Challenge walking the lightweight way
This is the East Lancashire LDWA’s annual challenge walk, from Tottington, near Bury, to Tottington, near Bury. That makes it a circular(ish) route. There’s a choice of 17 mile or 25 mile routes so there’s something for everyone.
The group is having a busier than usual year this year, not only do they have a very full calendar of walks throughout the year, this year they’re also hosting the LDWA’s biggy, The 100 – aka: The Red Rose 100.
Anyway, whoops, I meant Anyway…anyway, at 8am Judith and I shot off from the start – having listened to Norman, set on his soapbox, garbling some vital information about the walk. Probably not that important, we couldn’t understand a word he said.
200+ walkers and runners took part in the event, always a good do. The atmosphere is cheery and friendly – you’ll rarely see a long face on events like these.
The weather was glorious: cool at first, but then warming up to just the right temperature for walking. There hadn’t been much rain in the couple of weeks leading up to the walk so the ground was a little less boggy than usual.
Early in the route: everyone’s still mud-free
A printed route description is available and of course a map & compass should be carried – conditions can turn very quickly around these parts. Even if you find yourself alone, it’s a fairly busy course so there’s almost always someone close-by doing the route.
Crossing the railway line close by Turton Tower
My navigator at Highlight No1: the food stop
The appropriately named Wet Moss
Warning flags on the Holcombe Moor firing range
Approaching Highlight No2, The Naughty Corner and it’s bar staff
Partaking of certain beverages at The Naughty Corner
…followed by the normally ghastly descent through Reddisher Woods. The weather had been good, which was good. In less than good weather this descent can be simply awful: steep, muddy and slippy etc
The menu at the finish
We arrived at the finish, which is also the start, around six and a half hours after setting off on this mad expedition. Rather than do the 25 mile route that we did last year, this time we did the shorter 17 mile route. We didn’t push it, speed-wise.
East Lancs LDWA are justifiably known for the excellent food they provide at the checkpoints. This year’s Two Crosses didn’t disappoint, the food was just too good to miss out on….I didn’t need my tea that night!
The short route (clockwise):
17 miles with approx 1400’ ascent
Thanks to Paul and all the East Lancs LDWA team who worked so hard in putting this event together, oh – and for feeding us all so well!
These challenge walks are great fun, and they’re a cheap day out. The entry fee for this event was £7, which includes two really good food meals – one at a checkpoint, the other at the end. You should enter one!