Alkincoats 15-10-2017 – Leader Gill

Alkincoats 15-10-2017 – Leader Gill

On a balmy autumn day, 13 ramblers met at Alkincoats Park.  When Graham and his wife Carol appeared, we thought that 15 would be walking, but the meeting was purely coincidental, as they were going for breakfast at the café, after already having walked to Foulridge to collect one of their cars after a night out there!  With us today were John from Lancaster group for his second visit, plus Janet and Pauline, also on their second time with us.  After the group picture, Gill led us through the park, past some rather nice – and rather large – wooden sculptures, surrounded by beautiful autumn colours, which were to last throughout the walk.  Continuing northward across farmland, we crossed a road, where we met a number of cyclists who were raising money for Cancer Research UK, as their boss had recently died from the disease, aged 58.  If anyone wishes to contribute, the Just Giving page is

Very soon we were walking along the edge of Slipper Hill Reservoir, locally known as Old Ebbies, and built to supply water to the Leeds & Liverpool canal.  Nobody seems to know who old Ebbie (Ebenezer?) was, but the views across the reservoir were splendid.  On then across the fields, to discover a grand specimen of a Judge’s Wig fungus.  I once persuaded Roy to eat part of one with me, as they grow in my garden, and I know they are edible – which is not the same as nice.  After a short while they disintegrate into a black and inky mess, hence their other common name, Shaggy Ink Cap.  In fact it was a fungal day today, as you will see from some later pictures, including some as big as David’s size 10 boot.  Along the way we also saw a Ferranti something box, leading several of the old codgers (me included) to reminisce about the demise of this great British institution, led by Basil de Ferranti!

Soon after the Judge’s Wig, we came to Long Hill Farm, with a splendid metal sculpture of an owl, or an eagle, or an eagle owl?  Whatever, the bird has a great view of Foulridge Lower Reservoir.  At another farm soon after, we were carefully watched by a sinister-looking ram, ready for action, no doubt.  This brought us to County Brook, where David stood with one foot in Yorkshire and the other in Lancashire.  We more or less followed the county line – but staying in Lancashire, of course – up and around to the Leeds & Liverpool canal, where we took our break.  On one side of the bridge there was a warm ‘Welcome to Lancashire’ sign, and on the other side there was nothing; how rude!  After the break we headed south down the canal to Foulridge and around the top of Foulridge Lower Reservoir.  At this point there is a ford where a stream comes across the road, but today the water was pretty deep, so much so that one car had got through, but its engine had flooded, while another had tried to back away, but ended up with a back wheel in the ditch!  While we were sympathising, a couple of ladies on horses splashed through with no problem at all!

But this wasn’t the end of the excitement today, as a little later we went past Hobstones, at one time one of the most haunted houses in Britain  (hob = goblin).  From here it was just a short stroll back to Alkincoats Park via the rugby ground, where we saw players in American Football gear.  So ended a lovely, sociable, scenic, and always interesting walk, thanks to Gill.

(Pics & write up Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.


  1. Karen Hilton

    Thankyou Gill,
    Steven and I had a super morning. Look forward to our next walk.

  2. Thanks for a lovely walk Gill on a beautiful autumn day. Excellent write up and photos Arnold. A very good day!

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