3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Lancashire Walks - Newton in Bowland

PUBLISHED: 00:16 05 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:12 19 January 2016

Looking toward the Village Hall and Riverbank Tearooms which faces the village green

Looking toward the Village Hall and Riverbank Tearooms which faces the village green

Archant

Keith Carter leads a walk from Newton in Bowland, one of Lancashire’s loveliest and most unspoilt villages

Newton in Bowland prides itself on being the place where you can hear the grass grow, not meant to be taken literally I suppose but a metaphor to attract people wanting to escape from the hurly burly. Certainly you could do worse if you want to get away from it all but without a car you’d be stuck.

Once known as Newton on Hodder, the river passes through the village under Newton Bridge, rising on White Hill and supplying Stocks Reservoir before continuing down one of the loveliest valleys in Lancashire to join the Ribble near Hurst Green. The Hodder was the ancient boundary between Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire and indeed the name is said to mean ‘boundary’ in Old English.

This month’s walk starts at Newton bridge close by the 17th century Newton Hall, re-built by Paley and Austin who were responsible for many of the classic buildings in the north west including Holker Hall, Leighton Hall and Lancaster Grammar School. From the name of the pub, the Parkers Arms you would assume that Newton had a close connection with the family of that name but they came from Browsholme Hall and still do for that matter.

Parking in the village has to be at the roadside wherever you can find a space that doesn’t block anyone in. There is room for two small cars in the lay-by beside the now closed public convenience. Walk down to the bridge but don’t cross it, taking instead the opening in the wall to the left of the road where steps lead down to a riverside path.

Proceed with the river on your right hand side through a series of meadows and a number of stiles and on reaching a fenced compound for water treatment, circumvent it by following the fence round three sides to resume the walk beside the river. The large house over to the left in the trees is Dunnow Hall which once housed a school but is now a family home with apartments.

Stay with the river as far as Slaidburn which we approach through the car park beside the Village Hall, re-opened in 2007 at a cost of £1.5m, a great improvement from the former premises above a garage. Walk up the village street past the war memorial to the T-junction to find the Hark to Bounty pub, surely the only pub of that name in Britain. Nothing to do with the Mutiny on the Bounty, the name comes from a celebrated foxhound whose barking used to wake up the local parson. This is a great little pub with no frills, unspoiled by theme-ing or gastro pretensions, just an honest, plain hostelry with good ale and tasty well-cooked food. If you’re there on Fridays, try the fish and chips.

The Hark to Bounty still retains the old courtroom upstairs and they’ll let you see it if you ask nicely. Although now used for functions you can still imagine it filled with the hubbub of the court in session trying people accused of poaching the game from the nearby forest. The Silver Band plays in the pub garden on some summer evenings and the haunting lilt of their trademark tune ‘Slaidburn’ can raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

Turn right out of the pub and walk away from the village past the surgery and up the hill to the top of the brow. Look for a gateway on the left and a sign indicating Pain Hill Farm. Take the access track and on reaching the farm go through a gate and keep right across the front of the farm house to a second gate then go left round the end of a barn to a less obvious track following beside a wall on the left. Here a collection of agricultural junk has been deposited, left to gradually disintegrate as

the years pass and rust returns it to the soil.

The indistinct track leads to a gate then climbs through a field towards a grove of trees on the skyline. Don’t be tempted by the stile that appears over to the left, it’s not for us. Instead keep ahead over the brow, past a wood on the left and approach a farm via two gates. These are the buildings of Crawshaw Farm. Go past the farmhouse, then a barn on the left. The access track leads from the farm to a lane much in need of re-surfacing but I imagine well down the list of priorities, the roads in the area full of potholes. It leads back to Newton, passing on the way a walled enclosure which turns out to be the Quaker Burial Ground.

The overgrown cemetery is a poignant place, the inscriptions on the few headstones hardly legible and one’s sense of order seems to demand that the site be cleared and order restored out of respect for the dead. Then again perhaps it is best left as it is, undisturbed.

At the bottom of the hill we come to a T-junction and by turning left we find ourselves back in the village. A tiny, rustling noise could just be discerned, faint as the falling of leaves. Could it be – surely not – the sound of grass growing?

Compass points

Area of walk: Newton in Bowland

Map: OS Explorer OL41 Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale

Distance of walk: Five miles

Time to allow: Three hours

Refreshments on the route: Hark to Bounty, Slaidburn. The teashop by the river in Slaidburn is open in the season and there are toilets at the car park there.

Not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

0 comments

More from Out & About

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
Friday, September 7, 2018

This varied selection of walks are all within ten miles of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Natural Beauty.

Read more
Arnside Silverdale
Monday, September 10, 2018

Making a television programme about the Lakes has re-affirmed Paul Rose’s deep affection for the area

Read more
Lake District
Friday, September 7, 2018

A succesful application could see the restoration of the Japanese Gardens and the creation of a water sports centre.

Read more

Is it a village? Is it a town? Who cares when the locals take such a pride in making this such a lovely place to visit

Read more
Thursday, August 30, 2018

A new survey method could unlock the secrets of the bog bush cricket in Lancashire following their discovery on Little Woolden Moss, Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Ellie Sherlock joins the search.

Read more
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Heritage venues across the region – many of them not normally open to the public – will welcome visitors this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It’s officially England’s favourite flower and if you want to see some beautiful examples, follow Linda Viney to Mawdesley

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A circular walk which skirts the Lune estuary and takes in the Lancaster Canal and the railway line.

Read more

Behind the ancient sandstone facade of Browsholme Hall is a remarkable ethos of 21st century sustainability and care for the environment.

Read more
Bowland
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Keswick really is a gem of a town – just ask anyone from jeweller Brian Fulton to mountaineering legend Sir Chris Bonington

Read more
Keswick
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

From cyclists to star-gazers, Bowland is attracting more visitors. It’s Hetty Byrne’s job to ensure they have fun without harming the environment

Read more
Bowland

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