Thursday, July 15th. 7.5 miles. Knowle Green/Longridge Fell.
10am. As usual, I’m festering in bed with a second coffee and the day is drifting away. The high temperatures ensure I’m not rushing off anywhere. The phone rings and I prepare myself for fending off Amazon Prime or Netflix scams. But no, it is JD enquiring if I’m wasting the day or would I like a walk, 5 or 6 miles up the fell? I say yes to the latter and hurriedly sort myself out to meet him at the top of town. Things have gone quiet since my trips away, I’ve been bouldering up in Sweden Quarry the last few days, where there is shade from the hot sun, but my arms need a rest, so a walk is perfect.
We take the path through Green Banks Quarry housing estate, given planning permission on the understanding that it would be for tourist lets and bring prosperity to Longridge, what a joke. A bridleway goes down to the Written Stone, all familiar territory. We catch up, he’s been away in the Lakes, and I’ve been straight lining it to the North Sea. Our vague plan was to walk field paths above Knowle Green and then maybe climb up onto Longridge Fell.
Coincidentally, one of the last times I was here was with Sir Hugh on that straight line walk I mentioned earlier, back in winter 2019. https://bowlandclimber.com/2019/02/04/sd-38-longridge-to-barrow-whalley/ So I had a ready-made continuation walk on paths not known to JD or to many others, judging from their wildness. The same farmer who appeared from his run down house back in 2019 was eager to chat again today. He was all talk of shearing his sheep tomorrow and how if he penned them in on his cobbled area they would clean the yard of vegetation. There is no money in sheep wool these days. He warned us that the footpath ahead was difficult to follow, but I thought I knew better until we ended up in the wrong field. I did at least find the hidden way across Cowley Brook.
Working our way up pathless fields to Hougher Hall was hot work, the dreaded Horse Flies were a menace. The slate poem by the gate is a lovely reference to swallows, unfortunately there aren’t many about this year.
It was with some relief that we arrived at the open fell by the little reservoir. This where JD pulled out an ace and set his stove up to prepare a decent coffee with biscuits. Luxury. Friends of mine wild swim in this water, but I see that a ‘No Swimming’ notice has been erected since last I was here. Presumably, United Utilities Health and Safety.
Refreshed we continued up onto the fell, looking back the reservoir appeared hazily below. We had no need to visit the trig point, and it was now all downhill on the spine of aptly named Longridge Fell. There was some friendly discussion as to the length of our walk, JD’s 5 or 6 probably transformed to my 7 or 8 miles.
Guess what, we finished the afternoon having another coffee with his wife on their sunny patio with their wonderful Bowland Panorama.
Simple pleasures but maybe too much caffeine.
Festering in bed. I’ve been doing a lot of that during this hot spell. I suppose the thing would be to get up really early and get a start on the hill before the day warms up, but I’ve yet to pull it off. It’s shocking how little farmers get for wool, you wonder how they keep going. Yet it’s so much better than man-made yarn, including for the environment.
Good intentions. Arise at 4am and be on the hill by five, back in the pub at 12. I used to do that, but have lost the desire. Have been hiding in the shade this week.
The wool doesn’t pay for the shearing, but they have to make the sheep comfortable.
Too darned hot…
I’ve been in the shade ever since.
You should have called in for a cooling drink!! 😊
We were on a caffeine rush! Next time?
I’ve nearly finished that book I promised you.
Oh, dear! Not made much progress with mine!
Love that you got made a coffee on your walk. 🙂 I have seen a few swallows here, but actually more Swift’s than usual. Another hot one today.
Perhaps you may be influenced by the stove and proper coffee surprise – I await with anticipation next time we are out. What we really need are porters to carry the chairs and table. My day rucksack is already too heavy and I can’t really understand why – perhaps it’s that petrol strimmer for scything overgrown footpaths?
What about that big bolt cutter you carry?
Did you look at those inflatable chairs?
Yes I did look and dithered.
Obviously not for you if there was dithering involved.
Pingback: CATCH UP AROUND ALSTON. | bowlandclimber