& HEARTWARMING SEASONAL FLAVOURS
With their dog Rover, Rob and Jen Walmsley enjoy a bracing circular walk followed by a delicious, seasonal meal at the Shireburn in Hurst Green
This three-hour riverside ramble starts from the Shireburn Arms and descends through farmland to the River Ribble, crossing the beautifully restored footbridge at Dinckley, then following the river downstream to re-cross at the Roman settlement of Ribchester and return through the woods.
Distance: 8.7km / 5.4 miles
Time: 21/2 to 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate – 175m of ascent on occasionally rough and uneven paths with several stiles
Dogs: Livestock grazing in most of the fields, so keep dogs under close control and ideally on a lead
Map: OS Explorer OL41/ OS Landranger 103
Parking: Shireburn Arms, Whalley Road, Hurst Green BB7 9QJ
Grid ref: SD 685378
1. From the front door of pub, turn left and after 25 yards take the farm track on the left along Lambing Clough Lane. Descend past the houses and over the cattle grids for half a mile and follow the track between farm buildings then cross the stile on the left to follow the footpath along the edge of the woods to the newly restored footbridge over the Ribble.
2. Cross the river then turn right and follow the far bank for half a mile to Marles Wood. After another quarter of a mile through the woods, where the river widens into a lagoon, ignore the concessionary path to the left and continue straight on through the woods to the lane.
3. Turn right along the lane and continue past Salesbury Hall, following the lane for three-quarters-of-a-mile to the stone bridge at Ribchester. Cross the bridge and turn right along the track following the Ribble Way.
4. At the farmyard, turn right, continuing along the Ribble Way. Continue for half-a-mile through a kissing gate and over a footbridge into the woods as the river meanders to the right.
5. Before the lagoon, the footpath leaves the riverside and climbs left through the woods and through a kissing gate onto open pastureland. Continue along the edge of the woods then head straight across the field and through a gate.
6.After the gate, head left to the signpost on the edge of the coppice then continue over a stile in the corner of the field. Go diagonally over the next field to a gate, then right into a track and almost immediately left through a gate. Follow the left-hand field boundary as it curves round to reach a footbridge in the corner of the field.
7. Across the footbridge, follow the path along the woodland on the left for 50 yards then head half right, diagonally across the field to a stile next to a solitary oak tree. Continue straight over the next field for 250 yards, descending to a stream and crossing the footbridge and following the path along the edge of the woods for 200 yards before crossing the stile and continuing across the field to return to Lambing Clough Farm.
8. Turn left into Lambing Clough Lane and follow it uphill back to the village. At the top of the track is the Shireburn Arms.
The Shireburn is a welcoming country inn at the heart of the pretty village of Hurst Green – nestling beside the elegant architecture and beautiful grounds of Stonyhurst College. Walkers are always welcome for a refreshing drink and wholesome bar food at this friendly small hotel. Enjoy stunning views over the Ribble Valley from the beer garden in summer and roaring log fires in the colder months.
With thanks to Walks with Taste
Thirsty from our ramble with Rover we headed straight to the bar, as always I had my eyes on a pint of one of Bowland Brewery’s exceptional local ales. After a taste, I chose the seasonal golden ale Harvest Moon, which was full of malty flavours and floral, citrus aromas. Hearing the pop of Prosecco being opened proved too much of a temptation for Jen who called over from a cosy corner by an open fire: ‘Go on then, I’ll have one!’
Relaxed and with Rover settled by the fire, we decided to stay for food, hungry after an afternoon exploring the idyllic countryside on a circular walk from the Shireburn in Hurst Green to Ribchester and back – we couldn’t resist three courses each!
Jen opted for salt and pepper squid, after my rave review from our last visit. Fresh and full of flavour, the dish was perfectly complemented by a sweet pineapple dipping sauce. I chose pan-seared scallops, which were divine! This well-presented starter pays homage to the region’s finest produce, cooked to perfection with black and white pudding, streaky bacon and a leek and smoked Lancashire cheese sauce. The plate was packed full of flavour.
For main Jen again chose well with the deliciously tender honey and soy marinated pork fillet with stir fried vegetables, sticky rice and teriyaki sauce.
I had the chargrilled 8oz Barnsley chop, which satisfies even the hungriest of appetites. The naturally sweet fat kept the chop succulent and tasty.
Cooked perfectly it was moist, melt-in-the-mouth and magnificent! Served on a bed of creamy champ mash with seasonal vegetables, this was perfect comfort food, on a wet and chilly autumnal evening.
Leaving room for dessert, we shared one of our favourites – sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream – along with a gooey and delicious chocolate brownie, both of which were portioned well and, importantly, not too overwhelming.
With excellent service and great quality food, our meal at the Shireburn Arms was both comfortingly familiar and yet still a wonderfully special experience.
Whalley Road, Hurst Green BB7 9QJ