This walk was called “Not a full shilling” by the LDWA.
Due to an email from JJ, and the fact that Sheila wasn't working, we decided to attend a walk with the LDWA. (Long Distance Walking Association).
Now our previous experiences of walking with this group have resulted in us both walking too fast and we end up being put off attending further outings.
It's not the fault of the LDWA group who do some amazing walking feats, like 100 miles in 48 hours. If that's the way they want to walk then that’s good for them but we like to look at the views, take photographs and not just get from A to B in the fastest time as possible.
So why did we go you may well ask? Well this was supposed to be a short walk of 14 miles and an introductory walk for any new people. So the pace should have been a little restrained and not overly long in distance.
We all met up on the approach lane to Rivington barn and with it being a Bank Holiday Monday there was a good turnout. 30 walkers.
Norman was leading the walk and this area is his back yard.
After a gathering and an opening speech we set off on a steady ascent up to the tower at 373m. We were all guessing as to what the next vantage point would be, the masts or Twin Lads may be.
So it was a surprise when we turned and headed straight back down hill, giving up all that height and wonderful scenery, and on a beautiful clear day.
We descended to the castle on the shores of Lower Rivington Reservoir. We had our first short break here.
It was a good chance to have a chat with John Hancock, a TGO challenger, lightweight gear enthusiast and fellow blogger.
John was sporting his full TGO Challenge kit and his Z Packs Cuben fibre rucksack was of great interest. He was also wearing a Rab wind jacket which somehow he maintained wearing throughout the days heat.
Good to meet you John.
We were in amongst the day trippers and the dog walkers and were soon away north, following the east sides of the reservoirs. We took the path between the Upper Rivington reservoir and the Yarrow.
The reservoirs were low as were the feeder streams and ladders. It just shows how little rain has fallen over the last months considering what a cold and snowy winter we had.
The walking pace was picking up as we passed the lovely Anglezarke Reservoir and it wasn't long before Sheila mentioned it. The line of people was getting more and more spread out. The trouble with this is that it becomes very easy to loose the group. When you have no idea where you are going it doesn't actually matter that you know exactly where you are. A back marker should always be there but today for some reason the appointee was not always in place. In some situations where the route took a sharp turn it was more luck than anything else that we managed to stay on course. I just add here, that we were not alone in this plight.
We came to a lovely little spot called White Coppice. A small hamlet with a well kept cricket pitch a small refreshment area and a loo. This was lunch stop and a finer place to stop could not have been found. Although the time allowed for lunch would have been adequate in most circumstances, today with it being bank holiday and with lots of people around, if you actually queued to use the loo it more or less meant you missed lunch. No consideration of this fact was taken on board.
The pace had again increased and although we were not at the back this time, the group 50 yds in front changed direction and headed off along a green lane with numerous exit points. We thought we would be middle markers, therefore keeping an eye on the front group whilst waiting for the rear guard to catch up. Unfortunately the tail enders of the front group disappeared before the real tail enders appeared.
Onwards we sped to try and locate the whereabouts of the main party but with so many off shoots possible, we couldn’t find them. We didn’t know where we were suppose to be going and although we had a map and a GPS, it wasn’t a lot of use use knowing where we were although better than not knowing at all.
There were 8 of us in this splinter group, and taking a look at the map decided to stay on the green lane and head down towards an old disused railway line. At this point we thought somebody would realise that 8 members were adrift and wait for them, but there was nobody about. We asked a walker coming in the opposite direction if she had passed a large group of walkers, but no she hadn’t.
A dig in the rucksack of one chap for his phone, and a call to somebody, resulted in us locating the group sat at the far end of the lake at Brinscall, enjoying the sunshine.
As we arrived, we never got the chance of a coffee, just a brief exchange of pleasantries before we were off again back in the direction our small group had just walked.
At this point it seemed that a decision had been taken to start the return leg but i think this was not the original schedule.
We followed the old railway line south before diverting to Tootals farm and some pleasant country lanes brought us to a ford just west of White Coppice. A very brief pause ensued whilst we admired the picturesque cottages and watched a few cool down their boots in the ford.
Another quick burst of pace took us past a reservoir and across Higher House Lane before the rise of Healey Nab was reached.
At the top Norm pronounced that this would be the last brew stop and so it was that we picked out a nice grassy bit, plonked ourselves down and started to get the flask out. Before i even got the first cup poured the group were up and away again. So a quick gulp of coffee, flask packed away and a few curses as to what the hell was the point of that.
A Mountain Rescue Helicopter and Landrover were searching for what we believe was an injured mountain biker. This briefly gave us a chance to catch up.
Descending down to Anglezarke again, the group must have smelt the finishing line because they were off like a pack of hounds. Nowhere to be seen.
Thankfully i knew this path and the way back to the car park at Rivington. When we got back to the car we had done 27.9km and 734metres of ascent. Max walking speed 7.8kph with an average speed of 5.3kph.
JJ, John and Viv reached their car and we reflected on the days pace and a few other things i won’t mention here. I don’t know how many first timers were on the walk we hardly had chance to talk to the majority, but i did get a few photographs of peoples backs.