LET’S TAKE A WALK…
This is a strenuous walk, with the first half a sustained climb, ascending almost 1,000 feet
Start: Slaidburn Village car park BB7 3ES
Distance: 8 miles – if diverting to summit of Waddington Fell add 11/2 miles
Time: 4-5 hours +40 minutes for optional diversion
Maps: OS OL41 The Forest of Bowland
From the car park turn left onto the B6478 which crosses the Hodder by bridge and climbs away from it steeply. After a sharp bend turn right onto a footpath accessed by a wooden gate. Follow the path through a field as it brings you alongside a wall gaining elevation to arrive at a step stile close to a gate. Cross this and with a wall to your left continue for 300 yards to a gate on the left. Through this continue in the same direction with the wall to your right descending to a quiet lane. Cross this directly onto the drive of Broadhead Farm. Passing the main farm to your right keep ahead and then bear right into the yard at the rear. A farm track crosses a brook and out into fields. Follow this and the waymark sign indicating straight ahead.
After a second metal gate the track peters out so aim diagonally right to the far corner about 300 yards away. Here turn right through a metal gate, ford a stream and after crossing stepping stones, at the next stream turn left through a gate on a path taking you up to Skelshaw. When you reach the farmhouse continue on a broad track leading uphill to the next farm – Fellside about half a mile away. As you arrive at Fellside turn left through the yard to go through a gate onto the open fell. The climb continues amid moorland. Keep on a track until it levels out bringing you to the Waddington road B6478.
A diversion to the summit of Waddington Fell is thoroughly recommended if weather and time permit. Turn left onto the road and as you reach a car park on the left go left onto a path that climbs up to picnic tables. Cross to a wire fence that encloses the quarry and follow it around the edge heading towards a radio mast. The trig point is close to this – on the far side of the quarry. After enjoying the views retrace your steps to where you joined the road. Keep on the road for almost a mile. After a large bend and at the corner of the next turn left onto a private road leading to New Laithe Farm.
After going through its yard keep ahead on a track to where it bends left. Here cross a field corner over a duet of stiles and continue downhill with the fence on your right. After a gate follow a tree-lined lane to a farm outbuilding. Here join a drive ahead leading to a lane.
Turn right and almost immediately cross a stile on the left leading onto the meadows of the Hodder. The last part of the walk follows this beautiful river to Slaidburn. Bear right in the first field crossing to a gate. After this bear left to a step arrangement in a fence. The path brings you alongside the water and continues to the B6478 just before Newton Bridge. Turn left to cross the river and on the far side turn right to follow a path back to Slaidburn. After Dunnow Hall on the left the path leaves the river as it circumvents the sewage – as one would. Back on the banks the path takes you through woodland before emerging on the green by the village hall with the car park ahead.
Walk devised by Nigel Hext and described by Bob Clare author of 100 Walks in Lancashire published by Crowood Press
Bob’s walks are now available as digital guides on the iFootpath website and App – see: www.iFootpath.com