A few weeks ago I moved to Ramsbottom. It wasn’t planned and I’ll only be here for a short while, however I intend to make the most of it. It’s a beautiful part of Lancashire and it’s nice to be enjoying country life after what feels like a lifetime in the city! Ramsbottom is blessed with beautiful scenery, an abundance of walks and a wonderful selection of cafes and pubs. So no wonder then that my friends were keen to come and visit!
This weekend found a small group of 5 of us taking on the hill up to Peel Tower, across Holcombe Moor and back into Ramsbottom. So we dusted off our walking boots and left the fleeces at home as it was a beautiful sunny day. Given the unpredictable British weather our waterproof jackets were packed in our rucksacks just in case! I found the walk listed at (walk number 13). The walk is described as strenuous in parts, and 6 miles in length.
We met up at the start of the walk, at Ramsbottom Train Station, where the East Lancashire railway has a steam train on the line. It runs regularly throughout the day, and is a very popular tourist attraction. There is a pay and display carpark outside the train station, and also free carparking opposite the station.
We headed from the station, along Railway Street, and uphill for some time, past the church, until reaching the main road. Some of the group took this hill as an opportunity to complain about walking up a steep incline. I did warn them that the walk was uphill before they came! When we reached the main road, we turned left and headed along it, until we reached Dundee Lane.
We headed up Dundee Lane, up a gentle incline, until we reached Downfield Close, where there is a set of steps that lead up to a path. The path was a little steep, through some woodland, and led up to the Shoulder of Mutton pub. Certain members of the group were vociferously suggesting that by now they had climbed high enough, and perhaps it was time for a break. I moved them on swiftly!
After dragging them kicking and screaming from the doors of the pub, we turned left and crossed the main road, bearing right along Cross Lane, following a fork in the lane to the right before joining a track marked to Peel Monument. This is a tough climb if I am honest, but I led the way from the front and coaxed everyone up. The blazing sun probably made it harder than it normal would have been. I was glad I had my zip off trousers on so I could strip down to shorts.
When we reached the top, I cheered everyone up by telling them that the toughest part of the walk was over. Some of us sat and enjoyed lunch in the sun, whilst a couple went and climbed to the top of Peel Tower. (After complaining about paying the £1 admission fee!).
After our lunchbreak, we continued on our way, past the tower, and through a gate onto some open moorland. We walked for about a mile across the moor, and up Harcles Hill (cue more complaints!) We finally reached Pilgrim’s Cross, and took the right hand path as instructed. It is worthy of note here that the instructions don’t tell you that if you take the wrong path you end up on a Ministry of Defence firing range!
After a short time on this path, we headed down towards a wall with a ladder stile on it. We followed the path further down the track, past Buckden Wood, and on to the main road. We crossed the main road, and continued to follow the track down, taking the first turning on the right, following the path over two stiles, dropping down to a stream, crossing it via a footbridge. We then followed the stream for a while, through very pretty woodland, before crossing it again and following a path past a house and on to a road.
A few metres down the road, we turned left and passed under two bridges. As we passed under the bridges, the steam train went over. It was a lovely sight. We then followed a narrow path with the River Irwell on our left. We followed this path until we reached some houses, where the path cut through their gardens. It was a great experience being nosey in people’s gardens!
When we got out of the gardens, we turned left, crossing the River Irwell on a footbridge, before crossing the road, and taking a lane down the side of an old mill. Eventually, we passed through a gate and onto a field. We followed the wall along the field, through another gate. We then crossed the next field diagonally, went through another gate, and followed a path out onto the main road, where we turned right towards the train station.
This walk was really enjoyable. It was tough going at first, but then got easier. We all enjoyed the varied terrain, with open moorland, lush green fields, and pretty woodland.
After the walk we all went and had a few drinks in the Rose and Crown in Ramsbottom. It’s a real gem of a pub, with a crown bowling green behind it. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy the sun, with great views of Ramsbottom and the surrounding countryside. Living in Ramsbottom will be the impetus needed to get the walking back on track.