A charming route exploring the flood plain of the Ribble Valley close to Whalley.
Time: 3 ½ - 4 ½ hours
Maps: OS Explorer 287 The West Pennine Moors.
1. From the car park pass the memorial stone
and then turn left on a path that skirts the wood
before turning left to pass under
the busy A671. On the far side bear left in a patch of woodland, cross a plank bridge
and then exit the trees into a broad meadow.
Keep left on a footpath that swings round to Accrington Road. Cross the road to a footpath on the far side
that quickly puts you on the banks of the Calder.
Turn right. As you approach Whalley Bridge bear right on a lane that brings you to King Street. Cross the road turn right and then after 100yds turn left into a close leading to the church yard.
On the far side of the church turn right onto a ginnel and then left onto The Sands. Keep ahead past the Abbey, through the gatehouse
and under the railway viaduct.
Where the lane bends right keep ahead on a farm track.
The track passes under the A59.
Turn left in the direction of Turkey Lane. At the next corner there is a similar signpost - again follow the sign for Turkey Lane.
This follows the western edge of Calderstones Hospital. When it reaches Mitton Road (B6246) cross to a kissing gate slightly left leading into woodland.
Follow the path to a wooden footbridge
then exit into a large marshy field. Follow the left side of the field which in clear weather gives surprisingly wide views. At the remains of a cross
bear left onto a path leading to a wooded corner close to a pond. After a kissing gate and then a plank bridge
enter fields keeping the hedgerow to the right. Soon the footpath
becomes a track leading Shuttleworth Farm - a large complex close to the Ribble.
As you reach the main drive join the Ribble Way and turn left.
bear left to a footbridge
climb a rise bear right through a kissing gate and then return to the river
reaching Mitton Road next to the Aspinall Arms. Turn left. The route passes Mitton Hall on the right and crosses your outward leg after half a mile. Keep on the road a further quarter of a mile to the entrance of a broad drive at a large sign "Whalley Corn Mills".
and then as you come close to the complex take a footpath on the right through a kissing gate. The path leads to the railway.
Beware - this is the Clitheroe - Blackburn line and in use. After crossing the line follow the boundary on the right, cross the next stile and keep ahead. When you reach a metal gate
cross a stile on the left.The path then follows the hedge on the right to reach Whalley Road on the edge of Barrow. Cross a small wooden gate and follow the path along the field boundary. After 200yds the path (waymarked with signposts) crosses a stile on the right
continuing in the same direction towards the busy roar of the A59. A path zig zags to the side of the road.
Cross to the central reservation and then continue to the far side. (Did I need to state "when it's safe to do so"?)
On the far side the path leads to the village of Wiswell. Turn left and then right past the Freemasons Arms.
At the lane end cross to Moor Lane.
Now begins a steep climb to Clerk Hill. After 200yds take a footpath on the right which leads across to a conifer plantation.
Through this take a path to the right of a fence leading towards a walled property. As you near this turn right on a path leading down hill
at first to the right of a fence and then crossing it on the edge of a golf course. Continue arrive at Accrington Road close to the start.