Holcombe 11-12-2016 – Leader Judy

Holcombe 11-12-2016 – Leader Judy

A select group of 7 set off, but no quieter nor less forthcoming with debate and local knowledge despite the size.  We headed up to Peel Tower and then across Harcles Hill, both providing good views on a blustery but dry winter’s day.  We then went down to Pilgrims Cross and later considered the large pole reportedly put there to stop German commando gliders landing during war time.  We went towards Helmshore before taking the Rossendale Way over Beetle Hill and had our coffee stop at a wall, with requests for the recipe for the frangipane mince pies consumed.  Fortified, we descended to Alden Brook, followed by a climb to Great House Farm.  Dougie regaled us with stories of when this was a Ministry of Agriculture Experimental Farm, hence the unusually good pasture for moorland, as they experimented with different grasses and feeds, in addition to various animals and breeds.  He was involved with the adaptation of some of the outbuildings, way back when he was a joiner in his earlier working life.

From here we headed to Musden Head Moor and then on to a sheltered lunch stop among more ruins (without any risky comments!).  After, Roy entertained us with stories of illegal whisky making and trading in the area, and their efforts to outwit those trying to catch them.  We left the Rossendale Way and climbed to Causeway Height, where we swapped the stunning landscapes of the Rossendale Valley for views of Edgworth, Hawkshaw, and beyond.

After a field with tricky terrain, we descended to Whowells Farm and then below to a former pub, now an Italian restaurant, with some small statues in the once beer garden.  We ascended again to Quarlton Heights via Crowthorn Farm and the  aptly named retired “Silentnight” van now used for nesting birds, and under the old maggot farm which Dougie reported previously was responsible for a “veritable stench”.  The old “Benidorm or Bust” bus with suitcases on the roof was still present at Langshaw Head Farm despite its recent impressive renovation.  Following the track, we crossed over the firing range (not in use!) via Red Brook and continued to circumnavigate Peel Tower before returning to the cars.  We were very courteously served tea and cakes at Park Farms.

Distance 11.81 miles.  Total ascent 1623 feet.

Write up by Judy and excellent photos by Diana (a first, clearly to be repeated!)

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


  1. Tom Hughes

    Nice write-up, Judy, and thanks for the pie recipe – I’ll make sure Gill reads it! Your pictures are excellent, Diana. We’ve clearly unearthed a new talent!

  2. Arnold Sampson

    A tasty write up and excellent photos of what was clearly a very scenic walk. Well done!

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