Exit Professor, Stage Left   14 comments

That time of year when we have to reluctantly say goodbye to the Professor and take him back to Uni after spending the summer with us. After a rather tedious and busy drive up the M6 we wanted to fit in a walk. The local go-to is Clougha Pike in the Forest of Bowland as its a nice half day outing and only 10 minutes drive from Lancaster to the car park.

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In truth it was my least favourite weather for walking, overcast, still, and humid but at least warm.

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We stopped just up from the car park before the main part of the walk for lunch. I was expecting a serious midge onslaught but none appeared. The Professor’s better half, Laura, also joined us as part of here welcoming him back to Lancaster and settle into his new house.

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The climb up through the dense bracken was hot and stifling work.

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Windy Clough where Mark tried to force a route earlier in the year and found himself in deep undergrowth – dread to think what it’s like in peak bracken season!

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As we reached the summit of Clougha Pike there was a tiny waft of breeze so we sat for a few minutes to try and cool down. Sadly this merely identified that the buffet was now open and the midges descended so we legged it.

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This was pretty much the gloom that hogged most of the summits and prevented any views.

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The Forest of Bowland has its bleak moments.

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But the valley on the northern side is really rather splendid.

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Small waterfall.

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The start of path back to the car.

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The weather seemed to have freshened up a bit and we were able to enjoy this section a little more.

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Straying off the paths here is a bad idea. There is some deep and impenetrable vegetation.

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The heather was just finishing its late summer bloom. Not as good as on our walk in the Black Mountains a couple of weeks before but it added a bit of colour to a grey day.

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Not exactly a classic afternoon outing but it was great to send the Prof back to study with a walk and it does break up the tedium of 7 hours driving.

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Posted October 4, 2021 by surfnslide in Lancashire, Walking

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14 responses to “Exit Professor, Stage Left

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  1. All the time I lived in the Yorkshire Dales, visited the 3 peaks area – looked across to the Bowland area but never visited. And it looks really nice in the valleys and on the paths – I know what you mean about high bracken areas though – you sort of have to swim through to try to see what’s going to happen to your feet! Also you have to worry about adders (although possibly not so late in the year as this). Surprised there were still midges!

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    • In my walking youth, the FoB was all privately owned with almost no access save a few paths. The CROW act opened them up and they great for lonely walking as most people seem to pass them by on the way to the Dales or Lakes.
      Adders are common down here and in many places I walk but I’ve never seen one in the wild. Just a grass snake slithering across the road in front of my bike on a local lane.

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      • I’d love to see a wild grass snake in my area but we’re too far north. I have seen them in Dorset though – beautiful creatures!

        I’ve seen, and even moved, a few in the wild. I’ve moved them when they’ve been lying sunning themselves in the road or suchlike – either that or persuaded them to move on. They get a bit cross but generally it gets sorted!

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  2. Years ago, Bowland was my go to area for a walk – especially when I was able to skive off for an afternoon – as I can reach most parts of it within an hour out of ruh hour.

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    • I’d like to see it on a sunny day – it’s always cloudy when I visit. The edge up to Cougha Pike is a really grand walk as are those northern valleys. Much to recommend and as you say, very easy to get to.

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      • Clougha Pike, given it’s proximity to Lancaster, is probably the most visited of the Bowland fells. It is a good climb and viewpoint and, as you know, even boasts a work of art. As for sunshine, it is Lancashire 😉

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  3. Was there a decent path on your return lap to the car, above Cragg Wood? That’s a handy link if there was. Would have liked to join you obviously, but it looks like having the lurgy didn’t keep me away from one of the best days out. I was certainly in no fit state for a walk that day.

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    beatingthebounds
    • Yeah, a really good path, in fact there is a good path all the way on this route.
      Whilst it was nice to enjoy a walk to break up a long day, and this a good route, you didn’t miss much, pretty dreary day and very muggy. Much better to get over the bug. Hope everyone is back to full health now

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  4. Looks a lovely area, but as you say the photos are dulled by the weather, which seems to be like this everywhere at the moment, although a bit colder now. Just hoping we can get some more settled weather for a few weeks as with all the rain lately the paths will go from firm to mush and mud very quickly

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