Sunday, 14th February 2010

   

            

 

Walk: Clerk Hill, Nick of Pendle, Badger Wells Hill, Deerstones, Churn Clough Reservoir, Padiham Heights, Read Hall and cross Read Old Bridge and Portfield
Start Point: Spring Wood car park Grid Reference: SD 740 360
Distance: 11 miles Ascent: 1,440 feet
Time: 5.25 hours    
Weather: Sunny to begin with but clouding over during the day
Comments: A party of 9 set out from the car park and alongside the golf course, still white from the early morning frost. After ascending to Clerk Hill we followed an almost straight track past Wiswell wireless station to the Clitheroe just below the Nick of Pendle. As we headed towards Apronfull Hill we were pleased to divert towards Badger Wells Hill, away from the crowds! A sheltered spot at Deerstones was the ideal vantage point for a morning coffee break. Some of the group decided to add a bit of scrambling to the walk and headed down over the rocks into the bowl of Deerstones, and later joined the rest of the group who had meandered along the conventional path! Taking an unmarked route through the woods we soon emerged beside Churn Clough Reservoir and made our way behind the renovated cottage to cross Sabden Brook and climb Padiham Heights. A short walk along the road then took us up to the trig point on Black Hill - the designated spot for our lunch stop. After skirting Well Wood a clear path took us through Shady Walks - but with no sun we couldn't appreciate the effects of light and shade encountered on the recce! An interesting development of cottages preceded the walk through Read Park - with some very impressive houses. At this point the group were becoming quite concerned at the number of left turns we were making when they thought we should have been heading to the right! (Oh ye of little faith!!!!) Consequently when we did turn right a loud cheer could be heard all the way down to Read! A short history lesson was given at Read Old Bridge where, in 1643, the Parliamentarians (500 men) ambushed the Royalists (5,000 men) and chased them back to Ribchester. Making our way across the fields to Portfield we were treated to the sight of two ponies frolicking - these turned out to be Lidgett Welsh Cobs housed at Portfield stud. From here it was a short walk down the road to the cars. The walk was enjoyed by all - or so they told me!!

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

The sun shines as we gather at Spring Wood car park

 

Heading up to Clerk Hill . . .

 

a good vantage point to look over to Whalley Nab . . .

 

and down to the viaduct

 

It may be sunny but the ground is still frosty

 

Heading across to the Clitheroe Road we can see Deerstones - the two patches of snow - in the distance . . .

 

and across to the right Black Hill Wood is in view

 

With a mini coach in the car park we are not surprised to see a large group ahead of us

 

A comfortable seat - with a backrest!

 

Now down to the serious work of 'elevenses'

 

Some of the group take the 'rocky road' . . .

 

whilst the rest of us take the easy way round - you can just see John in the centre

 

Heading into the woodland, but before you know it . . .

 

we are heading out again . . .

 

to walk past Churn Clough Reservoir

 

Ian takes the official path through the kissing gate

 

Crossing Sabden Brook . . .

 

before heading up . . .

 

Padiham Heights . . .

 

with Black Hill Woods on the horizon

 

Black Hill summit . . .

 

where we stop for lunch

 

Heading through Shady Walks . . .

 

the group spreads out . . .

 

and Ian frames his shot . . .

 

before he is in the frame

 

Is this a stile or a boot cleaning affair?

 

A bit of a tight squeeze . . .

 

but John makes it through with no problem

 

Ian gives Karen a helping hand . . .

 

whilst John takes the 'bag off' option

 

Read Hall park

 

Read Hall Old Bridge - where, in 1643, the Parliamentarians (500 men) ambushed the Royalists (5,000 men) and chased them back to Ribchester

 

At Portfield we spot two ponies enjoying a frolic . . .

 

and after some research find out that they are Lidgett Welsh Cobs

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