After all the biting east winds and snow, a good number of people turned out for our walk on March 21st. It was the warmest day of the year up to date, but temperatures were still only 7 or 8 degrees C and the wind made it feel even colder. However, we were all warmly wrapped and the sun was shining when we met up at Tockholes Visitors Centre. Steve and Glynis, who live at Ryal Fold, were our leaders , so they know the area very well and had no need to carry a map. They led us up from Ryal Fold though the rough moorland pasture with its sprinkling of lambs to Step Back where the path divides. We took the one alongside the brook leading to the moors passing Lyon’s Den, now just covered ruins, but once the home of a farmer renown for his strength and ability to carry produce to local markets. We than turned and headed for Darwen Tower, after which we descended through the half of Bold Venture Park, admiring the various points of interest as we did so. Luckily, Steve is a scout leader so he was able to let us into the scout hut half way through the park, where we could sit in comfort and eat our packed lunches safe from the vicious wind. Well planned Steve!
After our little rest, we were off again, this time towards Sunnyhurst and then Hawkshaw Reservoir and up again to Tockholes, leaving footprints in the snow in quite a few places. The road had been impassable for quite a while the previous Sunday and there was still a bit left with which some of the party amused themselves. A lovely walk lead. ers, thank you very much. ‘
Good Friday Walk
Good Friday was the best day over the Easter period and 36 turned UP for our walk from the Institute at Tockholes. It was good too that this year, we had lots of teenagers.
They kept with us until we were Just below the Tower and then, for them at least. it became a race. Once at the Tower, they enjoyed climbing to the top, up a rather congested, dark, stone spiral stairway. After a rest and before setting off again towards Ryal Fold, we all shared the traditional Easter Eggs (little ones.) They didn’t go far with 36 in the party.
Soon, we came to the edge of the moors and struggled down the steep. slippery and muddy slope to Step Back. It took some of us quite a while. but only one of the youngsters slipped and had to continue the walk with a dirty bottom.
The rest of us continues more carefully and before long , we were back on the road to the Institute where, once again, the Tookholes URC ladies had put on a delicious spread: various . / sandwiches, lovely cakes and even some corned-beef hash, for those who wanted something warm. Well done ladies and thanks again for making the end of our Good Friday walk so pleasurable.
The forecast for our April walk was that it was going to be glorious, the Warmest day of the year so far. After the bitter weather that we had had so far this year, no one believed it. But, after a rather dull start at Hurst Green, the forecast proved correct. The sky was blue and the sun shone; the ground however, was still very muddy in places. Michael was our leader and we had quite a good turnout, managing the whole 7 miles of the Three Rivers walk, returning to Hurst Green via Stonyhurst College. There were herons on the river and the spring flowers, Coltsfoot, Celandine and Wood Anemones were a delight.
Well done Michael, the best walk of the year so far.