Weekend walk: Nab’s Head

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with Bob Clare of www.lancashirewalks.com

Back in March Nigel led us on a walk that included a visit to Samlesbury Hall. We all came away pleased that this historic building had been included on the itinerary. A common reaction was “I have driven past this place countless times and had no idea it had so much to offer.” We all agreed that our visit had been all too brief and resolved to return again at the earliest opportunity. There were many attractions that would appeal to the whole family and not just to crusty old pensioners who enjoy pottering about in historic buildings. The route described passes so close to Samlesbury Hall that it would be amiss not to go in and check out its treasures. And if you do you’ll come away like the Dotcom Walkers wanting to go again. Did I mention entry is free? (SEE www.samlesburyhall.co.uk)

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Fact File

Start: Nab’s Head PR5 0UQ

Distance: 7 miles

Time: 3 – 4 hours

Grade: Mainly easy but with a sustained ascent from Arley Brook to the top of the Yellow Hills.

Maps: OS Explorer 287 West Pennine Moors

Directions

With the New Nab’s Head pub on your left walk down Nab’s Head Lane to reach the busy A677 Preston New Road. Turn right. Opposite is the entrance to Samlesbury Hall. Returning to this point after a visit turn into Park Lane an unmade road that soon forks left in trees to maintain a parallel course for the next ¾ mile. After bending left back towards the A677 with a service station in sight turn right onto a public footpath that on a farm track crosses a cattle grid and takes you towards Moss Hall Farm. As you near the entrance go left edging around the complex to pick up a track on the far side. As this passes into a second large enclosure climbing slightly uphill move left away from the track following a path that goes behind the garden of a cottage and then after a field gate turns right to reach a small gate leading onto Further Lane. Turn right. Follow the lane up to the entrance of Woodfold Hall.

Turn left onto a footpath that runs alongside the drive leading to Woodfold Park Stud. With the boundary wall of the estate to your right keep ahead over a stile near to a white gate and continue following a line of telephone poles down to a stile next to the fence. Across this turn right onto a track that takes you across a drive to a gate leading into a large field. Follow the hedgerow on the left down through a gateway and bear left crossing a grassy culvert soon after. Now bear right to follow Arley Brook which you cross by a wooden footbridge. The next 1 ½ miles consists mainly of climbing. It is not Mount Everest but it is uphill for the most part. After the bridge follow the fence to the left. At the second stile on the left cross and continue uphill until you intercept a farm track. Turn left. Go through the next metal gate on the right and then follow a grassy path across a large field to a gateway. Keep ahead crossing a brook by means of an impressive culvert (one that has the dimensions of a railway embankment) to emerge on a farm track. Turn right into an enclosed corner and with the playing fields of Westholme School to your right resume the climb to a stile in a fence on the right. Through this continue through young trees (at the time of writing) to a stile leading onto a road. (The drive leading down to the school.) Cross the stile opposite and in the direction of a signposts climb a little more steeply to reach another road which serves what might be described as “an exclusive development”. Turn right to arrive on Billinge End Road.

Turn left and then soon after turn right through a small car park on the edge of Billinge Hill Wood. Follow the track to an area of open space (redundant car park) and go through a metal kissing gate on the right. This leads onto an elevated meadow with extensive views. Now on the Witton Weavers Way you’ll follow it for the next 1 ¼ miles until you reach Close Farm. After a stile climb to a rocky outcrop to view the Alfred Wainwright Memorial and admire one of the best views in Lancashire and therefore the world! From this pinnacle gently descend to cross a stile in a fence and then another on the left leading into woodland. When you reach a drive close to a property turn left and soon after branch right into trees. When the path forks go right to exit the woods at a stile. Keep ahead crossing two fields to a lane. The Witton Weavers Way continues opposite taking you to Close Farm. Once on its drive after an awkward double stile turn right walking past Alum Scar House. At the next junction turn left descending into Alum Scar itself and cross Arley Brook by means of a handsome stone bridge. On the far side follow the track up to where it intercepts a farm drive. Keep ahead to Further Lane ½ mile away. Turn left for Nab’s Head.

- Walk devised by Nigel Hext and Stuart Holley.

- Bob’s walks are now available as digital guides on the iFootpath website and App (see iFootpath.com)