pack horse bridge built by Sir Richard Shireburn in 1562 still
as viewed from Lower Hodder Bridge.
The River Hodder
is a dominant feature in the Forest of Bowland landscape. From
its source high above Stocks Reservoir to its confluence with
the Ribble two miles east of Hurst Green, the Hodder is a delight
to the walker and fisherman alike. The river is a valuable wild
life resource; grayling is the main catch in the upper Hodder,
while brown trout is found in the lower reaches. The months
of May to July see the run of sea trout, while September and
October bring the salmon. Water fowl can be seen along the length
of the river and the stalking heron is often disturbed.
As the crow flies the distance from Slaidburn to Hurst Green
is 9 miles, the Hodder however meanders some 22 miles from Slaidburn
until it meets the Ribble.
The object of this series of
walks is to explore the Hodder from Hurst Green in the south
to Slaidburn in the north. It is not possible to follow the
banks of the Hodder wholly along public footpaths, so some diversion
has to be made. The route has been divided into stages; each
stage made into a circular walk with a pub as a possible objective.
The completion of these stages enables the whole of the Hodder
to be explored.
Walk details for each stage can
be found by clicking the respective link below or on the map:
Image of the respective area is available as a pop-up
for each Stage. Stage
1- from Hurst Green to Higher
at the Shireburn Arms in Hurst Green the walk initially follows the Ribble and then meets
the Hodder as it enters the Ribble. The walk continues to High Hodder Bridge and returns
to Hurst Green via Stonyhurst College. Stage
2- from Higher Hodder Bridge
to Doeford Bridge
leg passes the former Craven Heifer at Chaigley and thereafter the
steep climb up and along Longridge Fell. Stage
3 - from Doeford Bridge to Burholme Bridge
at Whitewell is encountered here on the banks of the Hodder. Stage
4 - from Burholme Bridge to Newton
is no pub in Dunsop Bridge but the Parkers Arms in Newton makes
for a popular
5 - from Newton to Slaidburn and beyond
walk from Newton to the Hark to Bounty in Slaidburn can be extended
to take in Stocks Reservoir.