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Lancashire Walk
Whithnell Moor & Great Hill from Brinscall

County/Area - Lancashire

Author - Mike Bexley

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km    Ascent - 1090 feet / 330 metres

Time - 4 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SD628214
Lat 53.687718 // Long -2.564765
Postcode PR6 8PJ (approx. location only)
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Ordnance Survey Explorer 287Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

The major part of this walk is across moors, at times on feint paths so experience in compass and map work would be an advantage. The deserted vast expanse of the moors and the views from Great Hill are broken up with visits to woods at Tockholes and Wheelton Plantation.

Start from the main road corner in Brinscall village (Grid ref SD628214) just a 4 mile drive from the busy M61 and M65 motorways. From the start walk north-east up the 'Not Suitable for 7.5T' lane. Just after the house turn right at the footpath sign (Grid ref. 631215). Keep straight on this old path until it reaches a T-junction of paths (Grid ref 630210) where a right turn takes you down to the corner of the woods. Turn left up the hill following the wall and passing to the right of farm buildings. Continue in the same direction across the fields to the remains of Solomon's Temple (Grid ref 636206), the first of many grand place names on this walk.

Turn left at the 'Welcome to Access Area' sign heading north across the moors. The footpath is non-existent so keep to the left of the high ground ahead and then, on reaching the wall, turn right. Follow the wall to a track. Continue north on the track for a short way before turning right at the wooden post to head north-east. You will see another post ahead. Keep going in the same direction, by making sure the posts behind you remain in line, to reach a third post at Stepping Stones. Descend down the bank and cross over the stream to the stile ahead.

Continue in the same direction over the field to the end of a green lane (a wide path between two walls). It is just past a group of four wooden posts. Still continue in the same direction with the wall on your right to the junction of another green lane (Grid ref. 646214). Turn right along this lane, then left following the wall down to the corner of the woods. Go over a high stile, a footbridge and a further high stile. The undefined path ahead is across many fields and wire fences with stone steps and ends at the A675 main road to the left of Watson's Farm (Grid ref. 656209).

Cross over the road and take the indicated footpath into the woods. Once again there is little sign of a footpath but providing you head in straight direction down hill you will come to a bridleway. Turn right along this bridleway until you reach a stone river bridge with various direction signs. Follow the 'Slipper Lowe Car Park' sign to the right. The bridleway climbs with the River Roddlesworth on the right. Ignore the first feint footpath on the right but continue until the bridleway exits a clearing prior to turning left. Here you must take the feint footpath right that wanders through the trees then follows a wall down to a bridge over the river and up to Calf Hey Road Bridge (Grid ref. 658202).

The paths are clear from now on. Cross the road, turning left then go right over the stile to the footpath climbing up the moor. The views open up with each step. The large house on the main road down to your left is called Piccadilly, I couldn't resist naming that, and the masts in the distance ahead are on Winter Hill. The footpath leaves the fence to bear right to the ruins of Pimms then still keeping to the path climb up to Great Hill with it's fantastic views, seen from the walled shelter on the summit.

Leave the summit in a westerly direction passing Drinkwaters, yet another ruin, and on reaching the fork in the path (Grid ref. 634192) keep to the right bridleway later passing shooting butts. The bridleway makes a left turn near a very small pond (Grid ref 630201). Turn left here and follow the wall down to the stile at the woods. Continue down through the woods to a wide stone path. There are many paths leading right but if you follow this path to a metalled road where you turn left you will soon be back at the start.



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