Sunday, 6th December 2009

     

            

 

Walk: White Coppice, Wheelton Plantation, Roddlesworth Reservoirs, Jubilee Tower (Darwen), Great Hill
Start Point: White Coppice Cricket Club car park Grid Reference: SD 619 190
Distance: 11.3 miles Ascent: 2,500 feet
Time: 5.5 hours    
Weather: An early shower cleared to leave a pleasant day with sunny spells
Comments: Walking along the East side of the Goit may have been a muddy affair but vastly preferable to the quagmire that is being created by contractors vehicles on the West side - as experienced during our walk on 8th November! The path through Wheelton Plantation was far superior and we made good time as we left the plantation and headed up onto the moors. Whilst the going was rather damp in places it was all quite passable with care. As the early shower cleared and blue skies appeared we had high hopes for some decent weather - and we were not to be disappointed.  A brief stop near the Roddlesworth reservoirs allowed us to replenish our energy stores (in other words, time for elevenses)! We then left the plantations behind and made our way across to Sunnyhurst Wood and past the bandstand, to exit by the Lych gate. Ensuring the group benefited from some aerobic exercise we climbed up to Jubilee (Darwen) Tower and enjoyed the views from the top and middle levels. Now facing into the wind, we followed a clear path across Darwen Moor to Slipper Lowe car park - noticing that Pay and Display machines have been installed since the beginning of the year! With a promise of lunch at the 'Mansion House' we quickly made our way to the ruins of Hollinshead Hall for our midday break. Now only one more hill to climb but the route up to Great Hill is really suffering from its popularity and the wet weather. A brief pause at the shelter on Great Hill gave time to enjoy the scenery before descending to White Coppice  - and the sun was still shining!!

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Hatch brook in Wheelton Plantation is pretty full today

 

Heading across Wheelton Moor our first destination, Darwen Tower, is in sight

 

Leaving the moor, we cross Rake Brook with its banks of Autumn colour

 

John and Ray navigate the 'tunnel' . . .

 

followed by Tony and John

 

Water rushes down the weir between two of the Roddlesworth reservoirs . . .

 

looking down . . .

 

and up from the bridge

 

The wall provides a good spot . . .

 

for elevenses

 

Leaving the woods and reservoirs behind . . .

 

we head across towards . . .

 

Sunnyhurst Wood . . .

 

where the group finds . . .

 

the bandstand . . .

 

and Lych gate

 

A bird's eye view - from the top of the Tower . . .

 

across Sunnyhurst Hey and Earnsdale reservoirs

 

Darwen is surrounded by rolling hills . . .

 

while Blackburn just sprawls across the landscape, with Pendle Hill in the distance

 

What a contrast, Blackburn to the North-east . . .

 

and open moorland to the South-west!

 

Down . . .

 

and out!

 

Eric contemplates mountain biking . . .

 

as we leave the Tower behind . . .

 

to head across Darwen Moor

 

Before long the Tower is a distant memory . . .

 

and thoughts of climbing Great Hill are to the fore

 

The Well House at Hollinshead Hall . . .

 

where we make use of the ruins for our lunch stop

 

The sun is still being kind as we leave Tockholes Plantations . . .

 

to begin our climb up Great Hill . . .

 

Surveying the scenery from the shelter on Great Hill . . .

 

before making our way back down to White Coppice

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