Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Date : Saturday 2nd of October 2004

Location : Pendle Hill and Downham

Occasion : A chance to walk different hills at the invitation of our friends, Rob and Judith.

Walk details : A two part walk of 10.5 miles and 2380 feet of climbing.

Up and over the hill, then down for lunch at Downham Village. The return trip was up and over again but this time missing the summit.

Weather :A cooler autumn day with a bit of winter thrown in before lunch (thunder, lightning, rain, hail) and improving with sunshine and longer distant views by the end.

Start Reference SD 771 386 ( Lancashire)


Pendle Hill Route - map courtesy of Memory Map


Ahh. . . lets fill the lungs with a little fresh air.

The car park at the Nick of Pendle meant we had a slight head start in terms of altitude but we had to wrap up warm due to the wind.

Local industry - Pendle Ski Club and Restaurant on the site of the old Wellsprings Public House.

They are re-laying and extending the dry ski slope in the grounds of the pub / restaurant. It looks a bit if a mess now but hopefully will improve. Any chance of someone taking the square edges of the building and painting it a little more in keeping with the local environment before the contractors leave ?

The real start of the walk - up the moorland on a well defined track, very damp in places but not surprising in view of recent weather. Pendle Hill summit is the rounded top ahead as we crossed Pendleton Moor.

Walking here is very different to the Lake District, and much more like the Peaks or Pennines.

The Moorland grass turns to peat bog on the flatter tops. The valley here contains the infant Pendle River.

Once across the stream we started the last part of the climb on a paved walkway through the boggy ground.

There has been a tremendous effort to carry in stone and pave all the way to the top. This has paid dividends in stopping the erosion caused by the many people using this popular walk. The down side is that it is just like walking a street pavement. Could they not have spaced them out a little and let the grass grow in between ?

Crowding the summit trig point. Holly, Harry, Ann(front) Judith, and Rob.

Below us the towns of Nelson and Colne. Above us a big grey cloud - time for the waterproofs.


We crossed the summit to the gate in the wall to the north. From there a good track leads diagonally down towards lunch. Before it does however the heavens opened and the contents of the cloud descends on us.

The second photo even shows the hail stones !

As we left the hill the storm clouds swirled above.

Four wet people and two wet dogs were stepping out the pace to reach the village and with it the promise of a warm fire, a beer and hopefully lunch.

Downham village has been built and maintained in as close to original style as possible. The lack of overhead wires, TV aerials and modern village signs has meant it has been popular with film and TV program makers.

Currently the BBC is filming the series "Born and Bred" in the village, using these two temporary shop fronts.

The excellent Assheton Arms at Downham (TV's Signalman's Arms) and the (fibreglass) War Memorial.

It was raining as we went in, and sunny and dry as we came out an hour or so later.

In between we took advantage of their seafood reputation and were rewarded with

the largest fish and chips and mushy peas we had ever seen . . . eat your heart out Tony Richards.

No filming today, the sign is tucked in the driveway opposite the pub.


In the shop on the way back we noticed something every budding mountain climber might need

Everest toilet tissue !


Time to leave the village and head back.


Worsaw End Farm

This was the barn used in the Hayley Mills Film "Whistle Down the Wind" all those years back.

I remember seeing it in a cinema in Builth Wells whilst on Scout camp as a lad ! (front row seats 6d.)

Autumn hedgerow fruits abound this year. Hawthorn, Elder, Rose hip and Blackberries in profusion.

Crossing the fields, this old fashioned squeeze stile proved almost too narrow for Holly.

From here our route was to take us up alongside the bracken filled gully in the 2nd photo and then diagonally up onto the ridge.

From near the top of the first gully where the view had widened significantly.

In the foreground the smaller Worsaw Hill with Downham Village behind. In the distance the high peaks of Ingleborough and Pen y Gent some twenty miles away to the north.

Back onto the hill proper for the second time.

This way round the steep ascent was up not down, and the large size of our lunch was beginning to tell !

Afternoon sun highlights the fields below as we take a quick break near the top.

That might even be a bit of blue sky too !

The Scout Cairn on the western side of Pendle Hill.


Traversing the standing water and soft peat bogs on Mearley Moor.

The fence posts carry a top wire for the recently rebuilt stone wall.


Back to the car after a last climb up from the Ski Club to the Nick itself.

Below is the village of Sabden and the town of Burnley in the distance, visible now in the afternoon sunshine.


Sunday - a few extra pictures in and around Whalley in Lancashire.

The wonderfully named "Marjorie" on the banks of the Calder, and the weir above the village.

A female Mallard Duck clear of the fast flowing water, a Heron enjoying a little piece and quiet,

and the Parish Church in the village.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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