Down The Pipeline
DTP01 : Caton to Quernmore

Sunday 20th October 2019

Unexploded Shells?? !!

That is not what we expected on our first stage of going Down the Pipeline.  Nor on any other stage, come to that.  However that is what the sign said.  

During your walk, bear in mind that considerable areas of the Bowland Fells were used by the army as a firing range and there may be unexploded shells.

It goes on to say what to do if you have found a suspicious device and have survived to tell the tale.

There was no such danger at our start point, the Black Bull at Brookhouse (Caton).  We were looking forward to returning there, safely, for a late lunch.  We were also looking forward to seeing fine autumnal colours.  In that respect we were not disappointed.

Mr Capelli had had difficulty finding a permissive off-road route to the moors and opted instead to march along Littledale Road climbing steadily towards the moors. Ironically, the one bit of off-road he chose, we decided to ignore as it looked rather muddy after the recent heavy rain.  It didnít matter because both road and track met up again just before reaching the Fostal Bridge over Artle Beck.  We crossed this and, almost immediately, Udale Bridge then carried on up a tarmacked private road to Bellhill Farm.

Here, Mr Capelli heads off over the moors and I donít understand why. To be more precise (as he was travelling north) he came down from over the moors, but I still donít understand why.   In choosing that wild, exposed route he missed some really interesting countryside and, importantly given the nature of the book, a relatively major aqueduct plus a Pipeline Gate and other related features.

It was not long after the farm that we entered open fell and found the warning about shells.  To put your mind at rest I will state the obvious.  No, we didnít see or hear any shells, let alone pick one up or step on it.

The terrain was at times difficult.  Tracks with slippery stones, plenty of mud and wet grass.  However, when not having to watch foot placements, there were both near and distant views to enjoy, albeit the weather wasnít as good as when we set off.

Eventually we reached the viaduct / aqueduct, Ottergear Bridge.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to take a full picture of the structure due to foliage being in the way but it was certainly a feature that should have featured in the book.  Just round the corner from it (but not on our route) I discovered a small quarry that was being used by a family as a picnic spot.  Well worth a visit at a later date, with the grandchildren perhaps.

From there, it was a pleasant, heathery walk with more distant views, returning to the car that we had left at the Rigg Lane parking area.

The drive back to Brookhouse was along a narrow, winding, steep road.  Sadly, The Black Bull was a big disappointment.  No food being served.  We had a drink but its interior didnít live up to its external promise.  Better luck next time- Ian has something special lined up for us when we reach Dolpinholme.

Don, Sunday 20th October 2019

PS Yes, that really was Blackpool Tower!

Bonus pictures from Ian: