|Walk:||Whittle Hills, Walton Summit Branch of canal, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Johnsons Hillock, Ollerton Fold, Withnell Fold, Hough Hill, Denham Quarry|
|Start Point:||Roadside off Woodend Road (PR6 7TZ)||Grid Reference:||SD 574 226|
|Distance:||11 miles||Ascent:||1,000 feet|
|Time:||Dry with little wind|
|Comments:||A late addition to the programme, this walk was chosen for its interest and variety. Our first stop was at a display of millstones in Whittle-le-Woods where there used to be a wharf on the bank of the Lancaster Canal for the distribution of gritstone and coal. After crossing beneath the M61 we continued on to Town Lane where the Walton Summit Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is being made into a nature reserve. As we joined the Leeds & Liverpool canal there is a section which has been developed by the Galloways Society in conjunction with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society. Interpretation boards can be seen describing the workings of the locks and here we also see examples of rope grooves worn into bollards and bridges as the horses pulled the barges. A short diversion from the canal took us past Withnell Fold and Ollerton Fold before rejoining. the canal. We then made our way through fields to Denham Hill quarry and back to our starting point.|
The millstones, Whittle-le-Woods
The derelict section of the canal
A slippery slope leads to . . .
a gap between two tunnels . . .
one side taking the River Lostock
on its way downstream . . .
and the other side heading . . .
beneath the M61
Navigating another muddy path - with a few comments from the troops!
The groups finds out about the closed off section of the Walton Summit Branch . . .
and Phil captures a grest reflection
A robin decides to join us . . .
as we make use of a picnic table and benches . . .
for our morning stop
Phil, Les and Lesley . . .
check out the hook used when horses pulled the barges under the bridge
Remains of ironwork fitted to stone bridge parapets to protect the stone from damage . . .
and grooves worn into the edges of a bridge
A 'watering stop' . . .
where the group look hopeful . . .
but we continue along the route . . .
where we can see more reflections . . .
and the group gets slightly ahead of the leader . . .
but have to retrace their steps to cross the bridge . . .
and tackle a short, steep ascent
And you thought your path was muddy!
Timwe for lunch as we return to the canal
Yet another muddy stile!!!
Views over Preston on the way to . . .
Hough Hill from where we can see Blackpool Tower in one direction and Darwen Tower in the other direction
A shadowy group waves to Phil across the gap
Inspecting the walls of the quarry . . .
including the 'Red Horses"
What have they found . . .
rocks encased in the tree roots
Sign of spring just around the corner perhaps?
John finds a new use for an old stile