Strenuous Leader : Rowland Nock Distance: 13 miles
From Ramsbottom we head out north along the Sculpture Trail to Stubbins following the River Irwell and the East Lancs Railway. From here we head off up through Stubbins Wood and then north heading gradually onto Holcombe Moor. We then follow the Rossendale Way as far as Musden Head, taking in some spectacular views on National Trust land. From here we wend our way round via Crowthorn and Larke Hill returning gently down to Ramsbottom for some well earned tea and tiffin.
Please note that when I planned this walk a week ago it was extremely wet and there were some very muddy patches. Hopefully things have now improved but I would ask you to bear this is mind and make sure you have adequate footwear and, if possible, a change of clothes. Although this walk is relatively long, there is not a great deal of ascent bearing in mind the distance.
Moderate Leader : Chris Cox Distance : 9 miles
Assuming the Army don’t go on a training exercise, this is the route! We leave Ramsbottom on the Irwell Valley Way and, via Brooksbottoms and Peel Walk, we climb up to Peel Tower. Heading over Harcles Hill to Pilgrims Cross, we enter Holcombe Moor which is apparently a TA training ground. Assuming the weather is good, there are good views across the valley and over towards Rivington. Travelling down off the moor via Beetle Hill and Pleasant View Farm, we reach Raven Shore, and turn back to Ramsbottom. The last leg of the walk follows the River Irwell, back to town. The paths can be very muddy in places and it can also be fairly windy on the hillside, but that just adds to the fun!!?