Having just finished all 396 miles of the Lancashire Way, I have asked myself, which are the best parts of the route?
Most walkers prefer walks with the biggest hills and therefore my first nine are those Stages which climb the highest. I think probably all would have made the my top ten but this would have left little room for the many other Stages, which have another quality and deserve special mention.
|THE LANCASHIRE WAY|
|THE BEST STAGES|
|THE BIG NINE for height|
|Stage No||Name||Miles||Hours||Highest Ft||Climb ft||Link to Stage|
|35 (N7)||Hipping Hall on A65 to Kirby Lonsdale via Gragareth||17||7||2238||2637||Click here to go to Stage 35|
|33 (N5)||Abbeystead to Hornby via Ward's Stone||19||8||1833||2141||Click here to go to Stage 33|
|21 (C5)||Barley to Downham via Pendle Hill||5.6||2.5||1827||1186||Click here to go to Stage 21|
|24 Alternative (C8A)||Slaidburn to Dunsop Bridge||18.5||8.5||1785||2316||Click here to go to Stage 24 Alternative|
|25 (C9)||Dunsop Bridge to Chipping via Fair Snape Fell||10.5||4.5||1701||1882||Click here to go to Stage 25|
|48 (E6)||Laneshaw Bridge to Thursden via Lad Law||8.0||4||1689||1713||Click here to go to Stage 48|
|52 (E10)||Whitworth to Edenfield via Top of Leach||9.75||4||1553||1346||Click here to go to Stage 52|
|20 (C4)||Whalley to Barley via the Nick of Pendle||7.75||3.5||1497||1601||Click here to go to Stage 20|
|13 (S13)||Rivington, Winter Hill and Great Hill||7||3||1495||1406||Click here to go to Stage 13|
Having separated the big nine, I must say that it was not easy to choose a list that was originally limited to ten but I finally came up with those listed below, which has fifteen Stages. I could not decide upon ten!
Undoubtedly this is very much a personal view and includes predominantly those with the most beauty and the best views. There are so may that just missed out such as Stage 9 with its 23 locks along just three miles of canal as the Leeds Liverpool canal climbs out of the Douglas Valley from Wigan. Such history and industrial heritage and then to be followed by the beautiful parkland of the Haigh Hall Estate. Perhaps I should include it after all?
Not to mention Stage 7, which narrowly lost out to Stage 6, which includes the very first hills on the Southern Loop. Stage 7 climbs up to the Ashurst’s Beacon and then down to Gathurst via Roby Mill with great views south and east. Do try and combine the two Stages into one walk so that you can see both.
In one case there are two adjacent Stages. These are Stage 40, which is just 4.5 miles from Silverdale to Warton with its coastline and then the Crag with its Iron Age hill fort, and the end of the preceding Stage 39, which ends in Silverdale. So why not walk both? Probably one of the prettiest walks in Lancashire. No wonder this area is one of only two AONBs in Lancashire.
And then there is Stage 36, which follows the River Lune from Kirby Lonsdale.
I could go on!
|THE LANCASHIRE WAY|
|THE BEST STAGES|
|Stage No||Name||Highlights||Miles||Hours||Highest Ft||Climb ft||Link to Stage|
|5 (S5)||Croston to Mawdsley||Croston Village and the silence of the Moss||3.2||1.25||72||112||Click here for Stage 7|
|6 (S6)||Mawdesley to Parbold||A great viewpoint over the Douglas Valley||6.25||2.5||507||586||Click here for Stage 6|
|12 (S12)||White Coppice to Rivington||The cricket pitch and the Reservoirs||4||1.5||556||482||Click here for Stage 12|
|14 (S14)||Abbey Village via Darwen Tower and Roddlesworth||The Tower, its views and then woods and reservoirs||6.2||2.5||1249||740||Click here for Stage 14|
|18 (C2)||Riley Green to Mellor||Typical understated Lancashire||9||3.5||693||1118||Click here for Stage 18|
|22 (C6)||Grindleton to Slaidburn||Looking down to the Ribble and Hodder valleys||9||3.5||1220||1258||Click here for Stage 22|
|26 (C10)||Chipping to Hurst Green via Longridge Fell||Stoneyhurst College and the views from the Fell||11.5||4.75||1134||1655||Click here for Stage 36|
|31 (N3)||Scorton to Dolphinholme via Nicky Nook||The views of the Bowland Fells and the River Wyre||6.5||3||697||1106||Click here for Stage 31|
|34 (N6)||Hornby to Hipping Hall||Some lovely villages and the backdrop of the Dales||9||3.5||327||594||Click here for Stage 34|
|39 (N11)||Tewitfield to Silverdale||Leighton Hall, Leighton Moss and the views||6.25||2.5||385||636||Click here for Stage 39|
|40 (N12)||Silverdale to Warton||The coastline including Jennys Point and Warton Crag||6||2.5||536||734||Click here for Stage 40|
|45 (E3)||Barrowford to Barnoldswick||Foulridge tunnel and wharfe plus Weets Hill||9||3.5||1297||1124||Click here for Stage 45|
|53 (E11)||Edenfield to Edgworth||The Peel Monument and the Pilgrim's Cross||8.25||3.5||1370||1068||Click here for Stage 53|
|54 (E12)||Edgworth to Entwistle||The three reservoirs and Cheetham Close||6||2.5||1077||929||Click here for Stage 54|
|58 (E16)||Loveclough to Townley Hall||The Singing Ringing Tree and its views||5.75||2.5||1246||578||Click here for Stage 58|
And then there are the best places to visit. Again it was a difficult choice and I settled for a top ten which can be found below.
|THE LANCASHIRE WAY|
|The TEN BEST PLACES on the WALK|
|1||Downham||Unspoilt beauty as good as any in England.||Stage 21 and 22||Click Here For Stage 21|
|2||Silverdale||Overlooks Morecambe Bay and the centre of an AONB.||Stages 39 and 40||Click Here For Stage 39|
|3||Rivington||The Terraced Gardens, resevoirs and the edge of the West Pennines.||Stages 12 and 13||Click Here For Stage 12|
|4||Wycoller||Beautiful village with Bronte connections and the "Atom".||Stage 48||Click Here For Stage 48|
|5||Hurst Green||A village with Stoneyhurst and Cromwells Bridge over the Hodder nearby.||Stage 26 and 27||Click Here For Stage 26|
|6||White Coppice near Chorley||No more than a hamlet with a cricket pitch - perfect England.||Stages 11 and 12||Click Here For Stage 11|
|7||Dunsop Bridge, Newton and Slaidburn||The Hodder valley and the Forest of Bowland - a favourite of the Queen?||Stages 26 and 27||Click Here For Stage 26|
|8||The Lune Valley - a choice of five!||Wray, Hornby, Melling, Tunstall and Leck.||Stages 33 and 34||Click Here For Stage 33|
|9||Croston||On the West Lancashire Plain - pretty and historical.||Stage 4||Click Here For Stage 4|
|10||Sawley||The remains of an Abbey and the River Ribble.||Stage 22||Click Here For Stage 22|