Tor Hill 09-01-2019 – Leader David C

Tor Hill 09-01-2019 – Leader David C

‘What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours … ‘ – OK, make a liar out of me for a couple of days, but you know what I mean.  Today’s walk, though partly over the same route as Angela’s walk on Sunday, had brilliantly sunny and clear weather all day, affording wonderful photo opportunities for cameraman Mark.  We had a great turnout of 29 ramblers today, including Susan, back after some knee trouble.  A shame that we could not be joined by David H, who planned the walk, but he gave us a day to remember.

From Clough Head Visitor Centre car park, David took us north and uphill to the Rossendale Way, where we turned east to follow this trail for almost 2 miles.  The views of the blue sky, criss-crossed by vapour trails, were superb, and gave us a taste of what was to come.  Jamestone Quarry stretches for a long way, and was followed by another – disused – quarry, taking us through Windy Harbour Farm to another quarry and then down Cob Castle Road to the A56.  We were then soon over the B6232 Grane Road and past the park homes at Swinnel Brook to our coffee stop near Helmshore Textile Museum.

After the break it was across the road heading towards our objective of Tor Hill, with Roger F taking the chance to nip into Musbury Fabrics for a new sheet, and Anne finding a dog tag (I thought she was picking up a dimp, but I did her wrong).  Anyway, the tag belongs to a poodle called Nelson, and was collected from my house this evening by Nelson’s owner – how’s that for service?  Shortly afterwards, we arrived at the cottage home of JIm, a longstanding friend and member of Rossie Ramblers, whom we haven’t seen for a while, hence the picture of him with two of our senior members!  Then it was beautifully west and upwards along the flank of Tor Hill, with a 180º turn at the top to bring us to the summit – a climb of over 500 ft from the Textile Museum.  As you will see, the views were dramatic, especially when Graeme – accompanied by Stephen – did ‘the leap of faith’ onto the rock on the very edge at the top.  According to Graeme, this was a rite of passage when he was a lad, which I can well believe.

From the summit, we descended gradually south towards Great House Farm, with yours truly slipping onto his backside on the frozen grass.  I wasn’t the only one to slip today, but I believe the only damage was to our pride!  Great House Farm was once a Ministry of Agriculture experimental farm, doing important work on high-level grain planting and animal husbandry, and exploration of the effects of acid rain.  The farm was closed in 1982 and the land sold off to private farmers.   This brought us to the Rossendale Way again, and shortly to our lunch stop in the sunshine against a wall, where the fortifying flask had plenty of takers.  Then it was into the impressive Musden (Musbury?) Valley, which David told us once contained a large mediaeval deer park, enclosed in 1304 by the Lord of the Manor of Tottington.  Heading north through Rushy Leach, we reached Musbury Heights and the partly restored chimney of the quarry scrubbing mill.  Here we even had a few snowflakes fall on us!

From the Heights we descended towards the three reservoirs, looking fantastic, as you will see from the photos.  Across the dam, and then we were soon up to Grane Road and back to our cars.  In fact, we had almost to fight our way through a gaggle of horses, horse boxes, and very smartly accoutred riders from the Holcombe Hunt, who had been out from Clough Head today.  Coincidentally, David and I had met one of their number on the recce, and he was there again today, so we had a good chat.  The Visitor Centre Café was consequently very busy, but looked after us very well as usual, ending a fantastic first Wednesday walk of 2019, thanks to Davids C and H.

Write up Arnold, pics Mark, with one or two extras from Stephen.  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. It was lovely to get back to walking with the Rossy ramblers after a break of almost four months. It could’nt have been a more superb day for getting out, bright sunshine and very friendly walkers who made me feel so welcome after my absence.Great write up and photos, shame Mark missed the “lambs tails” as I knew them when I was little, or katkins, they were the first signs of spring. Will be back, thanks for a great day.

  2. Looks like a lovely walk. Superb views of Rossendale, as you say Arnold, what a difference a couple of days make.

  3. Glad it went well. A great day for it. Physio went well with me so I’ll see how it goes.

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