Chipping (full day) Walk
Following a week of good weather, Saturday had started with rain and a smattering of hail. Was this then the reason that only five arrived at the starting point on the car park in Chipping.
Could it have been the clashing with the boat race, or the Grand National or Preston North End’s home game? Whatever the reason only five of us with an average age which must have exceeded 70 years were first told the story of Lizzie Dean who is reputed to haunt the Sun Inn having hung herself in one of the upper rooms.
Searching the churchyard for her grave, but being unsuccessful, we duly set off at around 11.30 a.m. Passing through the centre of the village and took a route towards Leagram Hall. Having entered a wooded area we emerged on to a drive, but soon diverted to cross open fields taking in views of Pendle Hill in the distance. By now the sun was shining but being in open ground there appeared to be little shelter from a cold biting wind. Having crossed a brook we entered a boggy area which was subsequently exited by a series of styles and crossing a bridge over a river. Spring flowers were in abundance which added to the beauty of the walk. The remains of a lime kiln were viewed adjacent to a beautifully renovated farm, albeit in the middle of nowhere, which while being idyllic at this time of the year, was probably pretty bleak in the winter months.
Having taken a route along a made up path we were in due course confronted by a ford, which fortunately also had a bridge as a means of crossing. Our leader however anxious to test the waterproofing qualities of his boots took a more direct route, and we all continued until in due course we arrived at a remote red phone box which sadly looked the worse for wear. By now we were looking to stop for a lunch break but were equally anxious to find protection from the prevailing winds. Fortunately we arrived at a remote house which had a “To Let” notice and was the property of the Duchy of Lancaster. Moving around the back of the house afforded us the protection we sought and sitting in the sunshine we ate our prepared picnic and recharged our batteries.
Resuming our endeavours we continued again passing renovated stone built properties which were totally in keeping with the surroundings and took a series of paths, some less passable than others out into open moorland with a steady upward incline and again the persistent wind. Having attained what appeared to be a particularly high point on our route we took comfort in the thought that the rest of the journey must therefore be predominantly downhill. This duly brought us back towards our starting point, past the old mill pond and the now derelict Berry’s furniture works, which truly depicted a sad sight.
Returning to the car park at around 4.30 p.m. meant we had been on the go for some 5 hours. Surely this must have done us some good, although it may not have particularly felt so at the time.