We started in the car park at Barrow Bridge. I won't bore you with the details of how we arrived here, suffice it to say "map reading"! The sign in the carpark, as you can see in the photograph below, greeted us with the "famous 63 steps" we had to climb at the very start of the walk.
The 18th Century cottages along the river, with their access bridges to well-kept gardens, were idyllic.
Complete with Narnia lamp-posts Ben! Initially the walk explored the varied characteristics of this West Pennine valley; deciduous woodland, complete with campers. Chris was sure they shouldn't have such a big fire in the woods. The babbling river, the 63 steps after which there were pasture and small-holdings.
We soon arrived at the hamlet of Walker Fold with a number of old cottages and farm buildings, sympathetically renovated or converted for habitation.
Winter Hill mast was ever-present; you can see it on the right of the picture above. Beyond here the higher parts of the river are lined by coniferous woodland. The path criss-crosses the stream emerging on a track that led us up towards Holden's Farm.
Beyond the farm we entered open moorland (Wilders Moor); here we headed to the cairns at the top of Crooked Edge Hill. The guide tells us that the cairns are of relatively recent construction by are clearly a local landmark.
I had to take a picture of the tower of Rivington Pike and the hill Bec managed to tumble down! Chris is pointing it out, just for Bec!
The promised "dramatic views" were not forthcoming as it was hazy! The return route involved crossing and re-crossing the ascent, forming a series of "figures of eight" and avoiding retracing steps. Walking back, parallel to Burnt Edge, Barrow Bridge Chimney could be seen in the distance; an aid to the required direction.
The final descent involved the 71 newly-constructed steps back to the river. We are very lucky to be so close to such beautiful areas. A walk that isn't strenuous and provides a taste of river, fells, great views, industrial archaeology, nature and woodlands.
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