Cowling to Ball Grove Park 27-04-2018 – Leader Derek

Cowling to Ball Grove Park 27-04-2018 – Leader Derek

The damp drizzly day, interspersed with rain showers, did not stop 9 enthusiastic walkers joining this linear walk. Despite the weather, it was a great walk including parts of the Pennine Way, the Bronte way, the Pendle Way (very briefly) and Pennine Bridleway, predominantly over moorland and farmland. We saw plenty of new lambs, calves, and donkeys, smelt the sweet spring blossom and witnessed newly opened tree leaves all around. We also saw grouse, pheasant, skylarks, curlews, a heron and possibly a tawny owl, plus had the real bonus of hearing a cuckoo in two separate locations. We crossed the Lancashire/Yorkshire border twice (the first time on the bus out to Cowling).

Derek led us from Cowling via Summer Hours Farm to pick up the Pennine Way and then to pass through an obstacle course, firstly of a somewhat submerged ford followed by a fence to vault over.  We went to Further Dean Hole and took coffee before climbing steadily onto Ickornshaw Moor, where there were some with helpful flags laid over the bog and peat, as we were surrounded by heather and moss.  Ickornshaw is an ancient nearby village, with the name meaning “Acorn Wood”. We came across several huts with chimneys, which Derek explained were given to the people of Ickornshaw in the 16th century in perpetuity, which so remain after failed attempts to challenge this in Court in the 19th century. This is reported as the only moor in England where householders have shooting rights.  Apparently people do sometimes sleep in these huts if anyone fancies a holiday to remember! We came to a stone shooting hut built in 1902 on the site where there had previously been a round shooting lodge, and Cowling Shooting Club is still in existence today.  We passed the Cat Stone, and passed close to the Wolf Stones, on the way to Bone Hill and Old Bess before descending via Brunt Hill and Thornton Hill with Oakworth Moor to our left.  We went through Crag Bottom and Dean Fields to pick up the Bronte Way, stopping near Old Snap for lunch.  We went past Watersheddles Reservoir before going past Fosters Leap, a huge group of bolders about 6 feet apart, with both successful and devastating failed attempts to jump them. We continued to Wycoller, admiring the Clam Bridge which is a solid slab of gritstone, being one of the earliest and most primitive types of bridges remaining in England. We also lingered briefly over the remains of Wycoller Hall before returning to Ball Grove Park via Thorn Edge and Slack.

Lovely refreshments are taken in Ball Grove Cafe which had kindly remained open for us.

Write up and pics – Judy

Distance – 12.01 miles  Ascent 1905 fee

Slideshow 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. Derek

    Thanks yet again for taking on both the photography and the report – I am very grateful. You are accumulating so many stars on your ‘star chart’ that it will be falling off the wall!!

  2. Arnold

    Well done to all who went in such miserable conditions, and to Derek for all the interesting info. I think Maureen would enjoy a holiday in one of those huts, so can someone give me the booking details, please? Finally, excellent pics in the conditions, Judy, especially the animal ones.

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