Again I have a late start, parking up in Dolphinholme. This was an important mill village at one time with many interesting buildings. Today I’m more interested in the vegetable gardens near the bridge. A man is erecting a new greenhouse to complement his vegetable beds – all very neat. I’m quickly away up into the fields of freshly cut grass, a smell so evocative of childhood summers. The Bowland Fells remain as a backdrop all day. Through woods I come down to cross the River Wyre ………..and follow it’s north bank to a pumping station and a memorial to the people who lost their lives in the explosion of May 1984. There is little water today on the dramatic overspill of Abbeystead Reservoir, opening photo. Abbeystead Village is its usual sleepy self. There are two Wyres from here on, the Tarnbrook Wyre coming from the Ward’s Stone / Brennand Fells and the Marshaw Wyre coming out of the Trough of Bowland. The WW does a loop around them. In this upper part of the walk there are frequent WW markers expertly carved from stone and depicting local interests, I wonder who was responsible for them?
Fields, with abundant lapwings calling, are crossed to reach the hamlet of Tarnbrook and a reuniting with the Tarnbrook Wyre. Chatted to an elderly man in one of the 18th-century cottages, he had lived here all his life and is now the only permanent resident. I crossed the Tarnbrook Wyre for the last time at Gilberton Farm.The afternoon was very hot and sticky but I had clear wide open Bowland vistas as I crossed the watershed, Hind Hill, between the two tributaries. The Trough of Bowland road can be seen. I found the track down to Tower Lodge, originally the gatehouse to the abandoned and now derelict Wyresdale Tower. The walk back down the Trough road next to the Marshaw Wyre passed pleasantly until I was back in riverside fields again. The thought crossed my mind that I should do the classic cycle ride through The Trough again, will have to get a bit fitter on the bike first. Further down the valley one gets glimpses of the grand Abbeystead House and gardens, Lancashire home for the Duke Of Westminster. The two Wyres have united at the reservoir and it’s alongside here in the trees that the path becomes boggier and awkward, crocodile country. From the weir I left the previously walked WW section and followed indistinct field paths back to near Dolphinholme. I had been out for six hot hours, and so arranged to meet a friend living close by for a pint at The Fleece Inn. We met to find it closed Mondays/Tuesdays! The Plough in Galgate provided suitable alternative refreshments within its sunny beer garden.
Today’s walk has been a very satisfying conclusion to The Wyre Way, brilliant scenery and interesting locations. My rather scathing criticism of the first leg of the walk may need to be tempered, would probably be great if you follow the correct way, at the right tides and when the vegetation is low! So I would highly recommend THE WYRE WAY for a few days varied walking.