John J had been in touch a couple of weeks ago asking if I fancied coming along on an LDWA challenge walk in the West Pennine Moors, organised by the East Lancs group. I hadn't been on any sort of challenge walk for many, many years since I did the Dartmoor Ten Tors and the OATS walk several times between 1996 and 2000. However after a quick look at the route, I decided that I would enter the reasonable sounding 18 mile route.
|Alistair at Affetside Roman Cross|
|Elaborate bridge over the railway near Turton Tower|
Just after the dividing point for the 18 and 25 mile routes, we recrossed the B6391 and headed down to our second checkpoint at Turton & Entwistle Reservoir, where there was an impressively large array of food and drink available! By now the day was getting quite warm and it was time to dig out the suncream and sun hut.
|Turton & Entwistle Reservoir|
We then crossed the moorland of Edgworth Moor to reach Broadhead Road, from where we continued on a further footpath and then a minor road to reach the edge of Holcombe Moor. We crossed the reasonably level moorland for around a kilometre to reach the base of Bull Hill. From here the official route skirted the hill to the north, but I was keen to nip up to the summit having checked earlier in the week that there was no firing taking place as it lies on an MoD firing range. Therefore as no red flags were flying, we ascended up the twenty-five or so metres to reach the trig point on the summit of Bull Hill (HuMP).
|Bull Hill summit|
|Pilgrims Cross||Pilgrims Cross|
|View back towards the Pilgrims Cross on Holcombe Moor|
|Stream in Redisher Wood|
Update 01/04/12: Martin's excellent take on the walk can be found here and more details about the challenge walk can be found on the LDWA website (links also added at start of post too).