Earlier this year we published a walk connecting two bus routes from Preston between Bilsborrow and Longridge.  It was an interesting route but for many readers access to Preston Bus Station is not convenient. With this in mind we offer this route starting close to Barton Grange Garden Centre on the A6 north of Bilsborrow. It has two aspects. First a delightful walk along the River Brock one of Lancashire’s hidden gems. Second after a relatively short climb a traverse of fields with a marvellous open aspect giving a wonderful panorama of the Fylde and Preston.


Fact file

Start/finish: Bilsborrow - close to Barton Grange Garden Centre

Distance: 7miles 11k

Time: 3 - 4 hours

Summary.  Mainly easy.

Map: OS OL41 The Forest of Bowland


Map by kind permission of the Johnston Press
1. From the entrance to Barton Grange cross the A6 turn right and walk down to the Landover dealers.


Turn left on a footpath that crosses the car park to a footbridge crossing the railway.


Continue on a footpath that follows the River Brock


under the M6 motorway. 300yds beyond the motorway cross a footbridge on the right and continue on a path leading up to a lane by New Bridge.


Keep ahead crossing to a stone squeeze stile


and follow the path that edges alongside a property at the far side of which cross a stile


into a large field. Still with the river to the left though obscured by trees keep ahead until you arrive at Walmsley Bridge. 


2. Cross the bridge and turn right


onto a footpath taking you back alongside the river. After ½ mile the path enters a large long field and bears left to meet a track on the edge of woodland.


Turn right on the track and follow it through woods. After passing a signpost for Brock Bottoms Mill pointing right the river bends northwards


while the path enters a less wooded space after a coin studded log. 

3. 300yds further along turn left onto a footpath


leading up through trees.


This steep slope is marked as Nanny's Breast on the OS 25,000 map. As the path levels off cross a stile



to enter a field.  Keep ahead for a short distance and then bear right noting a fine view of Beacon Fell to the right.


On the far side cross a stile by a metal Gate


leading onto Brock Mill Lane. Turn left.  Keep on the lane past the next junction to the left


where it becomes Gonder Lane. Pass the junction with Bleasdale Lane on the right.


¼ mile further on turn left onto the farm drive of what you will soon discover is the well named High House Farm.


As the track bends to the left take a footpath on the right through a metal gate.


Cross the field to a stile by a metal gate on the far side.


Once over the stile turn left alongside the hedge. By now you will be experiencing a remarkable sense of elevation all the more surprising because apart from the short ascent of Nanny's Breast you have not done any noticeable climbing. Continuing in a southerly direction confirmed by the dreaming spires of Preston in the distance cross another stile


and begin a gentle descent to a wooden gate in the field corner. Through the gate


a very muddy track leads to Clarkson's farm. (This may be best avoided by entering the adjoining field through a convenient gap and walking parallel to the track). Cross over a stile into the driveway of Clarkson's Farm.


Turn right onto a lane and then soon after left


onto Walmsley Bridge Lane. When you arrive at the bridge


cross it and turn right onto a footpath to retrace your outward steps.

POI Barton Grange Garden Centre. For many people a visit to a garden centre is the equivalent of going for a walk so here is an opportunity of combining the two. In 2014 Barton Grange won the prestigious Destination Garden Centre of the Year Award from the Garden Centres Association for the fourth year running. Pleasantly situated between the River Brock and the Lancaster Canal its extensive range and friendly staff no doubt contribute to its prize winning formula. However I particularly commend a visit to the (male) toilets where an imaginative, witty and colourful design will make the experience memorable. (Sorry I cannot comment on the female toilets!)


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