A circular walk from Hurst Green along the River Hodder
distance 8.5 miles : time 4 hr

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A circular walk from Hurst Green along the River Hodder
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 Winckley 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. The path is seen across the field. Go through a second gate and follow the edge of the wood. The path ends at the road opposite a stone bus shelter. Turn right and walk to the Lower Hodder Bridge. (1hr 40 min)
The path continues along the side of the Hodder and starts to climb into Hodder Woods at Hodder Place. (For an alternative return to Hurst Green see below).The path descends to a stone bridge at which a detour to the right shows the site of the former mill at Black Wheel. After which a wooden flight of 92 steps lead to the top of the high escarpment overlooking the river. Bear right at the memorial stone cross and continue through the wood crossing three wooden footbridges emerging onto meadow land on the Hodder bank. A pleasant stroll along the Hodder now ensues. The path next enters the wood at a wooden gate and footbridge and continues over three further footbridges to Higher Hodder Bridge.(60 min)
Retrace the path from the Bridge and find the return path 10 yds to the right after crossing the second wooden footbridge. The narrow path goes uphill; at the end of the wire fence turn right and descend to go over a plank footbridge and through the metal gate. Walk up the field and follow the wire fence on the left, go by Rydding's Farm and continue to the double metal gate at the roadway. Turn right along the roadway. 100 yds before the next house look for the small stile at the double metal gate. Bear right and walk uphill for 200 yds to the road - Birdy Brow. (25 min)
A FP sign points the way following the line of mature trees. Aim to the right of the wood ahead. The path crosses a small stream to the right of a large water pipe and continues downhill to again meet the water pipe. Cross the next steam next to the pipe and immediately ascent to a small metal gate. Carry on over the field and follow the farm road to the left. The path now goes due south and crosses a stream and stile and continues to the stile next to Throssle Nest. The track leads to the road. (30 min)
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 at the first of 4 metal gates. Follow the edge of the wood and then the hedge. The path passes through 3 further metal gates and leads to Smithy Row in Hurst Green. Turn left for the Bailey Arms and Shireburn Hotel (45 min)

To shorten the walk: after Hodder Place continue down hill for 800 yd. On reaching the stone bridge turn sharp left, cross the wooden bridge over the brook and follow the path up the 130 wooden steps. Continue along the path following the edge of the wood to the stile and then bear right. Follow the farm track to Woodfields. Go through Woodfields, cross the main road (Knowles Brow) and continue straight down the farm road. Turn right at the end and walk by the Observatory. Just before the church look for the new metal gate on the left into the field. Follow the edge of the wood around to Smithy Row; turn left into Hurst Green. (60 min)
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Shireburn Arms Hotel Shireburn Hotel
Opens all day
see website for details.

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A walk along the banks of the Rivers Ribble and Hodder is the main feature of this walk. The path along the Ribble forms part of the Ribble Way and is mainly through pasture; that by the Hodder combines the river path and the Hodder Woods. The area along side the Hodder at Hodder Place is a SSSI because of its geological importance. Part of the walk is between the two bridges over the Hodder. Close to Lower Hodder Bridge, a packhorse bridge built by Sir Richard Shireburn in 1562 still stands. After passing Winkley Hall, the majestic east wing of Stonyhurst College with St Mary's Hall to its right comes into view. The walk returns by the front of Stonyhurst College where the original house built by Sir Richard Shireburn forms the central tower and the frontage to its right.
Bayley Arms Bayley Arms Hotel
is now open again
for drinks and meals.
No website details available.
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