Hurst Green 28-02-2018 – Leader Roger F

Hurst Green 28-02-2018 – Leader Roger F

“Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen, when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.”  Today it was Roger, not the good king, and tomorrow is St David’s Day, not the feast of Stephen, but the snow was definitely deep and crisp and even all day, cushioning our feet nicely.  Illness, holiday absence, and severe doubts about the road conditions kept the turnout down to 9, but somehow that contributed to the togetherness and enjoyment of the day.  Setting off in -4º C was a new experience for many of us, but as we all resembled Mr Blobby, we were warm except for our fingers, though these soon warmed up, thanks to the surgical gloves.  Judy bravely volunteered to take the pics, and you can admire the spectacular results below.

From the village hall we headed north west through the woods to Greengore, climbing steadily.  Continuing to climb, we passed Crowshaw House and entered Brownslow Wood, full of baby Christmas trees beautifully decorated with snow.  This took us up to Longridge Fell, with Tom kindly refitting my last remaining Yaktrax en-route.  We took our first break at this highest point of the walk at a little over 1000 feet, actually sitting in the sun!  We then proceeded in an easterly direction along the forestry road, battling a blizzard head on for quite a few minutes.  Happily, the wind was not whistling around as we had expected, so this wasn’t a big deal.  After a while we headed south and exited the wood near Turner Fold, then along Birdy Brow and down to the bank of the River Hodder.  Then it was south along the Hodder into Over Hacking Wood, where we had lunch in some comfort.

Shortly after, we encountered a rather splendid stone cross, but yours truly was lagging at the time – well, I was the back marker – so I don’t know if Roger said anything about it; certainly I can find nothing online.  Anyway, a short stretch on the road took us onto the Ribble Way, with views back to Stonyhurst College.  Apparently the rolling countryside was the inspiration for Tolkien’s Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings.  During the second world war years, Tolkien often visited his eldest son, John, who was studying for the priesthood at Stonyhurst.  In a little while we passed Winckley Hall and Winckley Hall Farm, where Roger pointed out a rather unusual machine for cutting maize, with impressively large teeth.  This took us down to the River Hodder again, just before the confluence with the Ribble.  By this time we had seen a few newish lambs, and we were to see quite a few more, looking remarkably well, all things considered.

Now in bright sunshine, we followed the river over what would usually have been rather muddy fields, to arrive at the confluence with the river Calder, which gives its name to Calderstones Hospital, a Specialist Learning Disability centre, now part of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.  Continuing easily enough on the frozen ground along the river, just after the aqueduct we veered to our right and upwards to return to Hurst Green to end a remarkable walk, thanks to Roger.  The nearby Bayley Arms provided a roaring log fire and hot cups of tea, making it difficult to detach ourselves from such a cosy situation, but detach ourselves we did.  The Ramsbottom/Bury contingent had an interesting trip home over ‘the highway in the sky’, with drifting snow on the top and -6.5ºC, but all was well.  Overall, this was a day to remember, for all the right reasons!

Write up Arnold, pics Judy.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.

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 will need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show – but at least it is full screen!


  1. Well Done you lot. Not sure how you all survived!!!
    Back soon (hopefully). 🙂

  2. Brrrr! What a hardy lot Rossie Ramblers are. Perhaps Roger could be persuaded to do the walk again in the summer. Well done to you all. Very atmospheric photos Judy.

  3. Another very special winter walk, thanks – as Arnold says, one to remember. However, time for a bit of spring please!

  4. arnolds

    Brave as we were yesterday, we were very lucky with the conditions. I don’t think I would have ventured out this morning!

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