A couple of weeks ago, me and my beautiful wife, along with our silly pointer went for a run closer to home. To the south of Lancaster is Clougha Pike, part of the Forest of Bowland, and grouse shooting land. As we had Nelly with us we weren’t going up Clougha, but instead skirting it and then back around Littledale.
Parking up on Rigg Lane the first thing you notice are the signs telling you that dogs are not allowed, and then in small writing except if on rights of way, i.e. footpaths. We gentle ran towards a shooters track, which probably isn’t a footpath, but we are out of season, and Nelly is a ‘working’ gun dog. As with any off-road run you start off trying to keep your feet dry, although it wasn’t too long before we gave that up and just ran through the mud.
Off the shooters track and onto a footpath, leaving the grouse behind, much to Nelly’s grumbling. The footpath took us to an overflowing stream, almost up to our knees in muddy water, before finding a nice track to run along. Winding our way through farms we dropped down to cross a small stream.
From there we stumbled upon Littledale Hall and Littledale Free Church, built approximately 1850, but now a ruin.
We imagined how it would look if we had pots of money to turn it into a house. Too much work (and money) for us, but it would look amazing.
We followed the road until another footpath took us through another farm. This was where things took a turn for the worse. A distinct lack of signs meant that we carried on too far and had to climb over a locked gate, lifting Nelly over, and down a track that definitely wasn’t a designated footpath, before re-joining the road at the exact same point where the footpath was.
Nelly then tried to injure herself by being impatient over a very large ladder style sty. Thankfully she was OK as we jogged back along the muddy path to the car. Obligatory post run selfie…
…followed by muddy shoe photo.
Our run was only 8 miles and took almost two hours, but that’s not the point. Getting out and about, seeing new things, even when we’re only a few miles from home, that’s what it’s all about.