It’s not been very long since I last dropped down to Rivington for a bit of a wander. It seems to get harder to get there these days as part of the road directly off the A6 is always closed and the diversions change sometimes. Anyway, after the two events:
- I’d done Pendle in record (mine) on Saturday afternoon
- When I last did a route similar to the one I’m about to describe, I did have the idea of modifying it to meet my requirements
- It’s always nice to return to one’s favourite fills (yes, we all know Pendle and Skiddaw do rank higher in my list)
I must add to item 2 that the one thing which bugs me about walking the “B” walks with Southport Ramblers are the times when we go ‘partly’ up this hill or traverse across that hill. I want to start at the bottom of a hill, climb up it and then move on etc! Okay, rant over!
So I got to my starting point which I shall refer to as the lower barn, it’s essentially over the road from where all of my previous Rivington / Winter Hill walks have started. I dropped down towards the reservoirs, I would go past three of them starting with the two ‘Rivington’ ones, ‘Lower’ first, then ‘Upper’ – both of which appear to be bigger then anything Pendle has to offer (ohhh handbags!). There is a nice stillness ambling around this area, I think a substantial part of it is included on the ‘Amble’ and there was very little in the way of ascension, which made for a really pleasant walk.
By the time I was at the side (Western) of the Yarrow reservoir, and from this aspect it has no aspirations of beauty, being essentially a grass wall, the incline had started to kick-in – my calf muscles nicely reminding me of the fact that I’d already climbed over a thousand feet two days earlier. I was possessed by an anonymous spirit to take this rather ‘girly’ photograph. I then managed to find the missing testosterone in order to take this far more manly photo of Noon Hill, Winter Hill and Hordern Pasture across the Yarrow Reservoir where the walk’s nature changed to tarmac, tarmac and an added bit of tarmac.
I then continued onto a spot where I hardly ever go at Parsons Bullough / Alance Bridge, from where it’s possible to see yet another reservoir – Anglezarke, although I hasten to add that I’m not walking past this one on this outing. “The Meeting of the Waters” is the name given to the area where many streams, for example the Limestone Brook, conveying water off the local hills are channelled to the greater body of water – the infant River Yarrow, which then flows in and out of several reservoirs before being pumped out and sent in the direction of Heath Charnock before merging with the greater River Douglas, which starts about a mile and a half away from the Yarrow at Winter Hill. Incidentally, The Douglas later in its’ course converges with the River Ribble near Tarleton and then flows out to the Irish Sea – isn’t that a nice route, although it could be argued that it’s all rather engineered.
So, I passed though an almost Woodland section of the route, for some reason with the song ‘January Butterfly’ going through my head! There was a bit of a climb up towards Simms, then the terrain suddenly became a whole lot more exposed and open, and bloomin’ gusty as I began to get closer and closer to Will Narr with both of the Edges – Spitlers and Redmonds, coming into view. I never did stop for lunch, preferring instead to plough on towards Will Narr, the last time I was here the views were all white’d out in a driving snow blizzard. This time it was just a bit windy and did a good job of cooling me down after the minor ascent a half mile back down the path. I now crossed Rivington Road, traffic was simply not an issue here today, and then sought out the path that is a wall, in order to facilitate my progress. Given that two rivers begin their journeys within a mile and a half of this location, it is of no surprise to discover that the terrain is more than a little bit spongy underfoot. I last did this route in 2010’s ill-fated ‘Royal Wedding day walk’ (remember the area caught fire?). A good fire might have made all the difference today as for some reason I kept getting really cold!
Onwards up the north face of the Eiger – Winter Hill, I went, I won’t lie, in places it’s ever so steep, but then I’d had good preparation in Saturday’s walk which had an incline lasting for least three times as far. The last time I did this, I was completely disoriented at the top of the climb, so, it should come as no surprise to read that at the top of this climb today, I was completely disoriented once more. I wandered straight across Rivington Moor, instead of bearing left and heading for Counting Hill / Smithhils Moor. After a while, and some serious tussock hopping, (should that be ‘hoping’?) I managed to steer myself back on course by using the mast as a target – given that it’s visible from Wasdale Head ( a claim which I’ve not yet substantiated!) then this was not a bad choice of landmarks – it’s harder to miss! So eventually I got on to Winter Hill – the road, and headed off to the desolation that is Two Lads (which are now two lads and a toddler). By Christ it was bloomin’ cold here. I had ‘Big Red’ coat on, which is generally good for Spring and Autumn, but today I could have done with wearing the blue Winter one. Two Lads is never a warm location as the wind puts paid to any ideas of cosiness.
I found that I didn’t have it in my heart to carry on over Brown Hill and onto Rivington Pike as I imagined it wasn’t going to be any warmer up there, so I continued on the bumpy path all the way to the old toilet block near the tourist’s path for those of us whom with to take that route up to the Pike. I next dropped downhill passing by Thomas Mawson’s Japanese Lake and the devilishly winding route all the way back down to the lane on route to the barn. then it was just a simple matter of crossing the main road – again not as busy today as it has been on other bank holiday Mondays.
Time taken around five hours.
Milage – well my bluetooth wristband software reported twelve miles, so we’ll call it ten.
Ascension – around eight hundred feet
Song of the walk – January Butterfly -Don’t ask me why!