I had to check the map this morning to ensure I wasn’t straying out of Lancashire on today’s walk, we are in Covid-19 Tier 3 after all. An extra mile and I would have been in Yorkshire but I don’t think anyone would have known.
Another route out of Jack Keighley’s Bowland walking guide taking me into the farmlands north of Bowland-by-Bowland. I have walked from B-by-B many times but this route promised some good riverside tracks unknown to me and probably unknown to any as I discovered.
After my recent rather long-winded posts I hope this will be more concise, it all depends on what I find.
There is a little car park in the village next to the bridge and surprisingly I was the first in this morning. I went south for a short while towards Sawley passing a sandstone cross base isolated in a field, I’m not far from Sawley Abbey. The last time I approached Bolton Peel from a different direction I had to ford the beck, so I was a little apprehensive of what I would face today after heavy rain. To my delight there was a footbridge alongside the ford, and I was soon up to the road at Bolton Peel. This is a sturdy C17th farmhouse with a preaching cross in front of it. From the original Peel family came Sir Robert Peel, he of police fame. There was nobody about this morning, so I had a sneaky peek into the adjacent barn with its cruck roof beams.
Now heading north I used a path by a lively beck into the little hamlet of Holden. There were some impressive waterfalls deep in the gorge. I have been visiting Holden Clough Nursery for years but now in younger hands it has become a thriving garden centre. Plants are still at the heart of the business, but they run a café and shop which I hoped would be open. On with my mask and through the gift shop, I got their first brew of the day. The first time I’ve been in a café for 7 months – maybe the last.
Across the road is the exquisite Broxup House.
I knew the next stretch from a previous walk. It starts through the narrowest of gaps. I was soon passing the C17th Hungril Farm and its posh barn conversion neighbour.
The next farm along was equally expensively renovated and yet round the back was the ubiquitous rubbish ‘waiting for Godot’
Muddy fields took me higher to the road at Broad Ing. Up here was expansive rolling farming lands with views to Pendle [in cloud] and Weets Hill. My heading photo depicts the scene and if you click to enlarge and look closely flocks of Lapwings or Redwings, perhaps both, can be made out above the trees. They were a common sight today.
Climbing higher I arrived in the farmyard of Wittons where a few waymarks wouldn’t have gone amiss. I blundered on into the next valley where some delicate barbed wire climbing was needed on the steep pull up to an old barn. Round the corner was an arrow pointing down a better route, one at the bottom pointing up would have been useful.
From Lower Flass my guide [admittedly 25years old] describes a permissive path alongside Monubent Beck, just follow the ‘white arrows’. A Right of Way took me down to a footbridge and it then climbed the hillside away from the beck. The permissive path was nowhere to be seen, so I just set off close to the water imagining I was on a track. A stile appeared and the odd footbridge but in between was jungle. It was obvious that nobody comes this way any more, there were certainly no white arrows. I was more concerned I might get shot if there was a pheasant shoot on. A bonus was that I glimpsed several roe deer running off through the trees. Every time I came to a stile I was emboldened to go further.
Eventually after this interesting trespassing section I came out the far end onto a road which I recognised from our cut through way to Settle and the limestone crags. By the bridge the Monubent Beck joined into Skirden Beck. This group of houses around the bridge is called Forest Becks and on foot I was able to see them better than when driving through. A lot of them have had recent facelifts.
A little further on the road I also Had a closer look at Stoop Lane house, 1703.
A familiar path above Skirden Beck led me straight back to my car at the bridge. I didn’t explore the village of B-by-B as I have covered it in a previous post.
I love the cruck roof beams in the barn and some of the buildings you saw are truly exquisite.
Quite a lot of the barns around here have a cruck construction, it is not often one gets to look inside.