Tag Archives: Fox and Goose Inn

Bluebells and garlic

 

Bluebells and trees 1Despite feeling tired and achy, we resolved to enjoy a beautiful sunny May Sunday.  We bought supplies form the local bakers before walking up Bridge Lanes.  Crossing at the Fox and Goose, we took the small path up towards Colden clough.  We made frequent stops to admire flowers of all colours amidst ferns and trees in shades of green.

GatepostJust before Lumb Bank, we perched on a small stone wall near the old gatepost which Phil persists in calling ‘the magical stone’ (well, it is in his photographs!).  Taking a shortcut through the writer’s garden to avoid the painful climb, we continued into the clough.  Our ramble was frequently arrested by the sight of bluebells, looking especially picturesque against the white flowers of the garlic fields.

Although late in the season, we found a few leaves and flowers to pick.  A little further on, we sat on a flat rock to enjoy cake and pop, before walking on to Hebble Hole.

 

Hebble Hole bridge 1We crossed the clapper bridge to watch sparkling water beneath us before starting our return.  A climb up to the causeway allowed us to enjoy warm sun on the tops for a while until we took the next path back down above the flat rock, traversing again the garlic fields.  As we came alongside the stream, I paused to look for the dipper and an elderly man who was passing stopped to discuss the glorious day.

 

At Lumb Mill, we took the slope downwards and crossed the floor of old stone flags to the main track.  It amazed me how it took two hours to get to the top of the clough via the small paths compared to a speedy 50 minute return!

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Bluebell and ferns 2

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A Detour to May’s

Colden Clough dipper in the stream

On the first Saturday in April 2016, we set off on the familiar walk up Colden Clough with Marisa.  A fine drizzle fell on us but we remained optimistic that the weather would improve.  Stopping as usual at Lumb Mill, we watched a dipper in the river.

 

We then climbed  to the garlic fields and picked young leaves.  While resting on the nearby flat rock, two very lively dogs ran up.  I became quite anxious at their barking and jumping at us. We spotted an old couple a few yards off walking slowly and carefully, and guessed they were the owners.  I shouted at them to call the dogs off but their efforts were ineffectual.  When they eventually reached us, they said the dogs were harmless.  I retorted that wasn’t the point.

We waitedColden Clough dingly dell 2 for them to get passed us before proceeding. We took time to observe the altered paths and small streams sine the Boxing Day floods, and admired pixie-land glades on the way.

 

On approaching Hebble hole, we saw the couple with the dogs on the other side of the stream.  The larger dog started barking and made to swim across to us.  I became even more agitated and again shouted at the couple to call them off.

They put the dogs on leads but repeated that they were harmless.  I said they should be more aware of the effect their actions had on other people.  As they came back over the clapper bridge we waited for them to pass once more. I said “thank you” in a pointed way, but I am not sure it sunk in.

Smithy Lane footlessWe then climbed the steep, tiny steps up to Hudson Lane and along Smithy Lane, passed the school where a figure of a child with a missing foot made me laugh.  We turned left onto Fold Lane at the sign for May’s farm shop.

It seemed a longer route than I had imagined and I started to become fatigued.  But it proved a pleasant diversion.

Colden Clough dingly dell 2

We passed through the actual village of Colden, with ramshackle farm buildings and rusting machinery.  Despite another barking dog, I managed to keep my cool.  The lane wound through the village then upwards.  At a sort of T junction, we turned right up a grassy track and looked across the valley at views of Stoodley Pike and Emley Moor in the distance.

Mays robin 2At May’s farm shop, we were amazed by the extensive range on offer – anything you could ever need!  We bought wonderful, inexpensive pies, cakes and hot drinks.  Taking them outside, we sat on a bench looking towards Heptonstall enjoying our repast.  The hot cheese pie was fantastic and went well with the good strong cup of tea.  As we ate our cakes, a robin bobbed by and Marisa fed it some crumbs to allow us time to capture the cute bird on camera.

Feeling refreshed, we continued walking towards Heptonstall.  At Popples Common, we veered off to be away from the road.  We found amusement in a nearby field where a very small kunekune pig stood in front of a huge one (‘daddy’ I thought).  At Slack, we spotted a goat happily munching grass at the kerbside.  We kept on Heptonstall Road straight through the village and said goodbye to Marisa.

Slack kunekune 1It had stayed grey and overcast most of the day but then the sun came out.  Phil and I decided to have a drink in the Fox and Goose beer garden to enjoy it.  Yet another dog sniffed round my rucksack but not in a threatening way.  I told the owners I had been plagued by dogs all day and they sympathised, telling me he was only after food.  “Yes, I know,” I replied, “but he will only find wild garlic leaves in there”.

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Downhill from Blackshaw Head

Moored boat

On the first of February scraps of snow lingered in the valley from the previous month. Despite the cold, the sun compelled us to venture out.

We took a picturesque bus ride to Blackshaw Head. The amount of snow still up on the tops made us feel as if we had gone into the mountains.  Yet we were only two miles from home. On arrival, we spotted a barn with a couple of fat sheep standing in front of it. That, and a boat in a nearby field, made for a very Nordic scene!

Grave shadows 2We cut through the churchyard where the blazing sun created long shadows of the gravestones. The bench here makes it possible to rest and maybe even have a small picnic if you are so inclined.

We walked along Badger Lane then down Marsh lane. The snow crunched underfoot as we made our way to the next junction.

Ignore your sat navWe paused to savour the views and laughed at the handmade ‘no sat nav’ sign.

We turned left onto Winter’s Lane which becomes the aptly named Dark Lane.

The going was hard due to the frozen snow where the sun never shone. However, parts that are often very boggy were easily navigated with care.

We proceeded into Rawtenstall woods and speculated about the strangely titled ‘cat steps’. They are indeed tiny enough to only be of use to small mammals.

We also noticed that we could see the main road down below, obscured at other times of year, through the leafless trees.

Cat steps 1After passing through Mytholm Steeps, we stopped at the Fox & Goose for a pint. Lots of people and dogs milled about round the bar area.

We retired to a side room and remarked on the improvements since the pub became a worker’s co-op – much cleaner and drier.

As an alternative, a pleasant walk into town can be found by crossing the main road and walking down Adelaide Street and along the river.

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