On a bright mid-August Thursday, my partner had a free afternoon allowing us to take a rare mid-week outing. We set off for the bus stop intending to travel up to Slack. The buses’ tardiness made us impatient and eventually we got the next bus that came and alighted at Callis figuring we could walk up from there.
Whilst crossing the road, we decided to make a change to our now-normal route and went up Underbank laughing anew at ‘Lacy Underbridge’ and onto the Pennine bridleway (PBW).
As we climbed the steep overgrown cobbled path (signifying not many other people did), we noted that whilst we sometimes came back down this way, it had been our original route up before we discovered the alternatives.
We paused occasionally to admire views and catch our breath. Soon after Mount Olive Chapel, we came to a junction. Considering a small path through the tops of the woods, we elected instead to stay on the PBW as we had never walked that section before.
The path became much easier, with setts edged by well-maintained stone walls behind which fields and hay bales lay.
Reaching the top of that section we bought home-made jam at the entrance of a farm, placing payment in the honesty box. We then rested on a wall at the corner of the farm track.
A woman and a small dog with a sock appeared coming along a smaller path that emerged at a gap in the wall. I asked her where the path went and she told me ‘Marsh Farm’. We had a short chat and it turned out she had made the jam. She and her husband who had appeared at the farm gate, thanked us.
We continued on the route up and I told Phil he would recognise it soon. He was distracted by crows flying around the fields and telegraph wires, but as we proceeded, it suddenly dawned on him: we were at the corner of Winter’s Lane. We turned right along the lane and down into Rawtenstall.
As we descended, we noted the deliberately twee features created by trees and rocks, the old stone gate post, and old ruined buildings from long-gone settlements (that I had failed to notice on our visit the previous autumn).
Phil joked about turning them into ‘ye olde village’ on his photo blog.
Winding down Turret Hall Road, we spotted a path leading off through Knott Wood and thought it would just cut the corner off. This proved not to be the case.
We were led up and down, via tiny steps and narrow paths, through gates and over styals, and eventually emerged in a builder’s yard now occupying a disused quarry. We admired the raised beds where onions and other veg grew, and strange large balls.
Finding no way through the yard, we doubled backed slightly and had a choice of following the overgrown path westwards, or going eastwards for a time. We chose the latter, surmising that it must end up back on the road soon. Thankfully, this time we were right. We emerged down another flight of small stone steps onto Oakville Road. I enjoyed walking alongside the railway lines as trains whizzed by.
Back on Burnley Road, we looked for the talking bird but couldn’t see it. I did, however, discover more ruins and stone steps at the side of Woodbine Terrace. A little way down, we crossed the busy road and entered Stubbings pub. We ordered pints and food. As we lingered canalside with a second drink, the air became chilly with the setting sun and the other tables emptied of punters. We walked home along the canal and said what a nice time we’d had – which was just as well as the weather turned miserable for the next few days!
More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtiLdDOWPCAH-90Q4hVA