WEDNESDAY 22nd AUGUST 2018
7th of 9 circular walks to complete the WEST PENNINE WAY
RODDLESWORTH to GRIMEHILLS
The starting point of the seventh walk in this series was from the information centre and cafe at Roddlesworth where eight walkers set-off to climb Darwen Hill on a dull but humid morning.
After a short but steep climb we could see the Jubilee Tower at the top of the hill. The tower was opened in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and also to celebrate the victory of the local people in gaining the right to access the moors around the West Pennines. A number of the walkers took the opportunity to climb to the top of the tower to enjoy the views across to the Fylde Coast, Pendle Hill and back over to Peel Tower unfortunately due to the low cloud we could not see any distant views.
From the tower we followed the narrow, way-marked, footpath of the West Pennine Way down Darwen Moor towards Duckshaw Farm and onto the section of the WPW which joins the Witton Weaver’s Way. The route continued to descend past Prospect Farm and Bull Hill where it crosses the A666, Bolton to Darwen Road, which we crossed, first turning right and then left onto a tarmac track leading towards Pleasant View Farm. From the track we could see the three remains of the Coke Ovens, which were used, in the 19th century, to extract the impurities from coal in order to use the coke in the steel making process.
Before we reached the farm we turned right over a stile where the WPW follows the fence around the farm and onto Grimehills where we found a convenient low wall to eat our lunch.
Just as we had finished our lunch it started to rain so we decided to make our way back, first retracing our steps as far as Bull Hill where we left the WPW and headed towards Top o’ th’ Brow joining the lower section of the Witton Weaver’s Way which follows the Southern edge of Darwen Moor.
Once across the moor we crossed the Tockholes road into the pantation where we re-joined the section of the WPW that leads back to Roddlesworth Café, which unfortunately was still closed so we could not enjoy the cuppa we had been looking forward to during our 11 mile walk.