Family walk from Huddersfield to Bolton-le-Sands in memory of Mike Sugden

PUBLISHED: 19:20 10 May 2017

The beautiful bluebells in Houghton Hagg Wood, Burnley 6th May

The beautiful bluebells in Houghton Hagg Wood, Burnley 6th May


Five family members are walking 80 miles from the West Riding to the west coast of Lancashire to raise funds for charity.

Phil pointing out Pendle Hill on our route discovery walk, 6th May, just outside WorsthornePhil pointing out Pendle Hill on our route discovery walk, 6th May, just outside Worsthorne

THERE IS NOTHING Mike Sugden relished more than a good walk, though a good pint came a close second. Mike, very sadly, died after a short battle with a brain tumour, so we are walking to raise funds for, firstly, Brain Tumour Research and secondly, for St John’s Hospice, Lancaster. The Hospice staff not only nursed Mike with great dedication for the last few weeks of his life, but gave loving care and attention to his family and friends, for which we shall always be grateful.

Mike was a husband, a son, a father, a grandpa, a brother-in-law and a friend, and we aim to raise plenty of funds in his memory. You can give via Judith Sugden on the website Justgiving, or direct to the charities themselves.

The 7 day chairty walk ends in Bolton-le-Sands.The 7 day chairty walk ends in Bolton-le-Sands.

We, his wife Judith, and his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Janet, Phil, Anne and Steven, will set off from Mike’s birth town Huddersfield and, taking 7 days, will walk to the village he lived in for nearly all his married life, Bolton-le-Sands. We set off from Manor Park Drive, Lepton on Sunday 28th May at 9am (so do join us if you like) and we will be in Bolton-le-Sands by teatime on Saturday 3rd June.

Our route has been planned by Janet and uses paths and byways to cross the Pennines from the West Riding to the West Coast. It takes us on Day 1 of the walk from Lepton via Almondbury, the Huddersfield canal, Slaithwaite then up the hill to the Lower Royal George inn and our first pint in memory of Mike.

Day 2 finds us starting at the same pub and walking the Scammonden Reservoir dam wall, up the hill to cross the M62 before descending to Ripponden, then up and over to Hebden Bridge. Again, a cheering pint and a meal at our digs for the night will ease our aching knee joints.

Day 3 is slightly easier and will find us tramping up to Hardcastle Crags, over to Widdop Reservoir, following the Pennine Bridleway, and ending up in the lovely village of Worsthorne where we have a choice of 2 pubs for a rewarding pint, but no meal – we’ll have to go elsewhere for that.

Day 4 is one of our challenging days. We will first make our way through the delightful Houghton Hagg Wood to Bank Hall Park, Burnley. How lucky Burnley is to have such great green spaces at the heart of their town. The east-west thoroughfare called the Leeds-Liverpool Canal passes through here, and we will catch the towpath and head north, before dropping down to cross the M66 on a footbridge. We will aim now for Pendle Hill and enjoy the path downhill into Downham, where the bus will take us into Clitheroe. There the manager has pledged us a meal each – cheers to the Old Post Office! Mike’s youngest son Ryan and family will catch up with us there, and bring supplies, mmm.

Next day, Thursday, we will get the bus back to Downham, and after crossing the mighty Ribble, traverse fields and plantations to Newton in Bowland and our guest house nearby. We’ll need a good meal and rest before our big day tomorrow.

Day 6 and we are hoping for good weather, as off we go over the Forest of Bowland to beautiful Littledale, close to Caton, where Mike’s son Greg will meet, greet and feed us. Hurray!

Day 7, the final day, and after going through Caton to Halton, we shall pay our respects to Mike by his oak tree and a libation of ale will be poured. Then taking the idyllic tracks and walkways which follow the Lune and then the canal we’ll arrive at the Hospice in Skerton, where we shall enjoy meeting the staff again. Back along the towpath and over the green track north will find us on our final downhill into Bolton-le-Sands and our destination. We will have done it, all 80 miles. Celebrations in the local pub and cheers to Mike, we love you always. xxx

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