Sabden Road - Ribble Valley
Few people outside of Lancashire would associate it with outstandingly beautiful countryside. This walk is a case in point taking you across bleak upland moors to the charming village of Downham. 

Start/Finish: Layby on the Sabden Road close to the Wellsprings Restaurant and Pendle Ski Centre. BB7 9HN
Fact file:
Distance 9 miles 14k
Time: 3½ - 5 hours
Grade: Mainly easy with one steep ascent
Map OS OL41 The Forest of Bowland
Directions.
1. From the edge of the car park take a footpath which traverses rough tussocky moorland downhill

 

to intercept a wall in 300yds. As you reach it turn right. After a gate the path follows the edge of a valley and then crosses a footbridge and then continues for 500yds in the direction of a substantial barn. Just before the barn cross a ladder stile

 

to enter pastureland. Keep dropping downhill bearing slightly right picking up the course of a small stream to the right. Go through a wooden gate and an enclosure

 

to reach a substantial farm drive. At this point it may be germane to remember that sometimes walking routes defy the laws of gravity in that what goes down must go up again. On your return route you will need to retrace the first section of the walk!

2. Turn right and follow the farm drive to the left of the house before you

 

and then right in front of Mearley Hall. Keep ahead on the well-made track pass Lane Side Farm continuing for half a mile to a junction. Here turn right towards Little Mearley Hall. As you reach the complex take a footpath on the left

 

which passes by a long barn

 

to put you on a grassy track.

 

A first this follows a wall to the left but on entering a large field through a metal gate bear slightly left to cross to a gateway. Maintaining the same direction aim for a wooden kissing gate

 

in the hedge opposite. Through this keep ahead with a fence to the left approaching Angram Green farm. Just beyond the farmhouse keep left to cross a small stream

 

and then climb a rise to a fence corner and then bear right to the field corner. Here a road end meets a track. Keep ahead on the track

 

to arrive at the next farmstead - Barkerfield. The right of way takes you between buildings,

 

over a grassy bank and onto a track

 

leading to Hookcliffe Farm in ¼ mile. At Hookcliffe the footpath divides. Your way is left towards prominent Gerna Hill. The path leads down across a large field to a gateway

 

and then continues across two fields to a large barn.

 

Here it joins at drive to Pendle Road. Turn right and then almost immediately right onto a drive leading to Clay House.

 

Just before the buildings turn left onto a fenced path.

 

Keep on this until you reach open fields besides Downham Beck.

 

Follow the beck into Downham.

 

3. Downham is a good place to stop - it has a friendly tearoom, a pub and "facilities". To reach Worston turn left into West Lane

 

and after passing the car park turn left onto a drive which leads to a footpath into fields. For 600 yards the path keeps to the fence on the right after which it crosses a field to a squeeze stile

 

and continues with a fence on the left as it skirts around the end of Worsaw Hill.

 

By Worsaw End House it enters fields

 

to follow Worston Brook to the tiny hamlet crossing it below Crow Hill.

 

4. On reaching a road turn left reaching the drive of Worston Hall on a bend.

 

Enter the drive and turn right onto a footpath that follows a stream along the back of properties. Keep on it to emerge at a lane on the far side of Worston.

 

Turn left. After 300yds turn left through a gate and bearing right diagonally cross the next three fields

 

to a footbridge.

 

Over this follow the brook on your left to a stile. Over this cross the next field to the far right corner. Here join a track turn left

 

and follow it to a huge barn. Pass this continue gently uphill keeping to the right side of fields

 

to intercept your outward route by Lane Side Farm.

 

Here turn right and retrace your earlier steps back to the car park.