Bowland & Pendle Walks
Date: 30th January 2007
Distance: 10.9 miles
Ascent: 1215 feet
Time: 4 hours 15 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD803629
A rather long and in places arduous walk from Gigglesewick Station to the modest outcrop of Whelpstone Crag.
Route Summary: Giggleswick Station - Cocket Lane - Cocket Moss - Giggleswick Common - Gisburn Common - Whelp Stone Crag - Hesley Lane - Rathmell - Giggleswick Station
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: The weather was beautiful when I left home but once over Blubberhouses moor I entered a grey dreary world and it stayed like that for the rest of the day.
The long approach walk was as messy as I feared and Cocket Lane and Cocket Moss were very muddy and marshy indeed. The only feature of interest in the early part of the walk was the outcrop of Birchshow Rocks.
Things started to pick up when I got onto the open access land on Giggleswick Common. Sticking to the high ground I went up to the nearest high point on Big Hill for what should have been an excellent panorama were it not for the low cloud blocking most of the Dales heights. Continuing on I didn’t really enjoy walking so close to the upper edge of the Gisburn Forest plantations until I got to the smaller saplings. Not only did this reveal a view out towards the Bowland Fells (which could have been excellent) but there was also a sudden strong fragrance of wood in the air it was like been in a pine furniture shop.
I was rather relieved after what seemed an age to finally approach the rocky outcrops known as Whelpstone Crag. They are quite impressive in a modest way particularly for Bowland and after a good exploration of the top I settled down for some beef broth.
To avoid a repeat of the muddy paths of the first part of the walk I decided to walk nearly all the way back via the road. This was hard on the feet but while it was quite nice walking through Rathmell I later nearly choked to death when I had to walk just a few yards from a muck spreader in action - it truly was the most overpoweringly nauseating smell I have come across.
Whelpstone Crag would be a superb viewpoint in the right conditions and Giggleswick Common certainly has some rambling potential but the approach and return is so dull I doubt if I will return to either, at least not for a very long time.