WIGGLESWORTH HALL, BOOSTAGILL, CROW TREES & WIGGLESWORTH from LONG PRESTON

 


Summary

Date - 30th June 2013 Distance - 12.5 miles
Ascent -
1440ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Long Preston station (SD 8338 5793)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

A quiet Friday afternoon, found Allen & Tetley, sitting reading one of the many books about walks and the countryside that adorn the bookshelves.

"I never tire of reading about the favourite fells of Alfred Wainwright and thinking about our own adventures over the years when we climbed them", said Tetley.

"Me too", agreed Allen. "I will never forget the day reaching the summit of Grisedale Pike, when I completed the last of the 214 Wainwright Fells. How proud I felt having finally completed the challenge, and it was kind of the gentleman who was at the summit, to take my photo with Dad."

"Yes, you had a wide smile on your face, and we were all so pleased for you too," replied Tetley. Then after a moments pause, he went on, "I wonder if we will get out this weekend."

"Shaun told me that Dad was thinking of taking us on the Lakeland Fells, but I am not sure if this is still the plan."

Just then Shaun with Little Eric riding on his back and Grizzly arrived, Shaun announcing, "we bring tea and cakes."

"Ooh great!, exclaimed Allen, as he went of to get the mugs and plates.

Little Eric said, "Grizzly has made chocolate caramel shortbread, and there are also some cherry and ginger scones. How lucky we are to have such a wonderful baker in our group."

"How lucky indeed", replied Tetley, "but mind you leave plenty for the rest of us, as we know like Dad, what a cake stuffer you are."

"Thanks for the complement", said Grizzly as he passed the tin round.

So all contented with cake on plate and mug in paw, the thoughts turned back to walking. Shaun said, "in answer to your thoughts Allen, Dad has been looking at the weather forecast. The weather is uncertain and very strong winds are expected on Sunday, so he has decided to leave the Lakes for another day."

"That seems to be sensible", agreed Tetley, "so what is the plan instead?"

"We have walked from Long Preston a couple of times, and Dad has been able to devise a further route that takes us in a circle to the west, in the parish of Wigglesworth. Ground that we have not walked before."

"Well it sounds interesting", said Grizzly. "How far is the route?"

"He says about 9 miles, but his map measurer as we all know does not work properly, so I would not be surprised it if turns out to be further", replied Shaun.

Never a truer word, as they say, as in the end the distance was 12.5 miles. Dad did very soon afterwards invest in a new map measurer, so this will not happen again, we hope!

"Here's to a good day", cheered Little Eric, helping himself to a scone. "The cakes are absolutely scrumptious, pal", he intoned and closing his eyes in ecstasy.

Tetley then concluded saying, "we all know where Dad will be going afterwards."

"Elaine's of course"!, the rest of us cried in unison.

 

The Walk

We made sure we were up early, and had the picnic made and stowed in Allen's rucksack, in good time for Dad announcing he was ready for the off. We called goodbye to Uncle Brian as we dashed out and settled in the car.

The roads were quiet on the ever so familiar route up the Lune Valley and over to join the A65 at Clapham, following this to Long Preston, where like before we parked at the railway station.

This line has few trains on a Sunday, but one arrived on its way to our home town, Morecambe, while Dad was getting ready. "We always seem to see a train when we walk from here", remarked Shaun.

Ready for the off, Dad shouldered his rucksack, with us safely tucked inside and strode out of the car park, turning left to cross the railway line. The road dipped as it passed the property called Bereswood, that has this nice water feature in the garden.

Our route was on along the road to Cow Bridge, passing a field with cows who were rather inquisitive and jostled for attention at the fence.

As we approached the bridge, Shaun said to us all in general, "this time we go right following the Ribble Way, so getting on to new ground."

A signpost clearly indicated this, although were were not going all the way to Far Cappelside rather leaving the Ribble Way at Wigglesworth Hall Farm.

Over the stile the path led by the river for a short way after which it kept basically in the same direction, as the river bent away to the right.

There were sheep and lambs in the pasture, and Allen let out a cry of, "oh nooooo", as one lamb stood and posed for Dad. "That's a sheep picture free story gone again, but at least we have got it out of the way early on."

As we left the riverside, Tetley said , "I think that will make a nice shot of the gently flowing River Ribble."

Very soon we passed some signs, which specifically indicate the route of the Ribble Way. This is a 73 mile, long distance footpath which starts near the rivers estuary at Longton to the west of Preston, then through Ribchester and Clitheroe before reaching Gisburn. Here the route crosses from Lancashire into North Yorkshire and continues to its source at Gavel Gap near Horton in Ribblesdale.

Crossing a footbridge, the way ahead was through tall lush grass leading to a stile, the top of which can just about be seen.

Beyond the stile the path led by a stream, Little Eric enquiring, "what is it called?"

"Consulting the map, Shaun replied, "Wigglesworth Beck. It starts at Long Gill, which we will visit later in the walk, having been formed from the confluence of Long Gill Brook and another seemingly unnamed stream."

This then brought us past a house and close to Wigglesworth Hall Farm. "The route is left away from and round the buildings", advised Shaun.

As we walked on, we met a couple who seemed to be having a bit of difficulty finding their route, so Dad asked where they were going.

The gentleman replied , "Cow Bridge."

So Dad was able to point them in the right direction. Maybe it was this, or the fact that Dad did not consult the map again before continuing, that caused us to go a little awry here. We went through the gate to the left, rather than following the drive. Indeed we had to get to the road, but this was not the way, and although we did climb the field to the wall there was no way over. In the process we were followed and fussed by a herd of young heifers, who seemed hell bent on getting to the food in Dad's rucksack. Such was there persistence that a man stopped in his car as he wondered if Dad was all right. Kind of him, and Dad reassured him that all was well, apart from having gone the wrong way. The gentleman then asked for directions to the Bowland Forest, but Dad not knowing exactly which road this was, he could not really help him.

"We'll just have to run the gauntlet of the cows again and go back to the gate, have a good look at the map and get on track again", said Shaun.

"You're right lad". replied Dad.

This misadventure was not a complete waste of time, as we saw something we had never seen before. A fenced area where there were at least a hundred female mallard.

"Well I never", exclaimed Tetley. "Is this called a duckery?"

"Or perhaps a quackery?", responded Allen.

"Whatever", laughed Grizzly, "I have never seen the like before."

Back at the gate, Shaun said, "the route is across the rough ground, but it is as easy to just follow the access track to the road and then go right."

"Sounds good", added Allen, as Dad strode off.

Passing Hallstack Farm, we soon came to the stile on the right, we would have climbed if we had followed the correct route from Wigglesworth Hall. Opposite to the left, we climbed the stile and then across the pasture to another in the wall on the right, then to a fence corner. Here we walked right a short way by the fence to find a gate that had been tied to the fence to form a makeshift stile.

"We continue to that gate ahead on to a grassy track, then very soon take the stile over the wall on the right on to the access track and follow this to Hard Head Farm, which we pass through to the right", instructed Shaun.

Past the buildings the route necessitated Dad having to squeeze between a fence and wall, into a large field with a quite large wind turbine whining away. We crossed this to the far left corner passing through a gate.

"Look!", called out Little Eric, "a small tree has taken root and is growing out of the top of that wooden gatepost."

Beyond we crossed the next large and rough field to climb the substantial stone step stile at the wall corner, near Boostagill Farm.

More fields followed this, one that was lush with buttercups and other wildflowers. "How lovely", said Grizzly as we crossed this.

After the last field a gate gave access to a road and going left shortly reached a junction at the rather dilapidated farm buildings of Long Gill.

"The map indicates we take the tiny bridge over Long Gill Brook, then go down beside the house", said Shaun.

There were no waymarks, but Dad and Shaun were agreed that this was the way, and that the route was uphill to the right, along an overgrown path, but however this was totally blocked.

"The only other option is the facing gate just after we passed by the house", suggested Tetley.

"We'll give it a try, lad", replied Dad.

We had not gone very far, when Shaun said, "This can't be the way, we are too low and going in the wrong direction."

"Sorry", said Tetley.

"It is not your fault, lad", Dad replied. "We need to be higher up, so I intend to climb the wall where it has fallen, and see where that leads us."

Beyond we crossed another broken wall and there tucked in the wall corner, was the stile for our continued route. Before crossing the stile we all looked back, and Shaun remarked, "it looks to me that the path is through that wall gap that has been blocked up with the decorative stonework."

"Well at least we have finally found the way. Well done Dad and Shaun", said Little Eric.

Now ongoing the way was pretty clear to Street House Farm, where following the way the map was drawn, Dad took us through the buildings, but again we could not find the onward route. Where are waymarks when you most need them!

Shaun said, "the best option is to take the access track to the road and then go left along it."

"Sounds like a plan", agreed Dad.

As he strode on he mused, "I wonder if we had ignored the map and gone through the gate to the left of the buildings, we would have been on the right path?"

"Well if we ever repeat this walk, we can try that and see", replied Allen.

At the road, which the map indicated is called Higher Road, we turned left as Shaun had said. Dad strode off, climbed steadily in the strong gusty wind, to pass a house and then reach the brow, where a path went off right to Lower, Middle and Higher Brayshaw. It then descended slightly to reach the bridleway on the left to Studford Gill.

"We take this path", called out Shaun.

Followed through the buildings and then took gate on right by the house, then gate in fence on left. As we walked down, Shaun said, "I think we should perhaps have ignored that last gate, but if we go left over this field and through that gate, we will be on track."

Beyond the path led by a beck, to an old iron gate. "Oh heck", said Little Eric, "that the ground to the gate is so very boggy."

"It sure is", replied Dad as he tentatively tried it with his foot. "No good trying to cross that, so instead I will just have to walk in the stream."

Beyond the gate the path crossed a footbridge, and the grassy way passed to the left of Snape House and then joined a surfaced track, past Olivers and Lunds, where there was a nice garden,

to a road.

Across was the drive to Crow Trees. A pub/restaurant with a mobile home park.

"There's a picnic bench just over there", called out Allen. "Good place to have lunch. My tummy has been rumbling for a while now."

The rest of us and Dad too, did not need a second asking, and we jumped out of the rucksack, and set to on the sandwiches and cake we had brought, washed down with some steaming hot tea from the flasks. Then before heading off, we posed for our picture. Well you did not think you were going to get away without us making an appearance!

Settled once again, Dad strode off along the drive, passing Crow Trees.

The drive swung right passing the mobile homes. "We take a path off left along here", advised Shaun.

There was again no waymark to indicate the route, but Dad took an educated guess, which proved to be correct, as after a little way a narrow path materialised, that led to a stile into a huge mown field, that made us all feel so so small!

"I suppose we are making for that prominent barn?", said Grizzly.

"Yes", replied Shaun. "It is called Moss Laithe."

This was reached via stiles and gates in the intervening fences. The route was to the left past the building and on to a waymarked stile and then on ahead to gap stile in stone wall. This it seemed obvious that we should cross and then looking at the map, it was pretty clear that we should have then gone on in the same direction. However.... on the other side was a pole fence with a single barbed wire strand, that from the footprints seemed to intend to keep walkers by the wall.

"I suppose we had better keep along by the wall?", said Shaun uncertainly.

And, this is what we did, going on and on eventually ending up at a wall by a road. The fact that there was no stile in this wall made it plain we were not on the right route and we reckoned other walkers had suffered the same fate from the obvious fact that Dad was not the first to climb the wall to the road. As there was no obvious way to get back on the planned route, it was decided just to follow the road, Becks Brow, into the village of Wigglesworth, passing the impressive Plough Hotel.

Then along Church Lane, its junction at Cow Bridge, passing another inquisitive cow that stared at us over the fence.

To the left was this pastoral scene with the cows gently grazing the slopes of the modest Teenley Hill, topped by a stand of trees.

At the junction we turned left, crossing Cow Bridge and returning along the road to the start.

"Thanks for a nice walk, Dad", said Little Eric.

"I am glad you enjoyed it despite the rather frustrating difficulties find the route at times", replied Dad. "Maybe we will come back sometime and redo it, hopefully finding the right path all the way."

"Never mind", said Allen. "I have enjoyed it too as the rest of us have. It was lovely to see and hear the calls of the many curlews and lapwings, which made me think of Uncle Brian as he loves we see and hear them."

Apart from the walkers we met and helped with guidance at Wigglesworth Hall, we saw no others today and we reckon that many of the paths we walked are little frequented.

As Dad got changed, Tetley said, "it's off to Elaine's now, I guess."

"Sure is lad", replied Dad happily.

Here he had lovely mince and onion pie with chips and peas, followed by apple and summer fruits crumble and custard and of course lots of tea to wash it down with. Megan, Laura and the rest of the girls looked after him. He chatted with Elaine and Sheila, and to Laura, about how wonderful Disney World is. Quite how they got on to that subject, he cannot now remember, as we are writing this account some four months after the event. He was the last to leave and everyone sent love to Uncle Brian!

On the drive home Dad suddenly got sciatic pain in left leg, caused we assumed from crossing all the rough ground. It almost locked him up and the last mile or so from Torrisholme was agony changing gear! Thankfully though, he was fine next day.

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