FIRST OF THE 2018 MONDAY LONGER WALKS
MONDAY 15TH JANUARY 2018
On a wet and dark Monday morning seven hardy walkers left Ramsbottom and headed along Kenyon Street towards Stubbins. Our first obstacle was a flooded field behind the old soap factory. When we reached Bank Lane we could see the building work taking place on the site of the old Stubbins Mill, it was sad to think that the last time we passed the mill there were bull rushes growing in the lodge and the mill was still intact.
Turning right we headed along Leaches Road, passed the vacant camp site and over the motorway to Shuttleworth. Having crossed Whalley Road we turned left and followed the Rossendale Way as far as Bury Old Road passing behind Bleakholt Animal Santuary where we were greeted by dozens of barking dogs. On reaching Rochdale Road we crossed over into Michael Wife Lane and headed towards The Plunge which was in full flow due to the recent and present heavy rain.
We were amazed at the volume of water at the confluence of the two water sources and commented that this power should be put to some use. Climbing up the path from the bridge was as though we were walking up a river as the water covered the full width of the path. At the top of the slope we were going to turn right and head towards Horncliffe Stone Village but the clouds were low and the rain heavy so we agreed to head down across the fields to Edenfield.
Once in Edenfield we crossed Market Street into Church Lane and headed over the A56 taking the path down to Irwell Vale. Here we decided to eat our lunch under the cover of the railway station even though it was only 11.30am.
After lunch the weather had improved so we made our way along Meadow Park towards Strongstry following the river Irwell for most of the way. At the end of the disused railway track we turned right onto the lane which took us up to Buckden Woods crossing Helmshore Road and on to Moor Road. By the time we reached Moor Road the weather had further improved with blue sky all around, although when we looked across the valley to Cowp Lowe we could see that the clouds still covered the tops of the hills. From here we made our way towards Holcombe taking a left turn at Higher Top Farm along a footpath which was unfamiliar to a number of us. Once across Helmshore Road we turned right and walked passed Highfield Farm down to Ramsbottom returning to the carpark having covered a distance of 9 miles.