Walk 2596 - printer friendly version
The River Brock & Beacon Fell Walk
Author - Mike Bexley
Length - 9.0 miles / 14.6 km
Ascent - 1000 feet / 303 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SD548430
Lat 53.881212 + Long -2.6890681
Postcode PR3 0PP (approx. location only)
A walk with plenty of variety visiting the south western perimeters of The Forest of Bowland yet within eight miles of Preston and the M6. After leaving the car park at the start, you follow the river. Then it is across farm fields to Beacon Fell with a reward of wonderful views before returning along the river. I advise you to take a map as the field crossings can be confusing and I have taken this into consideration in my description. The walk has many stiles and gates to climb over.
Leave Brockmill Car Park (Grid ref. SD548430) near 'Nanny's Breasts' and follow the River Brock downstream keeping the river on your left. The sign posted river footpath takes you to Walmsley Bridge (Grid ref. SD 534 415). Turn left at the lane then go right over the stile and up the field looking for a high stile ahead. You will be walking parallel to electricity pylons (marked on the map) on your right. Continue in the same direction across the field and over a gate at the derelict Higher Barn to the woods ahead. Turn left along the bridleway following the boundary of the woodland to Winn House. Turn right along their drive to exit at the road (Grid ref. SD 543 411).
Turn left along the road then right over the stile. Keep the fence on your right. At the end of the first field you will notice on your map that the footpath crosses diagonally left then returns to the stile ahead of you. Cross over this stile heading for the left hand corner of the field. Go over a further stile then another stile on your right. Again head left diagonally across the field towards the left side of some trees through a five bar gate passing Lower Trotter Hill Farmhouse. Follow their drive to the road (Grid ref. SD 552 412).
Turn left on the road then right over a stile. Keep straight ahead then bear left to follow the high hedge on your left to the drive from Great Plane Tree Farm. Cross over the drive then a stile and head diagonally left towards the buildings, with the many dogs, exiting onto the road (Grid ref. SD 559 412). This used to be The Cross Keys Inn. St James Church, Whitechapel, is on your left.
Climb over the gate across the road into a green lane. Then follow the line of trees and bear left to the corner of the field. You will need to negotiate a fence prior to crossing over the stile. After the stile bear left climbing up the field towards some woods. Head for a tall tree that has most of its trunk exposed. A path leads you down over a stream and up a track through the woods to the road (Grid ref. SD 563 420).
Turn right up the road then left at the footpath sign through the modernised Crombleholme Fold Buildings. The path climbs up passing a spring to a stile. Bear right after this stile towards another stile that leads into the woods. On your left are extensive views across the plains and in the distance on a good day can be seen the Great Orme near Llandudno in North Wales. A pleasant path through the woods brings you out opposite The Bowland Visitors Centre, Beacon Fell Country Park. The Country Park is well worth another visit with its many paths and sculptures. If you could not locate the Great Orme before then you have another chance using the 'Orme Sight' next to the visitors centre. Its open eye lines up with the Orme.
After a stop for refreshments, take the path heading up through the woods from the top right hand corner of the car park. The path is marked with a yellow footpath disc. The path climbs steeply to reveal at the top a spectacular view ahead of the Forest of Bowland Fells. Follow the footpath down through a gate into the woods to reach a road (Grid ref. SD 570 430). Cross the road and continue down the field turning right at the footpath junction sign, over the stile into Sagar's Farm. Turn left to follow their drive to the road (Grid ref. SD 572 438).
Turn right along the road to the modernised Wickins Barn. The public footpath sign is located at the far end of the property and leads to a stone stile in a wall. Keep close to the left-hand fence as you leave the stile then left on reaching the large fence gap and over a further stile to follow a fence on your right to a gate. Follow the green track which goes diagonally left across more open country to arrive at a stile leading into Gill Barn Wood (Grid ref. SD568443).
Descend right to a footbridge keeping to the path that leads to a second footbridge, shown on most maps (Grid ref. 566 445). Do not cross over the river but follow the River Brock downstream leading to twin stiles into a camping ground. Continue in the same direction passing the toilet block. Just after the car park and prior to the drive turning left, descend down the steps towards the woods by the river. The clear path closely follows the river although at times it is eroded. Note there has been a substantial landslip at GR SD553443. The path upstream of this in Boggy Wood is just that with very nasty mud, which is almost impassable in places after wet weather. On reaching an attractive white painted cottage turn left up the lane then at the large footpath sign nailed to the tree turn right dropping down towards the river continuing across the fields to the road at Higher Brockmill Bridge. Turn right over the bridge leads you back to the start.