SKELMERSDALE RAMBLING CLUB

 

Skelmersdale Rambling Club

SKIPTON, YORKSHIRE

SUNDAY 22ND JANUARY 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 10.50 miles
A linear walk starting at East Marton (where there are no toilets). We walk 3mls on the Pennine Way to Gargrave (and toilets!!). Then north to Flasby via the Leeds/Liverpool Canal, road and paths. We cross Flasby Fell as we climb up Sharp Haw (357m, 1171ft) for cracking views, hopefully. We then make our way to Skipton via fell, lanes and golf course.
Expect mud!!!
If you intend to do the strenuous walk please be booted up ready for a quick stop at the drop off place. Thanks.
Leisurely Leader: Sue Daniels   Distance 7.00 miles
Two points to first mention, it is advisable to wear your gaiters; and there are many high stiles in the stone walls to climb over. From Skipton Town Centre we join the Dales High Way starting with a steep climb up and over a particularly boggy field. Taking a breather on the way we can enjoy the splendid views of Skipton and surrounding area then carry on up to and across the busy A65. We take the path over the golf course and follow lanes to None Go Bye where we cross the railway track. From here we have about 2 miles of fields to stroll over and those dreaded stiles! Again lovely views across the valley as we head gradually down to Embsay, through the village and down to the main road and pavement back into Skipton.
Easy Leader : Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling   Distance : 4.00 miles
We start our walk with quite a bit of road and then lane walking as we make our way up to the caravan site near Tarn House Moor. This is because we are unable to use the footpath across the fields as planned because excavation work in preparation for housing development is taking place. After that it is mainly off-road. We pick up the Dales High Way, walk a short stretch across the Moor with very good views all round then return to Skipton on fields and over the golf course, dodging any high balls. We leave the Dales High Way to come down through Skipton Woods and finally walk alongside the river back to town and the many pubs and tea rooms. Expect some mud especially near the farm gates. There are not many stiles but some are meant for skinny folk!

NOTES ON THE AREA

Skipton was originally known as Schap which means sheep town and much of Skipton’s prosperity is derived from the woollen trade.

Although originally a Saxon settlement, in Norman times Skipton was chosen as the site of a powerful Norman castle guarding strategic routes into the Aire Gap from the east. The medieval castle survives, and despite extensive 17th century rebuilding, it is one of the finest examples of a castle of its period. The pattern of a typical Norman town can be seen, with the church by the castle at the head of the town and a High Street extending below both. There are old inns and shops, courtyards and alleyways, and a colourful street market (daily except Tuesday and Sunday). Many of the old medieval 'backs' which were converted into workshop areas or crammed with workers’ cottages around the old courtyards in the Industrial Revolution, are now attractive shopping arcades or precincts. As well as an excellent choice of pubs, cafes, restaurants, and shops, places to visit in Skipton include the medieval church with its tombs of the famous Clifford family of Craven and Westmorland, and the excellent Craven Museum occupying the top floor of the Victorian Town Hall. Here there are collections of natural and local history, geology, and material relating to the Dales lead-mining industry.

Many high street properties were rebuilt in the second half of the 17th century, and in the 1720's weavers and wool-combers built houses at the bottom end of the town. Thirty years later the Keighley-Kendal turnpike increased Skipton's importance as a wool trading centre with a livestock market, and by the end of the century the Leeds-Liverpool Canal ensured the concentration of the worsted cloth industry in the town. The Old Springs branch of the canal was built in the 1770's through a deep ravine alongside Eller Beck at the back of Skipton Castle in order to carry limestone to the Bradford and Aire valley ironworks. The crushed stone was brought by rope-hauled tramway from a quarry at Haw Bank near Embsay, and gravity fed into waiting barges. The walk along the towpath behind the high castle walls, past a surviving water-wheel at High Mill, is beautiful and fascinating. It leads to Skipton Woods, an area of woodlands with lakes which are open to the public.

Skipton today is known as The Gateway to the Dales and is an ideal place to be based to explore places such as Malham and Bolton Abbey.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

RAWTENSTALL, LANCASHIRE

SUNDAY 26th FEBRUARY 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 10.00 miles
A circular walk from Rawtenstall along the Shoe Trail thru Whitaker Park to Top of Slate (and the Halo) and onto Duckworth Clough. We then make our way up Cribden Hill (401m, 1315.62ft), over Cribden Moor and down to Crawshawbooth.
Next we go north via Goodshaw Chapel to join Rossendale Way for a short stretch, and SW across to Bottomley Bank Farm. Then south passing Bonfire Hill and The Height back to Rawtenstall, hopefully in time for a drink this time...
Mainly paths and lanes (and mud).
Leisurely Leader: Pam Chamberlain and Joan McGlinchey   Distance 6.50 miles
We will take a leisurely walk out of Rawtenstall via Whitaker Park and head up past the dry ski slope centre to Cribden Hill via Cribden Flats and Top ‘o’ Slate and great views. This 1000ft climb will take us across the normal muddy fields, paths, and small roads. The journey back to Rawtenstall will take us down some slippery slopes where springs are close to the route and some fields are immensely muddy.
You may wish to wear over-trousers or gaiters, bring some dry socks and a walking pole. The wildlife on the way in the form of horses, donkeys, goats, and birdlife can be seen quite easily. Two points to mention; it is advisable to wear your gaiters; and there are many high stiles in the stone walls to climb over.
Easy Leader : Derek Lee   Distance : 5.00 miles
This is a linear walk, with no hills, along the valley to Ramsbottom with several exhibits from the Irwell Sculpture trail to admire on the way. We return to Rawtenstall on the Heritage Railway. The cost is £5.40 or £4.90 concession. But you must show a concessionary travel pass or other proof of entitlement.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Rawtenstall is one of the three main towns of the Borough of Rossendale, the others being Haslingden and Bacup. The area is dominated by the Pennine Hills and is rich in industrial archaeology. Rawtenstall grew as an important textile centre – first for wool, then for cotton, and latterly for the manufacture of footwear, particularly slippers. Gaghills Mill, Waterfoot, built in 1900 is still in operation as Lamberts Mill Shop. The same building houses the Rossendale Footwear Heritage Museum.

Power looms were introduced into Rossendale from 1822. This development had a mixed reception and many hand weavers, feeling their livelihoods threatened, took to sabotage. The Power Loom Riots led to the destruction of more than 300 power looms, and six rioters died in clashes with troops. However, by the middle of the last century Rossendale had so many textile mills that the Irwell became known as the hardest worked river in the world. The River Irwell was in fact the most polluted river in Europe until recent years.

St Mary’s is one of the many modern churches in Rawtenstall. St John’s at Cloughfold has lovely windows of the Apostles and a striking Crucifixion in Bronze. The finest church in the neighbourhood is St John’s at Crawshawbooth, standing on a wooded slope with a stream rushing by its churchyard. It has a significant tower with spire-like pinnacles, a handsome clerestory, and fine tracery windows. Crawshawbooth also has a beautifully kept Quaker Chapel of 1716, reminding us that Rossendale was one of the main northern centres of Nonconformity. Nearby is a Baptist Chapel of 1760.

Of the fine buildings in Rawtenstall, none is more unusual than the Weavers’ Cottage, situated not far from the Tourist Information Centre. The three-storeyed building, dating from 1780, was constructed specifically for handloom weaving. The close-set mullioned windows, so typical of this period, face south, thus providing as much light as possible for the weavers as they worked on the upper floors. It is now open as a Heritage Centre.

The East Lancashire Light Railway is a preserved line which, until recently, ran between Bury and Ramsbottom. Now however, steam trains continue along the line as far as Rawtenstall and is a great attraction for both visitors and local people. The reminiscent sound of the steam whistle can be heard throughout the day from the surrounding hills as the trains steam to and fro along the valley.

The Groundwork Trust Countryside Centre is based in a 19th century farm building on the banks of the Irwell, and tackles practical projects with the aim of improving the environment of the Rossendale valley. The Groundwork Trust co-ordinates voluntary activities, encourages the learning of countryside crafts and skills, and offers an information centre for visitors.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

SETTLE, NORTH YORKSHIRE

SUNDAY 26th MARCH 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Rowland Nock   Distance : 10.00 miles
Total climbing for the day approx 400 metres (1,300 Feet)
We initially head out of Settle via Castlebergh Plantation, giving some amazing views of Settle. Heading north we then take the Pennine Bridleway to the sleepy village of Langcliffe and then continue north following the River Ribble to Stainforth Force. (good place for a lunch stop!)
Heading out west we take the Dales High Way to Feizor and then start heading back home over the lovely Giggleswick Scar, finally returning to Settle via Giggleswick. Hopefully there should be time for a well-earned cuppa or foaming pint!
Leisurely Leaders : Pam Chamberlain and Steve Balenski   Distance 7.00 miles
We start our walk by climbing Castle Hill, heading north on the eastern side of the valley. We continue along the Pennine Bridleway, past Langcliffe village, (from where there are good views overlooking Giggleswick), and head towards Stainforth. Good facilities here for our lunch stop that involves a stepping stone crossing over a steam (a bypass is available). From then on, we head south on the western side of the valley, along the Ribble Way back to Settle.
Note – When the recce was made, it followed a night of heavy rain, meaning some paths were muddy. If conditions are the same it is advisable to bring your poles. Few stiles, mainly gates
Easy Leaders : Joan McGlinchey and Joan Balenski   Distance : 5.00 miles
As with most walks we start with an uphill climb to get out of town in a southerly direction. Please expect some mud. We are rewarded with fantastic views over Settle. We head towards Lodge Farm, and just before reaching the farm we turn right down Lodge Road.
From Lodge Road we take the trail to Mearbeck, crossing over three fields (which includes three stiles), heading towards The Courtyard where we can have a drink if we wish and browse in a number of small shops including The Courtyard Dairy where you can buy artisan cheese, most of which are made from unpasteurised milk. We then make our way back over the three fields and once at Lodge Road we take a track back into Settle. This track brings us back to the edge of Settle via the Falcon Manor.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Like other market towns in the Dales, Settle developed and prospered through its situation between the livestock farming of the uplands and the mixed and arable farming of the lower parts of the valley, in this case the Ribble. Settle's market charter goes back to 1249, granted for it to serve Ribblesdale and Craven. Market day is Tuesday, when the market square is filled with colourful stalls and is looked down on by the unusual two-storey Shambles, whose arches are probably mid-18th century, but whose cottages were raised by a storey late last century. Two factors contribute to Settle's 'family atmosphere'. It has remained small, compact and intimate, and it has been faithful to its past by not destroying those buildings from the late 17th century onwards which are so important a part of its character.

Following from the market place, the short streets - Constitution Hill, Castle Hill, High Street, Victoria Street and Albert Street, the old ways into town - reveal the yards, squares, cottages, small houses and workshops which represent the rapid growth in activity from 1780 onwards, when the development of local crafts, trades and industries reduced Settle's reliance on farming.

The striking limestone scenery around Settle is a result of the numerous 'faults' in the geological strata, which have caused the characteristic 'scars' or cliffs of limestone to appear. Limestone is a hard rock, but it is very porous because of its cracked nature, and it gets eroded by a chemical reaction from acidic rainwater into many fantastic and dramatic shapes. Underground caves are formed this way. The long cliff that forms Langcliffe Scar is a 'cross-fault' running north-west from the main east-west Mid-Craven fault that is the major feature of the scenery around Settle.

The railway running up Ribblesdale, the Settle-Carlisle line, is regarded as one of the greatest feats of Victorian railway engineering. Built between 1870 and 1876, the line runs through some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in England and a ride on it is highly recommended.

The attractive little village of Stainforth owes its name to the old stony ford across the river, now replaced by the packhorse bridge. The ford was on a major packhorse route between York and Lancaster, which was of considerable importance in monastic times. Stainforth Force is perhaps the most attractive fall on the Ribble. The river bed has been eroded into a series of steps and when the river is in full spate, a lovely cascade can be seen.

Remains of numerous 19th century lime kilns dot the area between Stainforth and Langcliffe, and, at Langcliffe Quarry, there is a well-preserved Hoffman lime-kiln. This impressive structure was in use from 1873 to 1939 to produce a constant supply of lime, used to fertilise the moors and improve grazing but mainly for use in industry. The well-preserved Hoffman kiln has a series of chambers in the oval-shaped tunnel. The fire progressed slowly around the tunnel, firing each chamber in sequence. The area has now been developed into an industrial heritage trail with information boards - well worth exploring


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

HOLMFIRTH, WEST YORKSHIRE

SUNDAY 23rd APRIL 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Rowland Nock   Distance : 10.00 miles
We initially head out through a small sloping park to the old weaving village of Upperthong (love the name!!). We travel west skirting Digley Reservoir to Holme, following the Kirklees Way. From Holme we head up and round Brownhill Reservoir, picking up the Holme Valley Circular Way to the lanes back to Holmfirth, giving wonderful views of the Holme Valley. Hopefully we will be back in time for tea & tiffin or a pint
Moderate Leader : Peter Denton   Distance : 7.00 miles
We will be starting our walk from the Post Office and public convenience. We will be heading for our first climb taking us straight out of the town, onto the hills and the lovely views, that Compo, Foggy & Clegg enjoyed when filming, while we head towards Hinchcliffe Mills. We then head up to Digley Reservoir. This should be a good place to enjoy our packed lunches, or just drinks and a respite. We then set off for a cross country ramble to Netherthong from where we head down into the valley and on to a pub or cafe for a well-deserved cuppa of whatever.
Leisurely Leaders : Philomena Walker & Hazel Anderton   Distance 6.50 miles
As we leave town we have a short steep climb at first out of the valley up a little lane and then a stepped path as we start our way up to Upperthong. Compo was buried here and there is a nice little pub run by some of the villagers although we might get here too early to enjoy a bevvie. After the initial steep climb the rest of the walk becomes ……... leisurely. There are several ‘thongs’! around these parts but it meant a narrow strip of land in Norse so Upperthong meant higher strip of land. From here we make our way across lanes and fields to reach the Holme Valley, where there are splendid views, and the Digley Reservoir, which we will go around on the shoreside path. We come back to Holmfirth alongside the River Holme apart from when we make a detour through the village of Dobb to avoid the main road.
Easy Leaders : Jackie Gudgeon   Distance : 5.00 miles
Today the easy walkers will leave the coach in the village of Holme. There are toilets here, and a pub for our customary tea or coffee before we ‘set sail’. Please remain on the coach when the others are getting off in Holmfirth, so that the coach can then continue to our dropping off place. We leave Holme village to take a footpath across fields and down to the Digley Reservoir, which we circle behind on a high track with good views over the valley. Following mostly good tracks and quiet narrow lanes we descend steadily to Hinchcliffe Mill where we cross the River Holme to climb the hill on the other side of the valley before another quiet lane leads us down into Holmfirth. This walk is predominantly downhill, except for two small climbs, the steeper one out of the valley after Hinchcliffe Mill. Outstanding views all the way. Neither of the climbs are severe and we will take as much time as anyone needs.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Before Last of the Summer Wine became a national institution, the most famous comic characters to come out of Holmfirth were on the postcards published by Bamfords. Saucy seaside cartoons became a serious business for the family firm just after the Great War. The family had already pioneered lantern slides and the motion picture industry but were eventually outflanked by Hollywood. A museum tells the story – in pictures of course.

The television series Last of the Summer Wine put Holmfirth on the map. Surprisingly, the café featured in the series is exactly what it seems; a proper old-fashioned café straight out of the 1950’s. A good indicator of its pedigree is the fact that it welcomes cyclists and walkers. Farming and weaving villages like Upperthong were established long before the town. Settlements on the terraces of the valley sprang up during the 15th and 16th centuries, though most of the surviving houses date back only two or three hundred years. In three-storey cottages families worked at hand looms on the top floor; while in older two-storey buildings the bedroom had to double as the loom shop. Daylight to work by was essential and free, hence the rows of windows.

Although the TV series brings in lots of visitors many people also come to enjoy the countryside, especially the lovely scenery across the Holme Valley. It has other attractions too, for example the old cinema has been named as the NME best small music venue and attracts many famous names. There is a folk festival in May and a Brass Band contest.

The town of Holmfirth is a gem, built at the confluence of the Holme and the Ribble, where the Norman Earl Warren built a corn mill in the 1300s. For several centuries the lower valley was left to the woodland while the hilltop towns of Cartworth, Upperthong and Woodale prospered, combining farming with weaving. There are some fine stone farmhouses on the upper slopes of the valley, now often absorbed into the outskirts of the newer town. With the expansion of the cotton mills in the mid-19th century tiers of terraced cottages sprang up lower and lower into the valley as cotton mills crowded the riverside. The river itself was harnessed but never tamed; it still floods when the Pennine snows melt too quickly.

Holmfirth is best explored at a gentle pace, because most of the streets are steep. From Victoria Bridge in the middle of town it is possible to wander up Penny Lane, around the back of the church where the surrounding hills peep out between chimney-pots and sooty walls, and down cobbled lanes worn smooth by a million clogs. Somewhere along the way you are certain to arrive at Sid’s Café, or The Wrinkled Stocking Café, next door to Nora Batty’s house on the riverside.

The fast-flowing River Holme has cut a narrow gorge through the gritstone hills. Water power brought prosperity to Holmfirth, but it has also brought death when, in 1852, the nearby Bilberry Dam burst and the flood claimed 81 lives. A vast amount of damage was done. On a pillar near the 18th century church you can see recorded the extraordinary height the water rose to when 90 million gallons came thundering down the valley. The memorial to the flood is a dual-purpose monument as it also commemorates the ‘Short Peace of Amiens’ in 1801 which was presumably of special interest to Holmfirth, a woollen town, as the inhabitants had been engaged in producing cloth for the French armies.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

SEDBERGH, CUMBRIA

SUNDAY 21st MAY 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 9.50 miles
Good pace required, a steep climb at the beginning then mainly flat.
From the car park we make our way via Castlehaw to the Dales High Way and climb up into the Howgills to the highest point of the walk (500m, 1640’). Then we walk along the ridge to Winder (473m, 1552’) giving us amazing views (hopefully) before descending via Height of Winder to join the Dales Way at Low Branthwaite. We follow the Dales Way along river Lune and the river Rawthey, (passing the confluence of the rivers Rawthey and Dee), and through Akay Woods to Millthrop Bridge. We return to Sedbergh from New Bridge.
Moderate Leader : Garry & Emma O’Toole   Distance : 8.00 miles
The walk will start from the car park and head up a steady hill to the side of Winder, and we will take in the views of Sedburgh as we climb up to 1000ft. (Note not a total climb of 1000ft) The walk will go around the edge of Winder and then fall back down towards Green Mantle. There is a very short stretch of main road with just one small stile to negotiate. The walk then follows the edge of River Rawthey where there are plenty of nice stops along the way for water breaks. There is also a small blue creature prepared for all weathers hiding along the route. (there is a prize for whoever spots it first). It is not too hard under foot. Plenty of cafes and shops in the small town. (Even a pub for Tommy)
Leisurely Leader : Jackie Gudgeon   Distance 7.00 miles
From the coach park in Sedbergh we ascend Joss Lane which morphs into a rising path alongside Settlebeck Gill to reach a left turn taking us along a footpath high above the valley of the River Rawthey, descending gradually to Lockbank Farm. Enjoying fine views along the way. Here we follow Howgill Lane before taking a path past Under Winder to cross the A684 which we follow for a very short stretch to reach a track which eventually joins the Dales Way. We follow the Dales Way past Prospect House, Luneside and High Oaks before eventually reaching the banks of the River Rawthey. We follow the river as far as Birks where we turn for Sedbergh, passing the rather posh Sedbergh School. Good tracks, field paths and quiet lanes. Two stretches of main road. Some parts of the river bank may need some care as the path is in places quite narrow and ‘rooty’.
Easy Leaders : Hazel Anderton & Philomena walker   Distance : 5.50 miles
Today our walk takes us to the west and south of Sedbergh passing through areas known as Luneside, Ingmire and Birks, and then along the river and past Sedbergh School and the park back to town. We start our walk by walking up Howgill Lane for ½ mile or so. There are some steepish bits to start off with but nothing taxing, but then it becomes a gentle rise. Once we leave the lane the walk is easy, except for two other steepish, but very short bits, where we must leave the riverside. We walk in open countryside, along fields, passing small woods, down little lanes and go alongside the River Rawthey. Most of the walk is very good underfoot apart from a small area along the river bank which is a bit uneven with wooden steps and tree roots. There are only a few stiles but most look brand new and none had the usual wobbly stone tops, slimy treads or big drops. We enjoyed doing the recee as we found that in the open countryside there were great views at every turn. We hope you do too.

NOTES ON THE AREA

The market town of Sedbergh is situated just inside the western boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The town was founded by Norsemen who named it 'Setberg' or 'flat topped hill'. The main business of the town has always been textiles, and a thriving woollen industry existed in the mid-19th century. Sedbergh must be one of the best villages that we visit. It is lovely with many buildings of local stone and lots of quaint alleyways off the main street with nice old houses in the ‘yards’. In Weavers Yard there is an old house with a vast chimney, in which Bonnie Prince Charlie hid after the failure of the 1745 rebellion.

In 1251 Sedbergh was granted a charter to hold an annual market and fair, and it is still an important market centre for the surrounding countryside. At one time, the inhabitants of Sedbergh lived by preparing wool, which flourished from the Middle Ages until the 19th century. Whole families were engaged in knitting, while weavers, knitters and merchants used Sedbergh as a centre for the buying and selling of their wares.

Sedbergh is surrounded by lovely countryside and is dominated to the west by Winder Fell, the 1551 ft high spur of the main Howgill range. Although part of the Yorkshire Dales National park, the area of the Howgills is tied geologically, politically, and socially to Cumbria rather than to North Yorkshire. It is a splendid region of great whale-backed hills - smooth, steep sided and grassy with little heather or bracken and crossed only by lovely green tracks, with superb views over both the Dales and into the Lakes.

Cautley Spout, on the eastern flank of the Howgills, overlooking the Rawthey Valley is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the National Park. It is a magnificent cascade of white water hundreds of feet long, with its visual impact heightened by a huge valley of rock and scree.

The church of St Andrews dates from the 13th century. It has a 15th century tower and most of the windows are 15th century or Tudor. Some of the pews are 17th century, and an alms box dates from 1633. In June 1652, from a bench beneath a yew tree in the churchyard, George Fox preached to the crowd gathered in the town for the annual Hiring Fair. From that date Sedbergh has been a centre of the Quaker faith. At Brigflatts, reached off the A684 just over one mile south-west of Sedbergh, stands a Quaker meeting house built in 1675, as an inscription over the porch shows. The simple white walled building still preserves a fragment of the yew tree under which George Fox once preached.

The famous Sedbergh School was founded by a charity in 1528 under Dr Roger Lupton. Supressed by Henry VIII, Sedbergh was re-founded in 1551 under the grammar school legislation of Edward VI. From its early days the school has been closely connected with St John's College, Cambridge. The oldest part of the building dates from 1716.

For the tourist there are lots of events taking place throughout the year with a good website giving details for the year.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

KESWICK, CUMBRIA

SUNDAY 25th JUNE 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Malcolm Chamberlain   Distance : 9.00 miles
We will leave the coach park near Booths supermarket to walk to the Theatre by the Lake car park, head through Cockshot Wood and across the B5289. There is then a steep ascent of 100m to the view point at Castlehead Wood which will give us panoramic views of Derwent Water. We then climb up through Spring Woods which will lead us to Rakefoot and ascend Bleaberry Fell (590m) via Walla Crag. We will then head south to High Seat, which should offer excellent views of Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite, before descending to the shore of Derwent Water. The last 2 miles of the walk will follow flat paths on the eastern side of Derwent Water, past Strandshag Bay and back to Keswick.
The chippy on Keswick High Street is open until 7pm on Sundays!
Moderate Leader : Sue Daniels   Distance : 7.00 miles
The walk starts with a long gradual climb by road and good footpaths up to Walla Crag where we are treated to an outstanding viewpoint over Derwentwater. We will probably have lunch here and enjoy the views. Leaving here we follow a well-trodden path over the fells gradually descending​ to Ashness Bridge. We then follow the road down to the lakeshore and follow the path through woods and fields back to Keswick. If I remember rightly there is only one stile to climb over which for one of my walks is a record low!
Leisurely Leader : Ruth Melling   Distance 7.00 miles
From the coach park we head in a southerly direction along the side of Derwentwater, passing Friar’s Crag on the way. We turn off and climb up through the wooded Walla Crag, the main climb of the walk, then head across fields to Castlerigg and Goosewell Farm where we can make a little detour to see the famous Castlerigg Stone Circle. From here we go along a minor road for a while until we pick up part of the disused railway back into town. There were very few stiles and lots of nice views We thank Ruth’s sister Jean for suggesting and assisting Ruth with this walk.
Leader : Pam Chamberlain   Distance : 4.00 miles
Easy with an optional extension of ½ mile
We will leave the car park at Booths and take a route through the parks to the Theatre by the Lake and then we will follow the shore of Derwent Water, stopping at view points along the way and taking time to look at the Ruskin Memorial and Friar’s Crag. We will continue our walk along the shoreline to Strandshag Bay and pass in front of Stable Hills and back to the lakeside to give us views of Derwent Isle, Lord’s Island and St Herbert’s Island.
We will pass the National Trust’s Hundred Year Stone at Calfclose Bay and the landing stages for the cruise boats at both Ashness Gate and Lodore. There is a little road walking on a loose gravel pavement and stony lakeside paths.
This is a flat linear walk with a bus trip back from Lodore to Keswick which will cost £2.40 for those of us without bus passes.
If there is still bounce in the legs we can continue round the lake to take in the views from the Chinese Bridge.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Many people will already be familiar with Keswick which is the largest town in the Lake District National Park, and developed largely from its importance as a mining centre during Elizabethan times, when German miners were brought in to exploit the lead and copper deposits in the surrounding fells. But, for most people, Keswick is a place superbly situated at the head of a splendid lake and beneath the gaze of one of Lakelands finest mountains, Skiddaw. It is an enormously popular place, and therefore always very busy, at the northern end of arguably Lakeland’s most beautiful valley, Borrowdale. It is the home of mountaineer Chris Bonnington. It has been said that towns and villages built from local stone blend into the landscape. The Moot Hall was built in 1813 on the site of an earlier building and was, until recent times, used as the town hall but now it houses the tourist information centre. The town’s oldest building is the church of St Kentigern at Crosthwaite. It is generally accepted that the Lakes in general, and Keswick in particular were opened up to the outside world by the first poets and travellers to venture into the region - Gray, Coleridge, Keats, Southey, Scott, Tennyson, Ruskin and Stevenson. To them, and those who followed in their footsteps, must go the credit (or blame) for bringing this remarkable town to the notice of others.

On the fells to the south-east of the town, is the famous Castlerigg Stone Circle believed to date from about 3000 BC, predating the great circles at Stonehenge and elsewhere. It is commonly regarded as the best stone circle out of many in Cumbria. Enthusiasts of stone circles consider Castlerigg, spectacularly set among the mountains of Lakeland, to be one of the earliest stone circles in Europe.

As well as copper and lead, graphite was also mined in Borrowdale, where it was first discovered, and this brought about the establishment of a pencil factory. Cumberland Pencil Museum, found at the Southey Works, Greta Bridge, illustrates the pencil story from the discovery of graphite to present-day methods of pencil manufacture. It is an interesting place to visit. Even today their coloured pencils are the best.

Thought by some to be the most beautiful Lake, Derwent Water is three miles long and just over one mile wide. The lake has three large islands, all abundantly wooded. The largest is Derwent Isle opposite the landing stage. The other two are Lords Island opposite Friars Crag and St Herberts Island in the middle of the lake. There is a smaller island, Ramps Holme, nearer the eastern shore, and the Floating Island near Lodore which appears at infrequent intervals. Friars Crag, a rocky promontory about a mile from Keswick, is generally supposed to be so called because it was the landing place of the friars of Grange. On the crag is the Ruskin Monument, erected in 1900.

There are lots of things to do in or from Keswick other that the obvious walking and outdoor activites. There are rides on the lake, it has a nice park with a pitch and putt and at Bassenthwaite there is Osprey watching in the summer, for example.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

BASLOW, DERBYSHIRE

SUNDAY 30th JULY 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Rowland Nock   Distance : 10.00 miles
This walk meanders along the magnificent gritstone escarpments of Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt Edges giving fantastic views of the area & an ideal place to have lunch. This will mean an initial ascent of approximately 250 metres (800ft) from Baslow.
Heading round south west we negotiate the beautifully tranquil Hay Wood (plenty of elves here he he!). Please bear in mind there are a few squelchy bits but most have boardwalks so hopefully it won’t be too bad. On escaping from the Wood we wander down to Froggatt Bridge and then basically head south following the River Derwent via Calvar back to Baslow where tea & tiffin beckons.
Moderate Leader : Peter Denton   Distance : 7.00 miles
We start our walk with a climb out of the town heading up for Curbar Edge. We are not intending to climb to the top. We will go through Bee Wood. (I didn’t see any bees). We then head down to the river Derwent and Froggatt’s Bridge. From there we head back along the river to Baslow for tea and tiffin or a pint, and a look around with an ice-cream. Mummm Rum and Raisin! Happy Rambling.
Leisurely Leader : Jackie Gudgeon   Distance 7.00 miles
We leave the coach park to enter the Chatsworth Estate via a ‘wheelchair’ gate, soon sloping across field to reach a main drive along to Chatsworth House. From here we follow good tracks up into the woodland, zig-zagging up until we reach a gate out onto the moorland at Park Farm. Down a rugged path through trees and bracken to reach Beeley Hilltop, followed by a stretch of quiet lane downhill to arrive at Beeley Lodge. Here there is a very short stretch of road until we turn off once again into the Chatsworth Estate to follow a delightful path along the River Derwent with views unfolding over the parkland to Chatsworth House. After the House we continue along a good path to return to Baslow. All good underfoot except for one tricky downhill path which we can take slowly with great care!
Easy Leader : Dave Hatchard   Distance : 4-5 miles
A pleasant walk from Baslow to Chatsworth House, crossing the bridge here to Edensor (pronounced Enzor) where, weather permitting, we have the perfect spot for lunch. When we tire of looking at the views we will cross over the river again and we can access the gardens, cafe shops and toilets of Chatsworth. Depending on time, we can spend some time looking around here before setting off back to Baslow.
If the group all are in favour we can have nice tea/ coffee before we start the walk in the café by the coach park.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Baslow is a busy little village in the Derwent valley with Chatsworth a mile to the south and Baslow Edge to the north of the village. The three settlements of Bridge End, Nether End and Over End which make up the village of Baslow have changed little since the middle of the nineteenth century. Bridge End was the original village, but Nether End grew with Chatsworth when in 1823 it became the northern entrance to the estate, while residential development in the late nineteenth century is centred at Over End on the hillside opposite. Parts of the church, St Anne’s, dates back to 1200.

At one time Baslow had hoped to be as grand as nearby Bakewell, which is on the opposite side of Chatsworth, and a Hydro was built in 1881, but it never became established as a spa. As the building needed a great deal of money spending on it after the First World War, which never happened, the Hydro was demolished in the 1930's. The old bridge in Baslow built in 1603 is the oldest bridge in the Derwent Valley never to be destroyed by flooding.

The magnificent mansion of Chatsworth House is principally the creation of the first Duke of Devonshire who, between 1686 and 1707, practically rebuilt the original house piecemeal and, also built the great cascade in the woods. The first house on this site was built in 1552 by Sir William Cavendish and his celebrated wife Bess of Hardwick. The fourth Duke had the grounds extensively remodelled under the direction of Capability Brown. Brown altered much of the view from the front of the mansion. He removed a lot of the woodland to make the view more extensive and diverted the river and created the approach to the house. that we see today. The sixth Duke added the famous Emperor Fountain which throws a jet of water 290 ft (90 m) into the air and, when built, was the second highest fountain in the world. The past Dukes of Devonshire and their families lie in a quiet corner of the churchyard of St Peter's at Edensor (Enzor), but visitors come here to visit another grave, that of Kathleen Kennedy, sister of the President John F. Kennedy and who was married to one of the Devonshires. JFK’s visit on 29th June 1963 is commemorated on a plaque in front of the grave.

To the north and east of Baslow the Bar Brook cuts a nick in the dramatic gritstone scarp, with Baslow Edge on one side and Birchen Edge on the other. A sea of bracken laps the footings of the rock faces, whilst the moorland above the edge is a wilderness of heather and the home of merlin and grouse. It was once the home of farmers too, in the Bronze Age when the climate was a little kinder. It is astonishing to find field systems still visible from more than 3,000 years ago. Below Baslow Bar, just out of Nether End, it is also possible to see narrow fields separated by drystone walls that follow the old reverse-S pattern, the sign of ox-ploughing in medieval times.

Baslow Edge was quarried for gritstone and on the brow of Baslow Edge stands the Eagle Stone, a great weathered block of hardened gritstone. Climbing to the top of the stone used to be a test of character for village youths before they married. Not far away is the Wellington Monument erected in 1866 by Dr Wrench, who sounds like a character out of a Dickens novel, and was also responsible for the replacement of the numerals on the face of St Anne's Church clock with 'Victoria 1897'.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

CLAPHAM, NORTH YORKSHIRE

SUNDAY 20th AUGUST 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 9.00 miles
From Clapham along Old Road, Laithbutts Lane and Henbusk Lane to Newby Cote to join the footpath to Ingleborough. We cross Newby Fell to Little Ingleborough and on to the summit of Ingleborough (723m, 2372ft) for lunch with amazing views. Now all downhill. First back to Little Ingleborough then descending via Gaping Gill, Trow Gill and Ingleborough Cave (drinks and ice cream available here). Returning to Clapham along the Ingleborough Estates Nature Trail (Entry charge of £1)
Moderate Leader : Pam & Malcolm Chamberlain   Distance : 7.50 miles
We will take an amble through the village and begin our climb and descent onto the path to Cave. We will climb again to a cairn on Long Scar where we will rest and take lunch before ambling along a bridleway, path and road, join the Pennine Bridleway again, and back to Clapham. Some rocky descending and climbs which may be slippery underfoot if wet. Climb approx 700ft. Would recommend those who have poles to bring them.
Leisurely Leader : Dave Hatchard   Distance 6.5miles
From the car park, we turn right and pass front of St James Church then head uphill towards Ingleborough Caves. The terrain consists of tarmac paths uneven, ground and grassy slopes. During walk some fantastic views of limestone outcrops. There are some stiles but most have a gate to open next to them.
Easy Leader : Derek Lee   Distance 4.50 miles
We leave Clapham past the church and through the tunnels, then climb 300 ft past Ingleborough Hall up to the woods and follow Thwaite Lane track to Austwick Hall. The return walk is all via field paths but in the event of very wet weather there is a slightly longer road alternative.

NOTES ON THE AREA

The idyllic village of Clapham straddles either side of Clapham Beck, one half linked to the other by three bridges including an ancient footbridge of arching limestone. The church is at the top end of the village and the pub at the bottom and in between is the large car park and information centre of the National Park. The large house on the west side of Clapham is Ingleborough Hall, home of the Farrar family for many years. Originally the building was a farmhouse, converted first into a shooting lodge and then into the Hall between 1820 and 1830. It is now an outdoor activity centre. The most celebrated member of the family was Sir Reginald John Farrar, the famous plant hunter, and the man who more than anyone else made rock gardens so immensely popular. His alpine garden at the Hall was world famous with plants brought from China, Tibet and Japan as well as the Alps before he died in Burma in 1920 aged 40. After the Farrars built their estate they didn’t want a common right of way through their ‘back garden’ so they built tunnels through which the path plunges giving access from the village to Thwaite Lane. You could do that sort of thing in those days if you were Lord of the Manor!

There is access to the grounds of Ingleborough Hall (small charge) along a wide carriageway called Clapdale Drive, that runs by the side of an artificial lake created by the Farrars in the 1830’s. All round the lake, and some way beyond, are the trees planted by the Farrars – beech, larch, yew and silver fir, and in season bluebells and wild garlic carpet the ground between the trees.

Ingleborough was once thought to be the highest mountain in England. This is not really surprising because it does dominate its immediate surroundings, and can be seen from miles away, especially in the west. It is isolated by deep and wide valleys from its fellow mountains and it has a distinctive shape. Of course, far from being the highest mountain in England, it is not even the highest in the Dales – the adjacent Whernside is 13 metres higher.

The large boulders covering the hillside above Nappa Scars on the western side of Crummack Dale are the famous Norber Erratics. Angular in shape and composed of dark grey Silurian gritstone, they are obviously alien to the hillside as the predominant rock here is white limestone. They originated at a lower level, about half a mile away in Crummack Dale where the Silurian rock bed reaches the surface, and were transported to their present location by a glacier during the last ice age. The limestone bed on which they were deposited has been considerably dissolved away so that some of the boulders now stand on short pedestals of rock. Boulders such as these, which have been moved by glaciers and then left behind are called erratics.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

HAWKSHEAD, CUMBRIA

SUNDAY 24th SEPTEMBER 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin & David Yates   Distance : 10.00 miles
From the CP in Hawkshead we go along B5285 then across fields, footpaths and Loanthwaite Lane to climb Latterbarrow (245m, 803ft). Next along forest paths to climb High Blind How, the highest point on Claife Heights (270m, 886ft). Then in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter we make our way to Three Dubs Tarn, Moss Eccles Tarn and her house, Hill Top, at Near Sawrey. After going along the edge of Esthwaite Water and following forest trails through Furness and across Hawkshead Moor we make our way back to Hawkshead along Vicarage Lane. Just to warn you, I have not had a chance to reccee this walk!!!
Thanks to Carole for stepping in once again, also thanks to her assistant leader Dave Yates
Moderate Leaders: Garry & Emma O’Toole   Distance : 8.40 miles
We make our way across fields and through woodland in a north westerly direction to reach Tarn Hows. Next we walk along a route which takes us around the tarn, and then return back to town along the same route as our journey out.
Leisurely Leaders: Joan McGlinchey & Hazel Anderton   Distance : 7.00 miles
From the car park, we go past the old school and across fields as we make our way to the district of Hawkshead Hill. Don’t panic it is not a steep hill, just a gentle rise. When we go into the woods we turn to the west to reach Boon Crag Farm. From there we make our way in a northerly direction to meet Tarn Hows. After walking along a track around the south-east side of the tarn we turn off to start the return back to Hawkshead on an elevated footpath which is reputed to have the best view of the lake. We go past an old house called Rose Castle, now being done up by the National Trust, and come back later through Hawkshead Hill to retrace the way back to town.
Bear with us when you see us studying the O/S. We have decided to change the middle part of the walk as we felt that the original route we took was too long and arduous for a leisurely.
Easy Leader : Cynthia Prescott   Distance 4.00 miles
Most of us will go to a cafe first and expect to meet back near the white toilet building at the car park at 11:30. This walk starts by going past Wordsworth’s old school and up past the church and on up good stony paths and tracks through wooded areas. We will take our time on the first half of the walk as it is mostly uphill but it is worth the climb for the views we get later over the surrounding countryside and Esthwaite Water. We come down on woodland tracks, cross a road and down on field paths to another road along which we will walk for about 1/4 mile. Then we go up to farm buildings to the marked footpaths which take us back to the church. We did not need to use any stiles on the walk as all gates opened and any mud we saw was usually avoidable by stepping to the side.

NOTES ON THE AREA

Hawkshead is an unspoiled ancient market town situated at the head of Esthwaite Water. It derives its name from an original Norse settlement called ‘Hawkr’s saeter’ established about 900 AD. The clearance of the surrounding woodland to provide pasture for animals was encouraged by the monks of Furness Abbey, who introduced sheep to the fells in the 13th century. Hawkshead received its market charter in 1608 and for the next 200 years it served as the chief centre in Furness for the trade in woollen yarns. These yarns were spun from the fleece as a household industry within the town, and the long well-lit spinning gallery was a common feature of the townscape. The trade in locally produced cloth proved extremely profitable for a number of Hawkshead farmers, especially those who acquired their own land after the dissolution of Furness Abbey in 1537. These yeoman farmers were known locally as ‘statesmen’ and their wealth made Hawkshead famous for its ‘hiring fairs’ when servants could be hired by the local masters. By the 19th century, the domestic industry of Hawkshead had been eclipsed by the mechanised woollen mills of Kendal. Nevertheless the town survived as a centre for rural crafts like saddlery, tanning, basket-making and blacksmiths, but nowadays it derives much of its income from tourism.

The village is not far from Beatrix Potter’s farm and the Beatrix Potter Gallery, now owned by the National Trust, has an exhibition of her writing and drawings.

There are no less than 38 buildings of special architectural or historic interest, many of them dating from the 17th and 18th centuries with those on Church Hill amongst the most attractive. These higgeldy and piggeldy buildings were loved by Beatrix and the poet William Wordsworth. The Grammar School was founded in 1585 by Edwin Sandys, the local born Archbishop of York. The school’s most famous pupil was Wordsworth, whose desk survives to this day. The present building dates from 1675. Over the entrance there is a memorial to Archbishop Sandys together with a sundial.

The 15th century church dominates the town from its position high upon Church Hill. Inside is a number of monuments and historical artefacts, together with a series of superb painted murals dating from 1680. In the churchyard is a copper sundial of 1693, the wooden lych gate of 1912, and the war memorial in the form of a Viking runic cross.


Skelmersdale Rambling Club

HEBDEN BRIDGE, YORKSHIRE

SUNDAY 29th OCTOBER 2017

TODAY’S WALKS

Strenuous Leader : Malcolm Chamberlain   Distance : 10.00 miles
We head north west from Hebden Bridge and climb through the woods to pick up the Calderdale Way past Heptonstall – some of this section is steep and narrow but the views across the valley are worth it. After leaving Eaves Wood we are into flatter countryside, but a bit muddy, as we head west to join the Pennine Way at Lower Pilling. We stay on the Pennine Way until the more open moorland at Green Hill, where we head across to the sheltered valley of Hebden Dale. We follow the path through the vale past Gibson Mill to New Bridge (facilities available, bring 20p) and a final small climb through the woods on the way back to Hebden for a cuppa/pint. (And the chippy is open on Sundays.)
Moderate Leaders: Garry & Emma O’Toole   Distance : 7,50 miles
The walk goes through Hebden Bridge. We will then climb sharply uphill, the path is very steep and hard under foot. It can also be quite muddy and slippery. After the climb we pass through Heptonstall village, then beyond towards Gibson Mill. The walk back towards Hebden goes through Hebden Beck and follows the river. Again, this is quite hard under foot and is very muddy. As we arrive back towards Hebden we climb sharply before a long downhill walk into the town Centre. There are plenty of shops, cafes and pubs to enjoy. The climbs make the walk seems further than the 7.5miles.
Leisurely Leader: Pam Chamberlain   Distance : 6 + miles
We will take the road out of Hebden Bridge town centre via the church up to the rear of Calderside. This is a circular route using footpaths, bridleways and fields and back to the town via a canal-side walk back into town. The climb is circa 600ft, there are a couple of stiles, the ground underfoot will likely be boggy and slippery in places. Bring a pole if the weather is not good.
Easy Leader : Jackie Gudgeon   Distance 4.50 miles
Today’s walk will be along the canal, either a linear walk from Todmorden, or out and back from Hebden Bridge, to be decided on the day as Jackie has taken over from Derek.

NOTES ON THE AREA

The original settlement was the hilltop village of Heptonstall. Hebden Bridge (Heptenbryge) started as a settlement where the Halifax to Burnley packhorse route dropped into the valley and crossed the River Hebden and where the old bridge (from which it gets its name) stands. The name Hebden comes from the Anglo-Saxon Heopa Denu, 'Bramble (or possibly Wild Rose) Valley'.

Steep hills with fast-flowing streams and access to major wool markets meant that Hebden Bridge was ideal for water-powered weaving mills and the town developed during the 19th and 20th centuries; at one time Hebden was known as "Trouser Town" because of the large amount of clothing manufacturing. Drainage of the marshland, which covered much of the Upper Calder Valley before the Industrial Revolution, enabled construction of the road which runs through the valley. Before it was built, travel was only possible via the ancient packhorse route which ran along the hilltop, dropping into the valleys wherever necessary. The wool trade was served by the Rochdale Canal, (running from Sowerby Bridge to Manchester), and the Manchester and Leeds Railway (later the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and running from Leeds to Manchester and Burnley). The location being in a narrow valley makes the town vulnerable to flooding and the town was quite badly affected by the heavy rains at Christmas 2015.

Hebden Bridge Town Hall and adjoining fire station is a Grade II listed building, built in 1897. Following local government reorganisation, it became underused. These days it is used as a café and exhibition centre.

At one time the town had a well-known clog factory and also a factory making asbestos items. But that closed as the risks of asbestos became known and the factory moved to Cumbria,

Nowadays the main economy comes from tourism helped by the fact that it is near The Pennine Way.

The town is known as a very desirable place to live with lots of artisans coming there and property is in short supply and so quite expensive. When you go past the ends of the terraced streets you may see pots of flowers out front and bikes propped up against the walls.

Space is limited due to the steep valleys and lack of flat land. In the past, this led to "upstairs-downstairs" houses known as over and under dwellings. These were houses built in terraces with 4–5 storeys. The upper storeys face uphill while the lower ones face downhill with their back wall against the hillside. The bottom 2 storeys would be one house while the upper 2–3 storeys would be another. This also led to unusual legal arrangements such as the "flying freehold", where the shared floor/ceiling is wholly owned by the underdwelling.

There are lots of great little shops with a high proportion of independent businesses and most stay open on Sundays for the tourists. It also has a lively social life. Ed Sheeran was born here. An unusual fact is that it is known as the lesbian capitol of the country!

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