Witton Park 18-02-2018 – Leader Arnold

Witton Park 18-02-2018 – Leader Arnold

On the first short Sunday walk of 2018 we were joined by 4 new walkers: Liz & Alex from Weir, and Deb & Maria, also from Weir, though Deb reached there via Oz.  Maria’s gaiters were a sight for sore eyes!  Their attendance meant that 13 ramblers set off from Witton Park, though it would have been 12 had Ann’s bus not arrived just in time.  We walked past the splendid Arena leisure centre and behind the café to reach Big Cover Wood, an excellent area for children.  We headed up through the attractive woodland to reach a field, with pleasant but hazy views.  Here we had our first taste of the mud that was to follow, so much so that Derek accused me of trying to steal Roy’s crown!  At the beginning of the next wood, I explained that we were on the Beamers’ Trail, part of the Witton Weavers’ Way, and asked if anyone knew what a beamer is (or was).  Deb got a bonus point for suggesting a BMW, but the real answer is here.  After another climb, we exited the woods into a field (more mud), and headed for the highest point, to admire the magnificent Alfred Wainwright memorial.  This took the form of a topograph/toposcope with a wonderful bas relief stone sculpture of the great man within it.  Since this memorial is only a short walk from a pub called the Clog & Billycock, I asked if anyone knew what a billycock is; the answer is here.  Both items were worn by a previous landlord of the pub.

After admiring the memorial and the pleasant views over Blackburn, we continued across more fields (and mud) to reach the River Darwen, alongside which we found a pleasant spot for our break.  Then it was along the river to Hoghton Bottoms, admiring some early crocuses, and with a sight of Hoghton Tower, of Sir Loin fame, on the hill on the other side.  Then it was up to and alongside Pleasington Golf Club to reach Pleasington Priory, built around 1820, when the religious laws passed against the Roman Catholics in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I were only just being relaxed.  The priory doors were closed, but we circumnavigated the splendid building and admired the many magnificent graves.   After that it was a hop, skip and a jump down to Butler’s Bridge over the River Blakewater, a tributary of the River Darwen (not the River Yarrow, as I mistakenly thought).  We then followed the river back to the cars.  Many thanks to all who came, especially our new walkers, whom we hope to see again soon.  Thanks also to Graeme for the splendid photos, to Sue for back marking and for looking rather dashing in her high-vis vest.  Finally, thanks to Ann & LIz, our locals, for keeping me on the right track.

Write up Arnold, pics Graeme.  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. Maria commented on Facebook “No mud, no lotus”. Perhaps we should remember that!

  2. Graeme Adlum

    A very enjoyable walk. Thanks Arnold.

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