Saturday 22 March 2008

Pennine Way: Day 4 - Blackshaw Head to Lothersdale

Saturday 22nd March

Distance: 27.5km; Ascent: 800m; Dry, sunny but windy; with Lynsey

After an unexpected comfortable night indoors and the pleasures of a cooked breakfast this morning, we set off walking and soon rejoined the Pennine Way.  We descended down through fields to reach a pleasant footbridge over Colden Water, where it was noticeably cold as the sun had yet to reach the valley bottom this morning!

Bridge over Colden Water
We ascended northwards across farmland to eventually emerge onto open moorland, where we traversed the north-east side of Standing Stone Hill before descending northwards towards the dam of Gorple Lower Reservoir.  The next section of path took us along the pleasant little moorland valley of Graining Water before picking up a private roate towards Walshaw Dean reservoirs where there was a sign that bizarrely warned us to beware of members of the public!

Graining Water
Beware of Lynsey!
Luckily we didn't come across any other members of the public on the private road so there was no need to worry!  After crossing the dam of the lower reservoir we picked up a path to reach the east shore of Walshaw Dean Middle Reservoir.

By Walshaw Reservoirs
Just over a hundred metres of ascent now lay before us, some on slabbed paths, before we reached the ruins of Top Withins where the path suddenly became somewhat busier!  And we even came across a signpost which was in Japanese as well as English!  Clearly this area of moorland must be popular with international visitors!

Near Top Withins
After descending to pass Ponden Reservoir, we ascended up onto another area of South Pennine moorland to pass Little Wolf Stones before descending again to reach Cowling.  Just a few kilometres left for us now as we walked across undulating fields and minor roads to reach Lothersdale at dusk, just avoiding having to get headtorchs out!

Lambs somewhere near Cowling
Our campsite for the night appeared to be someone's garden on the edge of the village, where after dinner we wandered down to the pub for a drink before retiring to bed, on quite a cold evening for early spring - snow was on the way!

Written up in August 2012 from photos and memories

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