For the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown rules were relaxed a little, we ventured out for a drive to a quietish spot where we could enjoy a walk that involved a bit of height. After a gentle drive from home, through Longridge and the delightful village of Chipping, we found a good parking spot close to Fell Foot Cottage. This is where one of the main paths begins three possible ascents of Parlick from its southerly side.
We took the left-hand path that traverses its way to the west and slightly below the summit of Parlick. It is a distinct path and the gradient wasn’t severe at all on our weakened legs from having been indoors so much lately! Whilst climbing this path, make sure you stop to look backwards in a south-westerly direction to see the recognisable Beacon Fell. The view was the clearest we have ever seen it, stretching right across the picturesque Lancashire countryside all the way to the peaks of North Wales.
The path levels out and crosses Blindhurst Fell, which reaches a rocky crag named ‘Nick’s Chair’, with views across to Morecambe Bay. From here the path continues towards Fair Snape Fell, which you can see curving westwards with the summit in full view. Stay on the left of the wall and follow the path as it meanders up a very gentle gradient towards Paddy’s Pole at 510 metres. The path up here is still distinct but may be less so when the ground is boggier. It was dry and springy underfoot today, quite a nice change for this landscape.
Just beyond Paddy’s Pole is a wind shelter, and a few metres beyond that is the Fair Snape Fell Trig Point. The views from here are almost 360°, it really is quite impressive for a low fell. From here we took the path that leads north easterly towards the true summit of Fair Snape Fell. The ground is ordinarily more difficult to navigate than it was today because it comprises of peat bogs and waterlogged patches. We were greeted with nothing difficult to plot our course across and also had the Springtime pleasure of walking amongst the striking bog cotton, or common cottongrass.
You can see from the map where our walk then turned eastwards and downwards over Saddle Fell. There is a new-looking kissing gate, which leads onto the very obvious path that we refer to as the ‘Yellow Brick Road’. It is a brilliant path that follows a nice shallow gradient downwards, with views all the way across to the Three Peaks – Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. If you decide to walk this route anti-clockwise, this path can seem like quite a relentless climb, albeit a shallow incline.
Keep following the clear route ahead and you will reach Saddle End Farm. We were lucky today and arrived at the farm just as the sheepdogs were guiding the new lambs into a barn. Such a conflict between admiring their new lives and also looking forward to our Sunday roast! Once the route through the farm was clear, we passed through and headed onto the final leg back to the car. It’s a very easy amble across fields that pass Wolfen Hall and along a farm track back to the lane up to Fell Foot Cottage.
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