CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Lancashire Life today CLICK HERE

Lancashire walk - Longridge Fell

PUBLISHED: 09:37 08 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:45 17 April 2016

Spire Hill

Spire Hill

Keith Carter

After eight years of writing walks for Lancashire Life, this month’s is the last. Regular readers will know there are not many places in Lancashire which have not received my attentions so it was important that this, the very last, should be a favourite and stand for the best to be found in walking in our county.

View to Bowland FellsView to Bowland Fells

If asked where in the British isles I would choose if I could do one more walk before oblivion I would choose somewhere within Bowland, perhaps a well-kept secret among the walking fraternity, certainly a place of surpassing beauty whatever the season. So I settled on a place from which the superb panoply of the Bowland Fells can be seen spread out before the gaze in all its glory. I am speaking of Longridge Fell.

Longridge Fell is an outlier of the Bowland Group but holds its place among the others although perhaps less visited. Until recent times it was planted for forestry in the days when there was a tax advantage to growing trees. Walkers were not encouraged and there was virtually no way-marking. Now they don’t seem to bother with cutting down the trees and access is better although the waymarking is unimproved. One recent innovation has been the erection of a sculpture on Jeffrey Hill, a kind of carved tree trunk. Entitled Sun Catcher. Frankly, I feel it adds nothing but there you go, everyone to their own opinion.

I made three visits to the fell to check out the walks and the one described seems to me to offer the essence of the fell, revealing the best combination of distance, ease of route-finding and the best view, that from the trig point on Spire Hill, the summit. The broad vista spread out below is wonderful, from Beacon Fell on the left, then the rest of the fells, Parlick, Wolf, Saddle, Burnslack, Fair Oak, Totridge and the Trough of Bowland in the distance. Catch them when their tops have had a dusting of snow overnight, etching the contours into sharp relief and you will never forget them. No wonder that for some people these are their own blue remembered hills.

The parking area on Jeffrey Hill is a convenient starting point for our walk. Leave Longridge on the fell road to the golf club and on reaching Jeffrey Hill turn sharp right and park on the left.

Jeffrey HillJeffrey Hill

Our direction on foot continues on the road in an easterly direction, rising over the brow and beginning to descend until an opening in the wall on the left appears with a gate leading onto the rough fell.

The path follows a wall and by staying alongside it, that is with the wall to the right, we will arrive first at a plantation, then cross a fence to arrive at the prominent trig point marking Spire Hill. The going underfoot is rough, the surface peat having been worn through by the passage of boots to the stony layer beneath but mountain bikers come up here without getting off so it’s passable.

Having savoured the view, retrace your steps and where the plantation ends start looking for another path departing on the right, evident by the erosion and boot marks. Take this path striking across the open fell and after a few hundred yards it begins to veer to the left, the route apparent from a number of stone markers like milestones. We climb up to a brow then begin to descend and looking ahead the cars parked on Jeffrey Hill can be discerned. The path becomes more obvious and brings us to a gateway and stile then ends at the road.

So that’s my last posting, readers. Many of my walks have been in the company of my good friend Jim at whose expense I have sometimes made fun but as a walking companion you could not find a better. We have shared many a moment of delight at things seen by chance, buzzards over the treetops, hares sprinting away as we approached, a covey of partridges, snipe, butterflies like the fritillaries on Warton Crag, a fox surprised in a field, a slow-worm at our feet, migrating geese, kingfishers, early cuckoos, the first swallows and the last, a lapwing’s nest, so many moments we won’t forget. Thanks Jim for your company.

Hodder ValleyHodder Valley

And to my readers, thank you for making the job worth doing. I will miss you.

Compass points

Area of walk: Longridge Fell

Distance 2½ miles

Time to allow: 1½ hours

Map: OS Explorer OL 41 Forest of Bowland

Refreshments: The Newdrop pub

Editor Roger Borrell writes: ‘We are extremely grateful to Keith who has worn out many pairs of boots in the service of Lancashire Life. His entertaining writing style and dry wit will be missed. Next month writing and landscape photographer John Lenehan will be taking over this slot with a new series based on walks taking in country pubs and cafes. I hope you enjoy them.’

7 great walks in the Ribble Valley and the Forest of Bowland

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Lancashire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Lancashire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Lancashire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Having 10,000 students on the doorstep is helping this West Lancashire town centre to thrive

Read more

In 1972, a hoard of ancient silver coins was discovered in Prestwich. These days, they’re hoping to strike gold with an unbeatable mix of community, creativity and independent shops but for one craftsperson, silver is still the way to go.

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Pendle Hill is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lancashire and you can enjoy the beautiful countryside, spectacular views and fascinating from a number of starting points in the Ribble Valley.

Read more
Pendle Hill Ribble Valley Walks
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Our walks expert John Lenehan plots a scenic course that also provides a little Lancashire history.

Read more

Steps are being taken to bridge the divides that have grown between communities and made Blackburn one of the most segregated towns in the country.

Read more
Blackburn
Monday, October 8, 2018

With the countryside turning stunning shades of red and gold, this is probably the best time to pull on your boots and go for a heavenly hike.

Read more
Lake District Walks Autumn

There is always something surprising in this old Lancashire village which attracts visitors from across the world

Read more
Cartmel
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Many youngsters their age are content to play with their toys, but a Bowness brother and sister are happiest in their walking boots.

Read more
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Britain’s biggest independent flower show attracts huge crowds and the admiration of BBC celebrities

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

When it was announced The Willow Garden Project in Fleetwood was to be the recipient of BBC North West Garden created for The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Tatton Flower Show, there were cheers all round.

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

The first ever National GetOutside Day takes place on Sunday 30 September with the aim of getting 1 million people active outdoors across the UK.

Read more

Meet some of the devilishly successful people who make this glorious Ribble Valley town tick.

Read more
Clitheroe
Friday, September 14, 2018

The site was designated Lancashire’s first ever ‘Local Nature Reserve’ in 1968 and is also designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Read more
Lytham
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A striking sculpture attracts John Lenehan to this circular walk through some oustanding scenery.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search