A BLEASDALE BABBLE.

The streams coming off the Bowland Fells were babbling, full of water, and we babbled, full of air, as we strolled round the tracks. The walk passed by pleasantly with all the chat and we occasionally glanced at the hills which a few days before had been plastered with snow but were now in Springlike condition.

I persuaded JD, of Canary Islands GR131 fame, to accompany me, he was hankering for the open fells – give me another week or so. When I phoned him early morning, a perfect bright sunny and dry one, he had just returned from a morning gym session so I was doubly grateful for his company.

I have described in greater detail variations of this walk several times before. Usually done in the winter when it provides a fairly solid surface to walk on, particularly important in this season’s exceptional wetness. The farmer we met on his quad bike described it as the wettest he had experienced, we could only take his word for that.

At the start a few parapenters were soaring above Parlick and a little further we spotted four buzzards doing there own soaring on the distance.

We walked right round the base of the fells  Parlick, Fairsnape, Holme House and Hazelhurst past farmhouses where hill sheep farming has changed little over the years, then on through the Bleasdale Tower estate to emerge onto the road leading to Oakenclough. There were hazy views over the Fylde from up here, a good place for a spot of lunch in the sunshine. Whilst I chewed on my banana JD tried to figure out how to open his tin of tuna which turned out not to have a ring pull – ah well he is on a diet.

Road walking took us past Tootle Hall which I remember was once a homely farm cafe serving chicken in the basket with chips, ham and eggs or a substantial afternoon tea. In the area in those days several farmers’  wives supplemented their incomes with meals in the family dining room. [There is one remaining in Ford Lane, Goosnargh – The Cottage. Go there soon if you wish to recreate eating out in the 60s and 70s. Its all gastro pubs now.]

Walking on past that wonderful beech hedge and we were back at the car within 3hours. A perfect babble and one I will no doubt repeat many time in future winters.

                                                              *****

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