Lancashire walk - Gisburn and Paythorne

The Ribble at Paythorne

The Ribble at Paythorne - Credit: Archant

John Lenehan heads for Gisburn to walk by the Ribble and sample the delights of the Auction Mart Cafe.

The grand entrance to Gisburn Park

The grand entrance to Gisburn Park - Credit: Archant

Gisburn – the name to me always brings back memories of Robin Hood films when Sir Guy of Gisburne was the baddie along with the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The village was actually named Gisburne until the railway arrived and the modern name was adopted. Then, the boundary changes in 1974 led to it becoming part of Lancashire. There is a large agricultural auction market in the village and a great time can be had on auction day watching farmers haggling over livestock.

Paythorne Bridge, the scene of Salmon Sunday

Paythorne Bridge, the scene of Salmon Sunday - Credit: Archant

The Walk

1. Leave the car park and walk down to the A59 then turn left towards Clitheroe then turn right into Mill Lane and follow the road, crossing a bridge over the railway.

Note: The railway tunnel on the right with its ornamental entrances was built to placate Lord Ribblesdale of Gisburne Park House who did not want to see trains crossing his land or frighten his horses and farm animals. The railway is still used but only for freight.

The Wesleyan Chapel in Paythorne was built in 1830

The Wesleyan Chapel in Paythorne was built in 1830 - Credit: Archant

Carry on along Mill Lane and cross the River Ribble at Gisburn Bridge and keep on the road.

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2. Take the first lane on the right. It is marked on the map as Carters Lane but there are no signs saying this. Follow the lane until a track leads off right. There is a sign saying Windy Pike Aberdeen Angus and, although there is no footpath sign that I could see, it is a footpath. Follow the track up to the buildings of Windy Pike then follow the track as it bears right through a gate and past the buildings and on towards Moor House Farm. Once there, go straight on and through the farmyard following a concrete road. There is a stile ahead with a sign on saying ‘Horses’.

A salmon fisherman in the Ribble

A salmon fisherman in the Ribble - Credit: Archant

Follow the lane and go through two metal gates behind the farmhouse and on to a wooden gate stile with a yellow footpath sign to the right. Go through the gate and then keep the wire fence on the right and follow this. The path is hardly visible but it eventually goes down hill and crosses a stream on a small bridge by a stone pillar. Bear slightly right and go uphill to a double stile in a wire fence and cross both of these and go straight across the field to another double stile and cross these. Keep the line of trees on the left and go straight on to another double stile in a fence.

Cross the double stile then bear slightly right downhill to a stile in a wire fence. Cross this and follow the path as it drops steeply to a stream then goes right and then left over a rather rickety footbridge then cross the stile ahead and head over the uphill to cross a stile in a wire fence. Go downhill to a stile by a gate and cross this then go left then right over a small bridge and then go straight up hill bearing slightly right.

Gill Armer who runs the Auction Mart Cafe

Gill Armer who runs the Auction Mart Cafe - Credit: Archant

Reach a newly fenced paddock area and cross the stile in the wooden fence. Ahead there is a double gate into the drive of a house. The stile is to the left of the double gate. Cross this a go down the drive to another double gate again with a stile on the left, cross and go on to join the road at Paythorne.

3. Turn right and follow the road past The Buck Inn and a very small Methodist Church. Keep on the road and follow it downhill and cross the River Ribble at Paythorne Bridge.

Note: In the past there was a ritual called ‘Salmon Sunday’ when people from all over would come to the bridge on the nearest Sunday to the 17th of November to watch salmon come upstream. was a boy an uncle of mine, Len Cherry, told me he saw hundreds of fish over one weekend go under the bridge.

4. Once over the bridge turn right at a signpost that says Pennine Bridleway and go through a stile and gate into the woods and follow the track up to a gate stile. Cross this into a field and keeping the wire fence to the left. Cross the field to another gate stile. Cross this and go past the edge of a wood.

Note: On the right, by the stile, are the remains of Castle Haugh. The earthwork can be seen despite the covering of trees. William de Percy built the castle in the 11th Century, and it stands in a dominant position above the Ribble and would have given the defenders a great view over the surrounding countryside.

Carry on past the wood on the right and cross a stile then go downhill bearing diagonally left towards a stile by the side of the main road near two metal gates. Go through the stile and carry straight on with the road on the left to a stile in some trees. Cross this and follow the track between two wooden fences until it reaches the road. There is a footpath marker. Pass this and follow the path along the grass verge of the main road A682. There are further footpath markers.

5. Turn right at a Pennine Bridleway Sign and go up a track that eventually enters a pine wood and then leaves the wood at a big white house. Turn right and follow the track as it goes left over a bridge then climbs uphill and eventually crosses the driveway that leads to the rear of Gisburne Park House. Keep straight on following a sign that says Gisburne Park Stables, there is also a blue arrow marking the footpath. As the track reaches the building keep left following another blue arrow and eventually it leads out past some buildings onto the road at Gisburn Bridge. Turn left and retrace the outward route back to Gisburn. w

Note: The Lister family built the 1000 acre Gisburne Park, and its beautiful house, around 1726. Thomas Lister was given the title of Lord Ribblesdale. It is now a private hospital.


Start and Finish: Village car park off Burnley Road Gisburn.

Distance: 5.7 Miles/ 9.2 Km

Time: 2.5 Hours

Terrain: Relatively easy walking mostly on footpaths through fields with some road sections. Could get muddy in wet weather so boots would be the better option.

Map: OS Map OL41 Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale

Facilities: There are toilets for public use at the Texaco garage on the A59 near the auction market as part of the Ribble Valley Community Toilet Scheme

Watering Hole: The Auction Mart Café

We didn’t plan to go here to eat. The Auction Mart is on the corner of Mill Lane and the A59 and we could hear an auction sale in progress and decided to have a look. We were discussing where we could eat our tea as we passed the front of the café and was overheard by a farmer who said: ‘Get in here lads its great food.’ How right he was. All the food is homemade as are the selection of cakes and puddings. I opted for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes. When asked if I wanted vegetables, (of course I did) I got a veritable mountain of new potatoes, carrots, turnip and peas and a covering of thick rich gravy. John went for steak pie, a thick wedge of short crust pastry covering melt in the mouth steak with chips and peas. Our supposition was that if farmers and families don’t know what good food is then there is little hope for the rest of us. The café is open on sales days and general public are welcome.

Gisburn Rd, Gisburn, Clitheroe BB7 4ES. 01200 445376

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