Monday 14th February 2022
Monthly Long Walk: Moors and Valley Walk
Fourteen hardy walkers set off from Lumb Carr carpark and made their way up to, Holcombe Village along the cobbles of Holcombe Old Road. It was decided to complete the walk in the opposite direction to the one planned as the weather forecast was for strong winds and heavy rain in the morning, so the last place we wanted to be was on the high moors. Once through the village we took the footpath, on the right, opposite the school, and followed the Village Link route down to Carr Street, Ramsbottom turning left at the Rose & Crown and heading for Stubbins through Ox Hay Wood.
After spending time looking at the ruins of the Tentering Tower, we made our way through Buckden Wood, and down to Strongstry where we joined the disused railway line and headed for Irwell Vale and our morning coffee stop. By this time the rain had cleared so we left the comfort of the platform shelter and made our way through the village and onto Irwell Vale Road, after a short distance we tuned left and joined a footpath that followed the River Ogden all the way to Helmshore. Because, of all the recent rain the river was in full flow and the views of the disused railway viaduct, that was part of the Ramsbottom to Accrington line opened in 1848 and closed in 1966, were quite spectacular.
Once, in Helmshore we made our way to The Village Store Café, where we had already placed our orders for lunch, and enjoyed both the atmosphere and the quality of the food. Reluctantly, as it had started to rain again, we left the café and continued our walk by turning right along Woodbank Road and heading in the direction of Cronkshaw Farm and Moor Road. The steep climb up to Robin Hood’s well was rewarded by blue skies and sunshine so we continued to climb, following The West Pennine Way (WPW) route passing Ellen’s cairn and on to Pilgrim’s Cross, where we stopped to catch our breath.
Continuing to follow the WPW we headed across the very wet moors to Harcles Hill and descended a muddy path into Harcles disused quarry, where the rock face is said to look like the head of a postman. Once back on Moor Road it was a short walk down to the carpark, where we had started the walk, having covered 10 spectacular miles.