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South Pennines Walk
Lothersdale from Cowling

Region - South Pennines

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Allan Friswell

Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km

Ascent - 1100 feet / 333 metres

Time - 4 hours 10 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SD973431
Lat 53.884082 // Long -2.04256
Postcode BD22 0BE (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Lothersdale from Cowling Photo from the walk - Lothersdale from Cowling Photo from the walk - Lothersdale from Cowling
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Park in the vicinity of the village Post Office (Grid ref. SD973431). From here walk up the hill and take the steep lane on your right down to Ickornshaw. Walk through the hamlet and keep on the road along Gill Lane, continuing along the main street of Middleton hamlet, and out into open country. The road climbs. Where it turns left, take the narrow road downhill on the right. At the foot turn right along a track, which is signed. Cross the stile. Bear left uphill to the stile by a gate, close to the power pole. Keep straight ahead making for the farm buildings. At the top of the field turn left, making for the stile and the next.

Make for the gate on the left of the farmhouse, and negotiate the stile/gate. The next gate/stile are at the top of the field straight ahead. Take the time to look behind you, with the hamlets of Ickornshaw and Middleton ahead and Cowling to the left dominated by the salt and pepper pots of Wainman's Pinnacle on the right and Lund's Tower further along.

Follow the right-hand wall uphill and cross the stile on to the metalled lane. Here you turn right, then immediately left. Follow the road downhill, round a sharp left-hand bend. Where the road bends right, take the stile on the left. The path bends to the right and then sharply left downhill to a gate. Keep the wall on your left downhill to ?a gate on the other side of a little beck. Follow the right-hand side of this field uphill, heading for Woodhead Farm and the stile/gate.

Keep ahead uphill, passing a couple more houses. Cross a cattle grid. 75 yards after the grid, the Pennine Way forks off on the right and descends steeply and somewhat scarily into Lothersdale, which lies giddily below. You feel you could fly down. You arrive at a gate (Grid ref SD958458). Watch out as you cross - the lower step on the other side is broken. Go down the well-made steps neatly bordered with herbaceous plants. At the road, turn right into the village. Leaving the pub on your left, look for the signposted path to Cowling 25 yards ahead on your right. Follow this down the steps and wind through the cottages to the gate at the foot of the chimney. Follow the beck to the sewage farm.

Here you cross the bridge and a stile (Grid ref SD965454), to follow the well-worn path on the right. Keep following the wall under power lines. After 75 yards you arrive at a gate with the tightest of squeeze stiles beside it. Then there's another one! Go ahead along the lane, and take the path on the right after 25 yards. Go through the gate or squeeze stile, hidden behind the signpost here, followed by a stile-cum-hole in the wall. Follow the left-hand edge of the field uphill to a stile. Go on uphill, keeping straight on as the hedge moves away from you. Before you get to the farm a gap in the fence appears to your left. Cross the little beck and head for the right-hand side of the farmhouse. Right by the garage is the exit stile. Go through the car parking area and follow the track away.

Pass through the gated stile on to the road. Cross the road and head down between the caravans, with the entrance gates to the Baptist church on your right, into the farmyard. Go down through this. There are two gates ahead. Go through the left-hand one, then the gate in the middle of the wall ahead and descend the field, making for the right-hand corner and the road sign where you see a kissing gate followed by a sturdy but steep ladder stile on to the road. Turn right.

The road bends sharp right and 25 yards after this you take the squeeze stile on the left. Walk half left across the field going down a steep incline and keeping the beck near on your right. Go across this stile. You descend ladder steps, and the you must then find a way across the beck before clambering up the other side and turning left, to follow the line of the beck. Note After rain you may find it difficult to cross the beck.

The path keeps disappearing but stay on line. Eventually, after you have ducked under yet more Hawthorn trees you come to a gate where the path veers sharp right. Go through it. Keep following the course of the beck, through another gate and take care not to miss the bridge, hidden away at the bottom of a slight ridge. Follow the path right as it climbs gently away from the beck, and finally running parallel with the power lines. You come to a green T-junction. Turn right. Head down back to the beck, passing a couple of benches and cross the bridge. The path becomes paved, then setted. Go over the bridge. More slabs, then steps lead you to houses, steps and then a broad track which leads to the main road. Turn right and walk back up through the village to the shop.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. This applies in England. Wales & Scotland have different and stricter rules which do not allow walking away from home.

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