Wednesday November 4th.  7miles.  Turton.

I’ve just enjoyed a lovely autumn walk around these reservoirs south of Darwen. But first a cautionary tale…

Sir Hugh’s  plan was to meet up in Hoddleston and navigate around the moors visiting three trig points. He is on a mission to visit all the trig points on OS Landranger Map 103. Blackburn and Burnley. The day is set fair, so I’m happy to tag along. I had a few minor epics of my own getting there – no petrol at my local garage, navigation error coming off the M65 and then going straight back on again, trying to drive down cart tracks.  I arrived to find Sir Hugh parked up but far from happy.

The story….

He popped out at breakfast to start his car, with his remote ‘key’, and clear the windscreens. Returning later to the car, keyless, with its engine still running he got in and drove off to eventually park on the cobbled front of The Ranken Arms in the centre of Hoddleston. Once parked and the engine stopped he realised that he didn’t have the ‘key’, it was back home on the kitchen table. He could not use his car, we discussed various options but decided to call Green Flag for rescue.  Not a lot happens in Hoddleston, is there a shop? A horse and rider passed by as if in a Western B movie, we became the centre of attention to the locals. Please go to his post for a full explanation of the morning’s happenings. It was getting on for 11.30 when I waved him goodbye on the back of a low loader.

An unhappy Sir Hugh and stranded Kia.

Horsey interlude.

Centre of attraction in the village.

This isn’t going to be easy.

Half an hour later.

A much happier Sir Hugh. Cheerio.

The day was too good to miss, so I looked at my options. Darwen Tower was one, maybe a little short but in retrospect would have given good views. . The reservoirs south of Darwen looked appealing and I knew a parking spot nearby. I ate lunch in the car before setting off. A familiar track through the woods led to a quarry we used to climb in and across the stream Cadshaw Castle rocks, Fairy Battery, a regular summer’s evening climbing rendezvous, now looking as though it could do with a good clean. There was too much water for me to cross today, so I went upstream searching for a crossing and discovered lovely waterfalls and another quarried face. I retreated back to find a footbridge which gave me access to paths around the Turton and Entwistle Reservoir to the Strawbury Duck pub and onwards around Wayoh Reservoir. Sometimes by the water and often in the trees. There were some spectacular views of autumn colours across the waters. On the return leg I met a runner who suggested I should take a higher path above Entwistle Reservoir. I did and it was not as good as anticipated but eventually forest tracks had me back at my car.

Cadshaw Quarry.

Fairy Battery. Cadshaw Castle Rocks.

Entwistle Dam.

Our trig points are up there somewhere.

Pampered pooches.

Wayoh Dam, Waterworks and Edgworth.

Railway Viaduct.

A hidden cataract roaring down Entwistle dam.

High above Entwistle Reservoir.

Sir Hugh would have enjoyed this circuit. When will we be able to meet up for further rambles?



  1. antondotreks

    Welcome back to my part of the West Pennine moors. It’s such a lovely area and handy for both Bolton and Longridge. The path back along the S of the Reservoir is lovely, shame you missed it. Nice ice cream in Edgeworth even on a Winters Day.

      1. Eunice

        I was surprised that the weather turned out to be as nice as it was that day, there was really thick fog here early that morning which didn’t completely clear until gone 9am. A dull grey day all day yesterday but blue sky and sunshine this morning, can’t take advantage of it though as I have work 🙁

    1. bowlandclimber

      Yes you are right, it’s just how far is reasonable. I wish the government had put a retricted mileage on, as the Scottish did in the last lockdown. No doubt we will see all the car parks in the Lakes Dales etc packed again if we get good weather, not so sure about the beaches.

  2. Michael Graeme

    A while since I walked that area, but it’s a real treat, oner of the most pleasant of the reservoirs in the West Pennines. The Strawberry Duck was quite the place to be for Boltonians at one time, probably still is (pre-covid) but I’ve lost touch with it. Sorry to hear about Sir Hugh’s mishap – so easily done with the modern keyless car. I’ve nearly fallen foul of that trap myself in the past – though not with my current ride, obviously, which is a much earlier technology.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Stick with the MX5, although it is possible to lock the key into the boot.
      I used to drink in the Stawberry Duck meeting up with friends from Bolton. Will those days return?

      1. Michael Graeme

        Yes I’m a bit paranoid about locking keys in the boot. It’s easy to toss them in there while you’re sorting your gear out, then clunk and you’re stuck.

      2. Michael Graeme

        One wonders. I was reading about the mutated virus they’ve found in mink. Could that be the next big thing?

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