Alkincoats 26-3-17 – Leader Gill

Alkincoats 26-3-17 – Leader Gill

After scaring people off by saying that the walk would be the squelchiest yet, only 6 of us turned up at Alkincoats Park for what was to be a beautiful spring day – ideal conditions for a walk.  I’ve been chastised about my incorrect information re the clocks, but I thought ‘Never mind, at least everyone will know the start time!’ Not so – Roy and Dougie were at Kay Street at the usual time, and wondered what had happened to everyone when no one had turned up at the start point by 9.45.  Lesson learned!

We  trundled past some lovely spring planting to cross the old railway line to Heirs House Lane, which we followed to Barrowford Road. Passing the ‘new’ Colne Grammar School building (completed in 1941, converted into apartments in 2009) we struck off across the fields to Barrowford Reservoir (the first of 5 feeder reservoirs we would encounter during our walk), and thence to the towpath. We headed east to the tunnel entrance/exit on the canal, where we stopped for elevenses and for Tom to pick up some litter.

A short walk over the ‘mile tunnel’ led us to the road to Slipper Hill reservoir, and we followed the ancient path through holly trees and a little squelch on the north side of the reservoir, before joining Watery Lane.  It lived up to its name, but we weren’t worried – nothing was as bad as I’d predicted.  From there we followed a route through Hey, Hey Fold and down to Mitchell Interflex, formerly known as County Brook Mill (by the side of County Brook which marks the boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire), and prior to that Hey Mill. We took lunch at the side of Mill Hill Bridge on the canal bank. Foot traffic on the towpath by this time was substantial and Dougie had to stop a number of dogs from eating his sandwiches. Of course, it was Mothers’ Day – and there were clearly loads of people (and dogs) out to celebrate.

After lunch it was new territory for me, but not for the others. Apparently, Noyna is Graham W’s territory, so it was with trepidation that I headed across slightly boggy ground towards Great Hague farm (where Roy took a risk!) then over the A56 to Higher Hague Farm, pausing for a bridge shot.  Half way across the bridge is the old boundary between Yorkshire and Lancashire……

Having safely negotiated our way out of Yorkshire, we continued round the back of Noyna Hill, past Noyna Rocks and down towards Foulridge Lower Reservoir, via the muckiest part of our route.  The farmer at Broach Flat Farm didn’t seem too pleased to see us, but we skedaddled past the farm equipment, kept calm and carried on past the reservoir where the same man was fishing as was last week. When Tom and I saw him, it was raining hard, but I don’t think he noticed; he was up to his waist in water – as he was today.

The views of Lake Burwain were amazing, made even more so by the boats, out in full sail, some with spinnakers (Tom said). By now, Roy had 10 mile legs (I think he wanted a ‘brew’) so we took the quick route back to the cars, which meant we had a short but steepish incline to get back to the park.

It was a glorious day for a walk.  We saw a charming goldfinch, loads of lambs, lots of yellow flowers (not just daffodils), heard curlews and had some fantastic views.  It couldn’t have been better.  And Arnold keeps the crown for the squelchiest walk of the year!

Sara couldn’t stay for tea and cakes as she had shopping to do, but the rest of us recouped the calories we’d burned off at Sainsbury’s cafe – or at least the men did.  I was good!

Write up and pics by Gill.  Thanks to Dougie for being a mine of extra information.

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



1 Comment

  1. arnolds

    Good write up and pics, Gill – you obviously had a super day. Very well done for getting it all up on the web on the day of the walk.

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