Dunsop Bridge

 

I once met a retired bus company owner from Wigan who told me that on Bank Holidays he could fill 15 coaches with passengers on excursions through the Trough of Bowland. He was talking of long ago of course – probably in the immediate post war years - but all the same it seemed remarkable. This walk takes you along the valley that would have been the route of those charabanc outings before climbing over a ridge that only walkers can cross taking you into the heart of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 

Start: Dunsop Bridge Village car park BB7 3BB

Fact file

Distance: 9 miles 14k

Time: 4 - 5 hours 

Grade: Mainly easy but with one strenuous climb

Map: OS OL 41 The Forest of Bowland

 

Map by kind permission of Johnston Press
Directions:  

1. To begin with you may decide to have a photo taken by the phone box opposite the car park.

 

There is not much to distinguish it from other phone boxes at first glance but closer examination will reveal it was set there by BT to mark the centre of Great Britain. Walk back towards the bridge and turn right onto a tarmac track just past Puddleducks Café. Follow this as it leads across fields to reach a row of cottages.

 

Keep ahead on a path leading into woods and then cross the river by a wooden footbridge.

 

Turn left. After 200yds turn right before farm buildings and cross pasture. In 500yds you will reach the Trough of Bowland Road.

 

Turn right. In 800yds turn left to cross a bridge over Langden Brook and towards Hareden.

 

After 50yds turn right over a stile,

 

cross a footbridge and bear right across a pasture to the far side. Cross a stile at a wall end and then on a riverside path

 

follow Langden Brook on the right for ¾ of a mile. As the river bends left into Langden Valley cross a wide footbridge

 

to reach a plantation of pine trees. On the main track turn right to return to the road. Turn left and continue along the road in the direction of Lancaster. After passing through the farmstead of Sykes

 

turn right onto a bridleway approximately 700yds from the farm. 

 

2. The track soon begins to climb alongside Rams Clough. After the ruin of Trough House continue through a gate that soon leads out onto the open fellside.

 

The track is less easy to follow from this point but continues to climb towards a wall.

 

Keep ahead after a gate and then bear left as you approach a fence. With the fence on your right keep on the path to arrive at the junction of fences.

 

The gate leads down to Ouster Rake and Brennand. ( For those readers wishing to bag the summit of Whin Fell turn left to follow the ridge fence across to the trig point indicating the highest point of Whin Fell. At length you reach an access gate on the right which will allow you to reach the trig point which is 476m above sea level. Add 1 mile and 30 minutes to the time and distance given above.) The path drops steeply at first

 

to arrive at the pasture behind Brennand Farm.

 

Follow way marks leading to the left on the farm complex. Once past the farm house turn right on its main drive.

 

3. Put away the map and these directions. The last part of the walk is an easy walk back to Dunsop Bridge using the farm road. After half a mile the road climbs to the junction with Whitendale and then drops down to a bridge to cross the newly formed River Dunsop. Over the bridge turn left to continue down the valley passing through an area of several utility buildings.

 

After another 1 ½ miles make a decision - to cross the footbridge on the left to return to the path you started or to continue on the service road. Both lead to Dunsop Bridge.

POI Hareden Farm was one of the earliest farms in the Forest of Bowland. The farm house dates back to 1690 but even before that it had been established as a "vaccary" for breeding and grazing cattle.

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