Ribble Valley Walks
This delightful area of Lancashire includes miles of lovely riverside walking, fine views of the Forest of Bowland Hills and a series of historical towns and villages.
Use the links to view full route information including elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Ribble Valley Walk Map>>
|Beacon Fell Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore 271 acres of woodland, moorland and farmland in the Forest of Bowland AONB. Beacon Fell is situated 266 metres (873 feet) above sea level giving fabulous views of Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower, Barrow, Pendle Hill, Longridge Fell, the Lake District Fells and the Isle of Man (on a clear day). At the hill summit there is a handy toposcope which shows all the different landmarks you can see.|
There are also several miles of lovely woodland walking trails, wooden sculptures, and a pretty tarn with a seating area at the eastern end. The excellent visitor centre includes with a wealth of information on the flora and fauna you can see on the fell. This includes bluebells in the spring and lovely heather in the autumn months.
Beacon Fell is situated a few miles north of Preston and not far from Lytham and Blackpool.
If you'd like to extend your walk you could head to the nearby Parlick and Fair Snape Fell where there is a wonderful footpath with fantastic views over the Forest of Bowland. View Full Details>>
|Black Moss Reservoir||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a waterside walk around these two reservoirs near the Lancashire village of Barley. There's lovely views across the water to the Forest of Bowland countryside and lots of water loving wildlife to see too. Look out for Tufted duck, Common goldeneye and Eurasian curlew as you make your way through the area.|
You can start your walk from the car park in Barley, about half a mile from the reservoirs. Follow footpaths north east and you will soon reach the lower reservoir where there's a nice trail running around the water.
During the walk you can enjoy splendid views towards Pendle Hill. You can extend your walk by following the Pendle Way to the hill summit for great views back down to the reservoirs.
You could also head due west from Barley and follow footpaths around the Ogden Reservoirs. The trail will eventually take you up to Boar Clough and Pendle Hill. View Full Details>>
|Clitheroe||4 miles (6 km)||Explore the Lancashire town of Clitheroe on this lovely walk in the Ribble Valley. The walk explores the historic castle before heading to the River Ribble and the pretty Cross Hill Nature Reserve.|
The walk starts at the very fine Clitheroe Castle, located close to the train station in the town centre. The ruined medieval castle is thought to date from the 12th century and includes extensive grounds which are also a public park. Here you will find a fine war memorial with wonderful views towards Pendle Hill. There's also a fascinating museum housed in a Grade II listed 18th century building. Here you can see collections of natural history, local art and period costume, and an archaeology collection including items recovered from excavations on the site.
After exploring the castle grounds the route then heads to the river where you can see a photogenic weir and salmon leap. Turn right and follow the river path past Brungerley Bridge to Brungerley Park.
Continue towards Horrocksford and you can visit the Cross Hill Nature Reserve. Here you will find some nice woodland trails, meadows, wildflowers and wildlife spotting opportunities. Look out for Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Herons around the river.
After exploring the pretty reserve the walk returns to the castle using the same paths. View Full Details>>
|Downham||4 miles (6.5 km)||A lovely circular walk from the Lancashire village of Downham, visiting the countryside to the east of the village. View Full Details>>|
|Eddisford Bridge||5 miles (8 km)||Enjoy a lovely riverside walk along the River Ribble on this walk from Eddisford Bridge in Clitheroe. It's a lovely section of the river with nice views of the Ribble Valley countryside and seating to rest your legs by the water.|
The walk starts from the Eddisford Road car park on the western edge of Clitheroe. You could also start from Clitheroe train station and head west to the river from there.
From the bridge the you can pick up the Ribble Way long distance trail and follow it south to Great Mitton, via Shuttleworth Farm. Here you cross the river at Mitton Bridge and follow other trails through the countryside back to the river. The route then follows the other side of the river back to the car park. View Full Details>>
|Forest of Bowland Walk||68 miles (109 km)||A circular walk around the Forest of Bowland AONB in Lancashire. You start at Caton and visit Slaidburn, Clitheroe, and Garstang before returning to Caton. |
The walk begins with a lovely riverside stretch along the River Lune from Caton to Hornby. You continue to Slaidburn before following the River Ribble through Clitheroe and climbing Longridge Fell for some splendid views. The next section takes you to Calder Vale and then onto Garstang, passing Beacon Fell which is well worth a slight detour from the trail (see video). The final section takes you from Garstang to Caton passing Nicky Nook with its fabulous viewpoint (see video) and the Barnacre and Grizedale Reservoirs. View Full Details>>
|Gisburn Forest||4 miles (6.5 km)||Enjoy miles of wonderful woodland walking and cycling trails in this large forest in the Forest of Bowland. Mountain bikers can enjoy a moderate 9.5km blue grade trail and a more challenging red grade trail. Walkers can enjoy 5 waymarked walks of varying lengths and difficulty. In the forest you will find wide, well surfaced trails taking you through mixed woodland and conifer plantation with a wide variety of wildlife to look out for in one of the hides. There are also becks, streams and waterfalls. View Full Details>>|
|Hodder Way||27 miles (43 km)||Follow the River Hodder on this stunning waterside walk through the beautiful Forest of Bowland.|
The walk begins at Great Mitton and heads north through Whitewell, Newton and Slaidburn before a wonderful section around Stocks Reservoir finishes the route. There's great views of the surrounding Bowland Hills and lots of wildlife to look out for on the river. View Full Details>>
|Longridge Fell||5 miles (7.5 km)||Enjoy a walk to the summit of England's most southerley fell on this wonderful circular walk in the Forest of Bowland. The walk begins at the car park at Turner Fold and takes you to the 1,148-ft (350-m) summit on woodland footpaths. There are fabulous views from the high point including the Fylde Coast, the Vale of Chipping, the fells of the Forest of Bowland (including Parlick, Fair Snape Fell and Beacon Fell), the Yorkshire Dales and on a clear day the Lake District fells.|
Longridge Fell is situated to the north of both Preston and Blackburn. View Full Details>>
|Parlick and Fair Snape Fell||4 miles (7 km)||This walk from Parlick Fell to Fair Snape Fell is considered one of the loveliest in the Forest of Bowland. The walk takes place on a very good footpath with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside from the high points.|
The walk starts at the parking area on Startifants Lane and climbs to Parlick Fell. You continue north to Fair Snape, passing Bindhurst Fell on the way. The summit stands at 520 m (1,710 ft) and commands wonderful views over Londridge Fell and Beacon Fell.
The walk can also be started from the nearby village of Chipping. It's located about 2 miles south east of Parlick Fell and is a great place to stop for refreshments.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby Beacon Fell Country Park for more wonderful views and woodland trails. View Full Details>>
|Ribble Way||65 miles (105 km)||Follow the River Ribble through the beautiful Ribble Valley from its mouth at Longton, near Preston, to the source at Gayle Moor in Yorkshire.|
You start at Longton just to the west of Preston and follow the river through Ribchester and Clitheroe, before reaching Gisburn. The path then crosses from Lancashire into Yorkshire before passing through the stunning Yorkshire Dales national park and finishing at the source at Gavel Moor near Ribblehead and the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct.
The route passes through a variety of landscapes including tidal marsh, open moorland and limestone gorges. View Full Details>>
|Ribchester||4 miles (6.2 km)||Enjoy a stroll through the historical Lancashire village of Ribchester before following a section of the Ribble Way to Hothersall. The circular route then returns to the village through the farmland to the west of Ribchester. There's some moderate climbing on the return leg with nice views to the hills of the Forest of Bowland on the way.|
The village has an interesting history with the ruins of Bremetennacum Roman Fort still visible. You can visit the Roman Museum and view archaeological finds from the site, including coins, sculpture and metalwork. View Full Details>>
|Sawley||5 miles (8.4 km)||This walk explores the area around the Lancashire village of Sawley, visiting the historic Sawley Abbey and a particularly scenic stretch of the River Ribble. View Full Details>>|
|Slaidburn||11 miles (18 km)||This Lancashire village is located in a pretty area of the Ribble Valley. This walk from the village takes you to some of the highlights of the area including the River Hodder, Stocks Reservoir and Gisburn Forest. There's much to enjoy with riverside trails, woodland paths and wonderful views of the countryside of the Forest of Bowland. View Full Details>>|
|Spring Wood Whalley||2 miles (4 km)||Follow the nature trail through delightful woodland on this easy walk in Whalley. The woods are located close to the town centre and a short walk from Whalley railway station. The area has a series of waymarked, surfaced footpaths to follow through the ancient woodland. There are twenty four different species of trees, wild garlic flowers, ponds and in the spring there are carpets of bluebells.|
Spring Wood has good facilites with parking, an information centre and picnic areas. You can also extend your walk into the surrounding countryside at Wiswell where there are nice views towards Longridge Fell.
Whalley is a lovely town to stroll through so you can easily extend your walk by visiting the fascinating Whalley Abbey. In fact the monks of the abbey once owned Spring Wood. The River Calder also runs through the town so you can enjoy a waterside walk along the river too. View Full Details>>
|Stocks Reservoir||6 miles (10 km)||Enjoy a waterside circular walk around this lovely reservoir in the Forest of Bowland. The walk begins at the car park at the northern end of the reservoir and heads through the edge of Gisburn Forest and crosses the causeway. You then pick up a walking track which runs close to the waters edge, passing Rushton Hill and Ten Acre Hill on the way. On the western side you head to Eak Hill and Copped Hill Clough before a final woodland section through Gisburn Forest returns you to the car park.|
This is a lovely walk through woodland and farmland on well maintained, signed footpaths. There are splendid views of the surrounding countryside and hills plus ample opportunity for wildfowl spotting on the water.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head deeper into the adjacent Gisburn Forest. View Full Details>>
|Tolkien Trail||6 miles (10 km)||This literary trail explores an area of the Ribble Valley thought to have inspired some of the landscapes from J.R.R Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. The walk also visits Stonyhurst College where the author worked on the novels during the second world war. Connections to the books include 'Middle-earth' representing the local area, Shire Lane in Hurst Green and the 'River Shirebourn' (the Shireburns built Stonyhurst).|
The walk starts at the village of Hurst Green where you follow a footpath south to the River Ribble. Here you pick up a nice waterside section of the Ribble Way, taking you past Winckley Hall, Cromwell Bridge (Oliver Cromwell, spent the night at Stonyhurst on his way to the battle of Preston in 1648) and Lower Hodder Bridge. Here you pick up a section of the River Hodder to take you toward Over Hacking. The route then leaves the river to follow woodland trails and country lanes to Stonyhurst. The college was founded in 1593 and includes several find old buildings, attractive grounds and public gardens with fine views to the Forest of Bowland and Pendle Hill. Notable buildings include the 19th century Dome Observatory, the medieval Hill Barn Farm and two elegant 17th century Garden Pavillions.
After exploring the college the route passes through Fox Fall Wood before returning to Hurst Green. View Full Details>>
|Trough of Bowland||8 miles (13 km)||Enjoy rivers, brooks, woodland and beautiful countryside on this circular walk in the Forest of Bowland AONB. View Full Details>>|
|Whalley Abbey and the River Calder||2 miles (2.5 km)||Visit the fascinating remains of this former Cistercian abbey and enjoy a waterside stroll along the Calder River on this lovely circular walk in the Lancashie village of Whalley. View Full Details>>|
|Whalley Nab||5 miles (8.5 km)||This circular walk from the Lancashire village of Whalley visits Whalley Nab and the Spring Wood Nature Reserve. There's some lovely woodland trails, riverside paths along the River Calder and fine views from the high points. View Full Details>>|