Tuesday, 27 December 2016


27th December

Way back in July 2009 we travelled up to Chorley for a weekend of caching.  Our main aim was to make a start on the L E G E N D letterbox caches.  The LEGEND series consists of 623 Letterbox Hybrid geocaches in the North West of England. There's not a micro amongst them and the terrain is varied.  We completed the Beamers Trail Section in July 2009 and returned in October 2009 to attempt the Tacklers Trail Section but the weather took a turn for the worst and we had to give up after only completing a short section.

Having recently moved to the area we thought it was a great opportunity to restart our attempt on these caches as they involve walks in some fantastic locations and living closer it would be easier to plan visits around the weather.

Today we planned a 7 mile walk up to Jubilee Tower on Darwen Hill and pick up some of the  WWWTT - Witton Weavers Way Tacklers Trail caches that we missed on our last visit and any other caches en route.

We parked at Roddlesworth Information Centre, Tockholes Road, Tockholes (pron. 'Tockles') to start our walk.  There are public toilets there, a cafe and a pub.
Enchanted Forest

The first bit of the walk took us through some lovely woodland and very soon we recognised the route from our previous visit - this time minus the torrential rain.

As we continued on we came to the ruins of Hollinshead Hall.   Another area that was nice to explore in the dry weather.


Soon we came to the road and made our way up Cartridge Hill where at the summit we were rewarded with an amazing panorama stretching from the mountains of the Lake District to North Wales.

The route took us past Lyons Den which is an isolated clump of trees.  Lyons Den - named after John Lyon, a seven foot tall giant who apparently constructed a simple house of turf and heather here around 1790. The story goes that when three local men went to visit him, they saw him crawling out of the lowly entrance of the hut on all fours. One of them called out 'See... he's coming out of the Lyons Den!' The name stuck.

We followed the path until we reached Jubilee Tower, referred to locally as Darwen Tower.  The 86ft tower was completed in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.  It also celebrates victory for the local people gaining access to the moors after the landowner had closed the paths and denied access.

The tower cost £773 3s 5d to build which is roughly equivalent to £720,000 today.  The tower was built by a local builder James Whalley using a horse and cart to carry the materials.  In 2010 the top was blown off in a storm and powder-coated stainless steel replacement was lifted into place using a helicopter in 2012.

The tower is open to the public and you can climb to the top of the tower using the stone spiral staircase.

Great views from the top of the tower
Here are some links to news items about the tower.

Tower in pictures
2010 storm damage
Dome replacement delayed due to high winds

From the tower we retraced our steps back along the path until we reached an opening in the fence and then headed steeply down the hill and back to the car park where we'd started.

A really enjoyable 7 mile walk.

28th December

Today we decided to head back out to Darwen Moor to try and complete the rest of the WWWTT caches.  The forecast was for frost today so it was time to dig out the lined walked trousers, it's been a couple of years since I've had to wear those.

We parked at Crookfield Road Car Park just off Belmont Road and set off just as the sun was coming up.  The ground was frozen underfoot.  I love being out walking when there's been a hard frost, it makes it so much easier to walk on any muddy paths.

As we walked up to higher ground across the moors it got foggier and eventually visibility became quite poor.

We continued walking and following the Witton Weavers Trail signs and eventually Darwen Tower was in sight again and the fog lifted and we were back out in the sunshine again.

Darwen Tower in the distance

We returned via the same path as yesterday, down Cartridge Hill and out onto the road.

Me in Oct 2009
same spot Dec 2016
A brisk half mile walk and we were back at the car.

Today's walk was 9 miles altogether, thoroughly enjoyed it.

No comments:

Post a Comment