Ribble Valley Inns, part of the acclaimed Northcote group of companies, decided they would like to marry the countryside locations of their establishments with the walks on their doorsteps.
With this in mind they approached me in 2013 to help write a booklet of self-guided walks featuring routes from each of the four pubs in the group. So popular the booklet turned out to be that the group wanted to develop the idea into actual guided walks which have been organised for the past four years. The next programme of walks will be launched in a few weeks (see www.ribblevalleyinns.com for details). If you cannot wait to sample one of these walks here’s one we did earlier from the Bull at Broughton.
1.From the rear car park turn right onto a broad farm track which leads towards ‘The Landrover Experience’ taking you across Broughton Brook and past a handsome lodge - the east entrance to Broughton Hall. Keep ahead on the track past the large complex of holiday cottages (Eden). Keep on the track as it passes alongside a plantation of conifers on the right to go beneath a disused railway bridge.
2. Now commences the only real climb of the walk. Cross a stile on the right and head up hill to find a scattering of standing stones. Careful study will reveal that this is not a scattering but a carefully arranged spiral. Each stone represents a generation of the Tempest family which has owned the Broughton Hall Estate for over 900 years. Incidentally though not high - a mere 456ft above sea level - this grassy knoll offers a commanding view of the countryside around. Heading west descend to a stile and follow a path crossing a succession of fields for the next ¾ with the disused railway on the right. Below Low Ground Farm the drive joins the line of the old railway. Follow this to reach Church Lane.
3. Turn right. Follow the lane past School House and then the attractive church. Look for the headstone of Enoch Hall close the second gate on this approach (see below.) Keep on the lane for 700yards to arrive at the entrance of Broughton Hall Business Park. Turn right and follow signs to Eden. This route will take you behind the main complex and then onto the holiday cottages you passed at the start of the walk. When you reach your outward track turn left for the Bull. - Note: Parts of this walk pass through Broughton Hall Estate. Special permission to do this is given to RVI customers following this route. POINTS OF INTEREST - Broughton Hall is a Georgian country house centrally located in 3,000 acres of landscaped grounds. The hall is a Grade I listed building and has been the seat of the Tempest Baronets for 900 years and it is still run by a direct descendant of the Tempest family. A 14th-century document records the acquisition of a house, watermill and part of the manor of Broughton by Sir John Tempest. The park was landscaped in the 18th and 19th centuries and the Italianate terraced garden designed by William Andrews Nesfield c. 1855. The hall grounds accommodate a business park, with more than 50 companies employing more than 600 people. - Skipton to Colne Railway: The line between Skipton and Colne was opened in October 1848, part of the Leeds and Bradford Railway’s Shipley to Colne extension and at a cost of £67,000 (equivalent to £6 million in 2018). With the East Lancashire Railway reaching Colne from Burnley in February 1849 and the completion of the Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway in April 1849, a through route from Leeds to Liverpool was then established. The Skipton-Colne line was not listed for closure as part of Dr Beeching’s 1963 Report, however the line closed in February 1970. The Skipton East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership (SELRAP) is the campaign to reopen the Skipton to Colne railway line, as part of the rail network of the United Kingdom. - Enoch Hall was the school master at Elslack School from 1844 to 1872 and such was his reputation that several scholars were sent from Earby to be taught by him. He was described as six feet tall, somewhat corpulent and with clear and healthy skin, very white hair and “bore the impress of a gentleman”. The gravestone was erected by his scholars on June 16, 1910, as a token of their appreciation of him and his teaching.
Start/finish: The Bull at Broughton, BD23 3AE
Distance: 4½ miles
Time: 2-2 ½ hours
Maps: OS OL 2 The Yorkshire Dales Western and Southern Areas