#18 Salterforth

22 07 2011
22nd July 2011
solo
6.3 miles
Explorer OL21 (South Pennines)
Cloudy, breezy, the odd light shower.

Another journey up the M65 culminating in a small car park opposite the Anchor Inn, alongside the Leeds and Liverpool canal. The walk starts along the towpath, under the B6383 towards the outskirts of Barnoldswick. At the next bridge I left the canal to head up past a school, crossing the road and then steeply uphill through a field, after which I cross a stile and follow a desire line through a field of long grass before squeezing through a gap stile onto Letcliff Hill picnic area where there are good views back to Noyna Hill and the Yorkshire side of the Pennines.

Following the driveway for the picnic area back out to the B6251 which I cross and make my way briefly downhill and past a terrace of cottages, and then start up a steep track towards Moor Side Farm. Just before reaching the farm a dog comes to meet me quite aggressively, soon followed by two friends, fortunately one of the human inhabitants is available to call them off – but it does irritate me that I can’t walk along a public footpath without some dog thinking he owns it. I don’t have to pass the farm as the path leads off just before it – cutting across the side of the hill and then down across a brook and up the other side, passing through fields of sheep, and cows, and then some rather large bulls! Eventually I reach Folly Lane and turn westward again, up a steep, mainly straight, seemingly unending lane. I pass old farms – now homes of the wealthy, a stable and the odd holiday cottage; at Higher View farm the tarmacced lane ends, but a grassy droving route continues, still upward. At the end of this track I come to Duck Pond Farm which I skirt around and then take in the rather odd sculptures adorning the cottages on the far side. I cross one more field and then out onto the moor , this is pretty much the high point of the walk, and I can see Blacko Tower below me to the west.

At last, a downhill section! The first element is tricky as the long grass hides some rather wet sections, but soon after I find a track alongside a wall and am able to walk quickly down through moor then fields to the old Gisburn Road, the only difficulty being the state of upkeep of the gates: if farmers want walkers to close gates behind them – then they need to maintain them. I managed to shut all the gates, but a couple of them were very difficult. The book told me to turn into the field to my right and walk alongside the road, but I really didn’t see the point (particularly as it had started to rain), and the road was completely empty so I stayed on the tarmac for a while, turning left on a footpath slightly before that described in the book – cutting the corner to meet Lister Well Road a few hundred yards further on.

Lister Well Road is a track running straight through moorland, and at this time of year it looked stunning. I climbed gently tot he top of the road where I turned south into a field a started to drop down off the moor. On reaching Copy Nook Farm, I take a wide straight grassy path steeply downhill before emerging next to the Fanny Grey Inn on the B6251. This is the route I took on the drive here this morning so it is an easy stroll down to a stream and back uphill past some lovely old houses and barn-conversions and back to the Anchor Inn.

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