Monday 12th December 2022
The last of the walks to complete the WPW, Winter Wonderland Walk
Only eight hardy walkers started this month’s walk, at Greenmount Old School, to complete the tenth and final section of the West Pennine Way (WPW). Over the previous weekend a heavy snow fall had made some of the paths treacherous and as the morning was cold and misty, we decided that we would venture as far as Buckden Wood before deciding whether to continue the walk. We made our way up to Holcombe Village, along the old road, and as we started to climb the mist began to clear, and we had a view of Holcombe Hill in sunshine, with clear blue skies. As we continued along Moor Road, we were greeted with clear views over Scout Moor and Cowpe Low, so that by the time we arrived at Buckden Wood we all agreed to complete the walk in the glorious sunshine.
Our route then took us over Beetle Hill, through Alden Ratches and joined the Rossendale Way at Great House Farm. It was now a short walk up to the point where we left the WPW, on our last month’s walk. From here we had clear views over Musbury Tor and the snowy landscape beyond and we remarked that it looked like a winter wonderland. Continuing along the WPW we decided to stop and have lunch in one of the many small valleys on Alden Ratches, which was bathed in warm winter sunshine.
After lunch we started the steep climb up to Bull Hill, by which time the clouds had started to roll in and the temperature had dropped. Once over the hill we stopped at Pilgrims Cross, where the snow had remained in most of the letters on the face of the stone.
We now headed across the snow-covered moor, to Peel Tower and followed the WPW down the very icy paths into Holcombe Valley, crossing Moorbottom Road and carefully descending to Higher Ridge Farm. Once safely across the stepping stones, in Redisher Wood we headed back to Greenmount having covered thirteen snowy and sunny miles.