Around Hurst Green (approx 5 miles)

Map: sheet 287 West Pennine Moors.
View Hurst Green in a larger map
Start: Hurst Green (SD686378), car parking by the roadside.
Route: click here to view the route superimposed on GoogleEarth (GoogleEarth must be installed on your computer in order to view - click here to download GoogleEarth).

The route leads along field and riverside paths, with short stretches along the road. Most of the walk is level, or gently uphill, but there is a steep, stepped path down to the river. Some of the paths can be very muddy following wet weather.
More info: Hurst Green Wikipedia
There are a number of listed buildings close to the route along with strong literary associations: Tolkein is believed to have based many aspects of Middle Earth on the local landscape. He wrote part of Lord of the Rings whilst staying at Stonyhurst, visiting his son who was a teacher at the college.
Tolkein isn't the only literary link: the poet Gerald Manley Hopkins taught at Stonyhurst and Arthur Conan Doyle was pupil (Moriarty was a fellow pupil and his Baskerville Hall is said to be based on Stonyhurst).
Today the college is an independent Roman Catholic boarding school.
Refreshments: there are three pubs in Hurst Green (the Shireburn Arms, the Bayley Armsand the Eagle and Child) along with a club which advertises ice creams and teas at weekends.
Route profile: route profile
War Memorial, Hurst Green From wherever you park, make your way to the war memorial and then to the Shireburn Arms (out of the picture to the right).

side of Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green Follow the track to the left of the Shireburn Arms, passing the hotel car park.
behind Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green
Walk through the wooden gate ahead and keep to the right of the field.
near Hurst Green
Part way down this field a footpath marker on a wooden post directs you to cross the small stream on right. Continue walking downhill, staying close to the small stream.
near Hurst Green
Follow the stream towards an area of woodland.
near Hurst Green
A short stretch of boardwalk leads to a wooden stile, a footbridge and shallow steps up, which lead to a small field.
near Hurst Green
Walk down the field towards the gate and stile. Climb the stile to enter woodland and turn left along the Ribble Way.
near Hurst Green
A steep, muddy path, with steps in places, leads down to....
Ribble Way near Hurst Green
... a footbridge. Cross this to join the path by the river.
Thirlmere Aqueduct
The path passes one of the pipelines on the Thirlmere Aqueduct, part of the Victorian aqueduct carrying water from Thirlmere in the Lake District to Manchester.
Pendle Hill
As the path follows the meanders of the river, there are splendid views of Pendle Hill.
Ribble Way opposite Brockhall Wood
The path leads through a variety of gates, and the surface varies between grass and surfaced tracks as shown here, opposite Brockhall Wood.
confluence of Rivers Ribble and Calder
Look out for the impressive early 17th century Hacking Hall, a Grade I listed building on the opposite bank of the Ribble — it's just before the confluence of the River Hodder with the Ribble shown in the photograph. It is thought that the author J.R.R. Tolkien may have used the ferry that operated here until the 1950s as inspiration for Bucklebury Ferry over the Brandywine river in his Lord of the Rings.
confluence of Rivers Ribble and Hodder
About half a mile further along the River Hodder joins the Ribble. The path follows the Hodder for a short distance before...
Winkley Hall Farm
... you turn left to walk between buildings at Winkley Hall Farm. Winkley Hall Farmhouse and cottage are also listed buildings (Grade II). Bear right through the metal gate, then follow the track to the left.
Winckley Hall Farm
The farm track leads uphill through a wood. Look out for the metal kissing gate on your right (see photograph on the next page).
near Winkley Hall
Walk through the kissing gate and cross one field, pass into a second field where the path at first continues to lead uphill, before descending ...
looking towards St Mary's Hall and Stonyhurst College
... to give views across to St Mary's Hall and Stonyhurst College. The path follows the edge of the wood before leading to...
B6243 between Hurst Green and Lower Hodder Bridge
... a stile. Cross the stile and cross the B6243 to walk along the unclassified road ahead (signposted for Stonyhurst).
track leading towards Hall Barn Farm
Follow the road for a little under half a mile before turning left to follow the track towards Hall Barn Farm.
Hall Barn Farm
Continue ahead between the farm buildings (most of these have listed status). Once past the farm the track has a stone wall on the left and sports fields on the right. The main building of Stonyhurst College can be seen on the right. This was originally built as a home for the Shireburn family and was donated by them to the Jesuits, as a new home for their college.
Where the track forks (just beyond a rather dilapidated cricket pavilion), take the left hand branch...
near Hurst Green
... which leads to the gate pictured. Follow the track through the gate. The track bends to the right towards buildings. Turn left in front of the buildings and follow the track to the road.
entering  Hurst Green
Turn right and follow the road back to the starting point (and refreshment in one of the pubs).

Other walks near here:

  • in Pendle's Shadow - approx 5½ miles
  • Around Pendle's "Little End" - approx 6 miles
  • Ribchester, Hothersall Hall and a short section of the Ribble Way - approx 3.9 miles
  • Ribchester, Duddel Hill and Duddel Wood - approx 6 miles
  • North east of Slaidburn - Forest of Bowland - 5.5 miles

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