Bowland & Pendle Walks
River Brock & Beacon Fell
Date: 6th October 2013
Distance: 7.5 miles
Ascent: 850 feet
Time: 4 hours 30 mins
With: Tim and Jack
Start Grid Ref: SD564426
A pleasant, though sometimes muddy, walk along the River Brock before a half circuit of little Beacon Fell.
Route Summary: Beacon Fell Visitor Centre - Salisbury House - Stanalee Lane - Brock Bottom - Higher Brock Bridge - Snape Rake Lane - Boggy Wood - Gill Barn Wood - Wickin's Barn - Heatherway - Beacon Fell - Beacon Fell Tarn - Beacon Fell Visitor Centre
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: When I first developed this website back in early 2010 I made a list of all the hills I wanted to climb in each Pennine area. On this walk I finally completed the list of Bowland summits that I drew up back then.
As with other recent walks in the Forest of Bowland I had the pleasure of the company of Tim and Jack from Bowland Walks, who, unlike me, knew this area very well. Meeting at the popular Beacon Fell Visitor Centre car park we actually started off by heading away from Beacon Fell via field paths and minor roads to reach Brock Bottom.
The following few miles along the River Brock were really quite idyllic. Apparently, along with Beacon Fell itself, this path along the Brock is one of the most popular places in Bowland but we hardly saw anyone. What we did see was plenty of Himalayan Balsam growing alongside the path and riverbank. This species, introduced in the 19th century is classed as a noxious weed in some places. Personally I thought it was quite attractive and had a very distinct, though not unpleasant smell.
The riverside north of Snape Rake Lane was new to both Tim and Jack. Whilst the bridleway through Boggy Wood was, given the name, predictably muddy there was still some lovely sections of walking. Not long afterwards a huge party of ramblers appeared from nowhere so we carried on, eventually leaving the Brock behind and climbing up on to the pastures near Wickins Barn where we were greeted by some impressive views of Fair Snape Fell and Parlick.
Continuing south past Wickins Barn and then Heatherway it was then a quick climb up through a plantation to reach the top of Beacon Fell. The viewfinder on the trig point was rendered largely obsolete by the encroaching tree line obscuring most of the views which were largely restricted to the north and north-west. Rather than head straight back down to the visitor centre we circled around the eastern flank of the hill so that we could visit the attractive little tarn near the Quarry car parking area.
This was a very pleasant little ramble though Beacon Fell itself barely felt 'fell-like' at all and was, it has to be said, something of an anti-climax for my Bowland fells 'to do' list of summits. I'd also been hoping that we'd have some nice patches of blue sky and so was disappointed with the cloudy conditions. Still I can't complain too much, weatherwise I've done pretty well this year.