It is the last day of my Christmas holidays today, and the bloody weather is still grim. However, I was convinced of the benefits of going for a walk “around Enty” by two neighbours and then to follow this with the treat of a pint in the Strawbury Duck. Who could resist eh? 

I drove over to Entwistle train station with my neighbours and accompanying dog, a Terrier, who disappointingly had far more energy than I had. As we parked at the station we noticed that the ‘Duck car park was very busy and hoped that there would be seating available inside when we finished the ‘Enty Round’ because we felt that we would be in need of it. My neighbours need greater than mine as they both had very bad head colds. The thought was voiced of going straight into the pub, but it was pretty much dismissed straight away.

As David stood at the tailgate of the car looking like a flamingo and vainly attempting to get his waterproofs on, it started raining. I had decided on the perennial Berghaus WindStopper fleece, bob hat and Ron Hill Tracksters so there wasn’t much I could do to afford additional protection. Usually the windstopper does a great job of keeping me dry (and warm) and the Tracksters tend to dry pretty quickly if they get wet. I do have Gore Tex PacLite waterproofs in my ruck sack but they rarely get used and today the rucksack stayed at home.

Suitably attired we set off past the Strawbury Duck and along Overshores Road past the row of red brick terraced houses on our left side. The track along here is quite waterlogged and the ruts in the surface seem to get worse everytime I walk along it. It would certainly drive me mad if I lived here. We dropped down the hill past the Bunk House on our right, and down to the outflow from the reservoir itself and then walked along Batridge Road that runs on top of the earth dam that holds back the might of the water. The car park at the opposite end was very busy with vehicles, although the perimeter footpath looked relatively quiet. We went through the gate and started along the perimeter path.

Looking across Entwistle

It was quite muddy underfoot and the wind was still very blustery, but the the rain had stopped for now. In fact the sun was trying to get through but not succeeding and small patches of blue were appearing in the sky. The stroll around the perimeter path to the footbridge at the foot of Yarnsdale was largely uneventful, bar the dog trying to get to the ducks and geese, who wisely stayed in the deeper water. The dog was reluctant to put the bits he licks the most into the cold water, so thankfully he didn’t venture too far.

We continued around past the inflow to the reservoir and made our way back to the pub. As we progressed along here we passed several trees that had been decorated with Xmas baubles and tinsel. I have seen these several time previously, but have never worked out who does it and why.

Decorated tree & bushes

After passing the decorated trees the rain stopped and the sky started to clear up. Generally the path here is the most muddy of the whole route, but this time it wasn’t so bad, perhaps United Utilities have improved the surface. We climbed up the slight incline to the gate that leads back onto Batridge Road, and the sun finally appeared and the sky cleared on the final stretch to the pub. We went back along Overshores Road, and headed straight into the pub to finish off with a nice pint. 

Looking up Entwistle from the outfall on Batridge Road

When we got to the bar, there were only three beers on tap Wychwoods’s ‘Hobgoblin’, Moorhouses’s ‘Pride of Pendle’ and ‘Blonde Witch’. We all settled for a pint of ‘Pride of Pendle’ and it really was on form. I made mine last as I was driving, with the others deciding to indulge in another pint whilst I was gently sipping at mine. 

Moorhouse’s “Pride of Pendle”

The pub was busy throughout, and unfortunately one room sounded like a creche with small children crying and bawling, and my heart went out to the lunchtime diners who were trying to eat in there with that racket going on. If it was me I would have just put down my knife and fork and walked out. After taking in the warmth and conviviality of the place and finally draining our glasses, we made our way outside into the cold, started up the car and drove home quite satisfied with having made the effort to shift our lard arses off the sofa and get out into the great outdoors.  

A good start to 2014 in our opinion!

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