Sunday, 8th November 2009

             

            

 

Walk: Brindle, Withnell Fold, Withnell, Solomon's Temple, White Coppice, Wheelton Plantation. Higher Wheelton
Start Point: Brindle Village Hall car park Grid Reference: SD 599 241
Distance: 11 miles Ascent: 1,340 feet
Time: 5.5 hours    
Weather: A damp start with sunshine in the afternoon
Comments: 6 set off from the car park at Brindle not needing waterproofs - yes the rain had actually stopped. The air was fresh and the sky blue with high intermittent cloud. Leaving Brindle we crossed very muddy fields (This was very much in the 'Phil walk' category) before dropping down to the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Withnell Fold. From here we climbed gently up to Snape's Heights where we crossed a private airfield. There were good views from here over to Withnell quarry which can’t be seen from the road. We crossed Wheelton Moor stopping for a tea break at Solomon’s Temple. From here we followed a well defined path turning right at a junction dropping down to White Coppice. This section of the path has now been severely damaged by mountain bikes which is a great shame as this used to be a very pleasant track to walk. From White Coppice we followed the River Goit along a very muddy path, being reconstructed to create the Pennine Bridleway Feeder Route - 'The Goit Route'. We crossed more muddy fields through Higher Wheelton and then on to our destination car park at Brindle. Eric christened this the “Stylistics” walk due to the numerous styles of varying height, design and wobbliness.
Overall the weather was good! The company excellent but Cuckoos are only heard in April.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

John and Eric take care over the bridge which is very slippery

 

Leeds and Liverpool canal at Withnell Fold . . .

 

where there used to be a paper mill

 

Now the area has been developed with some modern housing

 

The Reading Room has been restored as a dwelling place. It was built in 1890 for the benefit of the mill workers and their families. It was equipped with a billiard table, reading room with current periodicals, and upstairs a stage and concert hall with a ‘sprung’ dance floor. Many dances and functions were held in the Reading Room and people would come from miles around. In the 1930’s a pianist used to travel from Blackburn to provide music for various concerts. She was Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953) and was a frequent visitor to Withnell Fold. She entered a singing competition in Carlisle and won. Singing soon took over from the piano and during the 1940’s and early 50’s she went on to become a world famous contralto singer.

 

Surrounding the village green are rows of old cottages

 

The local residents don't look too happy with the damp morning . . .

 

but we enjoy a splendid green path . . .

 

before heading down towards Withnell

 

A lone tree stands proud on the moors - Darwen Tower (Jubilee Tower) can just be seen on the horizon to the left

 

The ruined building at Solomon's Temple makes a good spot for elevenses . . .

 

and has a surprisingly intact window

 

Heading down to White Coppice . . .

 

best known for its picturesque cricket ground

 

The fence around the reservoir tells its own story . . .

 

but further along the path there is a more photogenic view with Grain Pole Hill in the distance

 

Contractors vehicles have been in action along here . . .

 

let's hope the finished product is worthwhile!!

 

The Autumn colours are disappearing as we look across the River Goit

 

Heading for Brinscall Hall . . .

 

where a wall provides the perfect spot for lunch

 

Leaving the hall we find a very picturesque . . .

 

tree-lined path/drive

 

An owner with a sense of humour?!

 

Stiles without footboards make for awkward navigation

 

Heading back along the Leeds and Liverpool canal . . .

 

the slow (very slow) moving water provides good reflections

 

2 pints please!

 

A young foal enjoys a scamper around the field . . .

 

but Mum is more interested in the grass!

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