The Wrinkly Rambler

Pleasant walks with camera and three dogs

Rivington to Hempshaws via Old Rachels

A walk of just under six miles on a warm and sunny July afternoon, starting from Rivington and going to Lead Mines Clough across rough pasture land and passing at least three farm ruins. I’ve been around these paths many times previously but never in an anticlockwise direction, so I thought it would at least make the views a little different.

Map of the route - click on a picture to see an enlargement.

Map of the route – click on a picture to see an enlargement.

I parked the car on one of the paths just off Rivington Lane (grid ref: SD629 140) then John and I, together with my two dogs, crossed over the lane leading to Rivington Hall Barn (known to local folk as Top Barn) and headed uphill.

Start point in Rivington.

Start point in Rivington.

At the top of the rise we turned left (straight on would take you through one of several memorial arboretums dotted around the Rivington CountryPark).

Turn left at the junction.

Turn left at the junction.

After walking along the path for a little over 1/4ml we came to a junction of several paths. We chose the one that took us slightly left before passing immediately to the left of the house hidden amongst the trees in the picture (grid ref: SD633 144).

Bear left then right past the house.

Bear left then right past the house.

Once past the house the path looks a little overgrown, but it is perfectly usable and leads up to a wider path where we turned right to go uphill.

Up the narrow dirt path.

Up the narrow dirt path.

After a few yards we passed through this gate and continued uphill. To the right of the path is a small clough containing a stream heading down towards Lower Rivington Reservoir, whilst over the fence to the left is meadow land often full of grazing sheep.

Through the gate and up the hill.

Through the gate and up the hill.

Almost at the top of the rise, and just as the main path heads to the right, we took the dirt path off to the left.

Take the path to the left.

Take the path to the left.

This quickly opened out to become a walled path, where we continued straight on. This is an excellent stopping point to savour the excellent views.

Along the walled path.

Along the walled path.

On reaching the end of the walled path we turned right to head towards Lower House car park at the northern end of Rivington Country Park and just off Sheephouse Lane.

Turn right to the car park.

Turn right to the car park.

Just a few yards along the road we came to the car park (grid ref: SD637148) where we took the path to the left.

Follow the path up to the top car park.

Follow the path up to the top car park.

At the top end of the car park we took the dirt path off to the right.

Straight ahead on the dirt path.

Straight ahead on the dirt path.

A few yards along the path we passed through the stile onto rough pastureland. There were a lot of sheep grazing here, but as they were all in clear view I allowed Brett and Sam to remain off the lead whilst keeping a constant eye on them to ensure that they didn’t stray far from me. Whilst Brett has never shown any interest in sheep, there was a time when Sam would have attempted his version of a round-up. However, regular training has ensured he confines such activity to rounding up tennis balls and sticks thrown for him and walking close to me when directed. 😉

Through the stile and straight on.

Through the stile and straight on.

A short way uphill there was a secluded little picnic area off to the right, but I made sure foodaholic Sam and ever inquisitive Brett didn’t pester the picnicers as we walked by. 😉

Past the picnic area.

Past the picnic area.

As the path leveled out we crossed this wooden footbridge that spanned the bed of what should have been a small stream, but of late has temporarily dried up due to lack of rain.

Across the wooden footbridge.

Across the wooden footbridge.

Eventually we came to the edge of the woods we had seen ahead, where we climbed over the stile. Whilst this proved quite easy for John, Sam and I, Brett seemed to find it beyond him, in spite of several demonstrations by Sam. Although Sam is the smaller of the two dogs and one of his back legs is held in place by permanent internal stitches, he has more self confidence than Brett and found the task of using the steps of the stile an easy launch pad for jumping over to the other side. In the end I took Brett a little further to one side and found a point where I could lift up the bottom of the wire fence sufficiently for him to quirm underneath. I should add that sheep wouldn’t be able to squirm under, unless they had human help.

Note to the owners of this land (possibly United Utitlities): A more dog friendly stile would be much appreciated by me and other walkers. 😉

Over the stile and into the woods.

Over the stile and into the woods.

And on exiting the woods John, Sam and I climbed/jumped over another dog unfriendly stile that required me to find a spot for Brett to squirm under. 😉

Over the stile and out of the woods.

Over the stile and out of the woods.

A short distance from the woods we crossed a third stile. Fortunately this one didn’t cause Brett any problem in surmounting it, possibly because it was a little lower and the steps were a bit wider.

Over another stile.

Over another stile.

A few yards downhill we crossed this wooden footbridge before descending into a small gully.

Over the footbridge and down into the gully.

Over the footbridge and down into the gully.

At the bottom of the gully we crossed over another footbridge then followed the path uphill alongside the fence on the left. The last time I came through here (albeit a few years ago) the bridge wasn’t in place, and the gully bottom was full of thick oozing yellow clay that clung to your boots like glue. Well at least some things have improved with the passage of years. 😉

Across another footbridge and up by the fence.

Across another footbridge and up by the fence.

At the top of the climb the path came out onto the Belmont road (grid ref: SD643 154), where we turned left and walked downhill towards Moses Cocker’s Farm.

Through the stile onto the road then turn left.

Through the stile onto the road then turn left.

As the road levelled out we walked up the path to Moses Cocker’s Farm and climbed the stile into the farmyard (grid ref: SD639 154).

Over the stile into Moses Cockers farm.

Over the stile into Moses Cockers farm.

At the top of the farm track we turned right and climbed over this ladder stile. Neither Brett nor Sam were happy to attempt the stile, but the bottom corner of the gate provided them with access without any help from me.

Over the ladder stile out of the farm yard.

Over the ladder stile out of the farm yard.

A few yards farther on you would normally have to climb the stile over the fence but on this occasion the gate was lying on the ground and allowed easy access to the rough pastureland beyond.

Over the fallen gate.

Over the fallen gate.

On other occasions when I have passed through here there have been sheep and cattle roamming around that had necessitated Brett and Sam remaining on their leads, but today there were none about so I let them free.

Along by the side of the fence.

Along by the side of the fence.

After following the fence for a short distance the path eventually bears off to the right (grid ref: SD639 157) to head in a north easterly direction.

Follow the path parallel with the wall.

Follow the path parallel with the wall.

A very short distance further on we came to this way marker cum signpost that was a memorial to one Derek Taylor (1931 – 2000) who was General Secretary of the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society for 22 years. The sign points left towards the faint remains of Simms Farm (that we will pass a little later), but we continued onward now in an east north east direction.

Straight on here.

Straight on here.

The paths here are a little faint on the ground but we continued walking in an east north east direction towards the ruins of Old Rachels Farm.

Heading towards the ruins of Old Rachels Farm

Heading towards the ruins of Old Rachels Farm

After about 1/4ml we came to the ruins of Old Rachels Farm (grid ref: SD642 160) where we passed through close by the left hand wall. From the ruins the path continued to be faintly discernible but heading now mainly east towards a stone wall.

Pass to the left of the ruins.

Pass to the left of the ruins.

On reaching the stone wall the waymarker directed us to the left for a few yards before turning right to again travel eastward.

Bear left by the waymarker post.

Bear left by the waymarker post.

By now the faint path had become a much more distinct dirt track that quickly brought us to a crossing over the infant River Yarrow, before ascending to a stile and then continuing upwards to another stone wall.

Cross the infant River Yarrow then up to the stile.

Cross the infant River Yarrow then up to the stile.

At the end of the stone wall the dirt path veered left and became a much broader stone path. From this point, and for some distance, there were a lot of sheep about and because many of them were hidden in the abundant reeds at the side of the path it was necessary to put Brett and Sam back on their leads (much to their disgust) 😉

The dirt path now becomes a paved one.

The dirt path now becomes a paved one.

This stone path quickly brought us to the ruins of Higher Hempshaws Farm (grid ref: SD647 162).

Reaching the ruins of Higher Hempshaws Farm.

Reaching the ruins of Higher Hempshaws Farm.

Continuing along the broad path for about another couple of hundred yards we passed by the ruins of Lower Hempshaws Farm.

Passing the ruins of Lower Hempshaws Farm.

Passing the ruins of Lower Hempshaws Farm.

As the path gradually descended towards Lead Mines Clough we came to this stile. The sheep here were very reluctant to vacate the path but a little bit of patience and the presence of the dogs eventually persuaded them to wander away. By now we had passed the faint ruins of Simms Farm (so faint that I forgot to take a picture – sorry!). 😉

Sheep on the path.

Sheep on the path.

Eventually we came to the stile leading into Lead Mines Clough (grid ref: SD630 163) wherer we descended the gravel path to meet the Limestone Brook.

Through the stile and down into Lead Mines Clough.

Through the stile and down into Lead Mines Clough.

At the bottom of the gravel path we carried straight on at this junction with another path.

Straight on here.

Straight on here.

With all the dry weather of late there wasn’t very much water in the Limestone Brook, but that didn’t stop Sam going for a quick paddle. 😉

Not much water in Limestone Brook.

Not much water in Limestone Brook.

A short distance along the path we crossed the footbridge over the brook to walk alongside a stone wall towards the exit from Lead Mines Clough.

Over the footbridge.

Over the footbridge.

At the end of the path (grid ref: SD627 159) we passed through the gate at Allance Bridge and continued straight ahead along Parsons Bullough Road.

Through the gate and straight on along the road.

Through the gate and straight on along the road.

About 1/4ml along Parsons Bullough Road we turned left to follow the path alongside Yarrow Reservoir (grid ref: SD642 160).

Turn left here.

Turn left here.

Here we ignored the path off to the right and continued straight on downhill for about another half mile.

Straight on here.

Straight on here.

At the bottom of the descent we turned left onto another path (grid ref: SD624 148).

Go left here.

Go left here.

A few yards farther on we turned right through a stile to walk alongside a small stream.

Turn right and walk alongside a small stream.

Turn right and walk alongside a small stream.

At the end of the stream side path we passed through another stile. This area has been extensively refurbished from its former boggy state into a much more easily traversed path.

Up the steps at the side of the stream.

Up the steps at the side of the stream.

A few yards farther on we ascended the stone steps, which have also been much improved, into a small field where we continued straight ahead to pass through the stile onto Sheephouse Lane (grid ref: SD626 145).

Through the stile onto Sheephouse Lane.

Through the stile onto Sheephouse Lane.

We immediatley crossed over the lane, up the steps then across Rivington Green and along Rivington Lane.

Up the steps and across Rivington Green.

Up the steps and across Rivington Green.

A short distance along Rivington Lane we turned left up the lane leading to the car (grid ref: SD629 140) and the end of another very pleasant walk.

Turn left and back to the car.

Turn left and back to the car.

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