This walk is in my new book Great Mountain Days in the Pennines. I like the title as I don’t really think of our local hills as mountains. More rain was forecast so I cut it back a bit before starting from the layby near Holme Chapel. I walked along the road a bit and passed an old ruined house called The Holme and then decided to do a short cut along a right of way with footpath across the fields. At the end of the field there was a very big timber operation going on with several tractors and saws. They seemed to be cutting up a huge tree of about a metre and a half in diameter. Although the official footpath went right through this lot, I sensibly decided to aim straight for the open gateway so as not to get in their way.
A hi viz man came towards me and suggested that as I was heading to the gate he would “let me off” for straying from the footpath. I said I was trying not to interfere with their wood cutting operations. What a bloody jobsworth. It was far more sensible to keep right away from the vehicles and chainsaws than to stick rigidly to the path and I had made a considered decision. I knew I wasn’t on access land and I knew where the path went but this seemed to be picky for no good reason.
So thoroughly disgruntled, I headed on up through Buckley Wood and Thieveley Wood. When I got to an open spot to eat my lunch, the rain really came on. I plodded on up to the top of Thieveley Pike. This is on access land and you can get to the beacon which is a little way from the trig point but it was so wet and cold and windy that I decided to cut short my walk and return back the same way to my lunch spot and then take a different tack to avoid the wood cutters. I went through Fish Pond Plantation and down to the fish pond itself, only passed one man who was chopping bits of wood in the plantation. Very quickly back at the car.
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.