LET’S TAKE A WALK
This short walk will introduce you to a lovely reach of the river with Pendle Hill as a backdrop
Start/finish: The Three Fishes, Great Mitton
Distance: 6.5k – 4.5m
Time: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
Maps: OS OL 41 The Forest of Bowland
Flat and easy with a short climb away from the river, after Edisford Bridge there is a road section of 1k where walkers are advised to walk on the right facing oncoming traffic.
From the Three Fishes turn right and walk downhill passing the church and the Old Hall. The road leads to Mitton Bridge which crosses the River Ribble. On the far side turn left onto a footpath through a kissing gate. There is a sign showing you have been on the Ribble Way – this 70 mile route follows the Ribble from its source in the Yorkshire Dales to its estuary near Longton. For the first part of the walk to Edisford Bridge you follow the Ribble Way. For most of it Pendle will be in sight.
The footpath follows a fence on the left and offers a splendid view of the church and hall across the river. Follow the field boundary as it leads uphill to a stile in a fence. Over this bear left and after a kissing gate enter a riverside pasture. Return to the riverside. Beyond a small service building join a track leading up to a utility bridge spanning the river. Here continue through a gate on a track that brings you to Shuttleworth Farm. After passing outbuildings on the right go through a kissing gate to diagonally cross a meadow to a second kissing gate in its far corner. Turn left onto the farm road.
After the river bends away left keep ahead for another 500 metres to reach a lane junction immediately beyond woods on the left. Here turn left and then right onto a track a short distance from the junction. Almost immediately go through the kissing gate onto an enclosed path. This soon reunites you with the river.
The path passes a camping and caravanning site to enter Riverside Park before Edisford Bridge. This is an attractive and popular amenity especially in the summer. Keep ahead through the playground and car park to join Edisford Road (B6243). Turn left.
There is no pavement over the bridge so be aware of traffic especially if admiring the charming riverscape from the bridge. Now keep firmly to the right side of the road as it climbs up past the Edisford Bridge Inn. Continue on the main road past the junction for Bashall and carry on for another 800 metres. Longridge Fell is to the right. Where the road bends sharply right cross to the drive of Far Lands Hall Farm.
Turn right onto a farm road (in the direction of holiday cottages). After crossing a stile next to a gate continue to the next gate. From here bear slightly right to cross a stile to a large field. Follow the hedge to your left as its leads you across fields by a series of stiles. After the way crosses a culvert, the next stile leads into a field. Keeping parallel to the hedge on the left keep ahead and a short distance beyond a small pond, turn left over a stile onto the enclosed Malkin Lane. After 300 metres it brings you onto a quiet lane opposite a house on Church Lane. Turn left and you’ll arrive in Great Mitton.