View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Monday, 14 July 2014

Monday 7th July 2014, LDWA Red Rose 100 recce, Day 2

Blackburn to Barley

I awoke to a wet tent – a heavy dew on the outside and lots of condensation on the inside. and I was using my Laser Comp, NOT my Akto!
P1020072
I set off at around 7am and headed for the site of Checkpoint 2, St Francis Church Hall, Feniscliffe, 16 miles into the 100 mile route.
P1020079 Leeds Liverpool Canal, en-route to Feniscliffe
P1020083 Checkpoint 2, St Francis Church Hall, Feniscliffe
As I’d stopped short of my intended pitch the previous night there was still a couple of miles to go to get into Blackburn where I was planning to raid a butty shop or cafe for breakfast. It seems that Blackburn’s butty shops don’t open too early and I had to go off route and into the town centre to get my brekky.
P1020084  The grand entrance to Witton Country Park
I ended up walking through the streets of Blackburn for 3-4 miles altogether, just to get fed. This also meant that I missed a section of the official route….but at least I got my breakfast! This was the only time during the entire trip that I needed my waterproofs – it rained quite heavily for around 30 – 40 minutes. Then the sun came out again.
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I regained the route at Wilpshire and it was here that I first encountered the curse of the overgrown hedge + barbed wire. The footpath to Hollowhead Lane was made very narrow by the overgrown hedge - combined with a not very nice rusty barbed wire fence on t’other side.
This was A Very Bad Thing. 
This is the part of the route referred to in Para 3.9 of the route description issued by East Lancs LDWA.
image
P1020092 
Anyroadup, I headed north-east alongside Parsonage and Dean Clough Reservoirs. I encountered dog walkers, mountain bikers and road cyclists – all out to enjoy the sunshine. I was enjoying my walk so much that I managed to successfully wander off route – not for too long though.
P1020095 
P1020097There were more barbed wire encounters. There was even an eletric fence encounter. I wonder if there’s a law about the use of barbed wire? Inappropriate use of the stuff is really quite dangerous. I was getting the distinct feeling that it was being used to deter walkers rather than to keep livestock contained.
P1020099 Dean Clough Reservoir
Although the recent weather had been good and dry, there were still muddy bits. I can’t imagine (or perhaps I can!) what this path would be like after prolonged rainfall:
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To be fair, nearly all paths I’d encountered so far would be fine in wet weather.
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Next stop was Checkpoint 3, Whalley Village Hall:
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Whalley also meant lunch. The local Spar provided the the necessary and the local church yard provided the site. I took the opportunity to further dry my tent, I just spread it out in the sunshine. I must have presented a strange sight: a bloke in bare feet, socks and shoes steaming gently, a tent spread out….heaven knows what passers-by thought of me!
P1020108 Lunch spot, Day 2
Leaving Whalley there was another barbed-wire / overgrown hedge problem – at least the barbed-wire was on the field side of the fence posts rather than the footpath side:
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The route crosses the A671 shortly after leaving Whalley and a path should be taken to Clerk Hill. Those walking the route should read Para 4.3 of the route description…..like wot I didn’t!
Just to clarify: DON’T go into the car park / woods, the correct route is through the golf course. I’d also be a bit careful leaving the golf course footpath, the correct route isin’t terribly easy to find.   
P1020112 If you pass this you’ve taken the wrong path
I can thoroughly recommend Harmsworth Ice Creams though.
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Worralot of ways 
The climb up to the Nick of Pendle was a bit sharp but the reward of good views was well worth it.
One should watch oneself here. Spence Moor is a wee bit boggy, muddy, fetidly swampy in parts and it’s very easy to go off-route. Keep an eye on your map and compass and all will be well. But you might get a bit mucky.
P1020116 Looking back from the ascent to the Nick of Pendle
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 Westwards. The bright and shiny bit is the distant Irish Sea.
Anyroadup, Pendleton Moor and Spence Moor came and went. My intended wild camp spot of Fell Wood. proved unsuitable – no water y’see. Pendle Hill was now in full view – that had to wait until the following day.
P1020120Pendle Hill 

Oh Pendle, Oh Pendle thou standest alone,

‘Twixt Burnley and Clitheroe, Whalley and Colne,

Where Hodder and Ribble’s fair waters do meet,

With Barley and Downham content at thy feet.

I continued, vowing to stop at the first suitable spot – which wasn’t until the village of Barley. It was only another mile or so but it was well worth it.
Another nav warning: the footpath at SD823398, I found it difficult to locate this path on the ground. Again, keeping an eye on map & compass will help enormously.
I walked into the village, calling in to the open village hall (Checkpoint 4) to fill up my water carriers.
P1020125 Checkpoint 4
I ventured further…and found a pub. Oh tsk.
The pub served a selection of excellently well kept proper beer…an appropriate place to rehydrate then! I made use of the pub’s facilities and managed a top-to-toe wash down before returning, smelling slightly less horrible, to my beer. and crisps. And meat pie & mushy pea’s. Mike would of liked it here, the pie’s were good.
Another beer or two later and the pub went into shutdown mode….at 10pm! Whatever happened to pubs staying open until closing time? I left the pub and headed for the local park: nice flat grass, secluded, with picnic tables….and, sheer luxury, a loo!
I slept comfortably that night – although only for a few hours.

And here is wot I did for 23 miles:

Route Day 2 OS
The route can be viewed in more detail here….but i’d rather you didn’t look too closely ‘cos you’ll see all the places I went wrong.

4 comments:

  1. Surprised you didn't get run out of Whalley it's a bit posh :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phew, I got away with that then....perhaps it was early closing day and they didn't notice me!

      Delete
  2. Looks like a trip round village halls. surprised you didn't find yourself blagging your way into WI coffee mornings, or better still cream teas. That's a familiar thing about wanting to stop but there being nowhere to park the posterior and you go on for miles, then give in and sit somewhere compromising, only to find a grand bench fifty yards further on after your resumption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's pretty well what it was. The halls I visited will all checkpoints on the main event next May.
      Sadly only the Barley one was open when I got there so apart from filling up my Platy with water I didn't manage any other refreshments.
      I concur with the bench exprerience though - it's happened too many times to me!

      Delete

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