Sunday, 12th December 2010

   

            

 

Walk: Grindleton Fell Pinewood, Beacon Hill, Clough Wood, Broad Ings, Bolton-By- Bowland followed by Christmas Dinner at the Spread Eagle
Start Point: Spread Eagle car park Grid Reference: SD 776 466
Distance: 10.5 miles Ascent: 1,280 feet
Time: 6 hours    
Weather: Cold and frosty with no wind, sunny start with occasional high cloud (pm)
Comments: Despite a slight mix up due to an earlier start time all (14) walkers set out from the Spread Eagle in perfect weather conditions. The previous week there had been a thick carpet of snow on very frozen ground so a recent thaw caused some concern over soft ground and mud!! However a hard frost the previous night put paid to any doubts and conditions proved to be much better than last year

Making our way up the hillside towards Till House we were treated to some splendid views of Pendle Hill and the Ribble valley. From here it was on to Scriddles farm and across the fellside to join a path through the pinewood on the edge of Grindleton Fell. Morning coffee was taken on Beacon Hill summit where once again we were treated to fine views of Fountains Fell, Penyghent and Ingleborough to the North and the Bowland Fells to the East.

Coffee stop over we made our way to the road below and on to Cottams farm. This was an un-recce’d part of the walk (the path down to Higher Heights was deemed unsuitable on the day). Passing Cottams we re-joined the planned route where a short cut down to the river was offered to those who wished to take it. All participants elected to stay with the longer route, so onward we went to cross the head of Clough Wood. From here it was on to the lunch stop then over farmland to reach Bolton-by-Bowland. Continuing along one of its tributaries we eventually joined the River Ribble as we made our way back to Sawley, thankfully arriving without anyone having fallen over – unlike last year.

A quick change into the evening attire then it was into the hotel for pre-dinner drinks while choosing from the extensive “al-a-carte” menu on offer. After relaxing in the bar we moved into the dining room for a hearty meal (some even managed a pudding!!) before eventually swapping Christmas good wishes and heading home.

Thanks once again to the Spread Eagle for the service and excellent food (There was already talk of a return next year before we finished this year’s meal!!).

Note: some photos taken on the recce the previous Sunday have been included to show the difference in conditions.


Scroll down to see photos of the walk

An different view of Sawley Abbey from the back of the car park

 

The duck enjoy relatively warm conditions . . .

 

when compared to last week

 

Today a heavy frost covers the grass . . .

 

and makes the stiles very slippery . . .

 

but last week the same scene was more picturesque

 

The shade holds onto the frost . . .

 

but where has all that snow gone??

 

A blue sky and a bare tree - what more could you ask for?

 

Well, the frost creates its own picture . . .

 

as we cross the fields . . .

 

and the bridges

 

The Pinewood track . . .

 

leads on to Shivering Ginnel . . .

 

and Beacon Hill . . .

 

where we stop for morning coffee

 

A bridge over running water . . .

 

or solid ice!

 

A study in silhouettes . . .  . . .

 

which turned out quite different last week

 

A re-routed path takes us over the hill, and the tracks . . .

 

were made in the snow

 

I think this stile needs reporting!!!

 

A handy bank provides seats for our lunch stop

 

Karen's 'pile of dung' . . .

 

was more impressive when contrasted with snow covered ground

 

The two faces of . . .

 

the River Ribble . . .

 

when viewed . . .

 

in both directions

 

The orders are in . . .

 

and Marie contemplates her choice

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