Lancashire walk - Bolton by Bowland

PUBLISHED: 00:00 23 May 2018

The picturesque village green at Bolton by Bowland

The picturesque village green at Bolton by Bowland

john Lenehan

Hearty breakfasts and delicious dinners are just two reasons for walking in this stunning area, as John Lenehan discovers

A sign of unhappier times when the locals were forced to live in YorkshireA sign of unhappier times when the locals were forced to live in Yorkshire

Bolton by Bowland is a Lancashire village that was once a Yorkshire village but I suspect some of the older inhabitants maintain their allegiance to the white rose despite the administrative boundaries changing in 1974. Whatever your view, nothing can detract from the fact that it is a lovely little place with an historic charm that is felt as soon as you arrive.

Some of my walks are developed from areas that I know through walking or running. Others, like this one, are plotted on the map at home and are completely new to me. I don’t know what I am going to find when I set off and it feels good when I am walking on footpaths that have little or no wear as it is quite likely the route will be new to the readers, too.


The Old Court House is one of more than 40 listed buildings in the parish (Picture: Tony Moran/Alamy)The Old Court House is one of more than 40 listed buildings in the parish (Picture: Tony Moran/Alamy)

1. Leave the car park and turn left and cross the bridge over the stream then immediately turn right and cross the stile and follow the footpath with the stream on the right. Keep on and cross a stile then climb uphill but still following the stream that is now below you. Pass a concrete gate post and carry on to a stile and cross this. In the distance there is a newish looking house and some polythene greenhouses of a garden centre. Head towards these and cross a stile that leads into the garden centre car park. Cross this and join the main road and turn right.

Note: I always try to do some historical research of the places I am walking from but in the case of Bolton by Bowland all internet links led me to the village website It is superb and well worth visiting.

A happy eater enjoying a pre-walk bacon butty in the village teashopA happy eater enjoying a pre-walk bacon butty in the village teashop

2. Follow the road until it reaches a bridge by a group of houses. Cross the bridge then turn right up a track with a sign saying Public Bridleway. Pass Ivy Cottage on the left and follow the track and turn right over a bridge then immediately go through a metal gate with a footpath sign on the left. Once through the gate turn right and follow the path uphill and then, with a stream bed on the left, keep onto a stile. Cross this and keep straight on. It can be very muddy along here and the path is indistinct but passes between trees on either side as a guide. Eventually the path reaches a stile. Cross this and onto a track that passes the buildings of Little Monubent on the left and keep on the track until it reaches the main road.

3. Cross the road and enter the yard of Monubent Head Farm. Keep straight on towards a big open fronted building then turn right then left past the side of the building and cross a stile. Bear diagonally right towards a fence and keeping this on the right. Follow it down the field until it almost reaches a wood then cross a small footbridge on the left over a ditch and cross the stile then turn left. Keep the wood on the left and bear slightly right towards a stile, cross this and go through a small copse to another stile and cross this and a track and cross the stile on the opposite side. Bear slightly right and cross the field to a stile in a wire fence.

4. The panoramic view to Pendle from here is stunning. Cross the stile and turn right.

Note: On the OS map after the stile the public footpath goes to the middle of the field then splits with my route turning right. In reality the huge field has no sign of a path nor a junction in the middle. We did however walk to the other side of the field to a stile that proved the footpath did cross the field.

We decided that we would take the short alternative route I have shown as it followed fence lines and seemed better than wandering around an open field. As this was a deviation from the public footpath I contacted the landowner who gave me permission to use this alternative route for this walk only.

Many thanks to Michael Cornthwaite of Bowland Irish Draught Horses and Closes Hall Farm for giving me permission.

Follow the wire fence on the right then at the end of the field turn left and follow the fence to a stile on the right in the wire fence. Cross this and the stream and then cross another stile in a wire fence then bear right to a hedgerow and with this on the right follow it down to a wooden gate that leads into a main road. There should be a footpath sign at the gate pointing back to where you have come from but this has gone.

5. Cross the road and go through the stile to the right of a house named Pendle Wood View. Keep the house and fence on the left then cross a stile on the left and follow the fence that is now on the right. Follow the fence as it turns right past a small pond then right again for a short distance to a fence facing and then turn left and follow the fence on your right down to a metal gate. Go through the gate and keeping the hedgerow on the left follow this downhill to a metal gate by a building with a fuel tank. Go through the gate and turn right to Fooden Hall Farm.

Note: Near to Fooden Hall is a spring whose waters are supposed to help with fertility. According to the village website, Sir Ralph Pudsey of Bolton Hall had three wives and twenty five children. I can only assume that he almost drowned himself in the stuff every day.

6. Enter the yard of Fooden Hall Farm and facing you is a metal building and in front of it a footpath post with footpath signs fixed on it. Go behind the post and keep the building on the left and climb some steps to a stile on the left. Cross this and turn right and follow the path as it goes around the farm buildings now on the right to a stile. Cross the stile and turn left and keep to the hedgerow on the left. Cross another stile and keep straight on keeping following the hedgerow on the left. The River Ribble is down below a steep escarpment on the left at this point.

Note: Somewhere along here there is a place called Pudsay’s Leap. This is where William Pudsay, who had set up his own mint, escaped customs men in the time of Queen Elizabeth I by leaping over the 90ft escarpment on his horse and landing safely on the opposite side of the Ribble. If he did I think his horse was called Pegasus and really did have wings.

Cross a stile with a sign on it saying Bolton Hall and Bolton by Bowland and keep straight on with the path passing through some newly planted trees. Cross a stile in a wire fence into an open field keep to the right and go downhill to a stile by a small concrete building. The stile has a sign for Bolton by Bowland on it, cross this and a small footbridge and then keep straight on to a stile in a fence. Cross the stile and bear slightly left to a stone cottage.

7. To the left of the cottage is a gate stile, go through this and turn right and at the bottom of the small hill turn right again and follow the road past Bolton Hall Farm and onto where it joins the main road in Bolton by Bowland opposite the church. Turn left and walk back through the village to the car park.

Compass points

Start/finish: Public car park in the village.

Distance: 6 Miles/9.65Km.

Terrain: Mostly track and footpath and these are mainly unused. There is about ½ mile of road in the first section but the grass verges are mainly wide enough to walk on if needed. It can be very muddy in section 2 so good boots and gaiters would be best.

Time: 3.5 hours

Facilities: There are excellent public toilets on the car park.

Map: OS map OL41 Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale.

Watering Holes

The Village Tearoom is a hidden gem – there is no sign on the front and at first glance seems to be a convenience shop. We had bacon sandwiches and they were packed with slices of local bacon and extremely tasty. It’s closed on Tuesdays.

Tel: 01200 447201

The smell of food from the Coach and Horse dispelled all thoughts of going home for tea after our walk. We got changed and went back and we were delighted that we did. First class real ale and truly excellent food. We vowed to visit again with our wives. Superb.

Tel: 01200 447331

10 foodie walks in the Ribble Valley and Bowland

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

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Lancashire Life