The girls returned from Grandparents yesterday. It seems like ages since I last saw them, and it was a pleasure to have them back in the house - I think.
Anyway, as a reward I decided that we should all go on a nice 8.5 mile walk over Rivington Moor and Winter Hill The walk starts from and finishes at the Black Dog Pub in Belmont (click the 'bigger' button and Belmont can be seen in the top right hand corner). The walk is a circular walk that starts by ascending to Winter Hill and the radio and telephone masts. This is a fairly sharp rise of about 500 feet to the top of the hill. There are great views of the Pennines proper as they wind their way north. At the top, you can see Darwen Tower (or as it is called locally, Darwen's Rocket as it looks a little like Buck Rogers' rocket - the black & white version) and Holcombe Tower. These towers along with Rivington Pike form a 31 mile walk called - unsurprisingly, the Three Towers Walk - supposed to be done in a day - oh yes?
This part of Lancashire is mill and coal country, and if you look carefully, the signs can still be seen. The landscape is dotted with mill ponds for example, that fed the mill races that kept the water wheels turning in the mills nestling in the valley. When we reached the top, the heavens opened, and even with waterproofs on, we were soaked to the skin, and then, as soon as it started, it stopped! English weather - don't you just love it? However, we soon dried out as we carried on toward Rivington. Jayne, who must have DNA from a mountain goat, was, as usual, out in front when she stepped into a particularly boggy bit and sank up to her mid-thigh and could not get out. Yours truly had to affect the rescue, and save the stuck daughter - all part and parcel of being a Dad! After she got through the initial fright and tears, Jayne, being Jayne, perked up and continued without complaint - apart from her now wet feet.
Lunch at Rivington Pike, a tower built in 1733 by John Andrews as a shooting lodge and look-out for his newly acquired lands. These days it provides a little shelter and some spectacular views across Lancashire. After that, it is a reasonably easy, but drawn out walk back to the Rivington/Belmont road and back to Belmont. Stopped off at the Black Dog Inn for a pint (or two) before heading home. The pub is a Joseph Holt's pub, which means the beer is a pretty good standard bitter, a nice edge of bitterness with a good body. A brass notice over the bar said:
" In six days, God made the World and then rested."
"In one day God made Man and then rested."
"Then God made Woman, and no bugger's rested ever since!"
It seems everyone enjoyed the walk, and Jayne was talking quite happily about her experiences in the bog. For me, it was quite different type of exercise to cycling, and made a nice change.
The photos are from a previous walk, the pictures from this walk will be put onto Flickr as soon as they are developed.