Walk 2632 - printer friendly version
The Ribble Valley from Sawley Walk
Author - Mike Bexley
Length - 9.0 miles / 14.6 km
Ascent - 950 feet / 288 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SD775466
Lat 53.915053 + Long -2.3440314
Postcode BB7 4NH (approx. location only)
This beautiful low level walk roughly follows the River Ribble. The route twists and turns through woods, across fields and over bridges with plenty of wildlife and the possibility of seeing the deer that frequent this area.
The walk starts from Sawley River bridge (Grid ref. SD775466). There is limited parking near the corner west of bridge. Follow the footpath upstream (north) to a footbridge. The path, indicated by traffic cones, crosses the field (one o'clock) to the river again before continuing towards Hell Syke Bridge, using the footbridge to cross Holden Beck.
Proceed in the same general direction across the field to the left of the woods (Grid ref. SD 780 485). Turn right at the gate down to Skirden Beck with its ford and footbridge. The path now climbs to the left of woods to reach a lane. Turn right towards Bolton Hall - the residence of Sir Ralph Pudsey who with the help of three wives had 25 children!
Keep to the lane down to the cottages then go left, walking left of a derelict barn before continuing up the field ahead to a low flat roof building. The path follows the curve of the river passing Grove and Low Woods terminating at Fooden Hill Farm. The path turns right then left around the building. Go through the small gate leading to the front of the house, turn right passing farm buildings then left through two five bar gates climbing away from the farm. Turn left as the field opens up. There is a short stone path on your left and with the fence on your left head for Bolton Close Plantation (Grid ref. SD 805 494).
Leaving the woods, head right of the tree ahead and right of the fence down to House Beck. Go over the stile and footbridge. Climb up the field heading for a finger-latch door between Park House and its garage on the left. Then walk straight ahead to Gisburn Road (Grid ref. SD 811 498). Turn right along the road then right again at the kennels down to the river at Gisburn Bridge.
The road climbs away from the river and you must turn right at the bridleway signed Coppy House. You have now joined the Ribble Way and will continue to follow it back to your start. On reaching the Coppice Farm go through the left-hand gate and follow the signs down the field and over a beck turning right up to a gate. Continue up hill to the right of Wheatley on to a metalled lane.
Walk down the lane turning left at the footpath sign. The path keeps to the left of the hedge to the corner of the field, passing a barn. Go through the gate and turn left. Ignore the gate to the river at the bottom of the field. Keep close to the left fence then down to cross over a small beck (Grid ref. SD 809 485). The path turns sharp right and then left across some pleasant meadows to drop down to the Ribble at Steep Wood.
At one time you could follow the river bank back to Sawley. However this is now prohibited so it is a steep climb up the steps to Long Holme Row. Turn right after the first building and head for the bridge over the railway and straight on to a gate at Gisburn Cotes Farm. Turn right along the lane and over the railway again at Gisburn Cotes Hall. Go through the gate on your right then diagonally up the field. Look out for a concrete bunker, and continue towards Huggan Ing Farm.
The path is marked right then left before the farm continuing through many five bar gates to the woods at New Laithe. Leave the tree house via a gate up the field and down into Dockber Farm. Follow the farm road down towards Sawley. Look out for a couple of small gates on your right that drop you down to the river. Then it is on to your start at the river bridge, unless you wish to see the Old Abbey remains in the village, which is on your right.