Wednesday, 25th March 2015

Walk: Tolkein Trail
Start Point: Bayley Arms, Hurst Green Grid Reference: SD 685 382
Distance: 5 miles Ascent: 180 feet
Time: 2.75 hours
Weather: The weather was excellent

26 of us set off on initially on sheep pasture then alongside Fox Fall Wood on our left as we headed towards Stonyhurst College, taking in views of their cricket field, pavilion and observatory.

The first observatory was started in 1838 and completed in 1845. In 1868 the present one - known as the Dome Observatory - was completed and houses a larger telescope than the original building and is still in use by the students.

From there we passed Hall Barn Farm with views of Pendle Hill and Clitheroe Castle on our right. This led us to Woodfields and Over Hacking Wood then descended a stepped path leading to the River Hodder. Further along this track we stopped for coffee and bathed in the sunshine. We continued on this track to the main road at Lower Hodder Bridge and took time to appreciate Cromwell's Bridge - also known as Devil's Bridge - just a little downstream. Legend has it that it was used by Oliver Cromwell during his march from Skipton to intercept the Royalists at the Battle of Preston in 1648

The next phase initially involved some road walking - a lot of which was on pavements - before proceeding towards Stonyhurst College. We paused for a group photograph with the College at our back and returned to Hurst Green.

The Bayley Arms in addition to offering their usual menu also offered pie and chips for £5. This won the hearts of the vast majority of the walkers.

An eclipse of the sun

Follow me and I will make you leaders of men

A hidden part of Hurst Green.

Hurst Green Memorial

Pendle Hill in the distance

Crossing a meadow on the way to Stoneyhurst College

Port of Stoneyhurst College sports complex

A mythological bird atop an ornamental roof

A rare garden bird

Into the woods and ------

down the steps to ---

cross a rickity bridge with rotten handrail supports

A local brook on its short route to the River Hodder

Some legwork must be done to earn ---

a break beside the River Hodder

Chief Assistant Leader on the right

I'm shy Mary Ellen I'm Shy - as the song goes

A trio of Backmarkers - because it is an important function

A house on a hill

The men are outnumbered yet again

The top of Cromwell's Packhorse Bridge constructed circa 1561

Hodder Lower Bridge constucted circa 1819

A brave Margaret atop Cromwell's Bridge

Another view of Cromwell's Bridge over the Hodder

Red rose to the left, white rose to the right - an old boundary on Hodder Lower Bridge

Sorry the bus went an hour ago

Please heed the leaders warning of oncoming traffic

Spring as arrived

Returning to Hurst Green via Stoneyhurst College

They are smiling because Lunch is only a half mile away

Half way between Stoneyhurst college and lunch at the Bayley Arms

A last look at Stoneyhurst College

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