Lancashire Walk - Dunsop Bridge and Newton Round
- Credit: Archant
Bowland has got to be in the top ten of outstanding naturally beautiful areas of England. It has everything - magnificent views, rounded hills and beautiful valleys dotted with quaint historical villages. Cafes, pubs and restaurants cater for everyone from walkers, cyclists, horse riders and of course motorists.
Even the Queen is among the many regulars to this glorious part of the world. Unsurprising, I suppose, as she owns large sections of it in her role as the Duke of Lancaster. Over the years she has enjoyed tea at Puddleducks Cafe in Dunsop Bridge and what is believed to be her first ever pub lunch at The Inn at Whitewell. ‘If that’s a pub lunch,’ she remarked afterwards, ‘I look forward to the next one.’
1. Leave the car park and turn right to the village. Immediately past the Puddleduck and before the bridge turn right and take the track past the playground and onto a row of houses. Carry on past these and go through a stile by a gate.
Note: Dunsop Bridge was famous for being at the exact centre of Britain. There used to be a telephone box and on the floor there was a relief of the four compass points saying: ‘You are at the centre of Britain.’ This was before satellite mapping and this found the centre of Britain was at Whitendale Hanging Stones 4.5 miles away from the village.
2. There are some steep steps up a banking on the right climb these to a stile in a wall and cross this. Keeping the fence on your right cross the field until you reach a tarmac track then turn left to Beatrix Farm. Follow the track past the farm as it bears right towards a house. Ignore the footpath sign in front of you at this point keep on until you reach the house.
3. At the house turn left towards two gates. Go through the wooden one on the left and follow the track.
Pass a stone barn and then bear slightly left down hill to a wooden gate. Go through this and keep on down hill towards a gate and stile near a stream. Once over the stile cross a small bridge and follow the track steeply uphill passing a ruined barn on the right until it reaches a gate and stile in a wall. Go through the stile and follow a green path to another gate and stile in a wall.
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4. Once through the stile enter a walled track Bull Lane and follow this until it reaches a single track road.
5. Enter the road and turn right and follow this downhill to the main road.
6. Turn left into the village of Newton and then turn right and follow the road past The Parkers Arms and down to a bridge over the river.
Note: Newton, as with all Bowland villages, is popular with cyclists. When I was a boy in 1963 I used to cycle here and there was a wooden hut that was a cyclists’ café. I remember the older cyclists used to pour the fat from the frying pan onto the bacon sandwiches. ‘It’ll give you energy,’ they used to tell me. How times change!
7. Immediately over the bridge turn right through a stile and follow the small path that bears slightly left towards a stile cross this and bear right towards the river and follow the path crossing a stile in a wire fence. Bear diagonally left towards a stile in another wire fence and cross this and still keeping diagonally left cross another stile by a wooden gate. Head towards a house diagonally left and just before it on the left cross a stile in the hedgerow onto a road.
8. Once on the road turn right passing the house then two barns.
9. Just past the barns there is a road to the right that says ‘Private Road’. Turn down this as it is a public footpath and follow this all the way to Giddy Bridge and cross this.
10. There is a three-way footpath sign. Take the direction saying concessionary footpath and follow the road past the magnificent building of Knowlmere Manor. Do not turn right to the manor but keep straight on leaving the tarmac for a gravel path that leads past a barn on the left and then the farm of Mossthwaite on the right and cross the stile directly in front. Once over the stile follow a muddy track down hill to a stile near a metal gate. Go through this and keeping the stone wall on your right follow this all the way to the farm of Lower Thornleyholme.
Note: Knowlmere Manor was where the Sherlock Holmes film Silver Blaze was filmed in 1988. One of the relatives of Sir Robert Peel, the Prime Minister who founded the police force, lived here.
11. Enter the farmyard then turn right and follow the track towards the river and Thornleyholme Hall. Just before the hall a footpath sign directs you to the left of the hall and along the riverbank to a bridge. Turn left and cross the bridge and follow the road until it meets the main road and then turn left into Dunsop Bridge.
Walk: Dunsop Bridge and Newton Round
Start and Finish: Car Park Dunsop Bridge Bowland Lancashire
Terrain: The majority is on footpaths with a section of quiet country lane. There are a couple of steep but short climbs but nothing to trouble the average walker.
Distance: 7 Miles/ 11.25 Km
Time: 3 - 3.5 hours
Map: OS Explorer 41 Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale.
Facilities: Public toilets on car park. Food Puddleduck Café, Inn at Whitewell and the Parker’s Arms.
The excellent Puddleduck Café serves truly magnificent home made food. My particular favourite is the pea and ham soup so thick you could plaster a wall with it but so tasty you would not try. On the final mile of the walk, it’s the sort of place you find yourself dreaming about. As well as soup, the menu includes Lancashire Hotpot with red cabbage, homemade cakes, and lovely sandwiches. It’s worth going even if you don’t walk.
For more upmarket food and real ales, follow the Queen, and head for the historic Inn at Whitewell which is about two miles away.