Lancashire walks - Chipping and Parlick Pike
- Credit: Archant
John Lenehan walks from the quaint village of Chipping to find some of the Lancashire’s most rugged countryside
The word quaint could have been invented for the Lancashire village of Chipping. The streets are narrow and dominated by the ancient St Bartholomew’s church. The old houses and cottages give a real feel of a bygone age.
If a coach and horses with a blaring post horn and a full set of Dickensian characters on board suddenly appeared it would not look out of place. It is a perfect spot to visit and enjoy the cafes and pubs but it also sits in one of the nicest walking and cycling areas of Lancashire. There is scope for easy rambles or tougher high level moorland walking on the Bowland fells that rise up behind the village. The route I designed is more of the latter.
1. Leave the car park at the church end and turn left up Church Raike and follow this until the road forks and take the right fork down Malt Kiln Lane passing by the disused factory of Berry’s furniture. Keep on until the road passes the mill lodge then about a third of the way along the lodge on the right there is a carved stone gatepost and a cobbled drive.
Note: Chipping is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the village is over 1000 years old. When passing the mill make sure to read the interesting information plaque on the wall. It was the last surviving of seven mills that Chipping once had and there are plans to turn it into a hotel.
2. Enter the drive and there is a stile immediately on the right. Cross this and climb uphill to a wire fence and, keeping this on the right, keep straight on ignoring any gates on the right until a stile leads into an open field. Keep straight on until a depression, possibly an old quarry, appears then keep to the left of this and drop down to a stile by a small wood. Cross this and follow the path and cross over a footbridge and then turn right uphill to a house.
3. There is a gate to the left of the house – go through this and turn left past a cattle grid and then onto a stony track and follow this until it reaches a tarmac road. Cross the road and take the concrete road directly opposite and walk up to Saddle End Farm and keep straight on between the barn and cattle pen to a metal gate leading out to the fell side.
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4. Once through the gate, take the path to the left uphill and follow a wall on the left. Cross a stile and keep following the wall to a gate and go through this. The path skirts the edge of a wood then bears right up to a stile by a gate. Cross this and the path bears right up to a stile and gate in a wall.
Note: Once over the stile there is a sign saying Open Access Land. Prior to 2004 it would not have been possible to do this walk as the land beyond this point was privately owned.
5. Cross the stile and continue on a rough track that eventually bears right and climbs the fell side. The track eventually fades into a path that forks.
Take the right fork and keep climbing uphill until the path forks again. There is a pile of stones as a marker. This time take the left fork and follow the path as it enters a groove in the fell side. At the top of the groove there is a pile of stones on the left with a post in the middle. Pass this and join a stony track coming uphill and turn right and follow this. Eventually the track reaches the top of Greenlough Clough and a wire fence appears on the left. The track fades to a path but follow this to a stile in the wire fence.
6. Cross the stile and keep straight on. The path is indistinct for a while but then turns into a good track that leads to another stile in a wire fence.
Note: The fell tops are a haven for wildlife. Deer, fox, and hares are often seen as are grouse, peregrine falcons, kestrels, kite, curlew and skylarks.
7. Once over the stile turn immediate left and in the distance there is the summit cairn, shelter and triangulation pillar on Fair Snape Fell. Head straight towards this, crossing over rough peat moor. A wire fence appears on the left with a step stile in it, cross this and keep right to reach Fair Snape Summit.
Note: The cairn is called Paddy’s Pole. I can’t find any historical reason for the name but would be interested if anyone does know. The internet seems to be the place of all answers but not to this question.
8. Fair Snape Fell summit is the place to sit and enjoy your lunch in the shelter. The views are magnificent over to the Bowland Fells, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the whole Lancashire coastline. Wales and Anglesey can also be seen on a clear day.
Looking from the shelter past the pile of stones cairn, the summit of Parlick Pike is straight in front. Leave the cairn and bear left at about 45 degrees and cross a stile in a wire fence and keep straight on until reaching a wall then turn right. With the wall on the left follow this to the depression below Parlick Pike. From here follow the wire fence on the left that climbs to the summit of the Pike.
A stile leads left to the summit pile of stones.
9. Parlick Pike summit, a superb viewpoint. The views over to Longridge Fell and the Ribble Valley towards Pendle Hill and beyond are beautiful. The wire fence now on the right turns right and heads away from the summit downhill. Do not follow the fence but walk straight on from the corner towards the edge of the fell top then looking down you will see a straight tarmac road coming to a house at the foot of the fell. Using this as a target, go down the very steep descent until reaching the house of Fell Foot and join the road. Follow this down hill.
10. The road passes a private road on the left and joins the main road on a bend. Keep straight on and cross the stile on the left side of the road then bear diagonally right to another stile in a fence. Cross this and, still bearing diagonally right, come to another stile. Cross this and head directly towards a farm with a distinctive red roof building in the farmyard.
11. A stile leads into a road. Cross this and turn left walking in front of the farm and then take the right hand fork in the road follow the road back into Chipping.
Walk: Chipping High Level Wander
Start and Finish Chipping Village Car Park
Terrain: A little road at the start and finish interspaced with footpaths over fields then a good long climb to open fell and peat and a very steep descent.
Good boots and walking gear are essential. Not a walk to do in mist or bad weather unless competent with map and compass on the fell tops.
Distance: 7.5 Miles/ 12 Km
Map: OS Explorer 41 Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale.
Facilities: Public toilets in Chipping next to car park (Pay and Display)