Weekend walk: The Three Fishes and River Ribble

with Bob Clare of www.lancashirewalks.com

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 7:00 am
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Next week David Johnstone (secretary of the Norwest Fellwalking Club) and I are leading a walk from the Three Fishes, Great Mitton (see www.thethreefishes.com for details). What more could you ask for at this time of year than to go for a bracing walk followed by a delicious meal in this cosy country inn? Here we publish the route we intend to take for those readers who because of other commitments are unable to join us but would like to follow the walk for themselves. It is one of the finest in the Ribble Valley offering great views of Pendle and Longridge Fell.

May I take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

WALK FACTS

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Start: The Three Fishes Great Mitton BB7 9PQ

Distance: 4.5miles

Time: 2 – 3 hours

Grade: Easy but there are a number of stiles to negotiate in the first half of the walk.

Map OS OL41 Forest of Bowland

DIRECTIONS

1.Leave the Three Fishes car park via the vehicle entrance. Taking care of traffic, turn right along the road and then almost immediately turn left into Church Lane. You will pass the fine medieval church of All Hallows on your right which is worth a visit. On many days of the year it is open to the public. When you have finished at the church, continue along the lane and follow it as it bends sharply to the left. After about 100yds (and just after passing a pair of houses and a stone driveway on the right), turn right onto an enclosed footpath, known as Malkin Lane. Follow the enclosed path as it passes to the left of farm buildings. After a metal gate, keep ahead to reach a metal kissing gate on the left. Go through this kissing gate to enter a field and turn right. The route now follows the hedgerow on your right to cross a succession of fields (crossing a number of stiles along the way) to reach the end of a tarmac farm drive. Once over this drive, keep ahead along the tarmac access lane (still called Malkin Lane) for about 300yds to reach a T-junction with the B6243 Clitheroe Road. Taking care of traffic, turn right along the road. In a little over half a mile, ignore a side road on the left and soon after you will reach the beautiful Edisford Bridge. This is the halfway point of the walk.

2. Cross the bridge and turn right into an area of parkland, which is very popular in the summer months. With the River Ribble on your right, keep ahead on the riverside path. We have now joined the Ribble Way, a 70 mile long distance path that follows the Ribble from its source in the Yorkshire Dales to its estuary near Longton (to the west of Preston). Stay with the path ahead as it leaves the park. Soon after, on a very attractive riverside stretch, the path climbs up a rise and then, on an enclosed path, swings left to leave the riverside. The path swings right to bring you to a farm track. Turn left to reach a junction with Henthorn Road. Turn right onto Henthorn Road. After passing a household recycling centre on your left, the route continues ahead to reach Fishes and Peggy Hill Farm. After entering the farm complex, take a footpath on the right to diagonally cross a paddock in front of a barn (via two kissing gates). On the far side continue past the barn on your left, on a track which soon reaches fields. Follow the track ahead to reach an aqueduct, a concrete bridge which carries water pipes across the river (on your right). Where the track turns away to the left at this aqueduct, do NOT follow it, instead keep ahead on the grass path, once more close to the river (on your right). Pass a utility building and then bear left to locate a footbridge in the hedgerow ahead. Cross this footbridge (with low stiles each end) and climb a rise to a pass through a wooden gate. Continue with woodland on your right to reach and pass through a second gate. From here bear right, following the fence line on your right and swinging left to emerge to Whalley Road via a gate. Turn right along the road to cross Mitton Bridge, leading you back over the River Ribble. Stay with the road, climbing uphill to reach the Three Fishes on your left for some well-earned hospitality.

- Walk devised and described by Bob Clare www.lancashirewalks.com with Claire Sharpe

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