Immediately west of Clitheroe there is an area of countryside that isn’t one thing or another. Obviously it is in the Ribble Valley but for most of this walk you are well away from the River. And while the fells to the north are in sight the route never ventures near them. What you are left with is a pleasant quietly rural location occupying the map between the end of Longridge Fell and the town of Clitheroe perfect for exploring in the cold months at the start of a New Year.
Start: Edisford Bridge car park opposite the sports centre (Pay & display) on Edisford Road. From junction 31 of the M6 follow the A59 to Clitheroe. In the town centre turn left towards Longridge on B6243. The car park is on the left after St Paul's church.
Fact file: Distance: 10 k 6miles
Time: 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours
Summary: Easy walking - first 3k 2 miles mainly on quiet lanes. In winter prepare for mud.
Map: OS OL 41 The Forest of Bowland.
Map by kind permission of the Blackpool Gazette
Directions: From the car park turn right and walk back towards Clitheroe centre.
Just beyond the church
turn left into St Paul's Street.
At the end of the road bear right to reach Riverside.
Cross a patch of open ground to a riverside path that leads to a wooden footbridge spanning the River Ribble.
Cross this and turn right onto Edisford Road.
This quiet lane leads up to Waddington over a mile away.
Shortly after entering the village turn left onto Twitter Lane
and almost immediately leave Waddington.
After 700 metres of easy walking turn right onto a footpath close to a small farm.
After crossing two footbridges in quick succession
follow the field boundary on the left until you arrive at a metal gate.
Through this turn left on a farm track
and follow it to Lower New House Farm.
Keep ahead through the yard and go through a wooden gate onto a footpath leading across pastureland.
In the second field turn right onto an enclosed green lane leading up to Ridge Page Fold.
(When we checked the route we found this lane waterlogged at its lower end and so followed it to the top on its far side.) At Ridge Page Fold the footpath leads into a garden
turning sharp left to reach a drive.
Cross the drive picking up a footpath that traverses several large pastures
interspersed by brooks which are crossed with bridges. The hedgerow is on your right. After a metal gate
the path dips to a brook which is forded and then continues with a plantation of young trees to the right. At the far side of the plantation keep ahead on a broad muddy track
leading to a stile close to a conifer plantation.
The way then bears left on a farm track to Saddle Bridge.
When the track divides go left
and then take a footpath on the right
leading past a fine stone footbridge (admire but do not cross) into a vast field.
With Balshall Brook on your right keep ahead until you reach a stand of young trees
and then cross a stile into another large field. Here aim leftish towards a farm - Cow Hey.
A stile leads into the yard. This leads onto a drive
which you follow
down to Bashall Hall an imposing pile to the right of the track.
A little way beyond the Hall turn left onto a footpath
that crosses a field to reach Twitter Lane. (If refreshment is required at this point we commend Balshall Barn home of Bowland Brewery which is 200 metre along the lane to the right). Go straight across the lane
and drop to the right of a wooden railed fence.
After a stile enter a large field crossing a brook by a culvert to reach a plank footbridge.
Over this continue over a rise to the left of a property and cross its drive.
Keep ahead with the field boundary on your right. After a stile in the corner
proceed to the next one by a metal gate.
After crossing it bear right to a stile in the corner by a wall and a hedge.
As you cross this take extra care as it leads down into a narrow lane. Turn left and at the junction left again to pass the Edisford Bridge Hotel
which unsurprisingly is close to Edisford Bridge. Over the bridge you'll quickly reach the car park.