An early view of the Darwen Moors West from the Witton Weaver Way.
Why can't all waymarks be as good as this one pointing the way to Darwen Tower
(the Darwen Rocket).
Striding out along Catherine Edge after passing the no longer a ruin Lower Pasture Barn Farm.
An unexpected view across Belmont towards Winter Hill.
At the shelter on Great Hill.
Walk stats: Distance:11.6 miles. Climb: 2192' .Very little according to Terry Marsh!
Time: 5 hours 12 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger and Dave J.
An unusual weather forecast for this time of the year, mainly cloudy in the morning with the prospect of sunny spells in the afternoon with temperatures in the high teens. The forecast was pretty accurate, but listening to the forecast, I didn't take in the fact the wind would be quite so strong. However we can't complain this was a really good day for on these Lancashire moors.
We started the walk at the Tockholes car park and had to use an excellent footpath to link up with the Witton Weaver Way near the Crookfield Road Car Park.
Striding onwards past Lower Pasture Barn Farm and along Catherine Edge with our first views of Belmont Reservoir and the Winter Hill TV/radio masts on the skyline, we soon encountered an unexpected extension, the path across the dam at the Southern end of the Belmont Reservoir was closed.
However with this slight detour we were able to rejoin our original route by a linking footpath from the Rivington Road from Belmont village.
Lunch was taken in the shelter of a stone wall half way across Sharpes Higher End. It;s a good job we had some of Margaret's fruit cake to sustain us for the afternoon trek across the peaty moorland of Spitlers edge and Redmonds Edge. Surprisingly we met quite a few other walkers on this somewhat boggy moorland, one was even walking in open-toed sandles. Amazingly his toes were still clean! We wisely chose to extend the walk over Great Hill before descending back down to Calf Hey Bridge and on through the plantaion back to Tockholes.
Birds seen or heard today included: Greenfinch, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Great tit, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Mistle thrush, Kestrel, Raven, Eurapean robin, Blackbird, Barn swallow, Wheatear, Meadow pipit, Black-headed gull and Nuthatch.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Royal Arms at Tockholes. The refreshing beer of choice today was a Hopstar brew called Dizzy Danny. The Hopstar Brewery is in Darwen.