Walk 2278 - printer friendly version
Ward's Stone from Stoops Bridge Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 13.0 miles / 21.1 km
Ascent - 1630 feet / 494 metres
Grade - mod/hard
Start - OS grid reference SD563544
Lat 53.9837940 + Long -2.6678864
Postcode LA2 9BH (approx. location only)
This walk to Ward's Stone, in the Forest of Bowland, takes you to the highest point in Lancashire (560 metres). The lengthy route combines a cultivated valley with moorland, and despite the length of the walk is never too strenuous. The walk should be avoided in low cloud as the moorland section has few landmarks and can be confusing. After heavy rain some of the moorland paths maybe wet underfoot.
The start is the small car park adjacent to Stoops Bridge near Abbeystead Reservoir (grid ref. SD5635440. After parking walk across the bridge and take the first footpath on the right. Cross the stone set stile and head north across fields. On reaching a road, turn left and continue generally uphill for just under two kilometres to reach the Jubilee Tower (grid ref. SD542573). Turn right into the car park and take the path adjacent to a fence. As you gain height you can enjoy improving views. At the third boundary post (grid ref. SD557589), turn right and make the short ascent onto Grit Fell.
Descend to the east and follow a concessionary path across the moor. Go straight across a track and start a gradual ascent to reach Ward's Stone and an OS trig column after two kilometres. The stone is not the highest point which is soon reached at a second trig column. Ahead you have a view of the Three Peaks Country in the Yorkshire Dales. Continue along the path to reach an angled fence by the Queen's Stone (grid ref. SD595587). Fork right here and keep the fence on your left. Continue to a wall. Bear right with the wall and continue on the grassy path soon passing two boulders (Grey Crag) on the other side of the wall. The wall becomes a fence for a while before a wall takes over again. A fence replaces the wall again at a stile. Continue to a ladder stile in the broad col, with Wolfhole Crag rising ahead.
Turn sharp right and follow the path to start the descent from the watershed. A good track soon appears, and this is followed across Tarnbrook Fell. At the intake wall, the track turns sharp right and continues to a road in Tarnbrook. Turn left (following the Wyre Way, initially a walled track, the path heads southwest across fields to Top of Emmetts where you follow their access drive to a road (grid ref. SD575547). Cross the road to a stile and continue across fields following the Wyre Way to reach Strait Lane. Turn left and head downhill to the start at Stoops Bridge.