Tim writes: Today was a perfect afternoon for a summer’s walk around the woods and farms near Hurst Green in the Ribble Valley. This Hurst Green walk should be great for dogs but there are some footbridges, stiles, cattle grids and indeed cattle to be aware of.
After parking up in Hurst Green village and with your back to the entrance of the Shireburn Arms, head left (west) along the main road to Longridge. It’s best to stay on the right hand side of the road where there is a pavement, although it’s not very wide in places.
After a sharp right the road ascends a little and you’ll reach St John the Evangelist Church , which is adjacent to Shire Lane. Cross the road here and head towards the red BT Phone Box along the lane. Keep going straight through the farm, passing through two metal gates. Make sure your dogs are on a lead here as there are sheep in the field.
The way is marked by a large white post. When you’ve reached the first post, bear slightly right to meet the next white marker. Here you come to a visible path as you go into the woods. After a stile you emerge from the trees you’ll see a farmhouse called Bailey Hall and a large rundown out building on the right, head between these and go through the metal gate. When we were here there were two foals walking free so make sure your dog is well under control.
The track bears right and then takes a sharp right and then you are into another farm. Keep going along this track, heading towards a large tree on the right. Once at the tree look left and you’ll see a footbridge (which looks a little like a stile) about 200m away, make a beeline for this. Cross the bridge and follow the marker as directed. We went a little too far left here and had to adjust our direction to the right a little to find the stile.
Here you enter a nice wooded area and cross a footbridge. You then emerge at a farm track, take a left here. We were treated to a view of a circling buzzard and heron, I think there was some kind of battle going on, maybe the heron was defending its nest, which was in the trees below the buzzard.
Carry on along the track and eventually you’ll reach a farm called Clough Bank, go through the wooden gate next to the building with a corrigated roof and carry on over the cattle grid. Shortly afterwards there is a wooden gate on the left as the path joins the Ribble Way. Stick to the left hand side of the field and keep your dogs under control as there may be cattle in the field.
Eventually you’ll come to a footbridge, cross this and make your way through the field, keeping to the right. After about 100m you reach a stile and a metalic gate – we chose the stile and it was a little unsteady, so watch your step. Again stick to the right side of the field and head towards the next gate, which is about 150m away.
You then reach a field with a large tree in the middle, pass this and head towards the next metal gate. You then meet a small settlement named Trough House, which is a run down farm. Go straight through the farm and the track ascends back to the village where you can stop for a drink at the Shireburn Arms and finish your Hurst Green walk.
Along the way (things to look out for on your OS map)