Although the start and finish of this ride are waymarked sections of Pennine Bridleway and the Ribble Way, there are a couple of places in the middle where you will need good map-reading skills

From Gisburn Bridge, take the track upstream on the left bank. Keep Gisburn Park Hospital to your left. After a short drop, join the A682 but you don’t need to join the traffic as Pennine Bridleway have created a parallel route.

You’ll see a wooded mound (Castle Haugh) on your left. Go diagonally across to its northern boundary and pick up a track dropping, with a couple of entertaining sections, to Paythorne Bridge.
Cross the bridge and immediately take the bridleway on the left, climbing to a grassy tussock along Loftrans Lane.

Join tarmac by going straight-on at the bend, then left at the junction. After half a mile south, turn right onto a bridleway. At the time of writing there is no bridleway sign but look out for a fingerpost and a house selling free range eggs.

You’re now on Monubent Lane. Where the gravelled track dinks left, go straight through a gate in a sunken lane. Follow this down, escaping the gully to the left for a short burst of superb single track to Forest Becks.

Turn left on the road then, a quarter of a mile later, hard right. Climb until, just after the road turns 90 degrees right, turn left onto a bridleway. Cross a moor, with prospects of Pendle.

Join Holden Lane and go up to the right, forking left onto Tinkler’s Lane. Ignore the bridleway heading south from Greenwoods (it starts well but becomes indistinct). Instead, press on to spot height 262 heading south on an indistinct track rising to the trig point at 283.

Head towards Champion Farm on the sketchiest of tracks. At the farm, take the good track south with Pendle as your beacon.

Turn left at the lane at the bottom (look out for the Quiet Lane signs). Follow this eastwards for a mile then take a good bridleway south to Higher Heights. Pay close attention here.

Turn hard right in front of the farm and make your way into an old drove road. Follow this for quarter of a mile then turn left. The bridleway is sketchy. If you’re lucky or skilful you’ll pick up the sunken Rodhill Lane which deposits you on the road north of Sawley.

Turn right and go over the bridge at Sawley. If you have time, visit the abbey and pop in for refreshment at the Spread Eagle. If not, follow the bridleway on the left bank heading upstream. The map offers a choice but I found the riverside option closed so had to fork right to Dockber.

Follow Ribble Way signs across fields with some landmarks (a sword set in a stone, a stone circle). Cross the railway and continue until you converge with the A59. Turn left on the A59 for a mile then left when you see the Pennine Bridleway signs. Follow these north, re-crossing the railway then east on the driveway of Coppice Cottages. Turn left on the road back to Gisburn Bridge.

Ride courtesy of: www.pedalnorth.com



Tedd Walmsley

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