Syke Side to Padiham linear 28-10-2016 – Leader Derek

Syke Side to Padiham linear 28-10-2016 – Leader Derek

Today’s superbly scenic – sometimes squelchy – seasonal sylvan stroll ended a week of Whalley walks for Wossendale Wamblers, as Woy Jenkins might have said.  13 of us assembled at a variety of Padiham car parks, and caught the Preston bus, alighting at Syke Side, near Altham.  Early rain had disappeared by this time, and although distant views were mostly somewhat hazy, the Autumn colours were probably the best seen so far this year.  Heading west over the fields towards Great Harwood, passing some strangely-coloured tups, we encountered Lancashire County’s way of saving money on footpath maintenance: put up a sign saying ‘uneven surface – take care’, rather than fixing the problem!  Coming into Mill Lane, we spotted another interesting sign asking us to take care again, but this time for a very different reason – see the photo.  At the edge of a housing estate, Derek found a space hopper, which Judy and Linda demonstrated to the older generation.  They could rest soon after when we had our first break on a handy log, midst superb colours.

Shortly after the break, we passed Bowley Campsite & Activity Centre, containing an odd arrangement of a dangling thing near what looked like an owl or bat box.  Zooming in shows it to have been a zip wire, with the box a platform at the end of the wire!  By now we were heading north across the fields to Whalley Banks, where Tom posed in front of one of the many houses he has occupied in the Whalley area.  Then it was beautifully down the flank of Whalley Nab to the village itself, with an incredible view down the River Calder from the bridge.  Past the abbey, and across the main road to see the sculpture by Mary Bigger of the three fishes, which are featured on the abbey coat of arms.  Heading east over the A671 and past Spring Wood and the side of Whalley golf course, we came to our lunch stop at Clerk Hill, just as a bit of drizzle was coming down.  This rather spoiled the view over the Nab and back to the Whalley railway viaduct, but that’s how it goes.

Drizzle over, it was south over the fields to Read Old Bridge, where we crossed Sabden Brook.  We then had a very pleasant stroll through the delightful Read Park, where another tree hug took place, the tree in question only needing 3 people to circumscribe it.  Shortly afterwards, we were amused by the artistically-decorated hay rolls at Houlker’s Farm.  Thereafter it was through another lovely estate – the Huntroyde this time.  At nearby Foulds House Farm, John spotted an odd sign saying ‘Lely Astronaut’, which turns out to be a robot milking system!  Then it was back to Padiham via Holly Hill and High Whitaker.  I never thought I would say this, but after a heavy day in the garden yesterday, I was really glad to see Padiham!  Refreshments were very nicely taken in the Mooch Café, where Gill joined us.  So ended a really lovely day, thanks to Derek.

(Pics & write up Arnold.  Appended here are the route stats and profile, though the 11.7 miles is conservative!)

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


  1. Commenting at 23.38 on a Friday evening, Judy? That’s dedication to the cause!

  2. Fantastic autumnal walk thanks, with great photos capturing some of the beautiful colours

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