Sunday, 7th December 2014

Walk: Riley Green, Hoghton tower, Hoghton bottoms, Feniscowles, Oak Royal golf course, Leeds Liverpool canal
Start Point: Royal Oak Riley Green Grid Reference: SD 622 254
Distance: 7 miles Ascent: 900 feet
Time: 4 hours
Weather: Overcast with occasional hail showers, becoming colder later in the day      
Comments:

Twenty two walkers from the combined 2 and 4 groups took part in the walk with 2 more joining us for dinner at the Royal Oak.

Setting off from the pub we climbed to reach the road leading up to Houghton tower. Circumnavigating the hill upon which the tower stands we crossed the Preston to Blackburn railway line  before dropping down to Houghton bottoms to find the river Darwen had been swollen considerably by the heavy overnight rain. Passing beneath the Houghton viaduct we made our way past the Weir and followed the river until eventually branching off to the right.

 A quick lunch stop was taken on a bridge over the Leeds Liverpool canal before continuing along the Witton Weavers Way to eventually cross the Oak Royal golf course and continue downhill to join the Leeds Liverpool canal once more at Ollerton bridge No 2.

From here we followed the canal to Riley green bridge before branching off left onto a track which took us to the road and the Royal Oak once more. Here it was time for a quick change before enjoying an excellent meal in the Royal Oak which was enjoyed by everyone. Thanks to Gina for organising (and leading) the walk and meal.      

Preparing to set off from the Royal Oak

On the way to Houghton Tower . . .

which we circumnavigate . . .

to cross the Preston to Blackburn railway line

passing the ruin of what was once probably a fine house

On the way to . . .

Hoghton Viaduct . . .

which takes the Preston Blackburn line across Hoghton Bottoms . . .

where the river Darwen is swollen considerably . . .

by the heavy overnight rain . . .

making the weir . . .

more spectacular

We follow the course of the river . . .

before branching off . . .

passing a curious goat

Taiking a quick bite to eat on a bridge over the Leeds Liverpool canal . . .

then it's on to and under . . .

the M65 motorway . . .

and across the Royal Oak golf course

Plenty of berries on this holly

Returning via the towpath on the Leeds Liverpool canal . . .

to the Royal Oak . . .

where we enjoyed our Christmas meal . . . .

in festive surroundings

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