25 May 2008

Ightenhill to the "Bay Horse Inn" Fence

Looking from our garden towards Pendle

Whilst the weather still attempts to hold onto Spring and remains dry we decided it was time to pull out the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map for our area, see if we could walk across the footpath that cuts across the back field and find our way successfully across country to the "Bay Horse Inn" Fence. We set off mid afternoon and stepped into the field immediately sinking up to our ankles in a bog. Not a great start but we headed on, crossing to the footbridge across the Calder and up a shingle lane that passes by Pendle Hall farmhouse.

Looking back at our route from Pendle Hall after crossing the River Calder

From here we had to locate a path heading east and finding this we headed off in the direction of a copse of woodland sticking out of a valley which was clearly marked on the map. Apart from a few cows who moved rather reluctantly out of our way as they had done the sensible thing and lay down against the gale force winds that have struck up this weekend not a single person was seen all day.

The hidden valley at Moor Isles Clough

Arriving at a stile above this valley or mini gorge and checking the map that we were still on the right path we discovered the place is called Moor Isles Clough. The path leads down into a lovely leafy steeply sided gorge with a small brook gurgling through at the bottom. A fantastic location right on our doorstep that we did not even know existed. Absolutely full of the sounds of birds and wildlife and with wild garlic growing profusely on the banks of the stream.

Wild Garlic in Moor Isles Clough

Crossing the stream by the footbridge ad climbing to the other side we continued towards the village of Fence. Soon the white building of the Bay Horse could be seen and we arrived slightly muddy but rather hungry. This used to be a favourite restaurant of ours when the previous owners Carl and Marie ran the place. Food especially the fish was always excellent even if the service was best described as erratic. Carl and Marie have finally moved on and the new owners have elected to run the place with an almost identical menu. As Carl himself did much of the cooking we found it odd on our first visit after the change of hands to find the menu unchanged. I would have liked the new owners to try to introduce something fresh and new to make their own stamp on the restaurant, so we left disappointed last time. Perhaps it was all the fresh air from the walk and the great wine but this time everything was rather good.

Dinner at the Bay Horse Fence

12 May 2008

Deck Summer Visitor

Wow could this be an indication that we are going to get a summer at long last. I think I'll wait and see but the swallows are in the back field and the frogs have returned to the pond. Thinking back to last year I'm sure we got a few days sun like this and then that was it for the year.
To celebrate this change in the weather I dusted off the MTB from the garage which has been in winter hibernation and took it on a 15 mile round trip on the canal, not a great idea as this morning I can hardly walk let alone sit down. Still my fitness regime has started, this time next year you wont recognise me :)

10 May 2008

Bride Stones Walk

Finally a little sun and dry weather has arrived, so on a lovely evening and taking directions from "The Walking Englishman" website we set out to the edge of town where Lancashire becomes Yorkshire and the Landscape becomes moors and craggs.
I have never seen these stones before or heard of them and our route to them follows the old pack horse roads and bridleways that criss cross this area.
They overlook the Calder Valley and stare down at Todmorden from high up on the Bride Stones Moor. The Bride Stones are a super example of Yorkshire bouldering crags formed when glaciated within the last 15000 years. These edge tors are periglacial in origin and probably the result of freeze thaw and sand blasting. They post-date the end of the Devensian Ice age and they are spread all over the hillside. Many of the interesting ones are individually named. They include the Indian's Head, the Villain, the Cheeseblock and the Bride Stone itself which is a large rounded rock in the shape of an egg perched on a slender pillar. It is an amazing sight as it stands precariously on its small base. Myth has it that the stone is a rich source of fertility for newly married couples.
I have included a link below which will take you to an album showing the bridal paths, old abandoned dwellings that are scattered around the moor and some of the local population of spring lambs that live up here. Also if you click on the title of this post it should take you to the Walking English man's site for full maps and other walks in the area.

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