Local Adventure 8: A Tale of Two Hills

Some more photos from walks around Lancashire . . . this time from Winter Hill near Bolton and Pendle Hill (of witches’ fame). They were taken a couple of months back hence the winter light, sorry I’ve only just got around to posting them!

Local Adventure 7

On Sunday went for a walk up through Redisher Woods up onto Holcombe Moor. The weather was cold and sunny, the landscapes were variously lush woodland and desolate but stunning moorland, and more reminiscent of Scotland than the outskirts of Greater Manchester.

The tower is Peel Tower, erected in honour of Sir Robert Peel who came from Bury and invented the police.

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Local Adventure 6

On Sunday I decided to cycle up to the Entwistle Reservoir again, as in stark contrast to last time the weather was absolutely glorious, clear blue skies and bright sunshine, so I thought I could get some decent photos.

After getting to the reservoir and going for a short stroll in the woods, the spirit of adventure possessed me and when I got to the A666, instead of turning left and heading back towards Bolton as I did last time, I turned right and headed up towards Darwen.

The countryside was just breathtaking, and I carried on until just South of Blackburn, halfway to Oswaldtwistle and turned right to head back towards Bury over the West Yorkshire moors.

The whole trip must have been about 40 miles, it took me 5 hours and when I got home I was absolutely exhausted. But it was an amazing experience, I really feel a connection with all of those places which I have never felt going through them in a car. And a real sense of achievement at actually doing it on a bike! Some of the looks I was getting from motorists going over the tops were quite incredulous, and I found myself thinking, I bet you couldn’t do what I am doing, dependent on your metal box with wheels!!

I’m still recovering today, both from the exhaustion and the mental high. Stunning!!

I’ve put up a couple of maps but my iPhone battery died eventually, I had to record it in two parts and I didn’t get to record the final leg of the trip.

In the first and last pictures you can see Scout Moor wind farm in the distance, from two completely different directions!!

Local Adventure 5

I’ve been doing a fair bit of cycling recently – last week I did a 22 mile circuit in the pouring rain up to the Entwistle Reservoir (absolutely soaked to the skin but utterly invigorated), and today I went up to the top road to Edenfield to have a look at Scout Moor wind farm. I didn’t actually get right up close to the turbines, I’m saving that challenge for a future occasion. The weather for today’s trip was beautiful, so I took a few photos unlike last week.

Cycling is an amazing experience – you notice all sorts of things you don’t in the car. Smells are one thing – in the rain last week, all the lovely wet smells of the countryside came through, and I could smell coal or wood burning as I passed through villages, which seemed to vary with the level of affluence (more wood in wealthier areas, more coal in working class areas).

Today, so many people had a smile for me – from other cyclist to walkers and dog walkers. There seems to be something about cycling which means you can have a friendly interaction with others in a way that car travel precludes.

It was really hard work, both last week and today, but reaching the foothills of the wind farm today was really exhilarating – just the knowledge that I had made it under my own steam, and that the electricity from the turbines was very likely supplying a bit of my house somewhere in the mix. The 4×4 occupants cruising past in their hermetically sealed isolation could never know these thoughts and feelings. And the exercise and fresh air itself gave me a real high, as well as landscapes which, despite being so close to home, I had never seen before. I’m really enjoying these local adventures, they give a real sense of achievement. I’m going to run out of possibilities at some stage though, as bikes are not allowed on the Greater Manchester tram system, so I am limited to places within reach of home. Still, all part of the challenge I suppose!!

On the Buses

Just seen one of the new hybrid electric buses in Manchester!

Stone Free

Had a great day yesterday at Transition Stone’s “Festival of Possibilities” – the location was the very beautiful Hayes at Stone, a big old house in acres of picturesque grounds which is home to a small community of Transitioners giving a whole range of workshops, everything from bread-making, bicycle maintenance and diesel engine vegetable oil conversions to micro-hydro and woodworking using a home made pole lathe. I gave my Green Cottage presentation as a contribution.

I don’t know if it was a combination of the venue, lovely weather and kindred spirits or the home made cake, soup and crusty rolls, but the whole day was really heartwarming and gave me a real lift. It’s not that often I find people who are really on my wavelength but this was one occasion. Thankyou Transition Stone for a great day and a big success, all power to you!!

Love the home made geodome 😉

Local Adventure 4

I finally made it all the way to Bolton along the canal, and discovered Moses Gate Park, coming back along Bury Bolton Road. A 17-miler!!

It’s a good circuit with some nice surroundings, I might do it a few times before figuring out what my next challenge will be.

Local Adventure 3

Went a bit further today and discovered another stretch of the Bury-Bolton canal, and a cycleway called the “Bradley Fold Cycleway” which I didn’t even know existed!

Local Adventure 2

Went for another bike ride today, this time turning West at Radcliffe and exploring a bit more of the Bury-Bolton canal, down towards Little Lever where although the canal continued, I couldn’t see a way to get through.

I had meant to go out towards Bolton a lot further, but ended up taking a wrong turn and heading back down towards Radcliffe.

Came across some interesting and pretty sights, including what looked like some kind of old steam crane beside the canal.

Local Adventure!

Just got back from a really enjoyable bike ride! I did my normal road circuit route but instead of coming back my normal way, I joined the old Bury-Bolton canal to see where it went.

It was quite beautiful, although there was some litter in parts of the canal, other parts were quite overgrown and I saw all kinds of wildlife, and some beautiful views. For a little while I had no idea where I was going, which was really refreshing and quite an adventure!!

In the canal photo you can see Scout Moor wind farm in the background. Cycling up to the wind farm is on my hit list of challenges for the future! I think I’m going to have to get a bit fitter first though 😉

I went across a level crossing at one point too, and realised that it was on the East Lancashire (steam) Railway. I stopped on the level crossing to take a photo before I realised that the engine in the distance was rolling towards me! I moved my bike off the crossing and sure enough, an engineer got out and opened the gates, and the engine went across.

The route was about 9 miles.

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