It’s the height of summer, a bank holiday and a good day for walking, today’s route followed the river and East Lancs railway line as they both wended their way from Rawtenstall to Summerseat.
The buildings still hang precariously over the Irwell, but once out of the town of Rawtenstall it is mainly paths and country lanes I follow.
Of course, that’s apart from an accidental detour I make onto the main road and nearly up on the road to Colne and Burnley, but I just put that down to experience, and work out how to retrace my steps whilst looking at the busy traffic.
Fortunately, I am soon back at the river.
and manage to have a chat with some friendly natives
and I pass through the deserted village and station of Irwell Vale.
Interestingly, although a heritage line, there are plans to build a tram line from Rawtenstall, and even link it with the mainline at Castleton.
However, it is the river I am following , and it is certainly miles away from the dirty old river reputation the Irwell has, set in beautiful countryside and flowing sedately.
and creating some deep valleys as you can see from here, it is far more up and down hilly to follow the Irwell, than the Mersey was
At Stubbins, I join the abandoned Accrington Branch of the East Lancs railway, and follow this path, which looks over the Rawtenstall branch and river.
before I drop into Ramsbottom, passing a pretty little waterfall.
Ramsbottom, despite evidence to the contrary derives from the old English for Valley of the Ram, not its nether regions. It was the town where Sir Robert Peel, the industrialist started his industrial career. The monument to his son, Sir Robert, Second Baronet, and Prime Minister can be seen above the town
The river is now getting wide and dominates the centre of Ramsbottom.
After Ramsbottom, the path even becomes cobbled, this was built for railway workers, to give them easy access
Finally I arrive at Summerseat, my destination, well almost, even though it is where I will restart my journey next time, I have a further mile and a half across fields to walk to catch a bus to Bury
Distance covered today, 11 miles
Copyright 2019 Allan Russell