Barrowford 03-01-2018 – Leader Rosemary

Barrowford 03-01-2018 – Leader Rosemary

Rosemary might say that the power of  positive thought can move mountains, but today it moved a dreadful weather forecast into one that said ‘what’s all the fuss about?’  Certainly 23 ramblers were thinking positively about getting rid of some of the holiday excess and ennui, including Jenny, whose New Year resolution is clearly to keep us guessing about whether or not she will turn out for a muddy moorland walk!  In fact, this walk was a lot less muddy than might have been expected, in part due to the route that Rosemary chose, with quite a few decent tracks.  The first part of the walk took us north on the Pendle Way along Pendle Water to a tree in a garden with lots of old teddy bears in its branches.  Derek told me that the owner of the house had originally found a lost teddy bear, and put it the tree to see if it would be claimed.  It wasn’t, and since then more have accumulated.

A little further on we came to an oak tree that is exactly one thousand and nineteen years old.  I know this because Roy says he read about it in a book published in 1999, and it was a thousand years old then!  Soon after this we left the Pendle Way and continued north, climbing steadily across the fields to Blacko, by which time we were all sweating, with too much gear on.  At Blacko we headed west and continued to climb to, and along, Wheathead Lane, taking our first break against a wall soon after.  Then we continued to climb north, with remarkably clear and pleasant views all around, with a break in the clouds behind us even letting some brightness through.  We skirted Wheathead Height and carried on to around 1200 feet, the highest point of our walk today.  Foolishly, I had discarded gloves and hat at the break, but at this altitude we were in the teeth of the predicted gale – in fact the gale was in our teeth, literally taking Jenny’s breath away – and that’s not easy!

However, the exposure only lasted for 10 minutes or so, as we then dropped southward to Mountain Farm and the Black Moss reservoirs, with lovely views of Pendle and the reservoirs themselves.  We took an early lunch nearby in the shelter of Aitken Wood, the home of Pendle Sculpture Park, now sadly neglected.  Then it was through the pretty village of Barley, taking advantage of the loos at the car park, before heading east through the woods towards Roughlee.  Wisely, today Rosemary eschewed the stepping stones and crossed the river earlier, passing the caravan park before heading north east to reach Water Meetings, and then retracing our steps past the oak tree – now a few hours older – and back to the car park.  Amazingly, it only rained for the last half hour, so we could count ourselves very fortunate today.  Mike T bravely took on the camera and took some cracking shots, of which I particularly enjoyed the character study of Derek.  Roy back marked for most of the way, making sure that all of Rosemary’s flock returned safely to take refreshments in the Pendle Heritage Centre, ending a remarkably good day, thanks to Rosemary and the weather gods!

Write up Arnold, pics Mike T.

Appended here are the route stats and profile.  Slideshow is below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

There is a link to the slideshow here.  You may need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show – but at least it is full screen!


  1. Graham W

    Spotted your deliberate mistake
    how did you get onto the Pennine Way?

    • arnolds

      Well done, hawk-eye. it should have been Pendle Way, of course. I have now amended it. Hope to see you next week.

  2. Rosemary

    Thank you all for coming on the walk & ignoring the dire weather forecast! You are a resilient lot! Thank you Arnold for the good write up. Great photos Mike. Thanks to Jean for devising walk & doing the recce with me.

  3. Infamy, infamy. You obviously had it in for me last night! It is good to keep you all on your toes whether or not I will turn up.
    Excellent walk despite the windy conditions, certainly blew the cobwebs away. Thank you for a good walk Rosemary. Good photos Mike and the write up – well!

    • arnolds

      Forgot to mention the help you gave me to get my hoods on over my cap, Jenny, even though it was a bit of a struggle for you!!

  4. Graeme Adlum

    A great walk to start the new walking year. Thanks Rosemary.

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