Sabden – Gisburn.
Just like a summer’s day from the moment I left Sabden for the moorland ascent up to the Nick of Pendle, which turned out to be easier than expected. People were parking up ready for the popular walk up the spine of the hill but I was heading straight down the otherside on a moorland path towards Pendleton. Turning my back on Pendle, views over the Ribble Valley and Clitheroe to the Bowland Fells opened up with Kemple End very prominent.
Wymendhouse turned out to have been a former Congregational Church hidden in the hills. At the entrance to Pendleton someone had a collection of strange little ?military vehicles, no idea what they were.
Also somebody needs to remove this forgotten skip…There is a bridleway all along the side of Pendle Hill connecting old farmhouses and it is always a joy to walk, particularly today in the sunshine. As you approach Downham limestone knolls appear, underfoot the ground is different and Penyghent is seen in the background. A new little cafe/ice-cream parlour was waiting for me as I entered the hamlet, perfect for a sit down and a coffee. I didn’t dally long as I was hoping to catch an early bus and was only halfway. The upmarket Assheton Arms was busy with diners sitting outside.This used to be our watering hole after an evenings climbing on the limestone of nearby Witches Quarry. I took the familiar path out of the village and over the hill, with Dales views, to the little packhorse bridge over Swanside Beck. I camped here many years ago whilst on a walk around the Lancashire boundary and it has always been a special place to return to.
The next stretch seemed arduous with poor waymarking, blocked gates, bulls and the close proximity to some game shooting land. Had the feeling I was not wanted. Had to remind myself I was out for a walk – stop getting angry.
Time was getting short when I arrived onto a country lane and was able to make faster progress but this was negated by a last unmarked stretch across large fields. Maybe I stopped a little too long admiring the view over to Ingleborough and Penyghent.
I came down into Gisburn just as the bus passed the lane end – I’m sure he left early. Fortunately on the corner was a cafe I had never noticed before. It turned out to be a busy cafe/delicatessen/village shop/meeting place with very friendly staff. A bowl of Butternut Squash soup with chunky bread helped my bus disappointment.
I had time to wander round the village with its many old houses, the Church was locked but I found the grave stone of Francis Duckworth, 1862 – 1941. He composed many hymn tunes including the famous ‘Rimington’ – I didn’t know that.
So a couple of excellent days walking helped by the the splendid October weather, good hospitality, new paths found and old favourites visited.