High Bentham

 

Last week we featured a walk up Orrest Head near Windermere one of the finest viewpoints in the Lake District. This walk takes you to a less well known viewpoint but I will boldly assert that it is one of the best in England giving a magnificent panoramic view of the Three Peaks of Yorkshire. 

 

Fact file:
 

Start: High Bentham village centre LA2 7HE

Distance: 7 ½ miles 11k
 

Time: 3 - 4 hours

Summary: Moderate.  After a riverside walk the route climbs steadily to its highest point before looping back to the river
 

Map: OS OL41 The Forest of Bowland

 

Map by kind permission of the Johnston Press 

Directions: 

 

1. Cross Main Street (B6480) into Station Road. This takes you past the station unsurprisingly and then down to the bridge over the River Wenning. Cross the bridge and turn left onto a narrow lane. Keep ahead for 300 yards to where the lane bends right. Here keep ahead on a footpath

 

leading across fields to reunite you with the river on a bend before bearing right to enter a field for touring caravans at Staggarth a farm.

 

Cross to the far side and keep ahead through the yard to reach a metal stepped stile (painted green).

 

Cross and turn right on a faint path leading upwards through a field. After 100 yards turn right through a gate sized gap and keep ahead towards the tree lined Branstone Beck.

 

The path dips down into the trees, crosses a wooden stile and soon after crosses the beck over a wooden footbridge.

 

Follow the beck upstream to reach Branstone Beck Cottage.

 

The route passes to the right of the cottage and then turns left in front of its neighbouring properties to arrive at a point barely 20 yards from the footpath leading up to the cottage. Turn right on a grassy patch between walls to reach a wooden gate.

 

Through this the path climbs gently upwards across fields for 400 yards

 

to reach the rear of a property the drive

 

of which gives out onto Mewith Lane. 

 

2. Cross the lane onto a farm drive and keep ahead as it passes Beckside

 

and Beck Grains Farm both on the right. The track reaches open moorland.

 

As tempting as it is to forge ahead bear right on a path hardly visible to the naked eye through the sedge at first  keeping parallel to a wall on the right. As the path becomes more obvious it dips down sharply to cross Branstone Beck

 

and surface close to Fairfield House. Turn left and follow the track to reach the Bentham Slaidburn road. Turn left. Keep ahead to the Great Stone of Fourstones comes into sight. As you reach a small car park bear right on a path to reach the Great Stone.

 

Now look behind you for an unbeatable view of Ingleborough.

3. On a dry day this is a superb spot for a picnic. From the Great Stone with the fence on your left bear right to reach a gateway with a cattle grid.

 

As the track bends right towards a farm keep ahead on a footpath leading across pastures

 

to cross a wall over a stone stile.

 

Turn left on a farm lane and then almost immediately right on Whitepits Lane.

 

Keep on this for nearly 600 yards to reach a footpath leading down to Fleet Green.

 

Turn right onto this and pass through the large farm complex.

 

At the far side keep ahead through a wooden gate

 

and continue downhill with the hedge line to the right. As you approach Oakhead the path descends sharply down to a metal gate close to County Beck on the right.

 

Turn left through the gate and follow the track to the left of the farm.

 

Keep ahead on a path that crosses a large field aiming for a wooded corner towards the left.

 

Cross a stile to a track leading down to Mewith Lane.

 

4. Turn left and then quickly right on a path leading across pasture land

 

 

for the best part of half a mile to bring you to Mill Lane.

 

Keep ahead on the lane for 500 yards

 

then just past a property on the left turn right on a footpath almost hidden in foliage. 

 

 

5. This leads back to the River Wenning.

 

The path is obvious and easy to follow. Close to Bentham it reaches a caravan park.

 

Here the path takes you along the riverside to the far side of the park but I doubt if anyone would object you going through the park - so long as you are well behaved!

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