Wednesday 24th May 2023
Summer Guided Walks: ~Third of the River Irwell and its Tributaries
On a bright and sunny morning, seventeen walkers set off from Edenfield. After heading to the bottom of Exchange Street we turned right to follow the path down and across the bridge over the A56. We continued to follow the track passing fields and woods and down to the East Lancashire Railway line, where we turned right to follow the path which ran parallel to the River Irwell in the woodland to our left, through the subway and up to the bridge.
Crossing the bridge we turned right to walk the almost dry mud path next to the river until we came into Irwell Vale. We then continued along the road, passing an old soap mill on our left. As the road went up a slight incline, we took the footpath on our left, traversing the field to walk in the woodland along the side of the River Ogden and under the viaduct. Emerging in Helmshore, we passed the memorial garden on our left before we crossed the road and continued following the brook, emerging onto the main road.
After continuing a short way along the road, we crossed it to follow the track bearing right before taking the left fork to walk by the meandering Musbury Brook and the beautiful hawthorn blossom, gradually climbing up the hill where there were still some bluebells flowering under the trees to our left and onto the open access land.
We crossed the moor on a gradual ascent until we reached the stone wall and turned left to follow the Rossendale Way as it circled round Musden Head Moor and Burnt Hill on our right, crossing Long Grain Water. We then ascended Tor Hill, walking around the top summit for fabulous views of the countryside and where we had walked before descending the steep path down and picking up the Rossendale Way again to Fall Bank Farm.
We turned left off the Rossendale Way to take a narrow path in front of the buildings that led into fields of sheep and lambs. We followed the path down through the fields until we came to Alden Brook where we had lunch in the sunshine sat on a grassy bank overlooking the Brook.
Setting off again, we turned left, crossed Alden Brook via stepping stones and followed the footpath which, after crossing a stile, became a track. We turned left and continued towards the main road. Just before the road, we took the path to our right behind what had previously been the White Horse pub, which brought us out slightly higher up the B6214.
We crossed the road and walked down along the track opposite to Raven Shore and back into Irwell Vale. We crossed the bridge back over the River Irwell before crossing the railway line and walking up the hill past the alpacas and over the A56 bridge heading up to the church in Edenfield where we turned right and walked back along the main road to Exchange Street to finish our walk of just over 10 miles.