Heading for Great Hill, the first time. Is this really the path?
At the win shelter on Great Hill on the first visit.
The paved way across Spitler's Edge.
Great Hill, the final approach on the second visit.
At the wind shelter on Great Hill on the second visit.
Walk stats: Distance:13.5 miles. Climb:1765'.
Time: 7 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J and Mike D.
Another good day for walking, warm sunshine, little wind and not even a threat of any wet stuff (except for what was under our boots!
The car park was the best place for seeing birds today with 6 or 7 different species being seen. We set of from Tockholes along a woodland path that was decked with autumnal coloured leaves, a delightful way to start the walk.
After crossing the Belmont Road the "path" across the boggy peat moor to Great Hill was stretched ahead of us. Whilst none of us experienced "the peaty clutches ..... and waist deep embrace" of Terry Marsh's description, Martyn did experience a closer encounter of the peat than he he really wanted!
Lunch was taken alongside the access track to Lower Hempshaw's. We could just about see Rivington Pike tower. As we approached White Coppice we started to see more and more people. The route from White Coppice to Great Hill past Drinkwaters seemed very popular with walkers and fell runners.
as we descended Great Hill after the second visit, the Darwen tower could clearly be seen with its new look, making us realise that we were luck enough to climb to the top of the tower on last year's visit.
Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Greenfinch, Long-tailed tit, European robin, Tree sparrow, Carrion crow, Raven, Kestrel, Pied wagtail, Common pheasant, Eurasian jay, Meadow pipit and Mallard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Royal Arms at Tockholes. The beers that went down well were Hopstar (Darwen brewery) and Glen top (Rossendale brewery). It's good to see that this gem of a pub is in the Camra 2012 Good Beer Guide.
Overall a superb day witha walk and pint to match!