Bowland & Pendle Walks
Totridge & Langden Brook
Date: 17th Dec 2005
Distance: 8.4 miles
Ascent: 1540 feet
Time: 3 hours 50 mins
With: on my own
Start Grid Ref: SD646505
A fine walk to Totridge, one of the highest Bowland fells, and including a lengthy stretch of the beautiful Langden Brook.
Route Summary: Hareden - Langden Brook - Bleadale Water - Bleadale Grains - Totridge - Hareden
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: What turned out to be quite an incident packed walk started off innocently enough when I got out of the car in time to see a heron flying above Langden Brook.
The initial walk along the valley of Langden Brook takes you deep into the southern half of the Bowland Moors and was a really lovely section. The excitement started when I turned off to follow the path south along Bleadale Water. After fording Langden Brook with relative ease I found Bleadale Water a much harder prospect and I only managed it with the aid of my walking poles and a large slice of luck and even then I got a boot full of cold water.
Bleadale was a lovely valley though my enjoyment of it was tempered by the low sun which was directly in my eyes almost the entire time it took me to get out of the valley. By that time I was beginning to tire of my enclosed surroundings and was getting impatient for some views. Finally, after losing the path amongst the numerous streamlets that are the source of Bleadale Water I got to the boundary fence that marks the watershed along the ridge.
The journey north along the boundary fence proved to take quite a bit more time than anticipated. This was due to the peaty and boggy conditions on the watershed. In some ways I was fortunate in it being so cold because much of it was frozen. On the other hand it was difficult to tell what was frozen solid and what wasn't. On a few occasions I went up to my knee in semi-frozen peat and I found the best way of dealing with the conditions was to move as quickly as possible to give the frozen earth less time to give way.
The summit of Totridge, which from my line of approach seemed to be on a large peat hag, proved to be a good viewpoint. As well as the Three Peaks, Pendle Hill, South and West Pennines one could also see most of the main Bowland tops as well as a distant view of the Lake District. It was however also very cold so I spent less time at the summit than I would have liked.
The excitement was not over yet though. After the steep drop down to the saddle with Mellor Knoll I was chased out of a field by a ram. After that unnerving (not to mention embarrassing) experience I was understandably nervy of the sheep in the next few fields.