THE LANCASHIRE WITCHES WALK – Clitheroe to Slaidburn.

The scenery changes today as we leave the Ribble Valley and climb into the Bowland Hills. Rain is forecast and its rather dull in Clitheroe. Canoeists float downstream as we cross the river at Brungerley Bridge  and a group of youngsters are on the field path learning navigation.  We soon leave them behind and cross fields around Waddington, most of the farms/barns look hundreds of years old but many have had expensive makeovers.  Looking back Pendle Hill is in cloud. The hay meadows we pass through are full of flowers and brighten up a dull day. I have a painting at home representing the same scene. As we climb onto the moor on a drove road we realise we have been here together before whilst exploring Easington Fell last winter.There are no views today in the low cloud which is a shame as this is a wild and desolate moor. On the map are marked The Wife and Old Ned but they turn out to be disappointing piles of stones. A good track, presumably shooting, takes us down the fell to a shooting lodge marked as Fell Side. Dogs are caged up and greet us excitedly. At the moment we arrive the rain starts so we are lucky to find shelter and tables outside the lodge, lunch is taken. On the approach I had stuck my walking pole under a stone and a metal trap snapped shut almost breaking it, I couldn’t imagine what it could do to fingers. What are they trying to catch? Our lunchtime was enlivened by a ‘turkey’ parading about in front of the windows. The rain stopped and we continued on our way over a hill and down into Slaidburn, usually seen with a backdrop of Bowland Fells, but not today. Our tercet was in the carpark. The village was busy hosting a small steam fair which kept us entertained for awhile though the crowds and vehicles detractied from the normal tranquility of this lovely village. Familiar paths through woods and then open fields gained height, Curlews and Lapwings became a constant sight and sound. On past a graveyard for farming implements which looked like a ‘herd’ of dinosaurs across the land. We finished the day under the Bowland Fells just before the start of Roman Road over Salter Fell. We will want better visibility for that next section.






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