Witton recce – Beverley Peacock
Our walk today is around the Beamers Trail in Witton Park, part of the ‘Witton Weavers Way’. It’s about 6 miles, and when we did the walk there were a lot of cows in the fields. We will be driving directly to Witton Park where we will have our drink and toilet stop, before starting the walk.
We’ll set off, making our way along the Beamers trail. It is a lovely walk covering hills and valleys, so some sections are a little steep along with a few stiles and kissing gates to navigate, but it is not too hard and there are many flat stretches before we make our way to woods with lots of cover, where there are steps to the top. They aren’t too steep, and although there are quite a few of them we will take our time and have 5 minutes at the top to recover for those that need it (ME). Along this stretch of the walk, we may get to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker or a Nuthatch.
We then cross over a couple of fields, with far distant views of Darwen Tower, and Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park on the left. We enter Billinge Wood and this part of the walk does become a little steep, however when we did it I timed it to the top and it only took us 2 minutes. Once at the top the going is not too bad, and in the distance you can see the ‘Clog and Billycock’ Pub. It is here that we stop for lunch by the quarry pond. There is no cover anywhere on the walk around lunch time, so if it is raining we will have soggy sandwiches.
We pass Close Farm and in the woods behind the farm is an old Alum Mine, owned by Sir Richard Houghton of Houghton Tower in the 17th and 18th Centuries. We then carry on across fields, and go up six steps to be greeted by a section of mud that any pig would glory in, but we may get round it past the back of the trees. After this again it becomes flat and we walk along the River Darwen. Above the river is Houghton Towers, and you are supposed to be able to see Houghton Bottoms and the water-powered Mill. The final hill climb comes near the end of the walk, just after we cross at the back of the golf club. It is a little steep, but again we take our time and wait at the top for others to catch up. I wish I could say that when you reached the top you are greeted with outstanding views but I can’t. After that it is all flat back to Witton Park, and the café will be open for refreshments (no beer sorry). But there are pubs on the main road outside Witton Park, I would say about 15 minutes away.
And hopefully I will have led you all back safely and not got lost along the way. So, fingers crossed we have a good day. And if after that description I have not sold you my walk, there are plenty others to do around Witton Park that you may enjoy doing. It’s a wonderful place and has plenty to offer. Beverley