Strenuous Leader: Rowland Nock Distance: 11 miles
We head out southeast from the lovely village of Downham, wending our way to the summit of Pendle Hill for some outstanding views (hopefully!) of the surrounding area. Please bear in mind that this is a height gain of over 400 metres.
With the really strenuous part of the walk over, we will gently descend into Boar Clough to follow the banks of Upper and Lower Ogden Reservoirs, leading us into the picturesque village of Barley.
Heading north our walk takes us to Lower Black Moss Reservoir where we trend round to the west via Brownlow Farm back to Downham for our well-earned refreshments.
This is a lovely walk, but please bear in mind that there are sections that can be wet underfoot and there is a ford we have to negotiate with stepping-stones. Waterproof boots and gaiters are a definite advantage.
Moderate Leader: Jackie Gudgeon Distance: 9 miles
From Downham village we take field paths to Worsaw End and across to Barkerfield and on to the road at Lane Head. More field paths steadily uphill past Hecklin Farm and Brownlow Farm, Coolham and Clough Head, then downhill to Ings End with lovely views of the Ribble Valley ahead. Across tracks and fields to the village of Rimington from where we head back towards Downham via Bustards Farm, Springs, Wooly Hill and a final stretch of quiet Twiston Lane.
We will have some impressive views of Pendle Hill, weather permitting, but the walk will generally be fairly muddy with some potentially slippy ups and downs. Two short stretches of road.
Leisurely Leader: Derek Lee Distance: 7 miles
700 feet of ascent in 5 bits.
After a short climb out of the village we drop down to the valley bottom, cross Swanside Brook, and press on to Sawley, passing the abbey, and with two short hills to climb on the way (50 feet each). From Sawley we follow the diverted Ribble Way north east to Gisburn Cotes, a gradual 250 feet ascent, and then turn south to cross a valley bottom again before climbing 150 feet up to Rimington. West from here to Falshaw Wood and Downham Mill before a last appetising 200 foot ascent across Downham Green which will deliver us almost straight to the cafe door. An almost equal mixture of footpaths, some of which will be muddy, and hard surface walking.
Easy Leader: Sue Daniels Distance: 5 miles
From Downham I intend to follow the footpath over to Sawley where we can have lunch in the remains of the old abbey, and possibly take refreshments in the Spread Eagle Hotel. We then amble our way back over similar gently rising footpaths.
With not doing a pre-walk I do not know what the conditions will be like underfoot; this time of year it will probably be fairly muddy!