We were up early this morning, missing the rain that now seems to have set in, for a three to four mile trip round Haslingden Grane.
We intended to park at the United Utilities visitor centre car park at Clough Head but since the car park was still gated and locked (note it closes at 4.00pm) we had to make do with a layby a short way up the road.
Wandering back to the car park wasn't particular pleasant owing to the vast amounts of discarded rubbish lining the A6177 Grane Road, but it was soon over with and we joined our intended footpath, leading just to the left of the visitor centre. The route was well signed "Rossendale Way" and lead us through moorland, alongside some small coppices, and back down to the road. Sheep were everywhere, and the dog was less than impressed with being kept on the lead.
Crossing the road and joining another signed track just to the left, we passed through fields of cattle which, fortunately, were not in the slightest bit interested in the dog. Here, the walk became more interesting, passing through the many ruined buildings which line the valley, reminders of the Grane's past existence, which included illegal Whiskey Distilling, before the valley was flooded to provide water for the growing industrial towns.
The dog too enjoyed the second half of the walk, with no sheep or cattle in sight, he was able to run through the woodland off lead, seemingly sniffing every blade of grass along the way.
The final part of the walk led us round Calf Hey Reservoir, still following the Rossendale Way signs, before heading down and over the dam and back up the signed footpath to our starting point.
It took us about an hour and a quarter to complete the walk but we didn't stop for long along the way. The dog had to be on the lead for much of the route, as we passed fields of sheep and cattle, and crossed Access Land. The off lead spots more than made up for it though, and it's certainly a spot we'll return to.
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Doggy rating 6/10