Rolling hills, wooded dells and pretty winding roads ….this area is so magical - just like something out of The Lord Of The Rings film set. There isn’t one part of this charming area that isn’t to love. Terry Marsh has picked this splendid area of Lancashire to write a guide about and he really pulls it off.
I was so intrigued to read through this guide, I decided to walk one of his featured routes myself. I picked out walk 19 Whitewell - a delightful hamlet found within the Ribble Valley area. Its terrain is perfect for a family day out - not too strenuous yet fun. I can safely say that Terry is correct when he describes it as a walk consisting of green pastures and quiet lanes. There are stepping stones too which provide an almost magical walkway across The River Hodder. I have been across stepping stones before and on many occasions it has not been particularly easy crossing them!
However this time I was surprised that not only are the stones not slippery or covered in slimy reeds which cause even the most able-footed person to skid, they are really stable and do not wobble about. I was able to cross quite easily to the other side - here were lush fields and grazing cattle. To the left were a cluster of trees - so wonderful I felt myself strangely attracted to them. Yet with a dog in tow it was not a wise thing. Cows are notorious for chasing not only dogs but humans too if they are feeling that way inclined and have young calves . I had to sadly abandon this route and go back the way I came.
If you are planning to do this walk or any others from the guide book, you have to know your way around Lancashire. I ended up getting lost - even travelling by car and there is nothing satisfying about being in a car, quite lost, on a boiling hot day with temperatures in the near 90s.
Maybe Terry could have given us a bit of a clearer idea how to get to the start of the route? Still, his other descriptions are extremely accurate and sum up the landscape really well.
There are pictures accompanying each walk - one was of the stepping stones I crossed. It does look slightly different from the actual thing but this may be because of the angle the picture was taken at and the fact things change progressively over the course of sometimes only a couple of months.
There are two other walks that interested me - these both have a detailed route of the ascent of Pendle Hill. One from Downham and the other from Barley.
Terry points out that the Downham route is perhaps the most demanding ascent of the hill. Not sure if this walk would suit me - although Pendle Hill is not classed as a mountain it is still hard work and a bit of a pull to reach the peak!
The mapping featured in this guide is sourced from the hugely reliable Ordnance and Survey which I’m sure will please many as this has been the most reliable mapping service for over many, many years.
All in all, another wonderful guide from publisher, Cicerone!
The above review was contributed by: Jessica Roberts:Jessica is a book reviewer for a local newspaper and has reviewed for a national women's magazine too. She has had various articles published in magazines and has now completed her novel. Jessica currently lives in West Yorkshire and enjoys walking in the dales and woodlands as part of her hobby as well as, of course, reviewing books. To read more of Jessica's reviews CLICK HERE
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