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Lancashire Walk
Tor Hill & High Moss, Nr Haslingden

County/Area - Lancashire

Author - Mike Bexley

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km    Ascent - 1400 feet / 424 metres

Time - 4 hours 50 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Tor Hill & High Moss, Nr Haslingden
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Don't underestimate this short Lancashire walk. In wet conditions the walk is tough. In addition there a many short climbs on poorly marked paths enabling you to enjoy the views and the quiet isolated moors. Like many moors in this area they are criss-crossed with many paths and tracks. Some of these are not indicated on maps so the route has been described in greater detail so that navigation should not be a problem.

Start from Clough Head Car Park with it's toilet facilities (Grid ref. SD751232) a few miles west of Haslingden on the A6177. Leaving the car park via the path near the exit signed ' to the bird hide ' cross over the road (with care) and turn left. Then go right over a stile. This pleasant path leaves the noisy road dropping down through the trees to a tarmac lane. Continue down this lane to reach some cottages where you turn right along a signed footpath close to the wall, then left and left again through two gates down to Calf Hey Reservoir Dam.

This beautiful glaciated valley called Haslingden Grane housed over 1300 people prior to the construction of these reservoirs. This walk passes many of their now derelict buildings The isolated existence gave them plenty of opportunity to distil illegal whisky which became a booming industry, although I'm still looking for the results of their efforts!

Continue over the dam through the gate then over the stile and up the steep path ahead turning left (east) at the path junction signed the Rossendale Way. The path contours the hill with Ogden Reservoir below on your left. On reaching the end of the reservoir roughly level with the dam, you will pass the old rail track and tunnel down from the quarry. Turn right immediately, then go left up the wide track that is later flagged bringing you to corner with a couple of stiles (Grid ref. SD 768221).

Go over the right stile keeping close to the trees on your left, above a cottage. Then head right, uphill. There is no obvious path through the long grass but you can see a stile in the fence above (Grid ref. SD 769219). You have reached a wide stone track. Turn right uphill and over the stile at the quarry gate (Grid ref. SD 764219).

Then take the first path left through the quarry spoil heaps. At the path junction keep left to the wall to follow this wall on your left over some discarded stones and through a gap. Continue down hill with the wall now on your right to go through the wall again. Look out for two low wooden posts (path markers) to the left.

This good path descends to cross a shallow brook. Then keeping this brook on your left join a couple of wide tracks to reach a five-bar gate. Go over the two right stiles with the brook now on your right to drop down to a substantial footbridge at Husbury Brook (Grid ref. SD 767211). The pool indicated on some maps was filled in over ten years ago!

Crossing over the bridge delivers you into very rough wet ground. You need to head as best you can, as there is no obvious paths, up to the ruined walled cottage (10 o'clock) to continue in the same direction over a fence stile. At this stile you should see evidence of the path in the grass ahead that climbs in the same direction to the stile near the corner of Tor Hill (Grid ref. SD 772209).

After recovering your breath, take the path just ahead turning left and gradually climbing around the side of the hill. Look out for a stile in the fence below and descend to this to continue down the field to the wall. Then go right with the wall on your left to proceed over a stone stile passing Great House on the other side of the wall. On reaching the concrete road (Grid ref. SD 772205) turn right up this road.

The well-walked path continues straight on over fields with the occasional Rossendale Way sign before dropping left into a steep sided valley. At the bottom and the wall corner (Grid ref. SD 760202) turn right with the wall close on your right (Note there is no sign here), then right again to walk north. The path ahead is so good and clear that no guidance is required until you reach a stile over a wall into the quarry.

Proceed through the workings bearing and turning left to pass the high chimney on your left. There are many places up the bank on your right that give wonderful views of the reservoirs in valley below. Immediately after the path goes between two very high walls, with Calf Hey Reservoir appearing below, descend down the grass. There is no path, although there is plenty of evidence of others using this escape, to join the path down to the dam.

Proceed over the dam through the gate. Do not turn right, proceed instead ahead through a car park then left just before the exit through a gate into woods to join the path up to the road and your start.


Other walks nearby

Walk 2564 Calf Hey, Ogden & Holden Wood Reservoirsmoderate7.5 miles
Walk 1747 Oswaldtwistle Moor from Clough Headeasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 2732 Darwen Tower & West Pennine Moorseasy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 2584 Turton & Entwistle and Wayoh Resrs. from Jumblesmoderate10.0 miles
Walk 3691 Scout Moor from Ashworth Moor Reservoireasy/mod4.5 miles

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