View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Monday, 1 April 2019

Walking with(out) Wainwright 8th March 2019

What the LDWA website says:
'Wainwright's Way is a journey on foot through Alfred Wainwright's life from Lancashire to the Lakes. This walking guide charts a 126 mile long-distance route linking the place where he was born - a Victorian terraced house in Audley Range, Blackburn - with his final resting place on Haystacks, his heavenly corner of Lakeland.'

What the Long Suffering Rick said:
'Fancy a walk?'

The answer was obvious, so at 7.30am on a gloomy Friday morning Rick and I headed north to Whalley to meet up with Bella, Stuart and Pete. We five jumped on the train to Blackburn and then walked back to Whalley to where we'd left our cars. 

It took a bit of mucking about with maps and things to find our way out of Blackburn train station to get to Alf's house but we eventually managed it.

This first bit of the walk was very disappointing. The town was filthy, rubbish and excess apostrophe's were littered all over the place. 'Mucky' doesn't come close.

We stopped outside Alf's old house for a quick photo-shoot but Bella was a bit camera-shy.

 L>R: Pete, Long Suffering, Bella, Stuart

Examples of Blackburn's muckiness:

 Interesting use (or lack of use) of Blackburns apostrophe's:


After a couple of miles of walking the streets of Blackburn we escaped the muckiness and headed north-ish along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath. The path led us past old and new industries: dilapidated mills and modern offices - probably call-centres.

Bella...with part of a tree:

Leaving the towpath around Rishton, we continued north-ishly, following a mix of muddy paths, muddier farm tracks and bits of tarmac.

I spotted this sign on the side of a large farm shed, it brought back memories of my G2CSR and G3 Matchlesses from years ago.

Up until now we'd managed to walk without waterproofs but darkening skies and mizzling rain (the sort that soaks you through) had us digging out our overtrousers.    

 On the Lancashire Way, close to Dean Clough Reservoir

A few lumpy bits of ground presented themselves, some through woodland, others on tarmac.

Descending to cross the River Calder, we were soon back amongst the busy-ness of modern life.

The River Calder

 The weather and the lack of anywhere to sit meant that we were back in Whalley having not eaten. We wandered through the town and the churchyard, searching in vain for shelter.

What I did find were some doors that Rob might find interesting:

Rob has a thing about doors. He's famous for his photographs of them. Really.

All of this wasn't helping us find somewhere to eat.

A bus shelter, with those horrible seats that have you sliding off, was the only shelter we could find - it had to suffice. Butties and fresh scones (made that morning) were scoffed, all washed down with coffee. Fortunately no buses came by.

Unusually, we didn't bother with a pub stop. It was Friday afternoon and the traffic would be quite daft so we (damply) headed off home.

It had been a pleasant day of gentle walking. It was very sad to see the poor state of Blackburn - it certainly didn't encourage you to tarry.

Whalley, on the other hand, just up the road, is a charming village, filled with historic buildings, characterful shops and lovely cafes and restaurants. And pubs. Obv.

Chalk and cheese. Such a shame.

Where we went (south to north):

Around 11 miles. It was good. Apart from Blackburn. and not going to the pub.

We're now plotting the next section, it's looks like it's going to be a long-ish one.


  1. Good stuff - a project similar to the straight-lining that BC and I am embarked on at the moment. Good to see the apostrophe being kept alive! ? Whatever, there is more to write about on this kind of walk than fell walking provides, not that I am decrying the latter by any means.

    1. Thanks Conrad.
      As you know,I enjoy the hillwalking, but there are also very many other walking routes (published and unpublished) that offer huge amounts of interest and enjoyment.

  2. Some pleasant walking there. Such a shame about all the mess


Fireworks Avoidance, Bonfire Night 2019

…or Five go Adventuring Again Lucky The Dog really doesn’t like fireworks, not one little bit. It didn’t take a huge amount of badgering t...