Hurstwood 18-07-2018 – Leader John

Hurstwood 18-07-2018 – Leader John

John had planned to do this walk in March, but deep snow meant that he had to change at the last minute.  The only snow about today was on the top of various heads, and the only drops of water were on peoples’ brows, as the day was bright but rather muggy.  The turnout of 22 was excellent.  Phil broke his duck with the camera today, and turned out some superb shots, as you will see.  Two aspects of his pictures particularly strike me, one being the paucity of water in the various reservoirs, and the other being the big landscapes that we walked through – talk about ‘hunt the rambler’!  Actually, I cannot blame Phil for the final picture taken in the café, showing something that you ladies will not be able to do after 5 August!!

Setting off eastward from the reservoir parking area, we began to climb very steadily along a lane and then across fields, soon encountering quite a few cows with calves – and their bull – who were all rather jittery, but we passed through without any problem.  Later on, we met the farmer concerned, and he said the jitteriness was our fault for going through as a long file of people.  He said we should have gone through in several tighter bunches – no bull!  Anyway, we continued along the north shore of Cant Clough Reservoir, where John told us about the death of a reservoir keeper on 29 November 1965, when he was trying to read rain gauges – in a blizzard!  His body was not found until the following February.  The search for him led to the formation of the Calder Valley search and rescue team.  Obviously wise of John not to bring us up in the March snow.

Then it was up onto Worsthorne Moor, climbing steeply north through the vegetation along the edge of the steep-sided Rams Clough, reaching 1300 feet before dropping a little to our first break near Gorple Stones – a very scenic spot.  After the break we continued to climb eastward across Black Moor, soon reaching Gorple Upper Reservoir and then descending to Gorple Lower Reservoir, where we picked up the Pennine Bridleway.  Circling north on the PBW, we walked along a small road, with quite a few dead rabbits.  By this time we were contouring along, and set a cracking pace, which we kept up for much of the rest of the walk, except for the second part of the saddleback – see the walk profile here.  This brought us along the edge of Widdop reservoir, where we had lunch.

Onwards and then upwards again onto Extwistle Moor, at almost 1300 feet, overtaking a smaller group of walkers from Ormskirk U3A – of course Linda knew somebody in their club, though not with them today!  This was the most dramatically scenic part of the day, as we crossed Rapes Clough and descended to Swinden Water, before zig-zagging up again on the PBW.  After that it was plain sailing along Ben Edge to meet the aforementioned farmer shearing his sheep – a sheared one being shown in Phil’s final photo – before reaching Hurstwood Reservoir with its spoil heaps from lead mining.  Refreshments were beautifully taken in No 11 Tearooms in Worsthorne, to end a cracking day, thanks to John.

Write up Arnold, pics Phil.  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.


  1. Whilst I am somewhat reluctant to admit it, how do you manage to come up with such wondrous walks, which are stunningly led, with such care and consideration for the group? A lesson to us all! However, I have to report that according to me, the Rossendale Ramblers record for the fastest walk is still held by Rob, but only by 0.1 miles per hour ~ must try harder next time! Great tea shop.

  2. Phil Fortune

    Thanks for a great walk John. I would also like to thank Arnold for proving that one can indeed make a silk purse from a pigs ear with judicious and very skillful picture editing !

    • arnolds

      Not at all, Phil – only a bit of cropping was needed. You did so well that you will surely be asked again at some point! Many thanks for your efforts.

  3. Rosemary

    It was lovely to be out with the group again after a few weeks absence. Many thanks to John for a superb walk. A first class write up from Arnold as usual. Phil’s photos were excellent. In summary a great walk among friends.

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