LET’S TAKE A WALK…
Bob Clare takes us on a gentle stroll from Marles Wood through the Ribble Valley with fine views of Pendle
Start/finish: Marles Wood car park and picnic area near Salesbury Hall, Ribchester PR3 3XR
Distance: 51/2 miles 9 kilometres
Time: 21/2 – 31/2 hours
Summary: Easy walking over farmland
Maps: OS Explorer 287
1 – Return to the lane and turn right walking downhill to the first bend. Cross a stile on the left and follow a footpath leading uphill at first alongside trees but after a stile diagonally right across fields. As the path levels out turn right at a wire fence and continue to a junction of footpaths at a corner close to a large ash tree. Here turn left over a wooden stile and continue along a track to reach a large farm. Keep ahead through the yard and continue along its drive to arrive at Copster Green.
2 – The Green is bisected by the busy A59. When you reach the road turn left and then after 200 yards left again onto the drive leading towards Copster Hall. Continue on the drive as it crosses a cattle grid and passes a barn to reach a sprawling small holding. Here bear right to cross a stile next to a metal gate. In the field beyond bear left crossing a large field and then dropping to a wooden footbridge over Park Brook. Across this climb up to an isolated stone stile and then keep ahead, at first following the remains of an old dry stone wall, to a wooden stile in the left field corner. In the next field, which is marshy, aim for the gable end of a property at Dinckley Grange to the right. As you come near to it cross a stile onto the lawn and then join the drive leading past the grand house. As the drive bears left and before it reaches the lane, turn right onto a path leading into a large field. Keep ahead for 400 yards then as the way begins to drop towards Park Brook turn left crossing a stile next to the brook in the left hand field corner. Cross the field and a stile into the lane, turn right and immediately left onto the drive of another imposing property. After passing the barn on the right go through a wooden gate and continue over the next field aiming towards the left of Aspinall’s Farm ahead. The path dips to a plank bridge and then traverses three fields to bring you alongside the main house.
3 – Follow the path to the left of the farm to cross a new stile into a lane. Turn left and keep on this for 500 yards to reach a junction. Here turn right onto a private road leading down to Dinckley Hall. Pass the main entrance to the hall itself and when you can proceed no further turn left onto a path that drops down to the river close by the impressive suspension bridge. The way continues past the bridge (not across it) with the river on your right. After crossing waterside pastures the path enters Marles Wood and then after 500 yards turns upwards for the car park.
With thanks to Crowood Press for permission to use this walk and map from 100 Walks in Lancashire by Bob Clare, which is published by Crowood Press and is available in booksellers, outdoor shops and online priced at £10.99