Walking the Hodder - Stage 1
Hurst Green to Higher Hodder Bridge
Distance 9.23 miles : time about 4 hours 15 min

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map walk Hodder Stage 1
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The Bayley Arms
Bayley Arms

For opening times, see the website for details.
Shireburn Arms
Shireburn Hotel

Opens all day from 12.00 noon;
see the website for details.
Stage 1: Hurst Green to Higher Hodder Bridge

The path starts at the gate in the car park of the Shireburn Arms. Go straight downhill following the ditch; after 300 yd cross the ditch and continue to the wood. Go over the stile across the beck and down to the Ribble. The Ribble Way hugs the river all the way to the farm adjacent to Winkley Hall. The path zigzags through the farm yard and leads to the farm road going uphill. As the road bends to the left, a Ribble Way sign is seen on the right next to a small metal gate. Aim towards St. Mary's Hall, go through a second gate and follow the edge of the wood. The path ends at the road near a stone bus shelter. Turn right and walk to the Lower Hodder Bridge.
The path continues along the side of the Hodder and starts to climb into Hodder Woods just after Hodder Place. (The area alongside the Hodder here is a SSSI on account of its geological importance; see the map and read more here ).Wooden flights of steps lead to the top of the high escarpment overlooking the river. The path then descends again by a series of wooden flights of steps and footbridges to the Hodder bank, and continues to Higher Hodder Bridge.
Retrace the path from the Bridge and find the return path to the right just after crossing the second footbridge. The narrow path goes uphill and follows the wire fence to its end. Turn right and descend to go over a plank footbridge and stile. Bear right up the field to the next stile. Follow the wire fence on the left, go by Ryddings farm and continue along the roadway. 100 yd before the next house (seen on the right) turn left through a metal gate into the field and walk uphill to the road (Birdy Brow).
At the roadside a FP sign points the way following the line of mature trees. Aim to the right of the wood ahead. The path crosses the stream to the right of a large black pipe and ascends towards an old narrow metal gate. The path is not well defined after this point. Bear right over the field and follow the wire fence downhill to the stile at its end. Over the stile follow the hedge on the left to the next stile. Cut across the top of the field and follow the hedge on the right for 30 yd to the next stile. Go through the wide metal gate seen on the left and carry on over the field to the final stile found in the corner of the field. Continue in the same direction over the field to the road.
Turn right along the road and then left into the grounds of Stonyhurst College. The route goes in front of the College and past the church. A FP sign is seen on the right. Go through the old metal gate into the field and follow the edge of the wood and then the hedge. The path passes through three metal swing gates and leads into Smithy Row in Hurst Green.