1. A CIRCULAR WALK to LONGRIDGE FELL (SPIRE HILL)
from JEFFREY HILL
2. MARL HILL MOOR from CRIMPTON FARM

Southey's 2nd birthday walk


Summary

Date - 15th July 2015 Distance - 1.-6.25 miles, 2.-1.25 miles
Ascent - 1.-970ft, 2.-220ft
Map - OL41 Start point - 1.Jeffrey Hill (SD 6395 4018)
2.Opposite access to Crimpton Farm (SD 6817 4712)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Longridge Fell (Spire Hill) 1148 350 SD 6579 4106
Marl Hill Moor 1021 311 SD 6883 4670

 

Preface

Looking up from reading his Cumbria magazine, Southey said, "it was nice to have Uncle Eric for company on the last two walks."

"They were most enjoyable too", responded Tetley. "The one to Hebblethwaite Gill was completely new ground, and even on that over The Helm we covered paths non of us had walked before."

"So, I guess it is back to exploring the Bowland Fells now", went on Allen.

How's the diary looking?", asked Tetley.

Before he could respond Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric arrived with the flasks and cake tin.

"Tea" cried Allen.

"Cakes", called out Southey.

"I don't know", said Shaun shaking his head. "You two are just like Dad, tea belly and cake stuffer!"

Tetley meanwhile had got the plates and mugs, then assisting Shaun in pouring the tea.

Little Eric said, "I have made flapjack, while Grizzly has made more of the orange and peach slice you all so enjoyed."

"Ooh scrumptious", cried Allen and Southey, helping themselves.

So all content, Tetley once again asked the question. "what is the diary looking like for this coming week."

"Looks pretty clear apart from Monday of course when Dad and Uncle Brian go to Elaine's, and Friday is booked up." Then after a pause, to look up the Met Office app, he said, "weather wise Tuesday is good, so let's hope Dad will be happy to walk."

"The question is where?", mused Little Eric.

"That's easy", replied Grizzly. "Dad had already printed off a walk to Longridge Fell, which was in abeyance as we were walking with Uncle Eric."

"Then afterwards Dad had decided to drive to Crimpton Farm, so that we could get Marl Hill Moor out of the way too", added Shaun.

"So we have a plan", cheered Southey.

"All I need to do is see if Dad is happy to walk Tuesday", said Allen, draining his mug and heading out of the door. He was soon back and the smile on his face told us the walk was on.

"Great cheered Southey. It will be on the day after my second birthday and so a fitting celebration. I never dreamt that when Dad adopted me that I would have such an exciting life."

 

The Walk

LONGRIDGE FELL (SPIRE HILL)

So on a day that was dry and mostly sunny but with a cool wind early on, we made sure we were ready in good time for the drive via Oakenclough and Chipping to the start at Jeffrey Hill that in itself is a superb viewpoint. Across the fields is Parlick & Fair Snape Fell and this to Beacon Fell.

A couple were standing close by and engaged Dad in conversation asking about the view. The lady said, "we are from Cambridge, where it is so flat so it is nice to see the hills." We were spotted so Dad explained and mentioned the website. They were here for a wedding so Dad wished them an enjoyable time.

Soon ready, Dad shouldered the rucksack we had got settled in, and strode down to the junction stopping to photograph this sculpture.

This is called Sun Catcher, by the international reputed sculptor Halima Cassel. Defined as a cluster of sculpted elements around a central feature, carved from a mighty tree trunk, and redefining a panoramic viewpoint looking out to distant fells.

She says, “this is a beauty spot that I show off to visitors from around the globe. It is an important destination for me, a very clear and wide panorama of beautiful Bowland.”

"How lovely", said Grizzly

Our muse over, Dad returned to the road. "It is right, then soon left over a stile", instructed Shaun.

Downhill across the pasture, where sheep were grazing, this lamb was sitting amongst the grasses posing for Dad. "Darn", said Allen. "No sheep picture free story this time."

Being the time of year the vegetation is about at its height, and the many different grasses were in profusion in this pasture.

After a further stile the path rounded the corner of a fence to the left and so out to the road via a gate.

"It's left now", said Shaun.

This took us past Thornley Hall, Little Eric saying, "please take a picture Dad, for the story."

"I love the perfectly manicured tall bush", remarked Tetley.

Very soon the access to Thornley Hall Farm, was reached, Shaun advising, "we go right along this."

It took us through the yard and buildings, where this cow looked as us inquisitively.

Beyond the farm, a track led trough fields to Park Wood and a junction. "It is the left fork we want", instructed Shaun.

After a gate the path led along the left side of the wood to another gate. Here a bird suddenly took flight.

"That was a hawk", said Grizzly.

Soon a stone step stile was climbed and then a footbridge crossed. Across the next field the way was not too clear, and Dad took us to the far right side. "We need to be on the other side of the fence, but not take the stile to the right, rather go left to a gate into the yard of Loud Carr Side, to follow its access to the road", said Shaun.

At the road Shaun's instruction was "turn left. We walk to just before Gibbon Hill Bridge and take the path by the River Loud."

This involved descending this substantial set of steps.

Being such a nice day Dad was in shorts, but with the vegetation at its height he had to contend with nettles and brambles, getting stung in the process. "Well lads", he said, "I have only got myself to blame."

A stile led to a field where to Dad's delight the vegetation had been cut! After a waymarked hurdle the path led to a footbridge, where it was immediately left down to and across the stepping stones on the River Loud.

Dad paused part way to take this nice shot looking upstream. "It is just lovely here", breathed Southey. "How lucky I am to see places of such sylvan beauty."

Beyond the stile above the opposite bank we continued in the same direction on the stiled way eventually to a road at Loud Mytham Bridge. In parts the path was muddy and on the very brink of the steep bank above the river, causing us to hold our breath, as Dad trod very carefully to avoid a slip that would have spelled disaster.

"We cross the bridge and at the junction go left for about 100 yards to take the path right", said Shaun. This was accessed via a ladderstile.

Here we deviated, Dad not doing this deliberately, to the opposite side of the big field, than shown in the published walk, reaching the road on a path past Wood Top.

"We go left", said Shaun, "and then right right through a gate at the second of two footpath signs."

There was in fact only a post as the sign had broken off. Dad strode up the field taking about half way the stile in the fence on the right, to continue south, over a stile and up the next field to the road via two gates.

As we crossed this last field Little Eric pointed ahead saying, "that's our objective, Longridge Fell. The path to the ridge can be seen running left to right."

At the road is was left past Weedacre Farm, Shaun saying, " we very soon go right on a signed footpath."

This was very overgrown and Dad had to force his way through the vegetation, to a stile. "Hmm that was not a very pleasant experience", remarked Dad.

After the stile Dad made better progress on the short grass of the field, climbing gently to a ladderstile over the wall. Going half right we we were soon on the ascending path, Little Eric had pointed out, up Spire Hill, to the ridge.

"That is a superb view across to Parlick and Fair Snape Fell", said Allen. "Must be worth getting the camera out."

Those two are to the far left, and going right is Wolf Fell, Saddle Fell, Burnslack Fell and Fair Oak Fell.

At the ridge, and spotting the trig point, Grizzly called out, "look, it is not far to the summit."

A clear path led left by the wall, on the gentle ascent to the white painted trig point, where we quickly jumped out and settled for our picture.

As could be seen from the previous picture there were truly superb views, Tetley pointing away to the right saying, "that must be Marl Hill Moor our next objective. "

Settled again, Dad shouldered the rucksack and we walked back to continue past where we had made the ascent to the ridge to climb a stile and on by the wall. A path went off right and this was followed round the shoulder of the fell to the car park.

"Great", cheered Southey that's part one done.


 

MARL HILL MOOR

Before setting off we all had our picnic, to fortify us for part two. After the sandwiches, Grizzly carefully got a tin out and opening it there was a cake with in icing the words "Happy 2nd Birthday Southey."

"Oh pals that is so kind, thank you."

We then, with the exception of Dad who is tone deaf, sang happy birthday, before Southey cut the cake and shared it all round.

"Many happy returns for yesterday", said Dad, giving him a hug.

Shaun had the map and directed Dad along the country lanes, on the last section avoiding a hedgehog that was snuffling about on the road that fortunately had very little traffic. As we expected there was just space to squeeze Dad's car on the verge opposite the drive to Crimpton Farm.

A narrow section of woodland borders the road on the other side of which is the access land. Dad strode the broken fence to cross the wood and exit via the fence on the far side.

"We just generally make our way uphill", said Shaun.

Coming to a fence, that is not shown on the map we climbed the stile and walked on heading for the higher ground and picking up a waymarked path.

"That is not marked on the map either", remarked Grizzly, who was looking over Shaun's shoulder.

Following this to the brow, the next waymark pointed left, Shaun saying, "the summit is to the right."

We crossed a hummock, then walked on towards the wall as the ground continued to climb slightly, to the unmarked summit, deciding on this tussock to sit for our picture. Dad got the flag out to brighten the otherwise featureless moor.

Looking about, Tetley said, "I know it is distant, but that is the Three Peaks we can see. Far left just poking up is Whernside with just to its right Ingleborough and far right Pen-y-ghent.

The return was by the outward route, with Fair Oak Fell on the left rising to Totridge, forming a backdrop.

Returning along the lane the hedgehog was still snuffling about, by and in the road. We hoped that any vehicles would be as careful as Dad as they passed by.

At the junction, Dad went right to Whitewell then via the Trough of Bowland home.

"Thanks for another super day", said Southey.

"Hear, hear", the rest of us intoned.

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