Bowland Fells

image879370459.jpgYesterday found me walking in an area of the country I have never visited before. The Bowland Fells have never really jumped out at me as a potential location. I have been aware of it’s existence I guess, but there’s always been somewhere else, more enticing, to visit.

However, I needed somewhere fairly close to home and somewhere to test out my knee which has been giving me a bit of gip for the last couple of weeks, sao I didn’t want anything too steep either on the ascent or the descent. The Bowland Fells seemed like a good option.

I had plenty of company this week too. Tex Gore was free and Rambling Pete was back from his foreign training course and eager to get some hill walking done.

We arrived at a small car park beside a monument labelled Jubilee Tower, at the foot of Grit Fell, not far from Clougha Pike, bit we would not be visiting that hill today, we were heading in the other direction.

We chose to get the road section out of the way first, which also meant we wouldn’t have a long climb back to the car at the end of the walk. We walked through the tiny settlements of Lower Lee and then Tarnbrook, both charming but deserted. The open fell was a pleasure to find after the road section and the temperature dropped quickly as we climbed out of the shelter of the valley.

We followed a well maintained Land Rover track up the fell, obviously supporting the grouse shooting that goes on here, soon arriving at Brown Syke, which is a desolation of peat hags and heather. Great!

If there’s a path across here, as the OS map suggests then we couldn’t find it, but it’s a great place to visit, very desolate. It’s easy to route find, even in the worst fog as you simply follow the wall and then the fence line.

We met a lone walker just before lunch, coming in the other direction and he warned us of some boggy sections ahead. So we decided to find some shelter out of the increasingly cold and strong wind and grab some lunch (see picture).

Much of this walk is desolate and remote and if you enjoy heather and lonely fells then this is the place to be. We saw only one more pair of walkers all day. There are many gritstone outcrops along the fell ridge and we soon came to high point of the walk at Ward’s Stone. Here there is an unusual trig point. Unusual in that it is less than half a mile from another trig point pillar.

The final mile or so of ridge walk was very hard going and tested my knee nicely, lots of rocks on the path and boggy peaty sections to jump across, but it held up well I’m pleased to report.

The final half mile down to the car was the wettest section of the walk, but that at least served to clean the majority of muck and peat off our boots.

I had no signal on the summit, so this had to be posted from home.

Now using iBlogger for the iPhone which allows me to add a single photo to the blog, but unfortunately I can’t seem to position it. Maybe there’s a way I haven’t found yet, so a bit more experimentation is probably required.

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