suddenly at about the 1000ft level, 16ft wide, climbing steeply at nearly 1 in 4 to the crest of the ridge. There is little doubt that the road existed during the time of the Roman occupation and would have formed part of a route from Manchester to York or Ilkley. 

The nearby Rochdale Canal was first proposed in 1766, but it was not until 1794 that construction began. By the end of 1798 it was complete from Sowerby Bridge to Littleborough and Rochdale, and then reached Manchester in 1804. It was the first trans-Pennine canal and by far the most successful. Built to take barges 70ft long by 14ft wide, rather than the traditional 7ft narrow boats, its peak years were the 1880s when it carried around 750,000 tonnes annually. Traffic declined after 1920 but it was not until 1952 that the trans Pennine section was closed to navigation. Now it has been restored, and boat travellers can once again experience one of the most spectacular canal journeys in the country.




Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance: 10.00 miles
This is an undulating walk with good views. From Staveley thro Craggy Plantation then NE cross country via Littlewood Farm and Frost Hole to Side House. We then climb to Potter Tarn and cross Potter Fell to Gurnal Dubs. At Birk Rigg we go south to join the Dales Way. Returning to Staveley via Beckmickle Ing and Staveley Park.
Moderate Leader: Dave Hatchard   Distance: 7.00 miles
We follow the main road out of the village and go over Barley Bridge pausing to look at the weir. We turn right then immediately left and head up a grassy hillside heading to Littlewood Farm. This part of the walk is a bit steep but well worth the effort. We then head to Potter Tarn and this will be an ideal stop for lunch. We then go to Ghyll Pool and after looking at the waterfall we make our way to Mirefoot, turn right to Hagg Foot and cross the river and make our way back to Staveley. The walk consists of 7 well maintained ladder stiles, open fields, B roads and a footpath along side of the river which was boggy in places.
No leisurely walk today   Distance:
Easy Leaders: Hazel Anderton & Cynthia Prescott   Distance: 7.00 miles
The walk today will start off near the park and then follow tracks and fields as far as the sewage works! We then walk up a lane for a short while before turning off to go up through Dorothy Farrers Wood. After that we walk along the lane and track to some little waterfalls at a place called Side House. Next, we make our way down along fields to a lane. From here we have a problem. We intended walking down through some woods but the paths have been closed. After trying to find a suitable alternative we gave up as time was creeping on and so we took a short route back to Staveley, and even if we extend it by going up to the weir it is only about three and a half miles. We have some alternatives in mind but will decide what to do on the day.


Staveley is a large, mainly residential village of grey slate cottages and houses, sandwiched between the River Gowan and the River Kent at the southern end of the valley of Kentmere. It is in south Lakeland about 4 miles NW of Kendal. The area around Staveley has been inhabited since about 4000BC, at a time when trees grew extensively on the fellsides. The first permanent settlers were Celtic speaking British farmers, and they were followed in AD90 by the Romans, who had a road to the south of the village linking Kendal and Ambleside. The village is not to be confused with Staveley in Cartmel. 

The village has a railway station and the line connects to Windermere, and is often used by tourists. 

During the Dark Ages and later medieval times, the village and its neighbours grew, developed and were plundered in much the same way as many other villages throughout Cumbria. But by the time of the Industrial Revolution, the village was quick to expand as transport improved, firstly in textiles. But then Staveley became the bobbin turning capital of Westmorland using the suitable wood in the area, so that by 1851 there were more families working at the manufacture of bobbins than there were engaged in farming. By the 20th century, the bobbin industry had come to an end and new manufacturing industries developed such as diatomite, motor cycles and photographic paper, and today Staveley is still a small industrial village. 

Staveley was granted a market charter in the 13th century, and, also held a three-day fair each year. In 1338 the lord of the manor, Sir William Thweng, agreed to build a chapel in honour of St Margare. St Margarets Church was founded in 1388 but only the tower now remains. A plaque on the tower commemorates Staveley men of the F Company, Second V B Border Regiment, who served in the South Africa Campaign in 1900-01 under Major John Thompson. In 1864 it was decided to build a new church, and this was dedicated to St James. This later church has some beautiful stained glass designed by Burne-Jones and made by the William Morris company. 

The vale of Kentmere contains the source of the River Kent, a river that gave its name to Kendal. At the head of the dale, the village of Kentmere gathers around its church. There used to be a lake, or mere, just to the south of the church, but now there is nothing more than a swelling in the river. The lake was only a shallow affair and was drained in about 1840 to provide land for agriculture. In 1955, dredging along the river to gather diatomite for a processing plant at nearby Waterfoot uncovered what were believed to be two 10 century wooden canoe boats, the best of which was later presented to the National Maritime Museum. These finds give a clear indication that the valley was inhabited from early times, and maybe when the Romans were here, building their great highway across High Street. 

What is diatomite? It is a mild abrasive and used in products such as toothpaste, and it also has general health benefits and is used to treat high cholesterol or constipation.




Strenuous Leader : Rob Rose   Distance: 10.00 miles
If it is a nice Winters day we will walk up Pendle Hill. If not, we will walk from Downham to Worston passing Longlands Woods, Worsaw Hill and walk alongside Worston Brook. From Worston we walk to Chatburn then alongside the River Ribble on to Sawley. Then back to Downham passing the remains of an abbey along the way.
Moderate / Leisurely Leader: Steve Balenski   Distance: 6.70 miles
We head north climbing slightly on field paths and then drop down, crossing Rimington lane, Swanside Beck and the A59 to Sawley. We stop for lunch at the Abbey and then follow the River Ribble, partly on the lane, past Bowland High School and partly on the Ribble Way to Chatburn. We then loop round for our return climb to Downham at the Assheton Arms. We encounter step stiles, squeeze gates, kissing gates and cattle in some pastures. Paths were good on the recce. The only refreshment place open in Downham is the Assheton Arms which can provide tea and coffee for those who don’t want an alcoholic drink. It is open from 8am for breakfast and coffee etc.
Easy Leaders: Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling   Distance: 5.00 miles
The area around Downham has mainly fields, and lots of fields usually mean many stiles. So, to avoid too many stiles we will sometimes go along little lanes and good tracks, as well as fields. There were only 8 stiles, which were mainly stone ones, as we walked to the east and south of Downham, passing Worsaw Hill on the way back. There are some very nice views, and it was good underfoot on the reccee despite heavy rain the night before. We came across just one muddy patch, and no cattle, only sheep. There are a couple of places when we walk uphill. It is a bit steep but not strenuous or tricky underfoot.


It is often claimed that Downham is the prettiest village in Lancashire, and it is both undeniably picturesque and remarkably unspoilt. From the church, inn and group of old stone cottages at the top of the village, a road descends to a stream, bridge and a green, lined by more old cottages. The whole scene is presided over by the unmistakable profile of Pendle Hill which rises to 1900 ft. The village has remained unchanged since the early 18th century and has no road markings, overhead cables, TV aerials or Sky dishes to spoil the view. Its claim to fame is that it was used for the location of the film Whistle Down the Wind and, also has been used by the BBC for a television series. It is surrounded by lovely countryside, rich farmland hidden behind quiet lanes and has very contented cattle and sheep. 

It lies close to an old Roman road and is in an area said to be the haunt of the Pendle Witches. 

Apart from the fifteenth century tower, the church was almost entirely rebuilt around 1909-10, despite its medieval appearance. It contains memorials to the Assheton family, whose home is at Downham Hall next to the church. The Asshetons were the Lords of Downham from 1558 when they bought the manor and Whalley Abbey. Downham Hall is a repository of old books and family records, Nicholas Assheton the diarist being among the company surrounding James I at Houghton Tower in 1617. The Assheton coat of arms are painted on the inn sign. The Assheton family has been very generous to the village including paying for the school. 

Cricket is still played on the Barley Field, so called because barley was planted there in 1812, in response to a shortage of food locally. 

Return to Top of Page

© Skelmersdale Rambling Club 2018
Web Analytics
View Stats