SKELMERSDALE RAMBLING CLUB

 

Skelmersdale Rambling Club

KENDAL, CUMBRIA

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24th 2016

TODAY'S WALKS

Strenuous Leader: Andrew Mayer   Distance: approx. 11.0 miles
We head out of Kendal, towards Oxenholme railway station on the public footpath, heading towards New Hutton. After approx. 1.5 to 2 hours we stop for lunch. We then return to Kendal via fields and public footpaths. Total walk time about 5 hours, distance approx. 11 miles
Moderate/leisurely Leaders: David & Cynthia Prescott   Distance : 7.0 miles
Height gain: 300 metres
This is a pleasant walk with good views all the way from Kendal up to the limestone escarpment of Scout Scar which gives unimpeded views towards the Lakeland Fells. The first part of the walk is rising and climbs fairly steeply up the road out of Kendal from the Town Hall. So we expect to take our time over this stretch. At the top of the hill, at the viewpoint, we find a stone shelter with lots of seating so we hope to use this for lunch. We come downhill on field tracks, across the golf course, through a wood and then down cobbled paths and lanes into town.

Kendal suffered badly in the past view weeks from heavy rain and floods but we were surprised to find when we did the recci on 6th January (after more rain) that the conditions were pretty good and any mud was not deep. Most of the time we could walk a few paces to the side to avoid it. It was certainly better than the conditions we usually find at this time of the year. Limestone drains well.

Good toilet facilities can be found at the entrance to the K Village shopping precinct on the road into town below the Leisure Centre coach park so we shall meet with everyone there to start the walk.

Easy Leader : Derek Lee   Distance : 5.0 miles
This walk is a linear walk and will leave the coach soon after we turn off the M6.

First, there is a short walk (300 yds) to Low Sizergh Barn for coffee and other services. Then we join a pleasant, mostly wooded, riverside footpath as far as Natland, next a footpath following the line of the old canal into Kendal. This is a fairly easy walk which will pass the coach, parked at the Leisure Centre, after 4 miles. But we can continue another mile into Kendal where those who feel deprived of hills can climb the 120 feet up to the castle remains to enjoy the view. The route might have to be changed slightly from that originally planned because of flood damage.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Kendal, an affluent town, is the largest in the defunct county of Westmorland, and was formerly an important woollen textile centre, an industry that was founded by John Kemp, a Flemish weaver, in 1331. The town is always bustling, and it remains an important Cumbrian settlement. It is largely built from grey limestone, the local rock.

These days it makes its money from tourism and can be regarded as the gateway to the Lake District. It is also the home of Kendal Mint Cake, the minty sweet confectionery which has been taken on many expeditions because of its high glucose content. Kendal is also involved in the manufacture of pipe tobacco and snuff.

The town is full of character with lots of interesting buildings, especially Georgian, with many yards and narrow alleyways which reflect the pattern of development that had evolved by the 18th century.

The main artery is Highgate - part of a devilish one-way system - with the wynds and the courtyards linking Highgate with the River Kent.

Kendal, where six bridges cross the river, has been a place of strategic importance since the Romans built a fort, of which little is now visible, to the south of the town. The fort was called Alauna, and seems to have been occupied from AD80 to the 4th century, and would have been built to command the roads to Lancaster, Ambleside, Low Borrow Bridge in the Lune valley, and Brougham.

Kendal Castle, a roughly circular earthwork surrounded by a ditch, stands on a hill just outside the town, and probably dates from the 12th century. Additional features date from the 13th and 14th centuries, when it was the home of the Barons of Kendal and their centre of administration and defence. By the late 16th century, the castle was in an advanced state of decay, and has remained so ever since. However, most of the castle wall survives along with one of its towers. The manor hall was by far the most important building in the castle, and parts of this also remain. Because several footpaths run through the grounds, the castle is open at all times.

The church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity is Cumbria's largest parish church, and dates from the 13th century, though now it is essentially a Victorian creation, having been significantly altered during restorations that took place between 1850 and 1852. It was built on the site of an earlier church, and has five aisles, two each side of the nave and chancel, and a fine western tower with a peel of 10 bells.

Author Alfred Wainwright was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, but lived in Kendal for fifty years until his death in 1991. He eventually became the town's borough treasurer, and is renowned for the many books he composed in his unique style about the Lakeland which he loved, and other parts of Britain, especially Scotland and Wales. Wainwright had an office in Kendal Town Hall from 1947 to 1967.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

CARTMEL, CUMBRIA

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28th 2016

TODAY'S WALKS

Strenuous Leader:   No leader today
It is a do-it-yourself job today. An O/S map will be available
Moderate/leisurely Leaders : Margaret Black & Steve Balenski   Distance : 6.5 miles
This is a level walk to start with setting out across the racecourse and a well-defined footpath, part of which is the Cistercian Way. It then follows a mixture of fairly gentle ups and downs, crossing over farm fields and pasture land intermingled with some lane walking. Having skirted around the gentler end of Hampsfield Fell it is then steeply downhill back into Cartmel.
Easy Leader : Philomena Walker   Distance : 4.5 miles
The walk starts off across the racecourse, then through the woods, crosses fields and lanes and back to Cartmel.

NOTES ON THE AREA

This unspoilt village is situated in a quiet valley in one of England's most outstanding areas of natural beauty and is just over two miles from Grange. It is on the southern fringes of the Lake District, between the mountains and the sea. The village huddles around a massive priory church, which was part of a monastery founded in 1188 by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. When the monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536-1540 the priory was saved because it doubled as the parish church.

The monastery fell into ruins, except for the gatehouse which now forms an attractive entrance to the village square. It was built at about 1330 as a fortified tower for the priory. At the dissolution it was being used as a courthouse; from 1625 to 1790 as a school, and is now a craft shop. The nearby obelisk is 18th century. For some reason, when the tower was heightened in the 15th century, it was built on a diagonal, giving the church a distinctive appearance. Inside there are intricate carvings dating from 1450 on the tip-up seats of the choir stalls. In 1618 the church was re-roofed and the screen carved. The archway of the north door has elaborate dog-toothed moulding.

Although Cartmel is an old village it is a thriving place. Once again it triumphed in 2015 at the Cumbria Britain in Bloom, winning a number of awards.

There are second hand bookshops and craft galleries around and near the square, several village pubs and a couple of cafes and speciality food and drink businesses including Hales Chocolate, Cartmel Cheese, an artisan bakery, a micro-brewery, the well-known sticky toffee pudding and also a Michelin restaurant L’Enclume. Cartmel Racecourse holds meetings at the Spring and Summer bank holidays. They are very relaxed and informal affairs. Bring your deckchair and parasol on a nice day.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

HAYFIELD, DERBYSHIRE

SUNDAY, APRIL 3rd 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader: Rowland Nock   Distance: 11.5 miles
Total climbing for the day approximately 600 metres (2,000 Feet)
This classic high hill walk retraces the route of the famous mass trespass onto Kinder Scout on 24th April 1932. Please bear in mind the walk does include some ford crossings.
Having passed the memorial plaque at Bowden Bridge on the River Kinder we head up via Kinder Reservoir and William Clough onto the Kinder plateau. The Pennine Way is then followed, passing the dramatic Kinder Downfall, and topping out at Kinder Low (633m). We descend towards Edale Cross then heading west to Coldwell Clough, and contouring round Elle Bank we pick up the River Kinder back to Hayfield.
With a bit of luck there should be time for a quick well-earned cuppa or a pint (hopefully)!
Moderate/leisurely Leader: Joan McGlinchey   Distance : 6.50 miles
This is a challenging walk in more ways than one !!
The 1st part of our walk starts as we head towards the Quarry and Stones House. Then we have a very steep hill to climb, which we will take slowly- (It’s not called the High Peak District for nothing). This heads towards the Sheepford and Kinderlow End. Before we reach Kinderlow End we bear to the right and make our way to the Valve Chamber and Stony Ford. We start the second part of our walk here. This is where you will have to bear with me, as the second part that we walked turned out to be unsuitable. So, today’s 2nd part has not been recced - sorry.
We will head toward Coldwell Clough, and continue making our way down to Hayfield going past part of the wood at Elle Bank, then Stubbs Farm and Highgate head.
Easy Leader: Jackie Gudgeon   Distance : 5-5.5 miles
We leave the coach park in Hayfield to set off east through the village and then along the River Sett and past the camp site at Bowden Bridge,- fairly flat for just over a mile. We then turn south along a metalled lane, turning off onto a rough track which climbs steadily, with Mount Famine and South Head looming ahead. Don’t worry we are not going to climb either of these, but reach a col just before these impressive hills, by Higher Heys Farm. Lunch will be up here at our highest point of the walk, on whichever side of the wall is the most sheltered, with stunning views either way. Dropping down now into the valley to cross the A624 at Peep-o-Day, followed by a slight uphill before following the contours past Far Phoside to Phoside Farm. Here we have a choice! We can climb a little higher to almost reach the TV Station tower, followed by a long descent to the Sett Valley Trail in Birch Vale, or we can carry on past Ridge Top to descend into the valley a little nearer to Hayfield. Depends how we feel at the time.

NOTES ON THE AREA

The pretty name and rural setting disguise Hayfield's industrial past; the village once hummed and rattled to the sound of cotton and paper mills, calico printing and dye works. It also resounded to marching feet and cries of protest when in 1830 a mob of 1,000 mill workers gathered to demand a living wage and were dispersed by hussars. Eleven men appeared at Derby Assizes as a result but the cotton industry was in terminal decline and all the anger was in vain.

We ramblers owe much to the famous “mass trepass” of ramblers onto Kinder Scout which took place a century later on 24th April 1932 in order to gain access to the hills. The starting point was Hayfield. It was a peaceful protest, but politically explosive. About 500 walkers took part, climbing the public footpath out of Hayfield to William Clough. A brief scuffle took place when the protestors left the path and were met by a group of gamekeepers on Sandy Heys, but there was no real confrontation and nobody bothered to trespass to the top of Kinder. Even so, six protestors were arrested and thrown into the old Hayfield lock-up on Market Street. They duly appeared at Derby Assizes and were sentenced to up to six months in gaol, which resulted in a publicity bonanza for the ramblers and ensured a place in history for Hayfield and the "right to roam".

Despite the occasional flurries of excitement, Hayfield is now a peaceful little village, catering for tourists of all kinds. Serious walkers head east out of the village, up and over the green foothills to the russet expanse of the Kinder plateau. Families and easier-going ramblers head west along the Sett Valley Trail towards New Mills. The car park at the start of this three-mile trail, separated from the main village by the A624, was once the railway station, and the trail itself follows the course of the single-track line. In its heyday thousands of day visitors arrived here from Manchester via the New Mills branch line. Hayfield marked the end of the mill towns and the start of the countryside.

The Kinder Downfall is often a focus for ramblers on Kinder Scout - and rightly so - a chasm of dark gritstone topped by blocks and flattened boulders into which the peaty waters of the Kinder River plunge. If a west or south-westerly gale happens to be blowing, you may witness the waterfall being blasted back in a plume of spray, drenching passers-by above! Equally spectacular are the effects of prolonged freezing when the cascade attracts ice climbers.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

CASTLETON, DERBYSHIRE

SUNDAY APRIL 24th 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader: Rowland Nock     Distance: 10.0 miles
This walk includes the classic Mam Tor to Lose Hill ridge walk with spectacular views of the Vale of Edale and beyond. We start by heading out past Peak, Treak Cliff and Blue John Caverns on to Mam Tor. We will then follow the ridge all the way to Lose Hill and from there descend via Crimea Farm to the village of Hope. We then cross the main road to pick up the river side path back to Castleton for some well-earned tea and tiffin! Please note there are some stiles on this walk and when I planned it there were the odd muddy bits Total climbing 1300 ft
Moderate Leader: Peter Denton     Distance : 7.00 miles
As you will see Castleton is situated in a horse shoe canyon and to get the best out of our day in this area of the Peak District we need to gain some height as soon as possible. We will be aiming for Hollins Cross but not by the direct route. We will start up Cave Dale onto the Limestone Way. Next we head for Windy Knoll then around Mam Tor as we make are way up to Hollins Cross. After that we head down to Castleton for a well-earned beverage and an over-priced rum and raisin ice cream. Mmmmm! Lovely!
Leisurely Leaders: David & Cynthia Prescott     Distance : 5.50 miles
This walk heads up towards Mam Tor but doesn't go up the steep higher part of the hill, instead staying at the level where you can see the farm buildings; so although we climb up it is a good leisurely walk with no huff and puff and nice views. Most of the stiles have been replaced with springy gates. We go up to the site of the disused Odin Mine, pass Mam farm and Woodseats and then head back downhill to Dunscar Farm returning to the outskirts of Castleton before heading up to the Training centre and adventure play area to Spring House Farm. We return on the sidewalk of the main road, walking through the town to the coach park. Expect muddy boots after rain.
Easy Leader: Irene Wilcock     Distance : 5.00 miles
An easy start to the walk followed by a short uphill path towards Losehill. We then continue down to Hope village. From there we take a path by the river before reaching the road taking us back to the centre.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Castleton is regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in the Peak District surrounded by superb walking countryside, and with plenty of watering holes and outdoor shops to cater for walkers’ needs.

First recorded in 1196, Castleton is essentially a medieval mining town. Unlike most mining towns, it was planned, rather than being built by random extensions. Set out under the castle, it ceased to prosper when the castle lost its importance in the fourteenth century. The castle named Peveril Castle dates from the 11th century and was built by William Peveril, William the Conqueror’s local bailiff. The rectangular keep is late Norman of about 1175. A dry ditch isolates the castle yard, which occupies nearly the whole of the summit, from the rest of the hill. By the seventeenth century the castle was in ruins.

Castleton is famed for its show caves: Speedwell Mine is at the foot of Winnats Pass. Treak Cliff Cavern is the biggest, and along with Blue John Cave produces the beautiful Blue John, a blue and yellow coloured semi-precious stone which is used in the manufacture of ornaments and jewellery which are on sale in the shops. Peak cavern was used for rope making.

Mam Tor is composed of alternate layers of sandstone and shale, exposed in the great precipice. This is a highly unstable combination which has given rise to Mam Tor's other name, the Shivering Mountain. The summit is ringed by the massive ramparts of an Iron Age fort, cut into by the continually slipping cliff. A packhorse track skirts the north face of Mam Tor and then follows the ridge to Hollins Cross and down to Hope on the southern slopes of Lose Hill. Until 1633, when a chapel was built at Edale, funeral processions had to climb the ridge for burial at Hope.

Limestone and shale are the essential components of cement and so Hope Cement Works, constructed in 1933, is strategically placed at the geological junction of the two. A branch line joins the works to the main railway line over concrete bridges which are quite out of character with the area. The quarry is gradually devouring the limestone to the south and, although providing much needed local employment, is quite a blot on the landscape.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

KETTLEWELL. NORTH YORKSHIRE

SUNDAY 22nd MAY 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader: Dag Griffiths   Distance: 10.0 miles
Kettlewell - Old Cote Moor – Litton – Arncliffe- Kettlewell

Dag has been unable to reccee the walk as he has been ill. He is better, although not fit to ramble just yet, but he has sent a map and notes of the walk he had in mind, if the strenuous group would like to do their own walk.

Moderate Leaders: Pam & Malc Chamberlain   Distance : 8.25 miles
We will walk out of Kettlewell and proceed up a 300+ metre (1000 ft) climb over the first hour of our walk to Cam Head then make our way across Starbotton Out Moor. Starbotton Out Moor is a little boggy and this will take a little while to cross, next we will cross Knuckle Bone Pasture where we will have views of Wharfedale. We will drop down to Starbotton village, down a steep and stony path, where we can catch our breath at the Fox and Hounds if needed before crossing the River Wharfe where we will join the Dales Way back to Kettlewell.
Leisurely Leader: Peter Denton   Distance :5.8 miles
We are leaving Kettlewell and heading for Conistone as you will see we are sat in a valley and we have only one climb, which is after we have stretched our legs about 30min’s into your walk. we then enjoy a lovely stroll along the hillside with plenty of photo opportunities on the dales way.
Easy Leader: Jackie Gudgeon   Distance : 5.00 miles
Today we will leave Kettlewell south along the River Wharfe on to a lane at Hawkshead, then picking up the Dales Way to the top of the village. We will walk through this attractive village to pick up a footpath which follows the dale northwards as far as Starbotton where we will have lunch. We return to Kettlewell along the Dales Way path which pretty much follows the river. An easy valley walk with minimal uphill. Several stiles, both of the climbing and gate varieties. Care will need to be taken if wet because of the limestone underfoot.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Kettlewell is the hub of Upper Wharfedale, a junction of roads and a natural halting place, nestling at the main junction of the Wharfe valley. It stands on what was a major coaching route to Richmond, and the two Inns at the entrance to the village would service the weary travellers. Shops, tearooms and a third Inn add more life to a village being steadily engulfed by holiday homes. The slopes of Great Whernside bear the scars of a lead-mining industry long since replaced by tourism as a major source of employment.

In the 12th century, part of Kettlewell’s manor was granted to the canons of Coverham Abbey across the hills to the north. Fountains Abbey and Bolton Priory also had estates here, so it was natural that a market was established in the 13th century and the village became a thriving community. Textiles, and in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, lead-mining revitalized the village’s prosperity and so Kettlewell’s appearance today derives much from those past 200 years. The remains of the smelting mill, used from 1700 to 1886, can still be seen near the confluence of Cam and Dowber Becks half a mile above the village.

The main road touches only the southern end of the village, and a stroll through the town’s quiet lanes and turnings reveals a number of 17th and 18th century houses, including the vicarage. The church, however, is late Victorian. This attractive 19th century building stands on the site of an earlier 12th century church from which only the “tub” font remains. A document of 1338, on display, refers to the days when the manor belonged to Coverham Abbey, near Leyburn. There are two interesting modern windows commemorating young men who died in the Second World War.

There are many stories relating to Kettlewell. According to one of these, in 1218 the local parson was found dead in the fields. Ralph, the Marshall, was suspected of the killing as he had seduced the parson’s mistress and taken her off to Skipton. Perhaps she was attracted as much by Ralph’s money as his other charms because parsons were never well paid, and during Elizabethan times the Kettlewell parson kept an inn in his house to eke out his meagre salary.

Another story is about Starbotton which is a compact village surrounded by fells. In 1686 a torrential storm caused flooding, and because the houses were so close together, most were destroyed and the bridge washed away. Off the main road are some lovely corners with an old Quaker burial ground hidden away.

Kettlewell is regarded as one of the most peaceful and beautiful villages in the area. It is well known for its limestone terraces fringed with Hazel and Rowan trees. It is surrounded by superb walking countryside from fell walking to gentle strolls along the river, and has plenty of watering holes and outdoor shops to cater for walkers’ needs. It is also good for cycling along the quiet country lanes and other peaceful villages. Accommodation is available for those who wish to visit longer, and dates to note this year are 8th to 16th August when a scarecrow festival takes place.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

LLANDUDNO, NORTH WALES

SUNDAY 26TH JUNE 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader: Carole Rankin   Distance: 10.0 miles
This varied walk will need a good pace. From Llandudno we head via Happy Valley and St. Tudno’s Church to the top of the Great Orme hopefully for great views. Descending down to Conwy Sands on The Monk’s Path and the North Wales Path. Then across to Penrhyn-side via Bryniau and Nant-y-Gamar and onto Little Orme if time allows, hopefully for more great views. The return to Llandudno is along the North Wales Path for well-earned refreshments.
Moderate Leaders: Cynthia & David Prescott   Distance : 7.00miles
This is a lovely walk onto the Little Orme. If you look over to the Little Orme you can assess the climb. It is not too difficult for a moderate walk. We first did this walk on the Skem Ramblers weekend when it was misty. On the recci it was a beautiful, cold sunny day and the views were wonderful in every direction. You look over Llandudno, the Great Orme, towards Colwyn Bay and the sea. From the coach park, we go along the promenade (or beach) and head uphill between houses to the Wales Coast Path and through the Rhiwledyn Nature Reserve. We head down to look over Angel Bay; where on both occasions we watched seals basking and swimming. We may be lucky again! We intend to lunch here before heading towards Penrhyn-side, through woodland and down to overlook the Bodafon Hall Farm, past the High School and back though the town. Mainly good paths and few awkward stiles.
Leisurely Leader: Philomena Walker   Distance: 7.00 miles
We go in the opposite direction, along the lower slopes of the Great Orme through some gardens and then along the shore to Conway for lunch, generally along good paths. Here we can decide what to do next, spend some time in Conway and catch the bus back to Llandudno, although you can’t use your bus pass in Wales, or return on foot along the same route.
Easy Leader: Jackie Gudgeon   Distance : 5.00 miles
Today the Easy walkers will leave the coach in Conwy where there are cafes and toilets that we can use. We will follow the coast (good paved tracks most of the way) around the Conwy estuary and past Deganwy, then on to Llandudno. The last mile or so can be through the town, or on a higher footpath passing gardens and tea room. Flat walk, apart from this last optional higher path.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Llandudno is the largest seaside resort in Wales and lies on a curving bay, flanked to the west by the Great Orme, a massive limestone headland nearly 700 ft high which shelters the beach from westerly winds, and on the other side by the Little Orme, a smaller headland. It is a well-planned town with a wide promenade and main streets - the legacy of two men, Edward Mostyn and Owen Williams, who in 1849, set about transforming Llandudno from a mining and fishing village into a resort.

Llandudno is a relatively quiet resort, more genteel than other places and is a nice place for a quiet seaside holiday with its good beach, promenade, pier and pleasant surroundings. It is also a good spot to be based for a touring holiday being well situated for places further west along the coast such as Conway, Caernarvon and Anglesey, or to Snowdonia to the south.

The Great Orme provides views of Snowdonia, the Isle of Man and the Lake District. Near the summit stands St Tudno’s Church. The oldest part, the north wall of the nave, dates from the 12th and early13th century. For those who do not mind going into confined spaces there is now a bronze age copper mine about half way up and easily accessible from the half way stop on the tram. At that time it was one of the most important copper mines in the world. It was also very important about 1840 but the workings were only rediscovered by accident in about 1988.

Happy Valley, one means of access to the Great Orme, is a garden lover’s delight, containing rare plants, shrubs and trees. Other ways of reaching the summit include the Great Orme tramway, nearly a mile long, and a cable-car lift. For the more energetic there is good old fashioned shank’s pony.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

GLENRIDDING,CUMBRIA

SUNDAY 31st JULY 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader: Rowland Nock   Distance: 10.0 miles
This classic mountain day out involves the ascent of St Sunday Crag (841m or 2700ft) giving spectacular views of the surrounding area including Helvellyn. Please do bear in mind the height gain of over 2000ft involved before joining the walk.

We initially head west along the side of Glenridding Beck and then head up south to the lovely Lanty's Tarn. Descending into the Grisedale valley we then make a gradual ascent of St Sunday Crag. The rest of the walk is now 'mainly' downhill as we take a descending path to the beautifully remote Grisedale Tarn. There is a short boggy(ish) bit here and we do have to cross the infant Grisedale Beck via some stepping stones near the tarn. We then merrily skip our way down via Ruthwaite Lodge climbing hut until we re trace our steps back to Glenridding again via the Lovely lapping Lanty's Tarn (couldn't resist)

We may be a bit time restricted today it depends how we go, but I’m hopeful 'T & T' or a pint is a possibility and perhaps a cool bucket of water to rest our feet in!

Moderate Leaders: Cynthia & David Prescott   Distance : 7.00 miles
This is a lovely walk along the Grisedale valley. We walk towards Patterdale with views of the bottom of Ullswater and then walk up the lane from Grisedale Bridge, keeping Grisedale Beck down on our right. When the views open out we continue up the valley until we reach a footbridge that allows us to cross to the other side of the beck and make our walk back. The path continues up to Lanty's tarn and on to beautiful viewpoint that overlooks Glenridding and Ullswater. We then take the path to the left to go down a stepped rocky path. There are no stiles on this walk but lots of rocky and stony paths and tracks. No muddy fields. It goes uphill enough to make it a good moderate walk but there are plenty of level stretches or gentle rises and falls.
Leisurely Leaders Joan Mcglinchey and Margaret Black   Distance: 5.75 miles
This walk takes us out to Patterdale by crossing over both the Glenridding and Grizedale Becks. We start by walking up Greenside Road to then cross the valley over to Miresbeck for the rocky but gradual climb up to the viewpoint overlooking the lake - hopefully also the lunch stop. Then after passing by Lanty's Tarn there is a pleasant grassy descent to cross over Grizedale before a very short but steep and rocky climb - which can be avoided if weather dictates - to reach the footpath which leads us around to the Patterdale Hotel. Before returning along the road back to Glenridding, we follow the circular pathway over the valley to Side Farm, worth it for the return view. While most of the walk is over well-defined and level footpaths or road, there are a couple of short challenging sections which are rocky and very uneven underfoot requiring careful treading.
Easy Leader: Hazel Anderton   Distance : 4.50 miles
From the car park, we go up through the village. Apart from a steepish part when going up thru the village it is mainly a slow steady climb as we go up Greenside along Glenridding Beck to the mine workings and the youth hostel following the route up to Helvellyn. Do not panic! We soon cross a bridge, then walk back along the other side of the valley above the stream, with some great views across the valley eventually making our way to lovely tranquil Lanty's Tarn. Just after, there is another great view across Glenridding and Ullswater before we start coming down to the village. We did not encounter much mud or many stiles but there might be some water if it’s been wet. Most of the time the paths are good underfoot but there are one or two spots where you need to pick your way over rocky bits.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Glenridding is a small tourist village on Ullswater, in the north eastern part of the Lake District National Park, though it first grew in importance with the development of the Greenside Lead Mine. Lead ore was first discovered in the 1650's, the first levels were driven by Dutch adventurers in the 1690's and dressed ore was carried down to the Stoneycroft smelter at Keswick. Production at the mine, however, did not really begin until the late 18th century and the mine was not extensively worked until 1825 when the mining activity reached its height. Power was originally provided by waterwheels, with the water being supplied by the damming of nearby tarns. One of them, Keppel Cove, burst its banks in 1927 bringing disaster to the village below. Much the same happened four years later, when flood waters smashed through the concrete of High Dam. The village also suffered badly from the floods of last Autumn. By the early 1960's it had become uneconomic to extract lead from the mine and it closed. Most of the mine buildings are now gone, but a few remain and see service as a youth hostel and mountain huts. The A66 to Keswick by-passes the area so Glenridding has remained a quiet village.

The area has much to offer walkers from gentle walks to more strenuous ones including the walk up to Helvellyn and Striding Edge. There are great views from the surrounding hills. The village is near the foot of Kirkstone Pass along Patterdale which brings you out to Ambleside.

Ullswater is second only to Windermere in length but far surpasses it for peace and solitude. Although a navigable highway, there are few motor-driven vessels on the lake as the speed boats and water skiers having been driven away by the 10 mph speed restriction imposed in 1983. There are two launches which sail the lake from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge, the 'Lady of the Lake' was first launched in 1877 and her sister ship 'Raven' in 1889. You can get on at Glenridding, Howtown or Pooley Bridge. Originally the launches were steam driven but today they are powered by diesel. At the northern end of the lake there is an underground pumping station which draws water off to feed the reservoir for Manchester at Haweswater.

Nearby is the beauty spot, Aira Force, and the popular valley of Patterdale, . The so-called Lake Poets greatly loved the place, and its attractions brought not only the Wordsworths, but Sir Walter Scott, Sir Humphrey Davey, and others. At Gowbarrow Park Dorothy Wordsworth noticed the daffodils that led to her brother William penning what is perhaps his best-remembered poem.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

ILKLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE

SUNDAY 4th September 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader: Carole Rankin   Distance: 12.00 miles
From CP in Ilkley we make our way to the Panorama Rocks then up Heber’s Ghyll to the Swastika Stone and along the edge of the moors to Windgate Nick (381m/1250ft). We then descend to Addingham and over the R. Wharfe. Across fields to Nesfield passing High Austby Farm, Tivoli and stopping at Mount Calvary on our way to Middleton Woods and back to Ilkley along the Wharfe.
Although no great climbs, this is a long walk and a good pace is required.
Moderate Leader: Peter Denton   Distance : 8.50 miles
From Ilkley we head up to White Wells to meet up with the “Millennium Way” Then we head west to Addingham High Moor. Then back down off the moor to pick up the “Dales Way” path along the river into Ilkley, for refreshments and a well-earned rest.
Leisurely Leaders: Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling   Distance 6.50 miles
The walk might not go ahead due to illness.
We had been planning to go up to White Wells, then go along the bottom edge of Ilkley Moor as far as the Swastika stone, then return to White Wells along some different paths, where possible, and if the weather is fair make our way to the Cow and Calf viewpoint before returning down to Ilkley.
Easy Leader: Jackie Gudgeon   Distance : 5.50 miles
We head down to the River Wharfe and follow the Dales Way to Addingham, where we cross the river on a suspension bridge, and return to Ilkley on the opposite side of the river. The outward journey is very easy walking on good lanes and paths with the no stiles only kissing gates. The return on the opposite side of the river is another story altogether with a longish uphill stretch (not steep) on a quiet lane with nice views over the valley to Ilkley Moor, followed by fields and woodland back down to the river. Several climbing stiles on this stretch with one or two quite awkward wall stiles.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Ilkley is the highest town on the River Wharfe, and provides the perfect stepping stone between the industrial townships downstream and the joys of the Yorkshire Dales immediately upstream. Travelling up the Wharfe, it is only on reaching Ilkley that the enclosing hills first show their more serious intentions, and none more so than the world-famous Ilkley Moor rising steeply to the south of the town. Its breezy heather heights are in fact only a modest tract of the extensive, all-embracing Rombalds Moor which boasts a wealth of antiquity in stone, with circles, cairns and carvings. Also above the town are the Cow and Calf Rocks, the Tarn and Hebers Gyhyll, all being popular local haunts.

Although Ilkley's origins are far earlier, it is perhaps best known as the Roman 'Olicana' and for some superb Anglian crosses, now inside the Parish Church. Alongside the church is the very attractive Manor House, now serving as a museum. Ilkley's real growth came with the railway, and its humble pretentions to being a spa resort. To this day it has attracted wealth in the form of businessmen seeking a haven from city workplaces and people set for relaxing retirement amidst invigorating air.

White Wells was built as a small bath house in the 1760's by Squire Middleton of Ilkley. The buildings date from the 18th century, and include bath houses built to utilise the intensely cold and invigorating spring water of the Great Spaw (spa) for ‘hydropathic’ treatment. One bath can still be used, and is particularly popular on New Year’s Day and Yorkshire Day (1st August). Alternative forms of ‘refreshment’ are provided by the old drinking fountain next to the building, or by the café inside which opens ‘whenever the flags are flying’ (most school holidays and weekends throughout the year). The view from the terrace includes the former hydro of Wells House, built to cater for the burgeoning interest in the ‘water cure’. Among its guests was Charles Darwin, who came here on completing ‘The Origin of Species’ in 1859. He would possibly have ridden a donkey up to the bath-house for treatment.

Most of the stone to build Ilkley came out of the huge hole of Hangingstones Quarry, which now forms a strangely beautiful landscape. Above the far end, the rock surface beneath your feet has been smoothed flat under the pressure of ice, and grooved by stones frozen into the glacier sliding over it. The sharp end of the Hangingstones Ridge is called Crocodiles Head and is poised above the abyss of Backstone Beck. The gorge has been cut along a fault plane where the rock has been weakened and shattered, but a waterfall has formed where a harder, less yielding layer of rock runs across it. The fault has separated the Hangingstones ‘block’ from the main body of the moorland above.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

KIRKBY LONSDALE, CUMBRIA

SUNDAY 25th SEPTEMBER 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Donna Callaghan   Distance : 9.80 miles
Along tracks, fields, marsh, a short walk on road, gates and a few stiles. It could be wet underfoot.
We start with our back to Devil’s Bridge, up past the caravan park, under the disused railway line and then onto Wandales Lane. Next we turn onto Bridleway Fell Road. Then a bit of a stiff climb (walking on road for about 800m). At the top is an enormous cairn, a substantial shelter here for lunch. At the trig point were views of Howegill Head, Barbon High Fell and Casterton Fell. Then back DOWN via Beckside and Castleton golf course.
Moderate Leader: Selwyn Williams   Distance : 8.50 miles
Starting at Devil's Bridge we head out towards High Casterton and then to Blindloss Farm leading to Fellfoot Road, an old drover’s lane green underfoot between dry stone walls.
If the weather is kind you can look around and see nature's autumn harvest, blackberries, sloes, hazelnuts and elderberries. Along this way, there are large boulders enclosed on all sides with walls. I am intrigued as to their origins and purpose, and would value an opinion.
When we reach Tuplot Wood, we stroll across meadow via Langthwaite to reach Casterton which we skirt round to go past the impressive Casterton Hall and in my case, fail to find Marigold Well, probably due to a path diversion.
An unfortunate length of road walking brings us back to the coach.
After changing into your comfy shoes, you can stroll into Kirkby Lonsdale and for those of you who can't get enough of a good thing, cross the bridge and take the riverside path to Radical Steps and Ruskin View to enter the town via the church graveyard. This detour adds less than half a mile to the distance to the town.
Leisurely Leader: Philomena Walker   Distance 6.25 miles
We cross Devil’s Bridge and walk south along the River Lune for about 1½ miles to Coneygarth Lane. We go north along this track, along the path to Home farm at Whittingham, and cross the road to go along Hostickle Lane passing Hagg Wood. We then turn right picking up a track to Sellet Mill and a further track to Wood End and onto the road leading back to Kirkby Lonsdale.
Easy Leader: Adelaide Houghton   Distance : 5.00 miles
This circular walk north of Devil’s Bridge is a compromise as the planned walk along the river had to be abandoned due to land slips.
It starts going north across fields with one short sharp uphill climb, then a good long stretch along quiet country lanes with good views of the surrounding countryside. Once back on fields there is a possible lunch stop. After passing Kerstwick and Underley Home Farm we stroll thru parkland alongside a stream then onto a woodland path above the River Lune which brings us to Ruskin’s View. Finally, we can go into Kirkby Lonsdale for the cafes and pubs and/or continue along the river path back to Devil’s Bridge and the coach.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Kirkby Lonsdale is one of several lovely old villages in the Lune Valley. It is on high ground overlooking a bend in the River Lune and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. It was originally a crossing point over the Lune and was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. It is a town of dignified, stone buildings, many 18th century, which spread out from the market square in narrow alleys, some quite steep, and cobbled courtyards, with names like The Horsemarket, Salt Pie Lane, and Jingling Lane. According to local tradition, this lane acquired its name because it 'jingles' if someone treads heavily along it. This may be an echoing effect from an old tunnel said to exist beneath the surface.

Market Day is on Thursday, when the square is crammed with stalls. Dotted among the more modest buildings are some on a grander scale. They include the mid-Victorian Market House on the corner of Market Street, and the early 18th century Old Manor House in Mill Brow. There are several Inns, including the 17th century Sun Hotel with three pillars at the front, and the Royal Hotel, named after William IV's widow Queen Adelaide, who convalesced here in 1840. Alongside Mill Brow many mills grew up using the force of the fast flowing water.

The town has two bridges over the Lune - an ancient beautiful one called Devil’s Bridge, supposedly built by the Devil - and a new one, definitely not beautiful, built by man in 1932. It is said that when the Devil put up his bridge, he claimed the first living thing to cross it - which turned out to be an old dog. Local historians say that the bridge dates from before 1368; there are records to show that repairs were carried out then, and that the vicar of St Mary's raised the money to pay for it. Modern traffic can now no longer use it and it is Grade 1 listed.

The Lune near Devil’s Bridge is popular with scuba divers as it has some deep pools, and is also popular for the illegal ‘tombstoning’. St Mary's churchyard has an unusual feature - an elegant eight-sided gazebo, or pavilion. It was probably built in the 18th century to provide a sheltered point from which to enjoy the magnificent views of the Lune valley, which the 19th century art critic John Ruskin called 'one of the loveliest scenes in England, and therefore the world'. The viewpoint is known as Ruskin’s view. The Norman church is noted for the distinctive diamond patterns on some of its columns on the north side of the nave. St Mary's was extensively restored in the mid-1880's when workmen uncovered burn marks in the tower. The marks were probably made in 1314 when the church was set on fire by roving Scots celebrating their victory at Bannockburn.

Many motorbike enthusiasts gather at Kirkby Lonsdale every Sunday.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

GARSTANG, LANCASHIRE

SUNDAY 30th OCTOBER 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Malcolm Chamberlain   Distance : 11.25 miles
We head south out of Garstang before turning east, passing the ruins of Greenhalgh Castle and crossing the railway line and M6 (this section is likely to be muddy). There is a gentle climb past Janet’s Hill Wood and Sullom Side, including distant views of Oakenclough Fell. We descend through the woods into the valley and the village of Calder Vale with its working mill. From Calder Vale we head north, climbing 100 metres to the radio masts and reservoirs. There is a half mile walk along the road to Grizedale Bridge before turning west through Holme Wood and ascending Nicky Nook. If the weather is clear there will be a good view of the coast from here. We descend Nicky Nook towards Scorton and pick up the Wyre Way to head back into Garstang.along tracks, fields, marsh, a short walk on road, gates and a few stiles. It could be wet underfoot.
Moderate Leader: Pam Chamberlain   Distance : 8.20 miles
We will leave the car park at Garstang via the Wyre Way to cross both the railway and motorways and make our way through Long Crossley Wood. On our way to Long Crossley Wood we will get our feet (and higher than ankles!!) wet crossing the first of a few streams. We will make our way to Grizedale Dock Reservoir and onwards to Grizedale Bridge and view both Grizedale Lea and Barnacre Reservoirs. Than across fields and stiles via the radio masts onto Long Lane for the trip back to Garstang via footpaths and the dismantled railway line. The paths and fields will be muddy and there is a plan B if the weather is inclement.
Leisurely Leaders: Margaret Black & Steve Balenski   Distance 7.50 miles
A short walk through the town will bring us to a disused railway track which crosses over the River Wye and leads to the pathway over the main railway line and M6. Then, with some intermittent level stretches, we continue with a very gradual walk uphill, across the farmland to the village of Calder Vale, stopping by the river for lunch. Retracing our way through the village, we descend back to Garstang with a mixture of farmland and some road walking, via the hamlet of Barnacre and, conditions permitting, Lady Hamiltons Well - it may be too wet. Expect plenty of wooden stiles, some mud and some very pleasant views along the way.
Easy Leaders : Joan Mcglinchey & Joan Balenski   Distance : 5.50 miles
It is a really flat walk apart from one small incline.

We start our walk on Health Trail and we make our way to Broom Hill, then cross the motorway at pt 17. At the junction of Higher Lane and Keeper Lane we turn right down Keeper Lane and head towards New Hall Farm and up the incline towards Clarkson Farm. We then recross the motorway back to town. There are not many stiles, and generally the tracks are good apart from mud on the field up to Clarksons Farm

NOTES ON THE AREA

Garstang is a pretty village and a regular winner of Britain in bloom as well as being the world’s first Fairtrade pioneer. It nestles between Preston and Lancaster on the banks of the River Wyre and is also on the edge of the Bowland area. This idyllic market town epitomises some of the traits that best define Lancashire, picturesque towns and villages, lush countryside and serene rivers.

Garstang has a rich history dating as far back as the 11th Century and the Domesday Book. Long before the Norman Conquest, Garstang was a part of the Saxon manor of Cherestanc which covered an area which took in such villages and towns as Lytham, Pilling, Knott End and Cockersand. There is Greenhalgh Castle, and there was a spa with reputed medicinal properties. Garstang is likely to have come from the Saxon word which means meadow land.

The right to hold a market on each Thursday was granted by Edward II in1310.

The village is situated on the north/south route and the heyday of road and mail coaches brought prosperity and trade to the town. There was a brisk business at the inns and in the horse trade generally, with blacksmiths, coach builders, wheelwrights, and harness makers all in demand. It also became one of the most important agricultural centres in the county, and its status was recognised by the creation of a borough in 1879.

Cattle, which were driven down from Scotland and other northern counties often broke their journey at Garstang. Records show that as many as 3,000 cattle were once driven through the town in 1805. Doors and windows were boarded up for the protection of people and property. Another relic from the distant past is the ruins of Greenhalgh Castle, built in 1490 by the Earl of Derbyshire. In 1646, Greenhalgh was besieged by Cromwell’s army, and it was later dismantled. All that remains today is a tower. Visitors can view the tower on a number of free guided walks led by the Wyre Borough Council

There is a rich community life and strong religious presence with its beautiful Church of England church, a stately Roman Catholic church, and several fine chapels, covering the needs of the local populace. The Whitsuntide Walk is probably one of the biggest in the north of England; it is one of the highlights for the children of every denomination. For the visitor there are many festivals held throughout the year :- a walking festival and a children’s festival in May, the Garstang Show and an Art and Musical festival in August and a Victorian Christmas fair in December.

The Lancaster Canal which goes through the middle of the village is the longest stretch of lock free canal in the country, making it a popular destination for beginners and also more experienced boaters. The canal was opened in 1826 and was nicknamed the Black and White Canal because it was used to carry coal from the north and limestone from the south. The canal is navigable by boat for some 41 miles, winding through the Lancashire countryside.

Calder Vale is a village located on the River Calder in a deep valley with only a single road providing access. The village was founded by Quakers Jonathan and Richard Jackson and, in 1835, a cotton weaving mill – the Lappet Mill – was built, powered by the River Calder. The mill and mill pond still exist today. The Church of St John the Evangelist lies high above the village, linked to it by a woodland footpath. It was consecrated on 12th August 1863, and serves the village of Oakenclough in addition to Calder Vale. The village also contains a primary school which was built concurrently with the church.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

WEST KIRKBY, WIRRAL

SUNDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2016

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 10.00 miles
We walk along Grange Rd then north up Grange Hill to the War memorial, south to the Mariners Beacon and Caldy Hill then east to Royden Park, south to Thurstaston Common, Thurstaston Hill and passing Thurstaston Hall then west down through the Dungeon to return to West Kirkby along the coast on the Wirral Way. A walk of viewpoints along paths and fields in a mainly sandstone area but there could be some mud!!
Moderate Leader: Peter Denton   Distance : 7.50 miles
The first half of our walk today takes us up on to Thurstaton Common for our lunch with lovely panoramic views of the rivers Dee and Mersey, Wales and England (If we get lucky). We will then head down to Thurstaton and onto The Wirral Way and back to West Kirkby for a well-earned cuppa!
Leisurely Leader: Joan McGlinchey   Distance 7.00 miles
Our route takes us through the park, along Caldy Hill and then up Thurstaston Hill where there are fine views of the Dee Estuary and across the Wirral Peninsula. We then go down a country road to meet the Wirral Way. Here there will be an opportunity to use the toilets at the visitor centre. We then take an elevated footpath alongside the Wirral Way with views across the sea, and come back to town via the promenade where there are numerous benches to tarry a while if the weather is kind. Apart from about 25 stone steps up Caldy Hill to the monument and a short steep rise to the summit of Thurstaston Hill, the walk is flat or gently undulating with no stiles. It will probably be muddy in the woods but generally it is good underfoot. The walk can be shortened if the weather is poor.
Easy Leader : Derek Lee   Distance : 5.00 miles
We start off with the only climb of the day - 200 feet up to the War Memorial and Beacon from where there are views over the Mersey and the Dee. We then drop down through the woods to Caldy and return on the Wirral Way with a diversion along the riverside Cummins Green to complete a 4.7 mile walk, and with the option to add an extra half mile walk round the Marine Lake.

NOTES ON THE AREA

The Wirral Peninsula is situated between two major rivers. To the east is the Mersey, which rises in the distant Pennines, and to west is the Dee, rising in the Welsh uplands and making its way through the city of Chester and across the broad sands between Wales and Wirral. The estuary of the Mersey is narrow, barely a mile across, its banks lined with cranes and wharves of Liverpool's dockland whereas the estuary of the Dee is five miles wide. It was important for navigation at one time but it kept on silting up up so now it is a haven for wildlife.

West Kirkby has developed from a small fishing village into a large residential town in little more than a hundred years. The reasons are easy to see. A mild climate, the town being protected from the biting, easterly winds by a range of low hills, a pleasant situation at the mouth of a beautiful estuary, and good communications with Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool. The original Kirkby (West was added to distinguish it from Kirkby-in-Wallasey) is half a mile from the modern town centre, in what is now called old West Kirby, near the parish church. Norse settlers landing in Wirral from Ireland in the tenth century were quick to spot the advantages of the site, and established a small community. They built a church which they dedicated to St Bridget, a dedication still held by the present church.

Fort Perch Rock Battery, the red sandstone building standing in the mouth of the Mersey, is the fort that never was! Nicknamed the "Little Gibralter of the Mersey", it was built between 1826 and 1829 to protect the Port of Liverpool. The idea of having some sort of protection for Liverpool was born some years earlier during the Napoleonic Wars. The fort was built upon outcrops of sandstone originally known as Black Rock, where Wirral's wreckers and smugglers used to lure ships aground. Built to withstand the tremendous impact of high seas, the Fort was constructed of Runcorn stone, and could accommodate one hundred men with officers' quarters, kitchens, storerooms and eighteen guns. But for all this, it is said that the Fort only ever used its guns twice: at the beginning of the First World War when a warning shot was fired across the bows of a Norwegian ship; and again at the start of the Second World War when a fishing smack tried to enter the Port through the wrong channel. During the last war the Fort was camouflaged as a tea garden complete with painted lawns and paths, and a TEAS sign across the roof.

New Brighton lighthouse stands alongside the Fort, sharing the same outcrop of sandstone. Built in 1827-30 at a cost of £27,500, it is 90 ft high and is constructed of Anglesey granite. The first 35 feet of its height consist of solid rock built to withstand the constant battering of the sea.

Today West Kirkby has developed into a pleasant seaside resort with beaches, a promenade and a marine lake which is popular for water sports. Across the bay is Hilbre Island which can be reached at low tide and is now mainly a nature reserve.

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© Skelmersdale Rambling Club 2016