Wednesday, 30th May 2012

Walk: Calder Vale
Start Point: The Royal Oak, Garstang Grid Reference: SD 491 451
Distance: 5.5 Irish miles, 6.25 English miles Ascent: 450 feet
Time: 3.5 hours    
Weather: Warm, overcast at first with sunshine later
Comments: The walk began at the Royal Oak Hotel, Garstang and proceeded to Calder Vale. There were 34 of us; the weather was quite warm, dry but a little cloudy thankfully. Our first part of the the walk was along the former Garstang to Knott End railway line known locally as the 'Pilling Pig' because of the noise of the train whistle. We then progressed inexorably upwards towards Clarkson's farm and the white painted Cross House and cottage towards Heald Farm.
At the field above the farm we stopped for coffee at the highest point of the walk, some 500ft, where there are extensive views across the Fylde plain to the coast and the Lake District.
We made our way to Calder Vale, passing a horse racing track which attracted a lot of group interest. In Calder Vale we headed towards the isolated terrace of Primrose cottages up a sloping path then fields leading downwards to Sullom Side Farm, Walker House, currently being demolished and Lucas's Farm. Further downwards we passed Janet's Hill Wood - with a Eucalyptus tree planted in the 1990s as a memorial to a soldier who died in Burma in 1945. Once we passed Bailton's Farm we proceeded towards Greenhalgh Castle built in 1490 by the first Earl of Derby to guard the ford over the River Wyre. This was one of the last strongholds in Lancashire to hold out against the Parliamentarians in the Civil War.
Our next stop was the Royal Oak Hotel where we had an exceedingly good lunch to round off a very enjoyable walk.

The walk is shown as Walk 10 "Mills on the Calder" and the map is OS Explorer OL41 - Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale. Even though it is shown as 5 miles Vera and I estimated it as 5.5 miles.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Garstang High Street adorned for the Jubilee celebrations

 

Brew time amongst the blossom

 

A hidden path at Barnacre with Bonds

 

Laurel & Hardy acknowledge the Fylde Ramblers

 

Not a dead lamb . . .

 

but a stuffed one that fell off its perch

 

The start of an incline on leaving Calder Vale

 

Cows join the group at Sullom Side

 

Single file across the meadow please

 

What - three backmarkers

 

Silage making time again

 

Newly mown grass awaiting . . .

 

this man and his tractor

 

The remains of Greenhalgh Castle

 

Returning to Garstang via a lane edged with cow parsley

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