Old Speckled Hen was on the pump in The Fernhurst, so that was damn fine, and the evening meal + breakfast were both very good. Great service from 'Scouse' at the bar, full of jokes and typical Liverpudlian humour, and the lovely young lady who did reception, bar, breakfast - AND a flask of tea for old milko!! Thank you, more service with a lovely smile!
So, we left Blackburn around 9.15, lovely Ruth having slipped over again to shift our bags down to Wigan - thank you so much Ruth, you are a diamond, and also for the generous sponsorship!
Climbing the moderate hill southwards out of Blackburn, it soon got a bit steeper as we approached that world renowned village they call Tockholes, passing The Three B's Brewery, formerly The Black Bull pub
The moorland road to Belmont is lovely, the wide open spaces of The West Pennine Moors stretch before you, leading to Belmont reservoir, used mainly these days for sailing, but traces of Tockholes Treacle can still be found on the shore. Note also the dark, stickiness of the water.
Belmont village is charming, and leads to another cracking good route - over the towering Winter Hill to Rivington. Standing at over 1200 feet, the climb is steady up to the top, with Rivington Moor unfolding before you. The descent into Rivington is equally good, leading to another charming little village, also home to another reservoir. This one has far less trace of the black stuff left these days.
Two sides of the reservoir at Rivington.
Walking through Rivington and on to Grimeford, urbania is now getting closer, with the little river at Grimeford Bridge the last bit of rural I saw, before hitting the towns again.