I’d planned a 9mile walk for today as the weather forecast was good, cold and sunny. We didn’t have as heavy a snow fall as predicted and most had melted yesterday. Coffee was on at my house at 9am for the Rockman [travelling from Bolton] and Sir Hugh [travelling from Arnside]. Equidistant planning. I coaxed my car across to Grindleton on the north side of the Ribble Valley, an interesting village with many rows of cottages in hidden back streets. Having left the village we vaguely climbed up through complicated fields onto the fell. We encountered a multitude of stiles on the way, some ancient stone squeeze ones had been over ridden by modern wooden ones. Even the simple wooden ones seemed awkward, either at a funny angle and height or doubled up.
Our creaking stiff joints didn’t appreciate them and we in fact took to a quiet lane to make life easier. Soon we were at the trig point 305m Beacon Hill, a fine viewpoint of Ribblesdale. The ground all around is rather boggy and the forests hereabouts seem different shapes to our map, the result of felling and replanting. Easington Fell, 396m came next with even better views to the Three Peaks and the Bowland Fells. Time for lunch and talk turned to the virtues of Higgidy Pies, the sun came and went. Lanes led down the fell. We were lucky to watch a Sparrow Hawk pluck a luckless Starling out of a flock. Our next objective was the hidden Drakehouse valley, a deep ghyll in the woods. progress was hampered by debris from recent flooding but we enjoyed the almost secret paths down here. A pleasant stroll by the Ribble brought us back to Grindleton, completing a surprisingly varied tramp. My legs are aching tonight after all those stiles and boggy ground. You may get a true record of the day from http://conradwalks.blogspot.co.uk/