The March Ramble – Around Longridge
The March walk was a circum-navigation of Longridge, using one of the excellent guides’ published by the council, but with some modifications. Instead of starting and finishing in the town centre, we kept entirely on the “Loop”.
Starting from Grange Towers, at the bottom of Hacking Drive, with the coach house used as a changing room, we proceeded to cross the Mardale Road recreation ground, with its five football pitches, over the footbridge and through fields to Daniel’s farm and Preston Road. Crossing the road and resisting a visit to Franco’s, we entered the pleasantly quiet Pinfold Lane and headed to the Alston reservoirs. The heavy rain that arrived during the morning had now become light drizzle and remained so for the remainder of the walk.
From here, we headed eastwards through Alston Grange Farm and onwards across a beautiful wooded valley towards Higher College Farm with some of the buildings occupied by local businesses. Our route now took us northwards, crossing the Ribchester road and up a muddy track by the side of Spade Mill Reservoirs and at the top of the hill, headed right to follow the hillside towards the caravan site in the quarry, where the owners kindly provided us with picnic tables at a position with a fantastic view of the Ribble valley. Whilst dining, a pair of deer appeared in front of us whilst the falling rain washed the red cedar Cuprinal from the table onto our clothes.
After lunch, we climbed up through the caravan park, stopping briefly to examine a demonstrator. Very smart, but what a price! Then it was up to the top reservoirs and the Jeffrey Hill road and the highest point on the walk. Now it was steadily downhill, noting the newly born lambs and looking at a little bit of history, as we crossed the bed of the original railway that carried stone from the quarries.
After a spell on the Chipping road, it was now across country to Inglewhite Road, Halfpenny Lane and into the charming Green Nook Lane followed by a complete contrast at Shay Lane and the industrial estate. Then it was back to the start.
What is noticeable on such a walk is the diversity to be experienced in such a short distance. Fields, farms, leisure, woods, hills, main roads, quiet lanes, homes and industrial areas are all encountered and everywhere a scenic backdrop. Longridge has quite a lot going for it.
Eddie & Linda Grange