circular walk from Hurst Green along the River Hodder
distance 8.5 miles : time 4 hr
or distance 6.43 miles : time 3 hr
walk from Hurst Green along the River Hodder
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. 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 bus shelter. Turn
right and walk to the Lower Hodder Bridge.
(1hr 15 min)
continues along the side of the Hodder and starts to climb into
Hodder Woods at Hodder Place. (For an alternative return to Hust Green see below) 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 Upper Hodder
Bridge. (60 min)
the path from the Bridge and find the return path 10 yds to
the right after crossing the first 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 stile. Bear right
up the field to the next stile. Follow the wire fence on the
left, go by Rydding's Farm and continue along the roadway. 100
yds before the next house turn left through a metal gate, bear
right and walk uphill for 200 yds to the road - Birdy Brow.
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 pipe and ascends towards a metal gate. Bear
right over the field and follow the wire fence downhill to a
stile and FP sign. The path is now well waymarked and continues
over a series of stiles to meet the Throssle Nest Farm track
which 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. Follow the edge of the wood
and then the hedge. The path passes through three metal swing
gates and leads to Hurst Green. (45 min)
To shorten the walk: after Hodder Place continue 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 metal gate on the left into the field. Follow the edge of the wood around to Smithy Row; turn left into Hurst Green.
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.