Carrying on......

Above the Weir Along the valley Anyone for a bath? By the Aquaduct Pendle in the distance Start at Gisburn
RIBBLE WAY – Stage 3 – Gisburn to Ribchester

Sunday July 26th

12 hardy souls!

The weather forecast was horrendous but thankfully it didn’t turn out quite as bad as predicted but we certainly saw our share of rain. We were faithfully served yet again by Alex of Pendle Community Transport who was there on the dot with our minibus to run us to Gisburn.

This section is arguably the most breathtaking of the entire 72 mile route with its almost constant views of Pendle Hill and quite stunning stretches of river. Do not be deceived into thinking that the way is all downhill though. Even on this section there were one or two climbs as the name Steep Wood testifies. Rights of way disputes have resulted in one or two diversions away from the river and the promised footbridge at Hacking Hall has yet to materialise. This means a trudge of nearly two miles along the road to cross the Hodder.

There are some stunning properties to envy though and some lovely spots to stop. Our morning coffee break was taken in the pouring rain in the delightful surroundings of Sawley Abbey ruins. Heading on past Clitheroe, where we lunched at Edisford Bridge, the weather improved as the day wore on and it was almost shirt-sleeve order as we marched in to Ribchester to complete the 21 mile day.

Ribble Way - Stage 4 - Ribchester to Longton Sunday August 23rd.

14 persons.

Fortune smiled on us all as regards the weather. The forecast was for rain but we were lucky. We heard of it pouring all around us but our raincoats only came out the once and that for just a short period. Roadworks on the A59 out of Preston and subsequent diversions saw our start delayed by the late arrival of our transport but we soon picked up the pace. The section from Ribchester to Grimsargh sees quite stunning views of the looping river and two or three magnificent halls to wonder at. Inevitably the M6 has to be crossed and the Ribble Way route finds a very acceptable way of doing so hugging the river and passing beyond the Tickled Trout motel. The city centre is bypassed and you would hardly know it is there. The urban parks come down to the riverside providing us with the quite splendid cover of an avenue of trees. From Preston out to Longton is arguably the most impressive section of the entire 72 mile route. The river is at this stage substantial enough for large boats passing to and from Preston Marina. Flood defences provide an embankment for the walker and a haven for wild flowers, shrubs and butterflies. It is quite remote with not even a country lane providing vehicle access. There is however a “sting in the tail”. As you leave the waterside of the estuary you feel the walk is compete but there is still the trek to the Dolphin pub. It is one of those “hiker’s illusions” – it just doesn’t seem to get any closer!!! Still the pint of the delightfully named “Top Totty” more than compensated.

Well done everyone who completed the route and put up with my sometimes wayward leadership and grumpy demeanour!

John Bullen


Special congratulations to Judy, Julie, Ruth, Bob, Martin and Paul who were new to the East Lancs and have been delightful company and real good fun on this route.

And I apologise again for getting us lost near the M6!!!!!!!

A big cheer for driver Alex and PENDLE COMMUNITY TRANSPORT who were superb.
Approaching Preston Celebratory drink 1 Celebratory Drink 2 It was all too much for Martin! John leads us into the jungle Journey's End near the Dolphin Inn Peter looks at the view. The group on the final leg Where are we????