Favourite Walks – Rivington Lowlands

The Rivington Reservoir system provides me with a perfect local walking location.  It’s only a 40 minute drive from my breakfast cafe of choice and yet is a fair substitute for the Lake District that’s twice the distance and twice as busy.  It doesn’t provide the variety of the Lakes of course, but provided you are prepared to explore widely there’s certainly plenty to appreciate.

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Of particular note is the fact that although at first glance the whole area appears to be shaped by nature, peer a bit more deeply and almost the whole landscape has been shaped by man, in the service of man (water) and as a result is also cared for by man too.  That means well marked walking routes and well maintained paths provided you stick to them.

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Stray onto the public footpath network and things can get a little soggy but then the compensation of more opportunity to explore. There’s also a lot of farmland and plenty of opportunity to walk through fields with sheep and cows for company, which is an added delight.

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I was particularly surprised to see quite a few small lambs still doing their thing, most of them had been fattened up by now but a few still had a spring in their step.

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On a day like today, that started cool but soon warmed up, I really appreciated the mix of dense wooded trails as well as high grassland paths and a few quiet roads, there’s plenty of decent hills as well.  All that woodland means lots of opportunity for squirrels and I can’t get enough of them scampering around.

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On of my favourite features of the area is the opportunity to admire the huge construction project that created it.  Massive dams blend into every scene and huge overflows connect the reservoirs, it really is impressive.

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Of course no walking destination would be complete without an excellent cafe and Rivington doesn’t disappoint.  The Great Hall Barn is worth a visit in it’s own right, it’s an amazing feat of engineering both inside and out.

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I’m particularly in awe of the huge tree trunks that form the core of the internal frame, seated into huge rocks to prevent them rotting through contact with the ground.  The food’s fantastic too!

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Walking around it’s easy to forget that all this natural splendour serves a purpose, it’s our water supply (actually Liverpool’s) so their’s no swimming or motor boats allowed, which is an understandable shame.

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It’s also worth noting that I stayed in the lowlands, there’s a whole other world awaiting anyone prepared for a decent climb, but that’s another walk and another blog post.  Today was all about the water!

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I took a particularly meandering route today, which I wouldn’t recommend unless your objective is to get a sense of the whole place.  I’ve included it below for completeness.

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I’m writing this post in the afternoon of the day of this walk.  I’ve just woken up from a nap, one of the unexpected delights of retirement!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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