Wednesday 2nd May 2018
4th of 9 Circular walks to complete the West Pennine Way
This walk was also included in the Transport for Greater Manchester Walking Festival May 2018
The section of the West Pennine Way (WPW) to be covered on this walk was from Bull Hill back to Greenmount Village. The walk started at Lumb Carr car park, outside Holcombe Village, with seven walkers making their way towards the village on a very wet morning with a promise of sunshine later.
We turned left opposite the Shoulder of Mutton along a track leading up to Moor Bottom Road and continued in an easterly direction until we reached Robin Hoods Well, which is an ancient well on the Pilgrim’s route to Whalley Abbey.
The well is also on the Link Route of the WPW which we now followed up towards Bull Hill. By the time we had reached the trig point the clouds had started to lift and we were able to enjoy the views from this vantage point and could see clearly Winter Hill, Pendle Hill and looking in the other direction Greater Manchester and in the distance the Derbyshire Hills.
This area of the West Pennine Moors is part of the Ministry of Defence’s Rifle Range, which could be seen on our right hand side, and should not be accessed when the red flags are flying. Fortunately, there were no flags flying so we were able to join the WPW at the Pilgrims Cross, which is another example of the routes that the pilgrims used over these moors. The cross dates back to 1176 however, the original stone was vandalised in 1901 being replace the following year by the stone we see today.
Following the WPW our next climb took us to the cairn at the top of Harcles Hill, which is the highest hill in Greater Manchester. We then headed down the steep side of Harcles Hill and on to Peel Tower. By this time the sky was blue and the sun was shining but there was still a very cold strong wind blowing from the west this deterred our walkers from venturing to the top of the tower so we found the sunny sheltered side of the tower to eat our lunch.
Continuing along the WPW we headed in a westerly direction to the edge of the moor, which overlooks Holcombe Valley, where again we stopped to enjoy the views before we dropped down onto Moor Bottom Road. Here we turned right and walked as far as the ruins of Taylor’s Farm where we turn left and descended into Saplin Wood and up to the ruins of Higher Ridge Farm.
The route then took us to the stepping stones across Holcombe Brook which we all managed to cross safely and up to Simon’s Sundial Cottage, at the top of Redisher Lane.
From here we followed the WPW across the fields to Greenmount Golf Club where we left the WPW and made our way back to Lumb Carr car park having covered a distance of 11 miles.