Wednesday 18th October 2023
The Pilgrims’ Way, Whalley to Manchester
Second of four walks to complete the route, Haslingden to Hawkshaw.
This second section of the Pilgrims’ Way began at the Griffin Inn on Hud Rake, Haslingden, which is one of the oldest pubs in Haslingden, dating back to 1870. Once assembled the group of thirteen walkers headed down West View to St James Parish Church, where we stopped to look at the Anglo-Saxon double sockets, which once held two stone crosses.
Continuing along the route we crossed Blackburn Road and joined a footpath on our right, that took us through the woods to South Shore Street where we followed Cycle Route 6 into Helmshore. On arriving at Helmshore Mill and Textile Museum we found that the route was blocked as the surface was being repaired, so after a short detour, we rejoined the footpath following the river Ogden along Station Road to the Cotton House. After turning right into Sunnybank Road, we went under the road bridge and along a cobbled road eventually arriving at an old metal gate, once through the gate we started our first climb of the day. The path through the field led to Alden Road, where we tuned right for a short distance before turning left onto Moor Road and started the long climb up to Robin Hood’s Well.
On arriving at the well we stopped to get our breath back and enjoy our morning coffee break. Once refreshed we turned right, after going though the gate and continued our climb, first arriving at Ellen’s Stone and Cairn, a memorial to a farmer’s wife who was murdered on the moors. Our next stop was at Pilgrims’ Cross, the object that began the research into the plotting of “The Pilgrim’ Way”.
Our route then took us to the right and after a short distance we turned right again along a narrow path which led down to Red Brook, which we crossed, and continued along the path down to Moorbottom Road. After climbing the stile, on the other side of the road, we joined a very overgrown track down to Hawkshaw Lane, where we made a short detour to the site of Roger Worthington’s Grave for lunch, in glorious sunshine.
The route then continues down the lane into Hawkshaw and once across the road we headed down Two Brooks Lane to a small hamlet and once through a stile we turned right, at a newly erected signpost, and climbing between the two fishing ponds, and once over another stile ended this section of the Pilgrims’ Way.
Our route back to Greenmount took us passed Bottoms Hall Farm and through Hollymount having covered 10 sunny miles.