Rawtenstall 15-07-2018 – Leader Carol

Rawtenstall 15-07-2018 – Leader Carol

We were really pleased that Carol had told Roy, of Huncoat Trail fame, that she was doing this walk today, as 12 of his Roamers joined us, plus two local musicians whom Carol knows.  These very welcome extras nicely augmented the 3 Rossie Ramblers present – Carol, Roy, and yours truly, making a splendid total of 17 on the walk.  The additional walkers were lovely people, some with a great fund of knowledge about the area, so they really enhanced the enjoyment of the walk for us.  We hope they also enjoyed it, especially their sojourn in Buffer Stops afterwards!

Setting off from Rawtenstall Station, we climbed gently south through Townsend Fold, before continuing to climb along a lane, with lovely views opening up back across the valley.  We then climbed more steeply to Brow Edge Quarry, passing a rather untidy farm en-route.  A sharp turn north across the fields took us onto Whinberry Naze, at over 1100 feet – the highest point of the walk, with extensive views.  Naze means headland, presumably referring to the jutting out nature of this stretch?  Whinberry Naze is the site of a popular local fell race that is run every Boxing Day, with most of the runners in fancy dress.  I’m sure that our Graeme and family have done it in their time.  At the end of the Naze are the remains of Cloughfold stone saw mill and polishing mill, with vandalised information boards.  The three stone stacks/cairns were a puzzle, as they do not seem to be part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail, so any information about these would be welcome – you can comment below.

Turning east off the top of the Naze took us into a disused quarry, which we contoured through before dropping gently to our break at Higher Lench.  Here Carol told us about the disused railway tunnel that we would later go through, plus some information about a huge hole at the side of the A681 in Waterfoot.  Break over, we descended quite steeply to Cowpe Road, discovering that a scarecrow festival is about to be held, with some rather clever designs and names to see already.  Through the village we went, then up across the fields to Rake Head and the disused railway line.  A leafy path led to a pitch black tunnel that my weak little torch failed to illuminate at all – but fortunately it was quite a smooth surface.  Just beyond the end of the tunnel, we passed an odd little structure locally known as ‘the bunker’, before arriving at the aforementioned hole, created in 1902 when two engines taking a very large boiler to Burnley rested at the side of the road but their weight was so great that they fell in, as did one of the traction engines brought in to drag them out!  A similar thing happened in 1934, and in 1997 a Toyota car fell in!  Land ownership issues have meant that the hole has never been repaired.

After that, it was a short stroll parallel to the A681 and the Irwell back to Rawtenstall to end a really varied, scenic, and enjoyable walk, thanks to Carol.

Pics & write up Arnold.  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. Graeme Adlum

    Yes I have done this race (in fancy dress). Whilst it’s only short the steep ascent is a killer. Jane has done it on multiple occasions but once was enough for me!!
    PS – it is a good way to get over the excesses of Christmas Day.

  2. Stephen Dutch

    Thanks to Carol for organising the walk, it was very interesting and to walk in an area that I don’t think that I have walked before.

  3. Yes, a great walk indeed, full of interest. Many thanks from “Roy’s Roams”. By the way, I think the dark tunnel was Waterfoot Number Two next to what was known as “Thrutch” and the engines that fell in the hole were traction engines not railway locomotives.

  4. Carol Jakar

    Thank you so much for write up and photos Arnold. Excellent day……ps I did the Whinberry Naze fell race a couple of times ….Great fun.

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