Forget the rugged and isolated high tops of the Bowland Fells with their difficult peaty ways. This walk is for children, dogs and geriatrics like me.
Mike, or should I bestow on him a blog monicker of ‘metal Micky‘ used by his nearest and dearest after his second hip replacement, is going walking in the Canaries and is keen to get some miles under his belt. I put him off yesterday whilst I had a well-earned rest from our walk around the wells of Silverdale. No pun intended and no excuse today, I even went for an early start, so he could be home by 3pm for the televised rugby. We juggled a couple of routes and plumped for what is called locally the Little Bowland area.
A gentle start into the Leagram Estate with a peer over the wall at their extensive snowdrop dell which I managed to gain entry to last year. The fallen oak in the parkland from then has been cleared.
The farm at Chipping Lawn (lawn derived from ‘laund’, a Medieval grassy area for deer) was heaving with lambs of all ages, weaned off their mothers. The mothers can then continue to be milked for Bowland Ewes Cheese. The youngsters meanwhile suck on dummy dummies for powdered milk. That is the evolved technical face of farming today.
We move on up the fell, passing Birchen Lee where a couple are busy laying flags. They are happy to chat about the locality. I know he crafts handmade furniture from seasoned oak which I would like to see, but I’m reluctant to distract him from his labours. We move on.
I have no spare coins to buy some free-range eggs at the Saddle Side farm road end. We move on up the lane going nowhere except a couple of properties at isolated Burnslack in the bosom of Bowland. We don’t go that far but turn off on an ancient bridleway along the base of the fells to Lickhurst, another isolated group of farmsteads now being gentrified as is the norm. I could tell some stories of these farms 50 years ago when reaching them in winter was an epic journey. Let’s leave them in peace, I don’t even take a picture, but there are some on my posts somewhere if you care to look.
Let’s extend the walk and give us both a bit more exercise. So instead of following the lane down over fords we cross a little footbridge, and suddenly we are in limestone country. Coral atolls out of an ancient ocean floor, from whichever period, producing Limestone Reef Knolls. They are very obvious around here.
Dinkling Green farmsteads our are turnaround point, we could have continued over the hills to Whitewell and beyond. We are in a beautiful green bowl of meadows below the high gritstone fells and the adjacent Limestone knolls. We meet a couple who live here who expound the virtues of their natural environment, there is no denying it.
Then that iconic red phone box in the middle of nowhere. It must have been essential at one time.
We couldn’t walk past our friends’ house at Greystoneley without a knock, next thing we are seated in their kitchen enjoying conversation, coffee and cake. That’s what friends are for. They have had problems in this area with off-road vehicles.
The 3 o’clock deadline is getting closer as we continue down the bridleway, over the ford and past the giant limekiln. We opt for a hopefully quicker finish along the quiet road rather than the difficult to follow field paths.
The exercise has done us both good, I’m relaxing in the bath whilst presumably ‘metal Micky’ is watching England thrash the Italians – or are they?
This circuit is recommended for anybody wanting to explore the foothills of Bowland and its farming communities. Just follow the map.
What a beautiful walk!
Yes we had a calm still day, it is even better in summer.
The variety of walking within a short distance of your home continues to impress me. The snowdrops may qualify for the Guiness Book of Records with that coverage which one guesses goes even beyond the scope of the photo. And that tree photo…
That snowdrop display is well known to ‘locals’ and far exceeds some of the private gardens and stately homes where you pay to see theirs.
The tree – maybe 200 yr old..
That looks a terrific walk, handy also for Chipping. I shall add that one to my list for this year. 👍🙂
I thought you would like that one Michael. Plenty of low level interest,far more than I mentioned in the post. Hope you can follow my map. There are field paths back from Knot Hill to Leagram if you don’t fancy the road.
Is the list getting longer, mine is.
The list is quite a long one. It’ll be a while now though. I tested positive for COVID this morning.
Bad luck. That’s all we can call it now as we have no statistics. What about your mate you were walking with last week?
Hope you are not too ill and make a quick recovery.
My barber told me a story yesterday of a man who made an appointment with him for this week. The customer phoned back later to say he had tested positive – would it be still OK to keep the appointment? I can’t repeat the barber’s reply.
My mate seems to have got away with it. I suspect it was Friday in Hurst Green when I picked it up. It’s an excuse to rest up and drink medicinal whisky.
Only 12 year old single malts have any medicinal properties. I recommend Cragganmore.
Yes, that’s one of my favourites. Hate to think what a bottle of 12yr old is now.
On our Speyside Way walk a few years ago we stayed in the Cragganmore House, Ballindalloch.
This large house had been the property of the founder of the Distillery back in the 1860s. It was furnished in traditional style.
The next morning we had a private guided visit around the distillery including too many malts before 10am. That’s what memories are made of. https://bowlandclimber.com/2013/05/28/the-speyside-way-ballindalloch-craigellachie/
I need to find that phone box! Is it still a phone? Those snowdrops 😊, I like that you have called them a drift. Off to the caravan this wknd so hope to see some Cumbrian snowdrops.
Iconic Bowland red phone box. No phone any more the last time I looked in it.
Enjoy the caravan – first visit this year?
Yes , so hope it has survived the winter. 😋
Looks like a nice little walk avoiding the boggy heights. Will have to try it sometime
Yes, a worthwhile low level circuit for the appropriate day. Can be extended towards Whitewell though the limestone hills.
I intend to get up to Bowland more often, so will be checking yor posts about walks around there. I used to go up on the fells quite frequently at one time – I used to take half a day of work for an afternoon walk during the summer months. Traffic was light at that time and I could gry there in an hour or so.
No excuse now you are retired, What about that through walk from Wray to Slaidburn over Salter Fell which I offered to help with car sharing.?
Well, partial retirement to be truthful, although scaling back more this year is the intention!
I’m definitely looking to do that walk and take up your kind offer – but not until later in the year when it will hopefully be less miserable.
Perhaps it would be an idea to plan a shorter walk together at some stage and tap into your local knowledge!