Wednesday 15th December 2021
Northern Valley Villages Walk
On a gloriously sunny Wednesday morning sixteen walkers set off from Greenmount Old School to visit seven of the villages in a northerly direction. Making our way along Holcombe Old Road we arrived at the first of these villages, Holcombe, which nestles in the shadow of Holcombe Hill, with its distinctive monument, Peel Tower, built in memory of Sir Robert Peel.
Once out of the village we continued along Moor Road until we reached Chatterton Close where we turned right and walked down to Helmeshore Road, which we crossed and joined a track on our left that took us through the fields into Buckden Wood. Following the footpath through the wood we eventually arrived at the second of our villages Strongstry, where we turned left and followed the disused Ramsbottom to Accrington railway line, that closed in 1966, to Lumb the third of our villages.
From Lumb we walked along the footpath, that follows the banks of the River Irwell, into Irwell Vale where once more we made use of the railway platform for our coffee stop, which this time included ginger cake and chocolates to celebrate the festive season.
After crossing the railway line, and remembering to close the gate, we climbed up the steep path that eventually crosses the bridge over the A56 where we arrived at the fifth of our northern villages Edenfield. After spending time admiring the Parish Church, we crossed Burnley Road turning to our left into East Street following the track up to Hey Meadow. Once over the stile, on our right, we joined a footpath leading down to Gin Croft Lane. Crossing over the lane we made our way down into Dearden Valley and to the popular visitors site of the Plunge which gets its name from the waterfall that is part of the ruins of a cotton mill. After crossing the footbridge, we walked down Michael Wife Lane and onto Bury Old Road where we turned right, after Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, and headed to The Duckworth Arms for lunch.
After a most enjoyable lunch we walked through the fields in the direction of Stubbins eventually arriving in Ramsbottom where we walked through Nuttall Wood and into the last of our villages, Summerseat. Having visited all of the villages on our list we headed back to Greenmount having covered 12 festive miles.