A Wander along the Wenning (approx. 5¹/3 miles)

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Map: Explorer OL 41 - Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale
OL2 Yorkshire Dales South & Western Map
Start: SD 651 693 - Harley Bank Car Park, Low Bentham (free)
Route: A walk with plenty of variety: riverside, woodland and a chance to explore High Bentham. About a quarter of the route is along roads. There is an option to shorten the walk.
Links to Route Files: Ordnance Survey OS Maps online (may only available to OSMaps subscribers) or .gpx (exported from OS Maps app on Android device - can be imported into many devices).

More info:

route profile
Refreshments: There are pubs in both Low and High Bentham and a coffee shop in High Bentham. We did this walk just as the Covid-19 lockdown was easing. Some of the pubs were open, but we settled for ice-lollies from the Coop in High Bentham.

Harley Bank  Car Park, Low Bentham Leave the car park and turn left
B6480, Low Bentham to follow the B6480.
B6480, Low Bentham Immediately after crossing the river, turn left along Mill Lane. The road passes under the railway bridge and then past cottages on the left. About mile after turning into Mill Lane
Mill Lane, Low Bentham a farm track and footpath can be seen on the right. Not quite so clear (until you arrive there) is a path on the left, entering the small wood immediately opposite the farm track. Follow the path into the wood
path along south bank of Wenning where it follows the river upstream
weir and fish ladder on Wenning passing the weir and fish ladder. The weir is a reminder of Low Bentham's industrial past, when it was home to a textile mill.
path close to south bank of Wenning Climb a stone stile to follow the path through the field pictured. Another stone stile takes you into the next field
path close to south bank of Wenning at the far end of which a stone bridge takes you across a small tributary stream. Cross the stone stile pictured and continue walking alongside the edge of the field. After another stile
path close to south bank of Wenning the path descends a short flight of stone steps. The path bears left, between trees and bushes before
entering Riverside Caravan Park a metal gate leads you into Riverside Caravan Park.
Riverside Caravan Park Follow the footpath sign to join
Riverside the main roadway through the centre of the site. Walk towards the site entrance and then, by the site shop, turn left to follow a roadway towards the river. Turn right before the river, again walking on a road between caravans. Where the road turns right
Riverside look out for the small footpath sign pictured. Cross the stile shown and then a metal gate
close to south bank of Wenning to follow the path pictured which crosses a wooden bridge and leads through
close to south bank of Wenning through a small wood
access road to Riverside Caravan Park before joining the caravan park access road which
crossing Thickrash Brow emerges on to Thickrash Brow. To shorten the walk, you could turn left here, cross the river and then turn left again at the main road in Higher Bentham.

We walked across the road to follow the minor road opposite.
minor road east of Bentham Bridge Follow the road for some 200 metres and then take the footpath on the left
path south of River Wenning Follow the path pictured to cross a wooden stile next to a metal gate. At the end of the next field cross a stone stile
path south of River Wenning to follow the path at the edge of the field (the OS map shows the path crossing the middle of the field, but we followed the much clearer route on the ground). We left this field passing between a wooden post and broken stone wall. At the end of the next field we walked through a gateway and continued staying close to the river
path south of River Wenning - note erroded bank passing a area where the bank had suffered some serious erosion. A metal gate leads to a path bordered by a post and wire fence on the right and the river on the left.
path south of River Wenning A narrow footbridge crosses a tributary stream and the path continues between a fence and the wooded river bank. Near to where the path crosses the Wenning, there's a (rather dilapidated) information board with local history notes.
footbridge over River Wenning This bridge takes you across the River Wenning into a field (complete with cattle and a bull, as indicated by the yellow sign). Cross the bottom end of the field
locked gate and railway bridge at bootom of Ridding Lane to where it looks as though there may have been a wooden stile. The metal gate was firmly locked - so we climbed it and then walked under the railway bridge.
Ridding Lane Farm The clear track leads uphill between farm buildings. We continued uphill
Ridding Lane following Ridding Lane to its junction
Ridding Lane with the B6480. Turn left to follow the road into
Entering High Bentham along B6480 High Bentham. High Bentham has some interesting buildings and independent shops, along with pubs and a coffee shop. Follow the road through the small town
Horse and Farrier, High Bentham until you reach the Horse and Farrier. Turn left down Duke Street, the narrow lane beyond the pub.
Duke St, High Bentham The lane winds to the left between attractive cottages, (pictured) and then to the right
stile off Duke St where it next winds to the left climb the stone stile in the wall in front of you. Keep to the edge of the first field with a stone wall on your right. A stile takes you in to the next field ...
path between High Bentham and river where a hedge forms the field boundary, again on your right.
For the final few metres through this field, the path cuts across towards the bushes and railway line. Follow the hedge and fence then go through a gate and cross the railway line. Once across, the path leads you to the right to follow
path along north bank of river between High and Low Bentham close to the river. The path continues alongside the river for almost half a mile
passing through the narrow metal gate pictured (to the left of the wider gates)
near trout farm, Low Bentham before continuing in the same direction (over this stile), while the river bends to the left. The path skirts lodges that are now used by a trout farm.
railway bridge, Low Bentham The path turns to the right to take you under the railway and back to the B6480 in Low Bentham. Turn right to return to the car park.

All text and images © Graham Dean, September, 2020.

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