Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Brinscall and White Coppice: Along the Goit

Lancashire is fantastic! Now, there's a positive statement to start the day. Although I'm from Devon, which of course I have to say is the best County in England, I feel privilaged to now live in a place which has so much variety in its landscape and so many great places to visit. The walk from Brinscall, near Chorley, to White Coppice and back is one of them.

Our route last Sunday took us from beside the swimming baths in the Brinscall and along Lodge Bank to join a path adjacent to the now disused Blackburn to Chorley railway line. We followed a fairly well signed footpath through woods and fields to join the Goit near Trigg Lane. Here, the dog was allowed off lead whilst we walked along the bank, enjoying some late afternoon sunshine and the sound of the water on it's journey from the Tockholes Reservoirs to Anglezarke.

We soon reached the small village, if you can call it that, of White Coppice where a good number of people were enjoying ice cream, team and cake bought from the cricket pavillion. Not to be outdone we joined them with an ice cream and a doggy treat before heading across the bridge to the moorland footpath on the opposite bank.

Here, the dog was back on lead for the return along the bracken edged path back towards the woods near Brinscall. On reaching the woods we headed up the hill to join a wide woodland path, passing some interesting farmhouse ruins, which eventually led us to Well Lane and back to our starting point. One word of caution, there are some small waterfalls near the junction with Well Lane with a steep drop. Although the falls are fenced to some extent, keep your dog (and kids) under close control.

We love this walk. Water, woods and moorland. Who could want more! God bless Lancashire.

Doggy rating 7/10

Click here for google map.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Healey Nab from Botany Bay

You can't miss the huge Botany Bay shopping complex just off the M61 near Chorley when driving south from Preston. A little further on the left you'll see the wooded slopes of Healey Nab, which was our final destination for today's walk.

We parked up near the old entrance to Botany Bay, on Knowley Brow. Just near the junction of Blackburn Brow and Botany Brow, we took the bridleway signposted down Bagganley Lane (don't be fooled and head on to the British Waterways mooring site). As we didn't know the areas it was on the lead all the way for us here although some other four legged friends we passed were trotting along happily without restraint.

After half a mile or so we headed left at the junction and over a small bridge before forking left again and through a kissing gate on to open farmland. Fields full of sheep greeted us as we climbed steadily along a well marked path, before reaching another gate and woodland.

We wandered fairly aimlessly along the woodland footpaths of Healey Nab, where the dog was able to run free. We took a rest next to Nab Spout, which is apparently one of the best freshwater springs in the area, but even the didn't partake in a drink. Signs indicated that a mountain bike trail is under construction here and, from what we could see if it, it looks impressive. Once complete I expect the area will be less suitable for off lead dog walking though so watch out! Climbing higher, we soon reached open moorland and the large cairn near the summit. The views were stunning, and the contrast between the urban sprawl of Chorley and Buckshaw and even as far as Merseyside and the wild landscape of the West Pennine Moors behind could not have been greater.

Enthused by the moorland views ahead, we wandered some more towards Anglezarke before heading back in a loop round the woodlands of Healey Nab to the path back to Bagganley Lane.

Overall, a walk of contrasts. Close to the motorway and woods the walk has quite an urban feel. Once higher though it could hardly be more tranquil and you'll feel a million miles away from civilisation.

We were out for about three hours on our walk, which included plenty of time for ball throwing, but you could reach the top and back in much less if you're pushed. While there were no stiles, some paths were steep and muddy.

Doggy rating 6/10 (because a good deal of the walk is on lead)

Click here for google map

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Nick of Pendle and Pendle Hill (Nearly)

Last time we visited Pendle Hill the dog was a mere puppy. On that day, we spent a few hours taking in Churn Clough Reservoir before rising in to the mists on Spence Moor. Not wishing to put the dog off walking for life we then retreated back to the car, leaving me disappointed that I'd not experienced the summit of one of Lancashire's greatest landmarks.

For some reason (perhaps brought on by the excesses of a BBQ yesterday afternoon) we set off earlier this afternoon to claim the summit. Not deterred by the rain clouds overhead we set off from the Nick of Pendle on a good path towards Deerstones and Spence Moor, and soon found ourselves in lovely sunshine. Several 6 foot stiles en-route would have proved a challenge for any large dogs but the top of Spence Moor gave some great views back towards Preston, with Blackpool Tower just visible in the distance.

We took a rough and direct route along the edge of Ogden Clough before joining the main path which leads alongside the stream not far below the summit. Here, the dog had the chance of a paddle and a drink, which proved a distraction from the biscuits that I had retrieved from the rucksack.

Gaining more height to a spot wich couldn't have been more than 5 minutes from the top, we were once gain able to look back towards Preston, where dark storm clouds were making their way slowly over the flat landscape. Trying to figure out whether the storm was heading in our direction, we sat a while before deciding that time was against us, and that the thought of being caught out on the summit in a thunderstorm wasn't an experience we wanted!

The walk back to the car was a quick one, taking about 40 minutes. The clouds had circled to the North of us so we could have made it, but there's always another day.

Overall, a good walk with fine views. Sheep frequent the fellsides so the dog was on the lead throughout the walk. That said, he seemed to enjoy it and is now flat out asleep, oblivious to Federer's match winning point in the Wimbledon final.

Click here for Google Map

This walk is on high fells. Go prepared!
Doggy rating 6/10