WALK NO. 11. A RAMBLE ALONG THE RIBBLE VALLEY, WHICH PASSES THROUGH BALDERSTONE AND OSBALDESTON, BEFORE RETURNING TO SAMLESBURY.
Whatever the seasonal changes, the Ribble valley is beautiful and there are many rights of way for the general public to enjoy. This route covers about ten miles, is a longer version of walk No. 3 and follows the river for a considerable distance.
It begins at the Trafalgar Hotel, where the manager is very considerate allowing walkers to use the car park.
****(THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN A LONG TIME AGO – PLEASE ASK PERMISSION)****
TURN INTO WHALLEY ROAD, THEN LEFT ONTO DEAN LANE AND RIGHT ALONG BEZZA LANE.
Shortly after you go over the cattle grid and enter Balderstone, a left-hand track goes down to Lower House Farm.
This is in itself an attractive short walk; but in addition, Mr. J. Hcwitt generously allows people, (at their own risk), to enjoy a length of the riverside which is not a right of way.
If you would like to accept this opportunity, go into the yard, round the corner of the house, through a small gate and over the little footbridge beyond.
The river is directly ahead and access stretches as far as the fence higher upstream. Please do not abuse the privilege in any way, or permission may have to be withdrawn.
AT THE END OF BEZZA LANE, TAKE THE LEFT-HAND FORK AND CONTINUE ALONG JACKSON’S BANKS ROAD UNTIL THE NEXT JUNCTION.
BEAR LEFT AGAIN, FOLLOWING THE LANE PAST NIGHT-FIELD GATE AND CROSSING A RIGHT-HAND STILE JUST BEYOND THE TREES.
THE SECOND STILE IS DIRECTLY OPPOSITE, BUT THE THIRD ONE, LEADING INTO THE WOOD, LIES ACROSS THE FIELD A LITTLE TO THE LEFT.
ALTHOUGH THE WAY IS WELL DEFINED, IT IS A SCRAMBLE DOWN THE BANK, ACROSS THE BROOK AND UP THE OTHER SIDE!
From the fourth stile a path branches to the right, running alongside Mercyfield Wood, then crossing the field to Burr Green.
WALK ON A LEFT DIAGONAL LINE, PASSING AN OLD POND AND A LONE OAK. HEAD FOR A GAP IN DOBRIDDING WOOD, WHERE THERE IS A STILE AT THE TOP OF THE BANK, OVERLOOKING THE RIVER.
Rid was an old provincial verb which meant to clear or grub up and ridding was usually a piece of recently reclaimed ground.
GO OVER THE STILE IN THE SHEEP NETTED FENCE AND DOWN INTO THE BOTTOM.
Wildflowers abound on this banking in the summer and Hothersall Lodge, (an educational field study centre), is across the river.
TURN RIGHT AND WALK SOME DISTANCE ALONG THE ROUGH GROUND, CROSSING TWO DITCHES.
AFTER THE SECOND ONE, TURN IMMEDIATELY LEFT TO CROSS A THIRD; THEN GO OVER A STILE ONTO THE RIVER BANK. WALK UPSTREAM UNTIL THE RIVER BECOMES FENCED AND THEN EITHER:
FOLLOW THE OFFICIAL FOOTPATH ALONG THE GULLY AND ACROSS THE FOURTH FIELD TO OSBALDESTON HALL,
OR: GO OVER THE LEFT-HAND GATE AND ALONG THE SCENIC RIVERSIDE ROUTE TO THE HALL, WHICH MR. N. BARGH KINDLY ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO ENJOY.
The farm across the river is Hothersall Hall and as you look along the valley, Pendle dominates the scene. It is a hill which looks particularly striking when covered with snow on clear, frosty days.
PASS IN FRONT OF THE MODERN FARMHOUSE, THROUGH THE GATE, BETWEEN THE FIRST TWO BUILDINGS AND THEN WALK ABOUT 75 YARDS UP THE LANE. TURN INTO THE LEFT-PLAND TRACK WHICH PASSES BEHIND OSBALDESTON HALL.
This attractive 17th ccntury house stands on the site of an older dwelling, which was in cxistcncc in 1355. It had its own ferry and was the home of the Osbaldcston family.
FOLLOW THE LANE ROUND A CURVE AND UP THE HILL, UNTIL IT FINALLY PETERS OUT IN A GATEWAY.
GO TIIROUGII AND TURN LEFT TO A STILE LEADING INTO OLD PARK WOOD, WHERE THE PATH GOES DOWN THE BANKING, ACROSS THE BROOK AND UP THE OTHER SIDE TO A SECOND STILE.
TAKE A LEFT DIAGONAL LINE UP THE FIELD, (THROUGH A CROSS COUNTRY COURSE), GOING PAST A FILLED-IN POND AND THROUGH THE REMNANTS OF A HEDGE.
PASS A SECOND POND AND ENTER ANOTHER STRETCH OI” WOODLAND JUST BEFORE THE DRAINAGE GULLY OF A WATER JUMP.
CROSS THIS SECOND TONGUE OF OLD PARK WOOD AND GO OVER THE STILE AT THE TOP OF THE OPPOSITE BANK.
START ON A LEFT DIAGONAL LINE, THEN MAKE FOR TWO GATES BETWEEN A BARN AND OXENDALE HALL – AN ARCHITECTURAL GEM!
WALK TO THE ROAD END, TURN RIGHT AND CONTINUE UNTIL YOU COME TO THE JUNCTION WHERE THE FOUR LANES MEET.
TAKE THE SECOND ONE ON THE RIGHT AND IMMEDIATELY GO OVER A STILE BY THE LEFT-HAND GATE.
ON THE CORNER – AT THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE FIELD – IS A DOUBLE STILE.
CROSS THIS AND THEN FOLLOW THE LEFT-HAND HEDGES THROUGH FOUR FIELDS TO PEWTER HOUSE FOLD. GO INTO THE YARD BY THE SECOND LITTLE STONE BUILDING ON THE LEFT AND LEAVE BY TURNING RIGHT ONTO THE LANE, THEN LEFT THROUGH A STILE BY THE COTTAGE.
BEHIND THIS COTTAGE IS A GATE BESIDE AN OUTBARN, WIIICH LEADS TO A SECOND GATE/STILE IN THE RIGHT-HAND CORNER.
CUT ACROSS THE NEXT FIELD ON A RIGHT DIAGONAL , (WITH BALDESTONE CHURCH ON THE RIGHT), AND MAKE FOR A STILE NEAR THE CORNER.
WALK STRAIGHT ACROSS THE LAST FIELD, OVER COMMONS LANE AND ENTER BOWFIELDS LANE ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE.
FOLLOW THE LANE FOR ABOUT HALF A MILE, UNTIL IT TURNS LEFT AND BECOMES LITTLE MORE THAN AN OVERGROWN FOOTPATH.
HERE, GO THROUGH THE TWO GATES/STILES DIRECTLY AHEAD; TURN AND WALK ALONG THE LEFT-HAND HEDGESIDES THROUGH TWO MORE FIELDS AND FIND THE STILE WHICH IS SLIGHTLY TO THE RIGHT IN THE BOTTOM HEDGE.
DESCEND THE BANK, CROSS MELLOR BROOK AND GO OVER A RIGHT-HAND STILE JUST BEFORE YOU REACH LUND HALL.
THE WAY THEN GOES BEHIND THE ORCHARD TO ANOTHER STILE, UP THE BANK AND ACROSS THE FIELD TO A FURTHER STILE JUST BEYOND THE LEFT-HAND POND.
ENTER THE LANE AND TURN LEFT FOR MYERSCOUGH SMITHY ROAD.
When the road had to be re-aligned around the airfield, (shortly before the Second World War), the builders followed Stoopy Lane between Woods Brow and the Myerscough. The new road then curved round in an easterly direction to rejoin the original near Sykes Holt. Yates marks this area as Mascow Smithy on his map in 1786.
TURN RIGHT, (RE-ENTERING SAMLESBURY AT THE MYERSCOUGH) AND RETURN TO THE TRAFALGAR HOTEL, WHICH IS JUST OVER A MILE ALONG THE ROAD.