Bowland & Pendle Walks
Whins Brow & Middle Knoll
Date: 15th February 2007
Distance: 10.2 miles
Ascent: 2188 feet
Time: 4 hours 20 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD646505
A grand walk in the central Bowland region visiting the shapely Middle Knoll and Whins Brow, one of the finest viewpoints in the area.
Route Summary: Hareden - Sykes Farm - Trough House - Staple Oak Fell - Whins Brow - Ouster Rake - Brennand Farm - Middle Knoll - River Dunsop - Closes Barn - Hareden
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: I started the walk in the small parking area next to Langden Brook where I had started the Totridge walk 15 months before. I did not mind repeating the initial mile along Langden Brook because it is so beautiful.
After a stint on the road past Sykes Farm I eventually got on to the bridleway which provided an excellent and mostly easy route to the ridge above me. The path also gave great retrospective views over Losterdale to Blaze Moss and also the Trough of Bowland. Once upon the ridge I first 'bagged' the minor top of Staple Oak Fell before heading over to Whins Brow.
The ground was tussocky rather than boggy and not as bad as I had thought it would be. What slowed progress was the very strong wind. Whins Brow is possibly the best viewpoint for Bowland that I have yet been to. As it is fairly central it is well situated for appraising many of the other main fells such as Totridge, Fair Snape Fell, Hawthornthwaite Fell, Ward's Stone, Wolfhole Crag, White Hill and Whitendale Fell.
As it was so windy I did not stay long and after rejoing the bridleway I began my descent down the superb Ouster Rake which afforded magnificent views down into the Brennand Valley and over to Middle Knoll. Clearly the good tracks and roads that give access to Dunsop Valley, Brennand Valley and Whitendale has made the area popular with low level walkers as I met the first of a number of people upon reaching Brennand Farm.
After a steep climb there was thankfully a handy stile at the highest point of the wall that gave access to the highest point on Middle Knoll. After a short detour out to the summit cairn I began to descend and about half way down, where I at last found some shelter from the wind, I ate my lunch including my first taste of game soup. The rest of the walk was almost entirely on the narrow open road to Dunsop Bridge.
While the area where the Brennand and Whitendale rivers was spoilt a bit by the number of pylons, bridges and water authority buildings the rest of the walk still produced some nice views particularly of the Brennand Valley and the Dunsop river.
Despite the often leaden skies I enjoyed this walk immensely and most of what I had seen made a big impression on me. I saw quite a lot of birdlife as well including an oyster catcher on Langden Brook and a dipper on the river Dunsop.