- Start: Downham
- End: Downham
- Country: England
- County: Lancashire
- Type: Country
- Ordnance Survey: OL 42 FOREST OF BOWLAND
- Difficulty: Medium
Even the wet Easter weekend rain couldn't dampen the spirits on the Hyndburn Ramblers walk starting out from Downham. Words and photos by Phil Bedson
An ever present threat of rain did not deter eight members of Hyndburn Ramblers walk from starting out on the Good Friday walk from Downham.
For the second time within a week they were in the shadow of Pendle Hill and setting off from the very full car park the group knew Spring was around by virtue of the new born lambs and the daffodils although the snow-capped peak of Pendle was a contrast.
The first part of the walk would take us towards Worston by way of field paths around the base of Worsaw Hill and, with the sun breaking through the dark clouds, everyone was in good spirits. Going past Worsaw End House we got a view of the smaller Warren Hill nestled at the foot of its larger neighbour and bathed in a wondrous light.
The path followed Worston Brook for a while before joining a walled track into the village of Worston itself. A quick right then left took us over a stile into a field where we had lunch and, surprisingly, it was quite warm in the sun.
The leader doled out the mini chocolate eggs too just to remind us it was Easter.
The walk set off steadily uphill to join a track and then turned onto the lane up to Little Mearley Hall.
The Hall was a seat of the Nowell family and has a datestone of 1590 but perhaps its most outstanding feature is the large bay window which is from the Abbotts House at Whalley Abbey.
A left turn around the edge of the farm buildings took us from here into a very muddy field. As we proceeded the going got quite slippy although luckily no-one actually went over.
We made our way over fields towards Angram Green and joined the track up to Moorside before going on towards Hookcliffe with its 1714 datestone although parts of the building are thought to be earlier.
From here another muddy field took us down towards Gerna where the track took us onto Pendle Road. At Clay House we turned right over a stile to go uphill to Lane Head barn, famous for its role in the 1961 film 'Whistle Down The Wind', before crossing a wide 'ditch' into an open field. It was here we took a break for a cuppa.
As we resumed walking over the fields towards Hecklin Farm that earlier threat of rain became a reality as a light shower began and coats were withdrawn from bags.
With these now donned the group continued over fields past Ravens, crossing a couple of gullies with steep sides to arrive at Brownlow Farm. The modernised house had a great view over the valley back towards Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley.
Going by the side of the building our way led downhill slightly before ascending up towards Hill Foot, a 17thC farmstead set at the centre of the manor of Twiston with its fine view of the 'Big End' of Pendle Hill.
The views of Pendle on the final leg of the walk from Hill Foot are amongst the finest you'll see (In my opinion! - Ed) and the light rain had stopped as we continued with our route via a gentle downhill towards Twiston Beck.
We passed the barn in the bottom and progressed up and over the fields back towards Downham just as another shower gave the group a wetting but it had cleared by the time we had reached Downham Beck.
The small beck was followed all the way back to the village and back to the car park. Despite the rain showers it had been a pleasant afternoons walk and everyone thanked the leader for a very Good Friday.
Date : 2nd April 2010
Leader : Sue Baxendale
Report and photos by : Phil Bedson
OL 42 FOREST OF BOWLAND
START POINT SD 784 440
WALK LENGTH 8 mls / 11.7 km
TIME 3 hrs 15 mins
MAX HEIGHT 256.78 mtrs
MIN HEIGHT 107.68 mtrs
HEIGHT ASCENDED 339.39 mtrs
HEIGHT DESCENDED 339.39 mtrs
The Hyndburn Group of the Ramblers is based in North East Lancashire and comprises of the townships of Accrington, Oswaldtwistle, Church, Great Harwood, Clayton-le-Moors, Rishton and Altham.
The Group organises guided walks most weekends and these are mainly within an hours drive of Hyndburn, ranging from 5 to 20 miles in length, and take place over either a full day or on an afternoon. We also have a thriving Wednesday Walking Group and there are also some short summer evening strolls.